Photo: Ryan Villopoto Facebook page
It's a level playing track for Round 3 of the Motocross World Championship held on Sunday in Patagonia Argentina since none of the riders, even the veterans to the series, have ever competed on the track.
The track in the Patagonia region of Argentina in the province of Neuquen is an unraced track so pre-race testing is of utmost importance as far as riders getting their bearings and deciding any changes to their bikes. This could be a chance for riders looking for a win or podium and keep from falling to far back in points to make the right tweaks and take the checkered flag.
The track is built on volcanic ash and race officials expect a flowing yet tacky surface with lots of grip. Check out a flyby of the track:
As was the case with the first two rounds, expect many eyes focused on Ryan Villopoto. He won Round 2 but Round 1 didn't go so well for the four-time American Supercross Champion. Eight-time MXGP Champion Antonio Cairoli followed a similar path but with better results to open the season and is in second place, nine points ahead of Villopoto who is in fourth. Both riders each have a race win. Clement Desalle of Belgium has started the season sweeping second-place and leads the field with 88 points.
Villopoto is definitely learning the ropes in what is a brand new series for him. In his first MXGP Race his bike stalled and he crashed twice giving him ninth-place. A busted rear-break hindered him a bit in Race 2 where he took eighth but ended up seventh overall. In Round 2, he demolished the field for the qualifying race winning by 33 seconds and went on to win Race 1 by nearly 11 seconds. Race officials reduced Race 2 by five minutes because of extreme heat and humidity and Villopoto took third, enough for the overall.
Villopoto said after the race that he has some things to learn and there's a strategy to racing the MXGPs he is getting used to. He took third-place in Race 2 and some speculated he overdid the qualifying which may have tired him out. Villopoto spent his time-off testing in Europe.
This is the eighth time Argentina has hosted an MXGP round and Americans Trampas Parker, Bobby Moore and Rodney Smith each won here. In fact, Parker was the first American to win two World Motocross Championships, the first in 1989 for the 125cc class and the 250cc class in 1991.
If history is any indicator to help fuel Villopoto, Parker won the round in Argentina in 1989, Smith won in Argentina in 1988 when he finished third in the 250cc class for the year, and Moore won the 125cc Championship in 1994, the year he won in Argentina.
So where can you watch the MXGP of Patagonia Argentina? If by chance you have FOX Sports South America you can watch Race 2 live. Stream it live on MXGP-TV.com. The CBS Sports Network airs Race 2 - delayed - in the United States at 2 p.m. (PST) on Sunday.
2015 MXGP Season Standings
- Clement Desalle - BEL (88)
- Antonio Cairoli - ITA (79)
- Maximilian Nagl - GER (78)
- Ryan Villopoto - USA (70)
- Romain Febvre - FRA (67)
- Gautier Paulin - FRA (67)
- Kevin Strijbos - BEL (55)
- Evgeny Bobryshev - RUS (45)
- Todd Waters - AUS (40)
- Shaun Simpson - GBR (38)
Written By: AndrewT