Rossi was just 0.6second off the victory at the opening round, despite starting from P14 on the grid. The battling with his rivals in Qatar intensified his love for racing even more, and he is ready to challenge amongst the front-runners again this weekend.
The nine-time World Champion is hugely popular in Latin America. He can expect the support from thousands of fans who will be cheering him on from the Termas de Río Hondo stands. The Doctor aims to do them proud and greet them from the podium - like he did in 2015, when he secured the victory, and in 2016 and 2017, having taken second place - to make up for last year's race result, obtained in tricky half-wet, half-dry conditions.
Though he didn't end the first race of the season as high as he would have liked, Viñales took the positives from the first weekend in Losail and is motivated to show his speed again at the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina, which he has fond memories of.
Two years ago, he secured his second successive dominant win of the year on his Yamaha YZR-M1 in Argentina. The Spaniard struggled here last year in a slightly chaotic and challenging race, but he still took home solid points, securing fifth position. This year he wants to feel competitive again, so he can duplicate the 2017 result and once more enjoy the great sensation of winning in front of the Argentinian fans.
The 4.8km long Termas de Río Hondo Circuit was added to the MotoGP calendar in 2014. The track was remodelled two years earlier, to make it Latin America's most modern and safest circuit. With an exciting lay-out that includes a mixture of fast corners (five left, nine right) and a 1076m longest straight, the Argentinian fans can be assured that they will see plenty of racing and overtaking action again.
"We didn't finish as high as we wanted to in Qatar, but this only fuels us to work harder and we learned from that experience. Getting to the Termas de Río Hondo circuit is quite a journey for the team and riders, but once we get there it's always very rewarding. The local fans are incredibly passionate about MotoGP, so we want to put on a good show for them this weekend. Though I'm sure the spectators all enjoyed the drama of last year's unplanned and slightly chaotic starting procedure, we are hoping for a completely wet or dry race. We know this track suits our bike, and our riders also enjoy this circuit, so we hope to be in for another exciting GP weekend and work towards a strong result."
“I enjoyed the race in Qatar, but now we focus on Argentina. First of all, we hope we‘ll have good track conditions at the circuit this weekend, because that‘s always crucial. Second of all, we hope we‘ll have good weather this year. Last year‘s race was incredibly tricky, riding on a half-wet, half-dry surface - it was very difficult to ride the bike with slicks over the wet patches. We hope we won‘t have to repeat that, and we will see if we‘re strong. I'll do my best to fight for the podium.”
"We did a good job in Qatar, during all the weekend, despite what the result of the race suggests. The team delivered really great work during the last race weekend, so now we're looking forward to this week's Grand Prix in Argentina. This season we're going to take it race-by-race, trying to improve every day. I can‘t wait to ride at Termas de Río Hondo again - I know what it's like to win there. I hope to have the same feeling again this year and be able to fight for the victory. I really think that we can do a good job this weekend and that we will be at the front during the entire race, with the possibility to win."