Why is the 2024 MotoGP Argentina Grand Prix cancelled?

The Argentina GP at Termas de Rio Honda was scheduled to represent the third round of the 2024 MotoGP season. However, on 31 January it was officially cancelled by series promoter Dorna Sports.

Due to harsh government spending cuts imposed by Argentina’s new president Javier Milei, the grand prix – which receives considerable public funding – could not be staged.

Has the Argentina GP been cancelled before?

This is the third time in recent years that the Argentina GP has been scrubbed from the MotoGP schedule.

In 2020, the race was forced off the calendar due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and could not be staged in 2021 due to the ongoing travel restrictions in place because of the virus.

The only race to be staged outside of Europe in 2021 was the Americas Grand Prix in Texas, which was held in October of that year.

The 2021 Argentina GP would likely have faced trouble even without the COVID pandemic, however, as a major fire wrecked the pit complex building early that year.

When was the last Argentina GP staged?

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Photo by: Media VR46

MotoGP raced in Argentina in 2023, with VR46 Ducati rider Marco Bezzecchi scoring a maiden victory.

The event was also staged in 2022, though was cut down to two days as delays in freight arriving from Indonesia meant practice could not be staged on the Friday. Aprilia and Aleix Espargaro scored an historic maiden MotoGP victory that year in Sunday’s grand prix.

Aside from the 2020 and 2021 cancellations, the Argentina GP at Termas de Rio Honda had been staged every year since 2014, when the event returned to the calendar following a 15-year hiatus.

Prior to 2014, the Argentina GP was staged 10 times between the series’ first visit to the country in 1961 and 1999.

Those races were held at the Autodromo Oscar y Juan Galves in the country’s capital of Buenos Aires.

Who has the most wins at the Argentina GP?

Due to the event’s sporadic appearances on the MotoGP calendar before finding permanency in 2014, no one rider has proved totally dominant.

Tom Phillis, Hugh Anderson, Mick Doohan and Marc Marquez all have the most grand prix wins in the country at three, though only five-time 500cc world champion Doohan and six-time MotoGP champion Marquez’s wins were in the premier class.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi has two grand prix wins in Argentina, the first in the 250cc class in 1998 just two years into his GP career, and in 2015 in the MotoGP class.

When MotoGP returned to Argentina in 2014, Rossi was the only rider on the grid to have previously raced in the country.

Argentinian Jorge Kissling was the first premier class winner of the his home GP in 1961 on a Matchless, before countryman Benedictor Caldarella took the honours the following year – also on a Matchless.

Mike Hailwood won on an MV Agusta in 1963, which was the last Argentina GP until 1981 – though no 500cc (MotoGP as it is known today) race was held that season.

In 1982, Kenny Roberts took a Yamaha to the top class win. The next Argentina GP came in 1987, won by Yamaha’s Eddie Lawson. Then another gap followed until 1994, with Doohan winning on a Honda on his way to that year’s championship.

He did the same the year after, with Kenny Roberts Jr on a Suzuki winning the next Argentina GP in 1999.

Since its return in 2014, MotoGP wins have been shared between Marquez (2014, 2016, 2019), Rossi (2015), Maverick Vinales (2017), Cal Crutchlow (2018), Espargaro (2022) and Bezzecchi (2023).

Honda is the most successful manufacturer in Argentina, winning a total of 20 grands prix across the MotoGP/500cc, 250cc and Moto3/125cc classes. The next-best manufacturer is Kalex, whose chassis have won every single Moto2 grand prix to be staged at Termas de Rio Hondo – a total of eight times.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

How long will MotoGP race in Argentina?

Argentina’s current deal with MotoGP organiser Dorna Sports runs to the end of 2025.

However, due to the governmental situation in the country, it is unclear if MotoGP can return to Argentina next year.

Will the 2024 MotoGP Argentina GP be replaced?

On 31 January 2024, Dorna Sports announced that Argentina would be struck from the calendar and would not be replaced.

Originally scheduled at 22 rounds, the 2024 season will now only feature 21 events – although this will still be a record for the series, providing there are no further alterations.

Source link