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MotoGP riders get ready to rumble in Argentina

Andrea Dovizioso beat Marc Marquez in a photo finish in Qatar.

Bengaluru, April 3: After the last-lap thriller season opener under lights in Qatar, Termas de Rio Hondo is the next stop on the calendar as MotoGP heads across the universe from the desert to the Andes.

Argentina is one of the most incredible events of the season but it's not the history, not the track, not the corners and not the weather at Termas de Rio Hondo that make it one of the jewels of the year; it's the people - passionate like no other and raring to see some serious racing. Little wonder the grandstands are packed.

Let's dance: put on your race boots and get ready to tango at Hondo!

(With MotoGP.com inputs)

Dovizioso headlines the show

Dovizioso headlines the show

Headlining the carnival after the showstopper in Losail will be the first championship leader of the season - Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) - and reigning world champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).

Both will be pushing to repeat the feat in Latin America. Track records at Argentina make it advantage Marquez of the two early title rivals.

Yamaha threat

Yamaha threat

Behind the two men that dueled it out in the desert, there are a few big contenders on the bill. Last year's star man Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) will want to convert Qatar pace hampered by a trip through Q1 into a first visit to the top step in 2018, and team-mate Valentino Rossi will be gunning to stand in his way.

After a more difficult preseason for Yamaha, the 'Doctor' found some serious traction at Losail and took his first podium of the season to extend his incredible golden years in the premier class. As a previous winner at the venue to boot, who writes off the rider from Tavullia? Another race win to cement his new contract would doubtless be a sweet thing for Rossi.

Zarco assault

Zarco assault

Speaking of full assault, that was - as ever - Johann Zarco's (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) modus operandi in the desert, as the Frenchman led from the front throughout much of the race.

Later suffering with grip and forced to drop back slightly, he crossed the line in P8 and out of podium contention.

Tango at Hondo

Tango at Hondo

MotoGP does the tango at Termas de Rio Hondo from Friday (April 6), with the race firing up at 11.30pm IST on Sunday (April 8).

Will we see another repetition of the desert duel? Or will the next race day give another future legend the chance to stake their claim on the crown.

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    Story first published: Tuesday, April 3, 2018, 15:26 [IST]
    Other articles published on Apr 3, 2018
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