TERMAS DE RIO HONDA, Argentina: Argentina stages its first motorcycling Grand Prix for 15 years tomorrow with Marc Marquez (pictured) out to maintain his perfect start to the defence of his MotoGP world title.
The 21-year-old Spaniard had barely graduated from riding tricycles the last time Argentina staged a leg of the world championship.
That 1999 race was won by American star Kenny Roberts Jr with a certain Valentino Rossi claiming third in the 250cc division.
Rossi, who won the mid-division title that season, returns to Argentina having gone on to accumulate seven world crowns in the 500cc/MotoGP category.
Marquez has one MotoGP championship wrapped up and is well on his way to adding a second, if early results are anything to go by.
He took the season-opener in Qatar one month after breaking his leg, fighting off Rossi in a thrilling wheel-to-wheel finish.
Next up came the Grand Prix of the Americas with Marquez describing his stroll to victory from pole in Austin as “boring”.
Now the youngest ever MotoGP world champion arrives in Argentina hungry for his third straight win of 2014.
“We will be looking to continue with the same momentum from the first two races of the season,” the Honda ace said.
“Argentina will be a new track for most of us...... I’m looking forward to visiting a new circuit and it will be nice for the fans.”
His Honda teammate, Dani Pedrosa, a distant second in Texas a fortnight ago, has been gathering information on the circuit.
“I don’t know much about the new track, I’ve tried to do some homework with maps and videos and find out as much as I could before arriving but it’s hard to know without having been there on the bike,” he said.
The 2010 and 2012 champion Jorge Lorenzo arrives in Argentina intent on drawing a line on a frustrating start to the 2014 campaign.
A crash in Qatar and a lowly 10th in Austin after a jump start earned him a ride through penalty blamed on mosquitoes has left him trailing leader Marquez by 44 points.
“When I arrive to the grid, I have too many mosquitoes on my visor so I decided to take out the tear off,” he said.
“I never do this and at this moment, I get confused and when I see the red light I thought it was the start of the race....”
“Obviously it’s not the beginning of the season I had dreamed of,” admitted Lorenzo.
“But I’m quite confident that we can revert the situation.
“It’s not easy to swallow what happened at Austin but I always try to get the positive thing even if we are in trouble.”
He turns up refreshed after a working break.
“I’ll arrive with plenty of energy after resting and training hard in Mexico.”
Marquez is not the only rider this weekend searching for a hat-trick with Australian Jack Miller also on a three-timer in Moto3.
After Argentina the world championship moves to Europe with Jerez staging the fourth leg of the season on May 4.