Colombian Ducati rider, Yonny Hernandez, changed teams ahead of the 2016 season; he raced last year for the Energy T.I. Pramac Ducati racing team and despite changing teams is confident as he is already familiar with the Ducati.
Hernandez’s target for the 2016 championship is a twelfth place finish, and speaking in the pre-race press-conference, described anythng above tenth as 'perfect'.
Hernandez' bike caught on fire
Since the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit was added to the calendar in 2014, Hernandez’s best finish was in twelfth, but he did not finish in 2015 due to his bike catching fire.
As with all riders, Hernandez’s focus was with the tyres, as these have been made the new manufacturers for the MotoGP class this season. He seemed understanding towards Michelin taking on the challenge this season, saying it was "strange", but that Michelin "need some more time".
In Qatar the riders spoke mainly about concerns with the front tyres and were unsure about how they would withstand the endurance during a full race. The front tyre was his main concern and he said, “You can put the same tyre with the same specification but sometimes it looks different.”
Despite this he described the improvement as ‘big’. He said that he hoped that Michelin would be helping to give the riders "some good tyres with some more feeling", which would result in "some less crashes".
Upon arrival, Hernandez took to the streets of the city of Buenos Aires with the Espargaro brothers. The three, who rode street bikes, were accompanied by a police escort and approximately forty fellow bikers as they toured the streets starting at a popular café called ‘La Biela’, before ending up in the home of the Boca Juniors Football Club ‘La Bombonera’.
"It's like racing at home!"
Hernandez spoke of how ‘it was like racing at home’, describing it as ‘my race as a Latin American’ and saying how it was 'amazing to represent my country here in MotoGP’. The attendance along the city streets was an indication of how ‘the fans are growing’ as Hernandez feels is the case in Columbia and Argentina. He said, “It’s a lot of fans and people here wishing me well and to do a good race. I hope to work with my bike here for good points.”
Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider Pol Espargaro was the top independent rider at the end of the race first race in Qatar, an achievement that he feels is “important to take points and to be the first satellite bike.” When speaking about his performance in Qatar Espargaro admitted that improvement was needed on his part as he hadn't been 'really powerful' at the start of the race.
'My brother is a football hooligan!'
Espargaro also spoke of his delight when touring around the city of Buenos Aires with his brother Aleix (Suzuki Ecstar Team). He described the ‘new experience’ as ‘funny’ and said that to finish at the Boca stadium was 'unbelieveable' because of the history of the venue.
The two brothers are big football supporters and when talking about ending up in La Bombenera he said that to go into the stadium on their bikes was 'fantastic', joking that it was 'a great thing to do with my brother', who he described as 'a football hooligan'.