Huge fire wrecks Argentina MotoGP venue

The Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, host of the MotoGP Argentine Grand Prix, has suffered a huge fire which has destroyed most of the paddock and pit area

Huge fire wrecks Argentina MotoGP venue

The fire started at around 11pm on Friday night with firefighters from Termas de Rio Hondo tackling the blaze along with help from other fire and rescue services from nearby towns and regions.

The cause of the fire is still unknown but it is thought to have devastated the majority of the pits, the press room and the VIP areas but fortunately it has not caused any injuries.

MotoGP had been due to visit the circuit later in the year after its initial scheduled date was postponed to the end of the season after both the Argentine and US GPs were delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Both races currently have no new provisional dates.

"80% of the built-up part of the route has been lost, consumed by fire," a firefighter told La Nación, who also said the fire could be seen from a long distance away from the circuit.

With the pit area and the upper floors above it, where the press room and VIP areas are located, badly damaged by the flames, firefighters plan to try to prevent the fire from spreading to the circuit's museum area. Several of the most valuable items in the track museum have already been moved as a precaution while further safety measures have also been taken to protect the rest of the circuit.

"We are working to save the museum, the rest was burned, everything was consumed, it makes you want to cry," added another firefighter to the Argentine newspaper.

A statement from circuit director Hector Toti Farina confirmed the pit building has been destroyed but the rest of the track complex has been saved from the fire, while also announcing the track is fully insured against fire damage and it plans to start the rebuild as soon as possible.

"Unfortunately the entire pit building was destroyed by the fire that occurred in the late hours at the track, the sector also included the press rooms, race control and VIP lounges," the circuit statement read. "Both the museum and the control tower at the ends, along with other offices and medical centre had no significant damage.

"The museum will reopen to the public in the next few days. The track has full insurance against fire, so the issue of economic damage is covered in that sense, but it will surely take a long time to rebuild this important area necessary for national and international competitions.

"Thank God, there were no victims to mourn, and we want to thank all those who collaborated in this incident that generated moments of great danger due to the high winds. Many thanks to various fire department staff, police officers, municipal staff and track workers, they did everything they could to prevent further damage. We will work from now on to do everything possible to meet the schedules we have planned, including the MotoGP in November."

Termas de Rio Hondo has hosted the Argentina MotoGP event since 2014, albeit with the 2020 race cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic. The circuit, built in 2007 and redeveloped in 2012, has also hosted the World Touring Car Championship, with the most recent event taking place in 2016.

shares
comments
Avintia unveils new-look 2021 MotoGP team with Marini and Bastianini

Previous article

Avintia unveils new-look 2021 MotoGP team with Marini and Bastianini

Next article

‘No pressure’ to repeat Marquez’s rookie MotoGP podiums – Bastianini

‘No pressure’ to repeat Marquez’s rookie MotoGP podiums – Bastianini
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Oriol Puigdemont
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021