If Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez doubted the level of passion for MotoGP in Argentina, after an absence of 15 years, they were in for a surprise when they headed out for separate meals near the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit on Wednesday.

"Yesterday we can understand a little bit the feeling of the animals in the zoo, with all the people that take the picture all the time! So was not very funny," said nine time world champion Rossi. "You know, I expect something like this especially from the airport when there were a lot of people. I thought it will be a very difficult weekend!

"At the end it is better to have a lot of fans than nobody, but I think my strategy will be to stay closed in the paddock, then the hotel, then paddock... then Sunday take the aeroplane and go! Impossible to go out I think!"

Related Articles

Reigning MotoGP champion Marquez added: "For me yesterday night the problem was Valentino! (Laughter) Because I was in a restaurant in front and all the people were waiting for him. When he left, somebody said 'in front is Marquez' then all the people came over to me! A little bit is fun, but... I think on the track things will be better!"

Free practice gets underway on Friday morning.