Fresh from matching his best MotoGP result on his Ducati debut, Aspar's Eugene Laverty heads for one of his favourite circuits this weekend.
Argentina's Termas de Rio Hondo has swapped places with Austin to become round two of the 2016 season where, after securing twelfth in Qatar, Laverty has his sights set on challenging for the top ten.
“Argentina is one of my favourite circuits on the calendar. I went there for the first time last year and straight away I loved it, said Laverty. “Now I have a year of experience in MotoGP and we have found some confidence with the Ducati so I am going to Argentina feeling very optimistic.
“It is difficult to predict who will be competitive there because the new electronics have changed everything, but my riding style suits the Termas track so we will have to see how things are this year and how the new tyres perform there.
“Luckily I was able to last the full race distance in Qatar and it was good to see that after my injuries during the winter my body responded well.”
Laverty only received his 2016 specification engine during practice at round one, meaning much of his test data was discarded.
“I was really happy with my performance at Losail, I was able to have a good battle with Miller almost until the end. I am pretty much back to full fitness now and my confidence is also high after the result at Losail,2 he said.
“We finished twelfth there so the objective in Argentina will be to try and qualify for Q2 and maybe fight for a top ten finish on Sunday.
“Pre-season was tough for us but the team did a great job to give me the best possible bike. The result in the first race was our reward for that but now I want us to keep raising our level.”
Colombian team-mate Yonny Hernandez can count on plenty of home South American support this weekend as he seeks to make up for a technical problem in Qatar.
“We had a tough weekend in Qatar, with a lot of setbacks that were out of our control. Luck wasn't on our side but that is forgotten about now, plus we learnt a lot,” said Hernandez, sidelined early in the race by a broken sensor.
“Now we go to Argentina with positive energy, I love racing there because it is like my home race. Hopefully I can focus from Friday on producing my best all weekend and finishing with a strong result.
“I am sure we have left all our bad luck behind us at Losail, so hopefully in Argentina everything works well and allows us to be where we should be. We saw at the last race we have the pace to be fighting in the top ten or twelve so we are going to fight for that.
“Hopefully I can have a good result in Argentina, in front of all the fans there, and pay the team back for all their hard work. The Termas circuit is really nice and fast, it is quite slippery but it is special to me.”
Hernandez was spectacularly forced out of last year's race when oil leaked onto his exhaust, while Laverty finished 17th on Open Honda machinery.