MotoGP: Majority of the pit building is destroyed in Termas de Río Hondo Fire
The huge fire which swept through the Termas de Río Hondo circuit in Argentina last night has destroyed the vast majority of the pit building.
The garage complex, press rooms, TV broadcast rooms, Race Control and vip lounges have all been destroyed as a result of the blaze. Fortunately, other parts of the circuit sustained less damage, including the Juan Manuel Fangio Museum, other offices and the medical facility.
The extent of the damage caused was revealed by circuit director Hector Farina in an official statement this morning.
"The racetrack 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," today's statement said. "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 wind that ran.
"Many thanks to various Fire Department staff, police officers, municipal staff, racetrack workers, etc. 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 Moto GP in November."
This year's Grand Prix has already been postponed from its original slot on April 11 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Last year's event was cancelled as a result of the pandemic.
The Termas de Río Hondo circuit first hosted the Argentina round of the MotoGP world championship in 2014 - the first race to be held in the country since 1999.
MotoGP: Huge fire causes extensive damage at Argentina's Termas de Río Hondo circuit
First published: 6 February 2021 at 09:54 by Josh Close
The fire was first reported at around 11pm local time and crews from multiple fire stations responded due to the size and severity of the fire. Reports suggest that fire crews were still fighting the blaze this morning.
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At this stage it's not clear what caused the fire, which spread rapidly due to the high winds in the area. It's believed that the pit area and its upper floors, where the press room and VIP areas are located, appear to have been seriously affected. Some reports in Argentina say that all of those areas have been completely destroyed.
Fire crews are now fighting to protect as much of the circuit Juan Manuel Fangio Museum’s collection of bikes and cars.
The Termas de Río Hondo circuit first hosted the Argentina round of the MotoGP world championship in 2014. It was the first Argentinian Grand Prix in 15 years and was won by Marc Marquez. Since then, Marquez has won two more times, whilst Valentino Rossi, Maverick Vinales and Cal Crutchlow have also stood on the top step.
Last year's event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst the 2021 GP has already been postponed due to the on-going Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns. This fire may well end the circuit's hopes of hosting the event his year.