Argentina has hosted MotoGP since 1961. Located at the Oscar Alfredo Galvez Circuit, Argentina became the first country to host a Grand Prix outside Europe.
This opportunity, of course, brings benefits to local racers. When hosting, some of the Argentine racers were able to win the highest podium.
Reported from various sources, there are at least five drivers from Argentina who have competed in MotoGP. Anyone?
1. Gabriel Rodrigo (2014—present)
Gabriel Rodrigo is an Argentinian racer who was born in Barcelona, October 12, 1996. Currently, Rodrigo is the only racer from Argentina who competes in Moto2.
His career in GP began in 2014 by appearing in seven Moto3 races. In 2015, he managed to complete a full season in Moto3 with RBA Racing.
Until 2021, Rodrigo races in Moto3. Throughout his career in Moto3, he managed to win two podiums by finishing in third position, including while defending the Indonesian team, Racing Team Gresini Moto3.
In the 2022 season, Rodrigo dropped into the Moto2 class and joined a team from Indonesia, Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team. He teamed up with Dutch jockey, Bo Bendsneyder.
2. Sebastian Porto (1994 – 2006, and 2014)
Sebastian Porto is an Argentine racer who was born on September 12, 1978. So far, he is the Tango racer who has scored the most wins.
Porto’s career in the 250cc class since 1995. At that time, he joined Aprilia. In 1999, Porto joined Yamaha. With this tuning fork manufacturer, Porto won five podiums, including winning the race in Brazil in 2002. In that season, he was perched in fifth position standings.
He briefly raced for Honda in 2003. A year later, Porto rejoined Aprilia. This is the most successful moment. At that time, Porto could achieve nine pole positions and 10 podiums including five wins. Because of that streak of records, he collected 256 points which made him runner-up in the 2004 season. He only lost to Dani Pedrosa.
Porto won its last victory in 2005. He won after winning the fight with Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo in MotoGP Assen, Netherlands. In 2006, Porto announced his retirement from motor racing.
When MotoGP was held again at MotoGP Argentina in 2014, Porto was surprisingly back on the tarmac. At that time, he appeared once as a wildcard racer at the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit.
3. Benedicto Caldarella (1961-1964)
Born on September 1, 1932, Benedicto “Chiche” Caldarella debuted in the 250cc class GP in 1961. Caldarella never raced a full season. He became a wildcard racer who appeared a lot when MotoGP took place in Argentina.
In 1962, which was Argentina’s second year hosting MotoGP, Benedicto Caldarella won in the 500cc class. He won by Matchless G50 at the Oscar Alfredo Galvez Circuit. This achievement made him the second Argentine driver to ever win in the premier class.
Benedicto Caldarella also competed in the MotoGP Monza, Italy, in 1964. He managed to win the second podium behind Mike Hailwood.
4. Jorge Kissling (1961 – 1963)
Jorge Kissling was born on March 10, 1940. He is the first Argentine racer to ever win in the premier class.
Kissling won the Grand Prix in Argentina 1961 at the Oscar Alfredo Galvez Circuit. At that time, he was only 21 years old and made him the youngest racer to win in the 500cc class at that time. At the end of the season, Kissling was in seventh place in the standings.
Throughout the Grand Prix race, he managed to snatch three podiums. With details, one win in the 500cc class, as well as a second podium in 500cc and 250cc.
5. Juan Carlos Salatino (1961 – 1962)
Juan Carlos Salatino is an Argentine racer who has ever been on the podium in the premier class. He won his first podium at the Argentine GP in 1961. He finished second behind Kissling who won the Oscar Alfredo Galvez Circuit.
In the 1962 season, MotoGP was held again in Argentina. Interestingly, most of the riders who took part were riders from Argentina because a series of stars did not participate.
Benedicto Caldarella managed to win. While the second and third podiums were won by Juan Salatino and Eduardo Salatino. They were the first siblings to reach the podium at a Grand Prix.
At least, that’s the five drivers from Argentina who have competed in the Grand Prix. The history of racing in Tango is indeed quite colorful. In addition to being the first country to host MotoGP outside Europe, the riders have also won in the premier class.