MotoGP’s first race day action at the all new Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo did not disappoint with exciting racing the order of the day in the support classes.
Moto3 had been tight from the start, but it was the final lap which decided the podium places.
With a leading group featuring Jack Miller; winner of the first two rounds; Romano Fenati and Alex Marquez,with Livio Loi hot in pursuit, the racing was fierce.
Estrella Galicia rider Marquez bumped into Fenati, who in turn hit Miller, who had looked to have the edge.
|Tito Rabat celebrates a commanding win Photo: Marc VDS
The chain of events sent the Red Bull KTM rider wide, both Marquez and Fenati passing underneath him, with the Sky Racing Team VR46 rider nudging ahead for the win.
Race direction investigated the race but no changes were made to the result. The victory was Fenati’s first since his Maiden win in Jerez back in 2012.
Miller held third with Birthday boy Livio Loi, who turned 17 today, just that little bit further back, spectating over the podium places in fourth, a career best finish for the Belgian Marc VDS rider.
Alex Rins finished fifth ahead of early pace runner Efren Vazquez, who faded to sixth after a promising start.
Seventh went to Isaac Vinales as more drama unfolded behind him. There was contact on the way to the finish line between the Husqvarna riders with British rider Danny Kent coming off worse, crashing his way to ninth, one place behind Niklas Ajo in eighth. It is Kent’s second top ten finish this season.
Tenth went to rookie Enea Bastianini for Go & Fun. Alexis Masbou was next across the line in 11thand Juanfran Guevera twelfth ahead of the best placed Mahindra of Alessandro Tonucci in 13th place.
The final points went to Brad binder in 14th and Zulfahmi Khairuddin in 15th spot.
British rider John McPhee ran as high as sixth and was battling in the chasing pack when he crashed out after losing the front.
Moto2 was a far more one sided affair with the smooth and easy Tito Rabat winning by over two seconds after leading from start to finish.
The win is Rabat’s second of the season, with his dominant performance pushing his points advantage in the championship to 28 – more than a race win.
Xavier Simeon did his best to catch the flying Marc VDS rider but could not match the Spaniards pace on the Kalex.
The Gresini rider instead concentrated on keeping his Suter in second with the rest of the field closing in. His second place is the Belgian riders best Moto2 finish and second rostrum finish.
Third went to class rookie Luis Salom. The Pons HP 40 rider had been stuck in a tense battle with Simone Corsi but flew once he got past the Italian. His team-mate Maverick Vinales crashed out in the early stages.
In a day of brilliant individual performances Dominique Aegerter came from 16th on the grid to finish just off the podium in fourth despite his engine giving him issues for the race duration.
Forward KLX rider Simone Corsi ended up fifth but was easily ahead of Alex De Angelis in sixth for Tasca Racing.
Mika Kallio’s 200th Grand Prix start ended in a seventh place finish for the Marc VDS rider.
The battle for the remaining points places was hard fought between a large group of experienced campaigners and British rookie Sam Lowes.
Despite his lack of world championship experience Lowes battled into eighth after having started from 22ndon the grid and was the best placed Speed Up finisher.
Ninth went to German Sandro Cortese who just pipped Aspar’s Jordi torres at the chequered flag.
Tech3 rider Marcel Schrotter finished in 11th with Ant west also involved in the same group and finishing 12th.
Franco Morbidelli claimed his first world championship points in 13th ahead of experienced race winner and former 125cc champion Nico Terol in 13th, his first finish for Aspar this year.
15th went to Taka Nakagami handing him the final point on offer.
Local wild-card Sebastian Porto finished his first Grand Prix race since 2006 in 23rdplace.
Gino Rea found the going tough in 30th.
The MotoGP action continues next weekend when the paddock arrives in Jerez for the Spanish Grand Prix, the first European round on this season’s calendar.
Argentina Moto3 Race Result Top 15:
1. Romano Fenati SKY Racing Team VR46 (KTM) 38m 34.451
2. Alex Marquez Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 38m 34.550
3. Jack Miller Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 38m 34.991
4. Livio Loi Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex-KTM) 38m 35.075
5. Alex Rins Estrella Galicia 0,0 (Honda) 38m 39.981
6. Efren Vazquez SaxoPrint-RTG (Honda) 38m 40.104
7. Isaac Viñales Calvo Team (KTM) 38m 43.416
8. Niklas Ajo Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 38m 49.436
9. Danny Kent Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo (Husqvarna) 38m 49.494
10. Enea Bastianini Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 (KTM) 38m 51.761
11. Alexis Masbou Ongetta-Rivacold (Honda) 38m 53.272
12. Juanfran Guevara Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex-KTM) 38m 53.489
13. Alessandro Tonucci CIP (Mahindra) 38m 53.648
14. Brad Binder Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 39m 3.452
15. Zulfahmi Khairuddin Ongetta-AirAsia (Honda) 39m 12.575
Argentina Moto2 Race Result Top 15:
1. Esteve Rabat Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 40m 6.114
2. Xavier Simeon Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 (Suter) 40m 8.208
3. Luis Salom Pons HP 40 (Kalex) 40m 9.816
4. Dominique Aegerter Technomag carXpert (Suter) 40m 10.982
5. Simone Corsi NGM Forward Racing (Forward KLX) 40m 11.124
6. Alex De Angelis Tasca Racing Moto2 (Suter) 40m 14.678
7. Mika Kallio Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 40m 19.271
8. Sam Lowes Speed Up (Speed Up) 40m 25.870
9. Sandro Cortese Dynavolt Intact GP (Kalex) 40m 26.422
10. Jordi Torres Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 40m 26.492
11. Marcel Schrotter Tech 3 (Tech 3) 40m 27.084
12. Anthony West QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 40m 27.613
13. Franco Morbidelli I Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 40m 32.913
14. Nicolas Terol SPA Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 40m 33.107s
15. Takaaki Nakagami JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 40m 33.253