Mind the gap – on a day where championship leads were beginning to build, the Moto3 and Moto2 winners performances were all about dominance and a win defining distance. Danny Kent pulled out a immense 10 second lead , the biggest Moto3 has seen in dry conditions, while Johann Zarco looked easy as he pulled away to win by 2.7 seconds.
|One better every race -Rins continues to impress Photo: PonsRacing.com
British rider Danny Kent repeated his Austin performance as he again weighed up the conditions and competitors before disappearing down the track to take back-to-back wins – the first British rider to do so since the legend Barry Sheene in 1971.
The Leopard Racing rider, who leads the championship, was joined on the podium at the Rio Hondo by team-mate Efren Vazquez who raced with a fever, with timing and experience enough to help him power his Honda to second.
The final podium spot went to Isaac Vinales, his Husqvarna the first non Honda to make the podium this season.
Fourth went to pole man Miguel Oliveira, an excellent recovery after dropping to sixteenth for the Red Bull KTM rider, his team-mate Brad Binder was just behind in fifth, Fabio Quartararo was the top rookie in sixth, his Estrella Galicia team-mate Jorge Navarro crashed out.
Karel Hanika claimed his best finish to date in seventh on the Red Bull, Romano Fenati started from the back of the grid after kicking Niklas Ajo and hitting his kill switch but still recovered to finish where he originally qualified for Sky Racing Team VR46 – eighth.
Enea Bastianini and Ajo also claimed top ten finishes for Gresini and RBA racing respectively.
The remaining points went to Francesco Bagnina (Mapfre Team Mahindra) in 11th, Livio Loi (RW Racing GP) 12th, podium contender Hiroki Ono (Leopard Racing) 13th , Jakub Kornfeil (Drive M7 SIC)14thand John McPhe claiming a single point after a tough weekend at Saxoprint in 15th.
Gabriel Rodrigo, Maria Herrera, Jules Danilo, Navarro and the second Saxoprint of Alexis Masbou all failed to go the distance.
Johann Zarco was in majestic form all weekend and once free eased out enough of a lead to guarantee a win on the Ajo Motorsport entry, his first in Moto2 and just the second time he has graced the top spot in his career.
Behind the Frenchman Xavier Simeon fell out of the leading group before top rookie Alex Rins passed his way into second, leaving the race result matching the championship table positions.
Speed Up’s Sam Lowes maturely decided to let second go as he struggled for grip and was a clear third, with Kallio next across the line and unable to stop Rins when it was his turn to be passed by the yellow Paginas Amarillas HP 40 bike, citing arm pump as an issue.
The Finn remained ahead of his Italtrans team-mate Franco Morbidelli who was next across the line in fifth before the warring Tom Luthi (Derendinger Racing Interwetten) and Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) blasted over the line in sixth and seventh respectively.
Lorenzo Baldassarri lead the next battle for position over the line in eighth for Athina Forward Racing, his best ever finish, with Jonas Folger, off and out wide on lap one, in ninth for AGR Team with the fastest lap right at the end of the race powering him through. Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) again impressed with a top ten finish.
The remaining points went to Luis Salom (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) in eleventh, Tito Rabat, who also went off at the same time as Folger in recovery mode for EG 0,0 Marc VDS in 12th, Dominique Aegerter (Technomag Racing Interwetten) 13th Ant West 14th (QMMF) and Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) in 15th.
Simeon, Simone Corsi and Louis Rossi were the races only fallers.
What we learned: It’s never to late for an impressive win, points on the table are good for the title hunt.
Both Zarco and Kent have had their struggles in the past, Zarco never quite reaching the promise he showed when he was runner up in the 125cc class on his move up to Moto2, while Danny Kent had a total year in the wilderness on his first attempt in the class.
Both seem to have found the right team, the right people and the right bike to just make everything gel, the ooze confidence as they are comfortable in their respective teams and it flows into their racing, both putting in dominant, peerless performances today in Argentina, building up to the race it was hard to imagine either as anything other than favourites, with wins finishing near perfect weekends.
The smart men behind bagged good points today, with Vazquez and Oliveira standing out in Moto3, one using experience to be in the best position possible on the final lap, the other giving everything to recover valuable points, rookie Quartararo also keeps 4th overall after taking a consistant approach.
This model of thinking means both Alex Rins and Sam Lowes remain close behind Zarco in the Moto2 standings, Rins has been incredibly consistent in his opening season in the class, going one better each race – 4,3,2 pacing him just four points behind the Frenchman, with Lowes’ post-winning maturity giving him the forethought to guarantee third before a mistake with poor grip may have been on the cards.
Full Moto3 race result here
Full Moto2 race result here