Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez took his first victory of the season in a dramatic Argentinian Grand Prix, as tyres dominated proceedings with a mandatory pit stop put in place.
Reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo took the lead into a hectic first corner as many riders including Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi were pushed out wide. With just ten laps until the pit stop the Factory Ducati riders didn’t waste any time and Dovizioso took the lead on lap two.
Lorenzo’s fast pace didn’t last long and the Spaniard slipped down into sixth by the end of the second lap. Marquez was down in fifth position but was on the hunt for the lead and soon made it past Rossi in second by the fourth lap.
The battle for the top step of the podium soon became a ten wheeled fight as they pulled a three second gap ahead of the field. At the midway point of the first stint on the tyres, Lorenzo crashed out of sixth position and was out of the race in a dramatic turn of events.
Tension was rising ahead of the pit stops, which could have taken place over three possible laps as Rossi and Marquez were fighting for the lead in a copy of the final laps of last year. They entered the pits together and from there the Spaniard never looked back.
Leaving the pits seconds behind one and other Marquez was able to pull a lead on his Repsol Honda and Rossi was unable to catch him, feeling uncomfortable on his second M1.
Falling behind Rossi was left to fight with Ducati team-mates Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso after Maverick Vinales crashed out of third with three laps remaining.
Clearly with a slower pace to the Ducati’s Rossi began to fall behind and it looked as if he’d miss out on a podium finish, however drama ensued as Iannone tried to go up the inside of Dovizoso to take second and both riders crashed out.
Gifting Rossi second position, the incident is currently under investigation with race direction. The drama meant Pedrosa crossed the line in third and Aspar Ducati’s Eugene Laverty secured a stunning fourth position finish.
Full list of results here:
- Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 34m 13.628s
2. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 34m 21.307s
3. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 34m 41.728s
4. Eugene Laverty IRL Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2) 34m 50.170s
5. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 34m 50.339s
6. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 34m 50.873s
7. Stefan Bradl GER Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 34m 54.981s
8. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 35m 4.337s
9. Tito Rabat ESP Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V)* 35m 4.611s
10. Alvaro Bautista ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 35m 15.016s
11. Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 35m 22.496s
12. Michele Pirro ITA Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15) 35m 32.615s
13. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP) 35m 47.047s
Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP) DNF
Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) DNF
Maverick Viñales ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) DNF
Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15) DNF
Loris Baz FRA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) DNF
Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) DNF
Jack Miller AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) DNF
Yonny Hernandez COL Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2) DNF