Marquez wins wild Argentina MotoGP race, Lorenzo among crashers

Marc Marquez fought off a first-half challenge from Valentino Rossi to take his first win of the MotoGP season in a dramatic, flag-to-flag Argentinian Grand Prix

Marquez wins wild Argentina MotoGP race, Lorenzo among crashers

Marquez dominated the second half of the shortened race to take the win and championship lead, while Jorge Lorenzo crashed out and Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso squandered a golden chance to give Ducati a double podium by colliding at the final corner.

Amid concerns about Michelin's rear tyres, several changes to the race format and protocol were made on Sunday, primarily due to the threat of wet weather.

What was eventually a 20-lap dry race included a mandatory bike swap at the end of either lap nine, 10 or 11.

Lorenzo swept into the lead at the start, but surrendered it on the first lap, fell down the order and then away from the lead pack.

While running a lonely sixth on lap six, Lorenzo fell at Turn 1, his first retirement since the San Marino Grand Prix last September.

Dovizioso led early, but was passed by Marquez and Rossi, who then waged their own private battle for the lead, while pulling away from the Ducatis.

Rossi got ahead twice, but only for mere seconds each time, and the pair headed into pitlane at the end of lap 10 just about side-by-side.

Both swaps were smooth, but Marquez got a slight jump on the way out, and then emerged with Tito Rabat - yet to make his swap - between himself and Rossi.

Marquez put more than two seconds on Rossi that lap, and set a string of fast laps to take control of the race.

In the end, Marquez finished 7.679 seconds clear.

Second went to Rossi - who admitted he struggled on his second bike - but there was more than an element of luck involved.

He was caught by Suzuki's Maverick Vinales and the Ducati pair, and while he found some more pace, could not pull clear or close on Marquez.

Vinales then fell at Turn 1 on lap 18, before the Ducatis both passed Rossi at the end of the back straight on the second-last lap.

Dovizioso was set to lead Iannone over the line to take second and third, but Iannone went too hot into Turn 13, collecting Dovizioso and sending both riders off.

After the incident, Dovizioso picked his Ducati up and pushed it across the line in 13th place.

It all handed second to Rossi and third to Dani Pedrosa, who had been more than 20 seconds behind, delayed after being forced wide at the first corner by Iannone.

Eugene Laverty claimed a remarkable fourth as the best satellite rider, ahead of Hector Barbera and Pol Espargaro, who both ran off the road at Turn 10 on the final lap.

While there was a career-best result for Laverty, results went begging for a number of riders.

Jack Miller flew early and was running sixth, ahead of Lorenzo, before crashing at Turn 1.

Scott Redding was pulling away from Pedrosa before his Pramac Ducati was slowed by a mechanical problem with five laps to go.

Cal Crutchlow crashed in the first half of the race, but regrouped and was 10th before falling on the final lap.

RESULTS - 20 LAPS

Pos Rider Team Bike Gap
1 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 34m13.628s
2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 7.679s
3 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 28.100s
4 Eugene Laverty Aspar Ducati Ducati 36.542s
5 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati Ducati 36.711s
6 Pol Espargaro Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 37.245s
7 Stefan Bradl Aprilia Aprilia 41.353s
8 Bradley Smith Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 50.709s
9 Tito Rabat Marc VDS Honda Honda 50.983s
10 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia Aprilia 1m01.388s
11 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki Suzuki 1m08.868s
12 Michele Pirro Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m18.987s
13 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 1m33.419s
- Andrea Iannone Ducati Ducati Crash
- Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda Crash
- Maverick Vinales Suzuki Suzuki Crash
- Scott Redding Pramac Ducati Ducati Retirement
- Loris Baz Avintia Ducati Ducati Retirement
- Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Yamaha Crash
- Jack Miller Marc VDS Honda Honda Crash
- Yonny Hernandez Aspar Ducati Ducati Retirement

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Pos Rider Points
1 Marc Marquez 41
2 Valentino Rossi 33
3 Dani Pedrosa 27
4 Jorge Lorenzo 25
5 Andrea Dovizioso 23
6 Pol Espargaro 19
7 Hector Barbera 18
8 Eugene Laverty 17
9 Bradley Smith 16
10 Maverick Vinales 10
11 Aleix Espargaro 10
12 Stefan Bradl 9
13 Alvaro Bautista 9
14 Tito Rabat 8
15 Scott Redding 6
16 Michele Pirro 4
17 Jack Miller 2


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