In Hindsight: Argentina MotoGP

In an unpredictable MotoGP weekend, the weather in Argentina turned on the riders, throwing their races into disarray as everyone scrambled to change tyres and tried to foresee what the weather could do.

For MotoGP, the riders could have done with watching their previous classes for advice on track conditions, or just trusting the judgement of Jack ‘Jack Ass’ Miller with his slick tyres. But for all the classes, there were unpredictable winners and angry crashes. Here’s a recap of what went down in Argentina last weekend.

Briton Cal Critchlow celebrates being on top of the podium in Argentina

MotoGP

After all the riders decided to change their tyres, it was Jack Miller who sat out on pole position, but this caused some confusion as rules stated that the riders should all start from pit lane.

However, they all got moved a number of rows away from pole, which infuriated Miller. All of this delay caused the race to be cut by one lap (going from a 75 mile race to 70 miles) but Miller got off cleanly and raced well, though couldn’t hold the lead.

Eventually Alex Rins, Johann Zarco and Cal Crutchlow were biting at his heels, but not a lot of people were watching the front runners. Marc Marquez was wreaking havoc with a dodgy start (which should have been marshalled and he should have been taken off the track after he stalled his bike) and then his reckless riding cost Valentino Rossi and Aleix Espargaro massively. However, it was Crutchlow who finished first, Zarco second and Rins in third.

Crash List: Dani Pedrosa, Bradley Smith and Valentino Rossi (but got back on)

Moto2

There was yet another surprising winner in the form of Mattia Pasini. Competing in his 210th race the Italian stunned the crowds with his battle for 1st position.

Hot on his tail Xavi Vierge, Miguel Oliveira, Lorenzo Baldassarri and Alex Marquez wouldn’t let him take the top step of the podium easily. Their battle was 5 man strong, with constant overtaking but Pasini, Vierge and Oliveira pulled away after Baldassarri and Marquez ran wide.

Then the race was down to 3, and Vierge and Oliveira flew into second and third, but Vierge’s sensational save on turn 13 of lap 19 was a hidden gem causes by the weather.

The crash between Brad Binder and Jorge Navarro caused the two riders to not finish the race, but the Moto2 category clocked in the least crashes.

Crash List: Brad Binder, Jorge Navarro (retired after crash with Binder)

Moto3

Moto3 was a pretty predictable race, for such unpredictable weather, but Marco Bezzecchi’s clear lead was undisputed as Aron Canet, Fabio di Giannantonio and Enea Bastianini struggled to get anywhere near him.

Bezzecchi’s strong start and consistently quick pace (top speed of 217.2km/h) meant that he was virtually untouchable on his way to his first career win, whilst the battle for second, third and fourth changed with each lap.

Canet had an interesting ride after he appeared to cause a crash during practice that saw Makar Yurchenko start from the back of the grid. His step onto the podium was marred with calls for penalties that have not yet come to fruition (whether this will before the next race if yet to be seen).

Di Giannantonio’s third place was well deserved after continuous battles to secure a top 3 position and a near crash with Jaume Masia that cost the Spaniard dearly. Riders of clear note included Jorge Martín who struggled with a pit lane start after changing his tyres at the last minute resulting in lost time and his gradual climb up the leader board to 11th place was masterful. Had he not faced this start, he could have been in line for a podium finish.

Crash List: Tatsuki Suzuki, Darryn Binder, Albert Arenas, Dennis Foggia, Jaume Masia

Marc Marquez races away from the fallen Valentino Rossi following an incident

Analysis

In Moto3, Bezzecchi’s riding was too good for the riders but di Giannantonio’s battle to stay in podium contention was far more interesting and hard fought. It was well deserved on his behalf.

However, the rider that you willed on from the very start was Jorge Martín who climbed the leader board with Marquez-esque talent – picking them off one by one, very impressive for a 20-year-old rider.

Canet’s podium will be tainted by his previous actions in practice, which is unfortunate granted his potential this season, but too much reckless and dangerous riding has forced some fans into disapproval.

In Moto2, the battle for the top 5 was well fought for the majority of the race, but the star riders of the race was easily Mattia Pasini for finally clocking in the deserved win (no rider was getting past him, his defence was far too strong) and Xavi Vierge for that heart stopping save on turn 13 – that race could have turned out very different for him had he not reacted so quickly.

The wet conditions didn’t really affect this category as much as it did the others – there were wet patches that tripped some riders up, but possibly it was because they’d already seen the Moto3 riders, the weather had settled slightly (white flag for light rain in MotoGP) and the track had already had 21 laps worth of evaporation done.

In MotoGP, it was an unfortunately short race for Dani Pedrosa who was taken out in the opening laps with potential shoulder damage (nothing has been confirmed yet, so it’s unlikely that it’ll be very serious) but this was largely overlooked due to the drama that unfolded between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez.

However, there were some riders racing far better than normal but flew under the radar because of it. Jack Miller was the star of the show before it all kicked off, but his 4th place finish was not bad for a rider whose nickname is Jack Ass, and Rins rode himself onto the podium in some dire conditions.

Tito Rabat (7th), Andrea Iannone (8th) and Hafizh Syahrin (9th) all rode incredibly well, finishing strong and somehow avoiding Marquez’s battle tank strategy. The key to this race, was looking on the bright side and looking further at the riders who rode well granted the conditions, and not dwelling on the drama.

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