MotoGP recap: Round 3 - Argentina
The Argentine Grand Prix will be remembered for the crash on the penultimate lap between Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi. Marquez had been in front but with Rossi on the charge the Italian was able to eat into a lead that had stretched to almost five second at one point. The fight came down to two riders choosing different tyres and Rossi having more life in his at the flag.
On the grid Rossi knew that the race would come down to tyre choice and when he saw that Marquez had chosen softer rubber the championship leader knew that the race would be one of the tortoise and the hare with the Yamaha piling on pressure in the closing laps.
"The extra hard tire was the right choice," said Rossi after the race. "We took experience from last year where from the second half I felt good. We concentrate on the extra hard. I think that the key was that we don't care a lot about Marquez, but we just concentrate on us. Try to use the tire that permit to me the race distance with less time."
Repsol Honda team boss, Livio Suppo, refused to blame his rider for crashing and instead said that this is what you get with Marquez. He's a cage fighter who never gives up and sometimes it can bite him but it's the reason that he has been so successful.
"Marc is Marc because he has this attitude," said Suppo. "In 2013 he overtook Jorge on the last lap in Jerez and in the end he won the title because of those points. If he had a different attitude that day he would have finished beside and may not have won the championship. In Austin Dovi and Vale came so close to crashing and the difference between those two incidents was only a few milimetres."
Cal Crutchlow claimed his first podium as a Honda rider after choosing the same tyre as Marquez but using a very different strategy during the race.
"It was good fun," said Crutchlow. "I think we concentrated on what we needed to do. We obviously chose the same tyre as the Ducatis and also Marc. We knew the extra-hard tyre was not going to work for us, because the corner entry grip was a lot worse with the Honda than the Yamaha. So we decided to go with the softer option and the plan was always to try and let Marc go at the start and then try and catch him back up at the end. That was the plan that we had with the team and with Honda as well."
On the podium Rossi donned an Argentine jersey to pay homage to Diego Maradonna.
"A lot of journalists say to me, but sincerely I didn't think about this. Is just the #10 of Maradona. I had this also for the podium last year, but unfortunately, I finish fourth, so before I start for Austin, I take from my room and I put in the bag, and I think maybe this year I can wear it."