MotoGP: Marquez cruises to Argentina victory
Marc Marquez has cruised to victory in the Argentine Grand Prix, converting his blistering practice pace into race pace and taking the win at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit by well over ten seconds. Valentino Rossi delivered a strong performance for second, setting it up with a last lap move for the win.
However, it was heartbreak for Brit Cal Crutchlow, after being deemed to have jumped the start and punished with a ride through penalty. Showing pace from the back of the race that could even have allowed him to break away with Marquez, he instead finished in 12th after powering through the field.
Marc Marquez's domination of the Argentine Grand Prix weekend has continued to qualifying, with the reigning world champion taking the top spot for tomorrow's race ahead of Maverick Viñales and Andrea Dovizioso. The Repsol Honda rider ended the session 0.154 ahead of the Monster Energy Yamaha rider, with Dovizioso a further 0.010 behind.
Valentino Rossi made it a strong day for Yamaha in fourth, leading a second row of Jack Miller and the first satellite Yamaha of Franco Morbidelli, just one place ahead of teammate Fabio Quartararo.
Cal Crutchlow will start from eighth, missing out at the chance for a front row start by making a mistake on his fastest lap of the day. He finished one place ahead of LCR Honda teammate Takaaki Nakagami, with Danilo Petrucci snatching the final top ten spot from the injured Jorge Lorenzo.
Andrea Dovizioso has topped the opening day of action at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit for the Argentine Grand Prix, ending the day fastest after a frantic few moments brought free practice two to a close. He leads fellow Ducati rider Jack Miller, the Yamaha of Maverick Viñales and 2018 race winner Cal Crutchlow, with only a second covering the top 21 racers.
In an ultra-tight practice, it ended in a mini-qualifying session, with a series of riders sticking in fast times on new tyres in an attempt to secure a Q2 spot directly. With rain potentially on the forecast for tomorrow, too, that fast time today could be crucial.
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Fabio Quartararo and Valentino Rossi made it three Yamahas in the top six places as they joined Crutchlow on the second row, with the final top ten spots taken up by Alex Rins, Marc Marquez, Franco Morbidelli and Takaaki Nakagami. It was a difficult day for Jorge Lorenzo though, with the second Repsol Honda rider a distant 21st as he struggles with conditions and injury.
Qatar Grand Prix winner Andrea Dovizioso admits that it's going to be harder this weekend than last to take a victory, as the MotoGP championship heads to tge Argentina Grand Prix. Struggling in past years at a track that has never suited the Ducati, Dovizioso says it's not going to be easy.
“I expect to be more competitive this year than last year because last year I struggled a lot, but Argentina is a strange race. We have to see the conditions tomorrow. Normally it’s hard to work during the practice, with the conditions, the tyres, with the lines, it was difficult to setup. We’ll see, but it’s still too early to understand how the championship will be, a lot of competitors are in a good situation, anything can happen. I don’t think Argentina will show the reality of the season but I expect Suzuki and Honda to be fast here, and Yamaha. It will be difficult to get the result, but our goal is the points and to bring the maximum.”
Action gets underway today at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, with free practice one and two at the Argentine track under overcast but dry skies.