MotoGP Argentina: Marco Bezzecchi seals maiden victory with wet weather masterclass

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Marco Bezzecchi became a MotoGP Grand Prix race winner on Sunday in Argentina after mastering the wet conditions.

The Italian led the race from start-to-finish, pulling away from the field with some ease despite the treacherous conditions. At one stage, the VR46 Academy member was over six seconds clear of the chasing pack, yet never looked close to making a mistake as he continued to push.

Bezzecchi eventually crossed the line with an advantage of 4.085s to clinch his and the Mooney VR46 Racing team’s first-ever victory in the premier class. To celebrate, he donned an Argentina football shirt, just as his idol and team owner Valentino Rossi did when he celebrated victory at the same circuit in 2015.

Pecco Bagnaia crashes out in Argentina

His victory also moves Bezzecchi, who has now won in all three GP classes, to the top of the World Championship standings following Pecco Bagnaia’s crash late in the race. The reigning World Champion is nine points behind Bezzecchi after crashing out of second place on lap 17.

Johann Zarco came home in second after showcasing unstoppable pace late in the race. The Frenchman made light work of Franco Morbidelli and Alex Marquez in the last few laps to secure his first podium of the season.

Marquez completed the podium for Gresini Racing Ducati. It’s Marquez’s first podium for the team, and his first in MotoGP since Aragon 2020. Earlier in the weekend, Marquez has claimed his maiden pole position in MotoGP.

Like in Saturday’s sprint race, Morbidelli had to settle for fourth onboard his Monster Energy Yamaha M1, but given his troubles over the last year or so, the Italian will be more than happy with that.

Alex Marquez celebrates on the podium in Argentina

Jorge Martin and Jack Miller were fifth and sixth respectively, with the latter fighting his way through from 16th on the grid. Fabio Quartararo fought to seventh back after dropping to the back of the field early in the race. The 2021 World Champion was knock off-line by Takaaki Nakagami.

Luca Marini and Fabio di Giannantonio completed the top 10, with rookie Augusto Fernandez impressing in 11th. The reigning Moto2 World Champion enjoyed an entertaining battle with both Aprilia Racing riders earlier in the race.

Maverick Vinales finished 12th ahead of Nakagami, Raul Fernandez and teammate Aleix Espargaro. All in all, a disappointing day for the Noale factory, who had been expecting to challenge for victory in Argentina.

Bagnaia came home in 16th place after his crash, whilst sprint race winner Brad Binder was the final finisher in 17th. The South African crashed at turn five following contact with Vinales.

Johann Zarco ahead of Alex Marquez in second

Joan Mir became the fifth rider to be ruled out of the Grand Prix following his crash in the sprint race. With Marc Marquez already out with a hand injury, it meant that Repsol Honda were not represented in the Grand Prix. A statement from the team said:

“After a morning medical check, Joan Mir was declared unfit for the Argentina GP by MotoGP and circuit medical staff due to cranial and cervical trauma. Undergoing CT and ultrasound tests at the Hospital Santiago del Estero, cervical physiological lordosis was confirmed, and Mir continued to experience feelings of nausea and dizziness.

“Mir will return home to Europe to continue his recovery to be fully prepared for the Grand Prix of the Americas, April 14 – 16.”

Enea Bastianini, Miguel Oliveira and Pol Espargaro were all absent through injury.

MotoGP Argentina Grand Prix Result