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Marquez rules in South America | Gardner on Moto2 podium

2019 MotoGP
Round Two – Argentina

Race Report / Results / Championship Points

Marc Marquez took the holeshot from pole as Dovizioso pounced for second, with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) losing out from the middle of the front row and Rossi leap-frogging his teammate. Marquez immediately pulled the pin to make a gap, with Rossi then soon attacking Dovizioso but the Ducati rider was holding firm.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Start
2019 MotoGP – Round Two – Argentina

Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) was next to go on the offensive as he dived past the ‘Doctor’ but the move didn’t stick, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) getting past Viñales to tag onto the Australian. Chopping and changing, Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) was next to attack the number 12 Yamaha in the melee – before Miller took Rossi, and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) had a stab at getting past the number 46 too.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Rossi Miller
Jack Miller and Valentino Rossi had an intense battle

It was a breathless tussle over the first two laps but one rider was then forced out of it: Crutchlow was given a Ride Through for jumping the start. That took him out of the battle as Dovi, Miller and Rossi found Morbidelli back on their tail and Rossi pounced on Dovizioso just as Morbidelli pounced on Miller in tandem. Spectacular though it was, it was shortlived as both Yamahas then headed wide and the ensuing shuffle reset the battle. Dovizioso and Rossi followed by Morbidelli, Petrucci, Miller and Viñales was the freight train fighting it out for the podium.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Dovizioso Rossi Petrucci Rins
2019 MotoGP – Round Two – Argentina

As the laps ticked on the Dovizioso-Rossi battle lit up and started to pull away from those behind. Dovizioso blasted down the straights, Rossi made the most of the Yamaha’s forte in the corners…the two trading positions at times but able to stay ahead of the battle that now included Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) as he arrived on the scene from 16th on the grid.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Dovizioso Rossi Pack
2019 MotoGP – Round Two – Argentina

As that raged on, the last lap was a relaxed one for Marquez at the front. The reigning Champion completed his stunning performance and took his first win of the year, but the battle for second stayed tense to the line.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Dovizioso Rossi
2019 MotoGP – Round Two – Argentina

Rossi lurked behind his prey for the first half of the lap, but at Turn 7 the ‘Doctor’ struck to perfection.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Dovizoso Rossi
Rossi and Dovizioso

A block pass saw the Italian not only get past his compatriot but also create just enough of a gap to keep him ahead until the end; the result Rossi back on the podium for the first time since Sachsenring last season.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Podium Marquez Rossi Dovizioso
2019 MotoGP – Round Two – Argentina
Race Results

Dovizioso, meanwhile, although forced to settle for third, achieved his goal of getting on the podium at a track that usually proved tough for Ducati – and he’s only four points off Marquez in the Championship.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Dovizioso Spray
Andrea Dovizioso

The fight for fourth saw Rins and Miller locked in battle and in the end it was the Australian who took the spoils, coming home in the same position as last year and as top Independent Team rider. Rins nevertheless took an incredible fifth after gaining 11 places, with Petrucci ultimately dropping into the clutches of Viñales and Morbidelli – and one last gasp of drama just around the corner for that trio.

Viñales attacked Petrucci, Petrucci held him off and the two Yamahas behind then came into contact, suddenly both on the floor and sliding out as the Ducati escaped for P6. That meant Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) got an even bigger reward for a quality race as the Japanese rider capitalised for seventh, with fast Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) taking P8 and coming home as top rookie. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) took ninth and homed in on his pre-race goal of the top eight.

The battle to complete the top ten was another stunner. It was Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) who won it and took the spoils, but the Spaniard had to do some serious looking over his shoulder for another KTM: that of rookie Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3). The Portuguese rider has been notable in 2019 so far, but less than two tenths off Espargaro and two-tenths off the top ten made quite an impression as he scored points for the first time.

The recovering Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) took P12, ahead of Crutchlow, Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) and Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) completing the points.

And that’s all she wrote in Argentina. Now it’s time for chapter three at COTA, traditionally Marquez territory. Can he rule the venue once again and increase his lead? Find out on the 14th April for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.

2019 MotoGP – Round Two – Argentina
Race Results

Pos Rider Team Time
1. Marquez M. Repsol Honda 41:43.688
2. Rossi V. Movistar Yamaha +9.816
3. Dovizioso A. Ducati Team +10.530
4. Miller J. Alma Pramac Racing +12.140
5. Rins A. Team Suzuki Ecstar +12.563
6. Petrucci D. Ducati Team +13.750
7. Nakagami T. LCR Honda +18.160
8. Quartararo F. Petronas Yamaha SRT +20.403
9. Espargaro A. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +25.292
10. Espargaro P. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +25.679
11. Oliveira M. KTM Tech3 Racing +25.855
12. Lorenzo J. Repsol Honda +27.497
13. Crutchlow C. LCR Honda +31.398
14. Bagnaia F. Alma Pramac Racing +32.893
15. Zarco J. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +33.372
16. Syahrin H. KTM Tech3 Racing +35.545
17. Iannone A. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +38.238
DNF Vinales M. Movistar Yamaha DNF
DNF Morbidelli F. Petronas Yamaha SRT DNF
DNF Mir J. Team Suzuki Ecstar DNF
DNF Abraham K. Reale Avintia Racing DNF
DNF Rabat T. Reale Avintia Racing DNF
MotoGP Rnd Argentina Podium MotoGP Marquez Rossi Dovizioso
2019 MotoGP – Round Two – Argentina
Race Results

MotoGP Championship Points

Pos Driver Team Points
1. Marquez Marc Repsol Honda Team 45
2. Dovizioso Andrea Ducati Team 41
3. Rossi Valentino Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 31
4. Rins Alex Team Suzuki Ecstar 24
5. Petrucci Danilo Ducati Team 20
6. Crutchlow Cal LCR Honda 19
7. Nakagami Takaaki LCR Honda 16
8. Miller Jack Alma Pramac Racing 13
9. Espargaro Aleix Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 13
10. Espargaro Pol Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 10
11. Vinales Maverick Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 9
12. Quartararo Fabio Petronas Yamaha SRT 8
13. Mir Joan Team Suzuki Ecstar 8
14. Lorenzo Jorge Repsol Honda Team 7
15. Oliveira Miguel KTM Tech3 Racing 5
16. Morbidelli Franco Petronas Yamaha SRT 5
17. Iannone Andrea Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2
18. Bagnaia Francesco Alma Pramac Racing 2
19. Zarco Johann Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 2
20. Syahrin Hafizh KTM Tech3 Racing 0
21. Abraham Karel Reale Avintia Racing 0
22. Rabat Tito Reale Avintia Racing 0
23. Smith Bradley Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 0


Baldassarri blasts clear of spectacular tussle at Termas

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Moto Lorenzo Baldassarri
Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) made it two from two in 2019 as he took victory at Termas de Rio Hondo,

Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) made it two from two in 2019 as he took victory at Termas de Rio Hondo, playing the waiting game and timing his attack to pull the pin to perfection in the latter stages. His closest competition came from early leader Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) as the Australian rode to a superb first podium, with Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) coming home third and elbows out throughout the race.

The first drama hit on the Warm Up lap as polesitter Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) suffered a technical problem and was forced to miss the start, with that leaving Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) the furthest forward and the German capitalising to lead Lap 1. Gardner was soon to strike, however, and the tone was almost immediately set as Schrötter attacked back but was held off by the Aussie.

The front group of Gardner, Schrötter, Marquez and Baldassarri had initially pulled out almost two seconds on the chasing pack but the four didn’t keep it tidy to try and pull away – it was all-out war. Each attack would either see immediate retaliation or a calculated move soon after to serve the rider ahead some payback, and the scenes were spectacular ones as the squabble stayed just about perfectly within the lines of brutal but fair.

Gardner remained the man ahead for much of the first half before Schrötter lunged again with 12 to go, his attack repelled but the German able to fight back and keep the lead. Marquez remained third and Baldassarri lurked in fourth, the Italian remaining an observer as seemed to wait it out and choose his moment.

Meanwhile just behind, Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was on the charge. Starting to make some gains on the first group, the South African closed it down to half a second – and the war ahead raged on, Marquez taking over in second to chase down Schrötter.

With nine laps to go, however, Gardner hit back again and took second, and not long after Baldassarri made his first real move. The Italian sliced past Marquez into third before Gardner took the lead again, and then there was a ‘Baldattack’ on Schrötter to leave the Italian in second. The Jaws music began and with four laps to go Baldassarri finally attacked for the lead and Gardner ended up a little wide, slotting back in just ahead of Marquez. In the lead, though, Baldassarri then pulled the pin as Gardner harried Schrötter, and the Aussie was able to get past but the gap to the leader would ultimately prove too big.

Baldassarri crossed the line in clear air to stamp some more authority on the early part of the Championship, but the celebration just behind him was even bigger as Gardner finally took that first podium. So close in Qatar, the Aussie moves up to second overall in the standings as he broke his rostrum duck, and Marquez managed to emerge from the melee for a valuable P3.

Just behind that, Binder was still on a charge but the South African overcooked it when attacking Schrötter, forcing the German well wide, and that let past both Iker Lecuona (American Team KTM) and Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46). Binder got back past Marini before heading wide again, and the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider then attacked the Italian again on the last lap – and overcooked it again. Contact with Marini sent the him wide as Binder crossed the line in fifth just behind Lecuona, but that wasn’t all she wrote. After the race, the South African was penalised for irresponsible riding and demoted a place. So it’s Schrötter who is classified fifth, ahead of Binder, with Marini forced to settle for seventh.

Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) took P8 in a solid day’s work, ahead of a top ride from Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team), who was top rookie once again. Not by much though, as a stunning charge from Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) saw the Thai rookie take his second top ten finish – the first having come in his sole Moto3™ appearance at Buriram last season. Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team), Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team), Khairul Idham Pawi (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and NTS RW Racing GP duo Bo Bendsneyder and replacement rider Jesko Raffin completed the points.

Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) was a crasher as he tagged the back of Binder early on, as fellow veteran Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) made a mistake at the exact same corner at the exact same time and also went down. Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) suffered an issue with his arm and was unable to finish, having been on for the honour of top rookie after some impressive pace in Argentina.

Termas was another thriller but it’s advantage Baldassarri as we head for Austin. Can the Italian make it three from three? Find out on the 14th April!

2019 MotoGP – Round Two – Argentina
Moto2 Race Results

Pos Team Team Laps
1. Baldassarri L. Pons HP40 39:46.000
2. Gardner R. SAG Team +1.244
3. Marquez A. Estrella Galicia Marc VDS +1.817
4. Lecuona I. SWI +2.704
5. Binder B. Red Bull KTM Ajo +4.707
6. Schrotter M. Dynavolt Intact GP +4.839
7. Marini L. Sky Racing Team VR46 +4.986
8. Navarro J. +Ego Speed Up +7.459
9. Bastianini E. Italtrans Racing Team +8.724
10. Chantra S. Idemitsu Honda Team Asia +14.506
11. Locatelli A. Italtrans Racing Team +16.145
12. Nagashima T. SAG Team +16.450
13. Pawi K. I. Petronas Sprinta Racing +16.613
14. Bendsneyder B. NTS RW Racing GP +23.007
15. Raffin J. NTS RW Racing GP +24.736
16. Bezzecchi M. Red Bull KTM Tech3 +25.381
17. Dixon J. Angel Nieto Team +41.684
18. Tulovic L. Kiefer Racing +45.545
19. Oettl P. Red Bull KTM Tech3 +45.811
20. Aegerter D. Forward Racing Team +56.934
21. Cardelus X. Angel Nieto Team +1:07.765
22. Roberts J. SWI +1:18.707
23. Pratama D. E. Idemitsu Honda Team Asia +4 l.
DNF Corsi S. Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 DNF
DNF Martin J. Red Bull KTM Ajo DNF
DNF Bulega N. Sky Racing Team VR46 DNF
DNF Di Giannantonio F. +Ego Speed Up DNF
DNF Lowes S. Federal Oil Gresini DNF
DNF Luthi T. Dynavolt Intact GP DNF
DNF Manzi S. Forward Racing Team DNF
DNS Vierge X. Estrella Galicia Marc VDS DNS
DNS Fernandez A. Pons HP40 DNS
MotoGP Rnd Argentina Moto Podium Gardner Baldassarri Marquez
2019 MotoGP – Round Two – Argentina
Moto2 Race Results
Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) 39’46.000
Remy Gardner (AUS) +1.244
Alex Marquez (SPA) +1.817

Moto2 Championship Points Standings

Pos Rider Team Points
1 Baldassarri Lorenzo Pons HP40 50
2 Gardner Remy SAG Team 33
3 Schrotter Marcel Dynavolt Intact GP 26
4 Marquez Alex Estrella Galicia Marc VDS Team Moto2 25
5 Luthi Thomas Dynavolt Intact GP 20
6 Marini Luca Sky Racing Team VR46 17
7 Binder Brad Red Bull KTM Ajo 15
8 Bastianini Enea Italtrans Racing Team 14
9 Lecuona Iker Swiss Innovative Investors 13
10 Fernandez Augusto Pons HP40 11
11 Lowes Sam Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 10
12 Navarro Jorge +Ego Speed Up 8
13 Locatelli Andrea Italtrans Racing Team 8
14 Vierge Xavi Estrella Galicia Marc VDS Team Moto2 6
15 Chantra Somkiat Idemitsu Honda Team Asia 6
16 Di Giannantonio Fabio +Ego Speed Up 5
17 Nagashima Tetsuta SAG Team 4
18 Pawi Khairul Idham Petronas Sprinta Racing 3
19 Raffin Jesko NTS RW Racing GP 3
20 Bendsneyder Bo NTS RW Racing GP 2
21 Martin Jorge Red Bull KTM Ajo 1
22 Bezzecchi Marco Red Bull KTM Tech3 0
23 Dixon Jake Angel Nieto Team 0
24 Aegerter Dominique Forward Racing Team 0
25 Tulovic Lukas Kiefer Racing 0
26 Oettl Philipp Red Bull KTM Tech3 0
27 Corsi Simone Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 0
28 Manzi Stefano Forward Racing Team 0
29 Cardelus Xavi Angel Nieto Team 0
30 Roberts Joe Swiss Innovative Investors 0
31 Pratama Dimas Ekky Idemitsu Honda Team Asia 0
32 Bulega Nicolo Sky Racing Team VR46 0


Masia masters Argentina for maiden Moto3 win

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Moto Jaume Masia
Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) took a stunning first win from his first pole position

Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) took a stunning first win from his first pole position in the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina, pitching it to perfection on the final lap to cross the line ahead of a stunning ride through the field for Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power), with Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers Team) completing the podium. It was the first visit to the rostrum for all three.

Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) took the holeshot from second on the grid as Masia slipped back a little from pole, with Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) initially challenging the two and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) getting feisty at the front of the group. Feisty was the word for much of the race and the first few laps were no different, with most of the field locked in a long freight train shuffling for position.

A duel for the lead between Canet and Antonelli early on looked like it could see the two men break away but it wasn’t to be, and with 17 laps to go Masia struck back to take the lead. With 15 to go it was home hero Gabriel Rodrigo’s (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) turn to do the same, but the action ramped up another notch as the group battled it out – and Binder began to make his presence felt as he moved up the order.

With 11 laps to go it was attrition more than pace that was slowly whittling down the riders in the front group. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) came together and they both went down, also pushing Qatar GP winner Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) wide and the Japanese rider left with a gap left to make up. Vicente Perez (Reale Avintia Arizona 77) crashed out not long after too, but the freight train would soon gain back another carriage as rookie Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) was able to tag on – and Toba pushed and pushed to try and make it back onto the group.

As the last few laps appeared, the number 27 had made up the gap and was back in contention. With such a huge group all squabbling, it was clear by crunch time that it wasn’t only a battle for the lead but still a battle for points: more than 15 riders were still tagged together hammering around Termas de Rio Hondo.

Heading over the line to begin the last lap, Binder held on at the front but he had Dalla Porta for close company and it wasn’t long until the Italian muscled his way past. As they thundered down to Turn 5 Rodrigo struck to make his own move for the lead and Binder then attacked Dalla Porta in the shuffle behind; the Italian forced a little wide. That was when Masia decided to strike taking over at the front through Turns 7 and 8 and ultimately not needing to look back. Keeping his cool, the Spaniard crossed the line for his first Grand Prix win and his first visit to the podium with just enough breathing space to avoid an attack from the chasing pack.

That wasn’t true of Rodrigo. Binder muscled through on the inside and the Argentinean suffered a huge wobble, somehow staying on but his podium hopes evaporating. The South African was able to complete his own fairytale race and take that second place and his first podium though, gaining a stunning 18 places from his starting position in the process. Arbolino, meanwhile, avoided the drama and swept through to take third and convert his top pace in preseason into a podium.

Antonelli took fourth after a solid race, with Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) concluding a quality Sunday with a top five finish and his best ever result in fifth. Rodrigo recovered from the last lap drama to take sixth ahead of another forced into a recovery as Dalla Porta crossed the line in P7. Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46) – arguably the author of the move of the race as he managed a three-in-one overtake for the lead at one point – took eighth, ahead of Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) and a top class fight back from Qatar GP winner and Championship leader Kaito Toba.

Andrea Migno (Bester Capital Dubai), Canet and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) locked out 11th to 13th, with the final points taken by rookie duo Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team).

Somewhat surprisingly, it was Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) who was the first of the freight train to miss out on points, the former Argentina GP winner taking P16, with rookie Ogura just behind him. But that’s it from a high octane Termas de Rio Hondo, with Toba still with a slim points lead as we head to the Circuit of the Americas in two weeks.

2019 MotoGP – Round Two – Argentina
Moto3 Race Results

Pos Rider Team Time
1. Masia J. Bester Capital Dubai 38:54.562
2. Binder D. CIP Green Power +0.108
3. Arbolino T. Snipers Team +0.295
4. Antonelli N. SIC58 Squadra Corse +0.386
5. Sasaki A. Petronas Sprinta Racing +0.519
6. Rodrigo G. Kommerling Gresini Moto3 +0.550
7. Dalla Porta L. Leopard Racing +0.588
8. Foggia D. Sky Racing Team VR46 +0.671
9. Ramirez M. Leopard Racing +0.792
10. Toba K. Castrol Honda Team Asia +1.280
11. Migno A. Bester Capital Dubai +1.629
12. Canet A. Max Racing Team +1.775
13. Suzuki T. SIC58 Squadra Corse +1.836
14. Vietti C. Sky Racing Team VR46 +1.978
15. Fernandez R. Angel Nieto Team Moto3 +2.092
16. Fenati R. Snipers Team +2.273
17. Ogura A. Castrol Honda Team Asia +2.350
18. Booth-Amos T. CIP Green Power +9.798
19. Viu A. Angel Nieto Team Moto3 +9.904
20. Yurchenko M. BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race +10.136
21. Mcphee J. Petronas Sprinta Racing +26.464
22. Rossi R. Kommerling Gresini Moto3 +27.044
23. Masaki K. BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race +39.985
24. Kornfeil J. Redox PruestelGP +40.177
25. Salac F. Redox PruestelGP +58.474
26. Oncu C. Red Bull KTM Ajo +1 l.
DNF Lopez A. Estrella Galicia 0,0 DNF
DNF Perez V. Reale Avintia Academy DNF
DNS Garcia S. Estrella Galicia 0,0 DNS
MotoGP Rnd Argentina Podium Moto Binder Masia Arbolino
2019 MotoGP – Round Two – Argentina
Moto3 Race Results
Jaume Masia (SPA) 38’54.562
Darryn Binder (RSA) +0.108
Tony Arbolino (ITA) +0.295

Moto3 Championship Points Standings

Pos Rider Team Points
1 Toba Kaito Castrol Honda Team Asia 31
2 Dalla Porta Lorenzo Leopard Racing 29
3 Masia Jaume Bester Capital Dubai 25
4 Antonelli Niccolo SIC58 Squadra Corse 21
5 Binder Darryn CIP Green Power 20
6 Canet Aron Max Racing Team 20
7 Ramirez Marcos Leopard Racing 20
8 Arbolino Tony Snipers Team 16
9 Vietti Celestino Sky Racing Team VR46 13
10 Sasaki Ayumu Petronas Sprinta Racing 11
11 Rodrigo Gabriel Kommerling Gresini Moto3 11
12 Arenas Albert Angel Nieto Team Moto3 10
13 Fernandez Raul Angel Nieto Team Moto3 10
14 Foggia Dennis Sky Racing Team VR46 8
15 Fenati Romano Snipers Team 7
16 Migno Andrea Bester Capital Dubai 7
17 Kornfeil Jakub Redox PruestelGP 6
18 Ogura Ai Castrol Honda Team Asia 5
19 Lopez Alonso Estrella Galicia 0,0 4
20 Mcphee John Petronas Sprinta Racing 3
21 Suzuki Tatsuki SIC58 Squadra Corse 3
22 Perez Vicente Reale Avintia Academy 0
23 Booth-Amos Tom CIP Green Power 0
24 Oncu Can Red Bull KTM Ajo 0
25 Masaki Kazuki BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race 0
26 Viu Aleix Angel Nieto Team Moto3 0
27 Yurchenko Makar BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race 0
28 Yamanaka Ryusei Estrella Galicia 0,0 0
29 Salac Filip Redox PruestelGP 0
30 Rossi Riccardo Kommerling Gresini Moto3 0

Source: MCNews.com.au

Riders speak ahead of Argentine MotoGP this weekend

Argentina MotoGP Press Conference

2018 MotoGP - Round Two - Argentina - Jack Miller
2018 MotoGP – Round Two – Argentina – Jack Miller

The key points? As always in unpredictable Argentina, talk centered around the conditions and the weather. Remember this was the round last year where Jack Miller was left as the only rider on the grid, while the others headed back to pit-lane in order to change tyres. What followed was an almost farcical state of affairs that after the event saw some tweak to the MotoGP regulations.

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso takes the Qatar win!

Dovizioso put to rest the maelstrom of talk following the Qatar GP and subsequent protests – as well as affirming how he’d felt on the bike.

“The victory was the victory. We had a really good weekend and I feel really good about how we finished the weekend. I’m so happy, and happy to back with a good feeling on the bike like I did during the weekend.”

From Qatar, a track that suits rider and machine, it’s now the new challenge of Termas de Rio Hondo – and one that’s traditionally been a bit more of an uphill for Dovizioso. It’s all still positive though.

“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.”

MotoGP Rnd PressConf Riders
The pre-event Press Conference was held overnight ahead of this weekend’s second round of the MotoGP World Championship. Round one winner Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was joined by reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), 2018 Argentina GP winner Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), Alex Rins (Tea m Suzuki Ecstar) and Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati Team).

Next up was Marquez, who was, once again, incredibly close to taking the first win of the year – but it wasn’t to be. He first spoke about the good omen of his Qatar pace, and then looked ahead to Termas de Rio Hondo, where his pace is traditionally the fastest.

“In Qatar we started well at a track where normally I struggle, and second there is important for us. Argentina normally is a circuit that suits my riding style, but we’ll see during the weekend. And the weather, all those things…but we’ll try and focus and try and be there on Sunday. Last year the speed was there, we’ll see this year with this new bike and try to give 100%. I will try to be ready in all conditions, that’s our mentality.”

MotoGP Rnd PressConf Marquez
Marc Marquez

So far it seems that may be needed, with forecasts for Sunday looking…interesting. And that was also true of the unforgettably dramatic 2018 event at Termas de Rio Hondo, which was won by none other than the next man to speak – Cal Crutchlow.

“It was a great weekend in Qatar for the whole team and Honda, I think they did a great job in the winter regarding the engine. I felt great going home from Qatar obviously but you already start to think ahead, and then two weekends off felt too long and I’ve never said that before in my life! So to come back here where I won last year, I’m excited to come back.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a circuit that’s one of my favourites but I always seem to go quite well here, I have no idea why. I think with the Honda we take advantage of the long braking zone into Turn 6 and the last sector but I don’t know why I’ve had a great relationship with the track. We always have a lot of fans come out here and I hope we can put on a good show for them. Last year wasn’t a big battle like Qatar and it would be good if we could have another ten man battle here!”

MotoGP Qatar Rnd MotoGP Podium
MotoGP Podium – Qatar MotoGP 2019 – Round 1

It would indeed, and Alex Rins would most probably agree. Close to the podium in Qatar and on the pace, the Suzuki rider is ready to return and race at the venue where he took his first ever premier class podium in 2018.

“I think Qatar was a positive race, fourth was very nice and during the race I was fighting with Dovi and Marc at the front. Then I made a mistake at the first corner and ran out a bit, and Crutchlow overtook me. But anyway, I feel ready and I think our bike is going really good. We arrive here with a lot of enthusiasm, and we got our first podium here last year. We need to check the weather but everything else, ok!

“I have more experience than last year and the bike is faster and stronger than last year, but we need to check if the track will give us a good result. But for sure I’ll give 100% to try and be there fighting at the front.”

MotoGP Rnd PressConf Rins
Alex Rins

Fighting at the front was something that, on Saturday evening in Qatar, looked like it may elude Valentino Rossi. But the ‘Doctor’ bounced back with a ride through the pack on Sunday in classic comeback style, just off the podium by the end of the race. He’s positive about that, but explained a little what they’re looking to improve in Argentina – and again, the weather was a talking point.

“The race in Qatar was good for me, coming from behind, and my pace was not so bad. I felt good with the bike and in the last laps I was quite strong. But we suffered too much in the practice and I had to start from behind so we have to try and work in a better way in this point of view, but track by track from one to the other is always…Argentina is a particular track for the layout, the asphalt and the weather, looks like the forecast is difficult this year like last year. We hope we can be lucky with a dry race…but we’ll see!”

He also got a good look at his competitors in Qatar and says that’s interesting, but kept his cards pretty close to his chest.

“It was interesting because I followed a lot of different bikes. We have to work because we’re not strong like we want, we have to work hard to improve in general, it’s the package. We’ll see. We hope to have some good time during the practice here to understand the potential.”

MotoGP Rnd PressConf Rossi
Argentina MotoGP Press Conference

Finally, Danilo Petrucci took to the mic. Again, the Italian began with Qatar before moving on to talk a little about Argentina – and set out one concrete goal at least.

“I was quite disappointed after the race in Qatar because I was fast during the test and weekend but unfortunately I made two big mistakes for the race. One was the choice of the front tyre, I felt fast with it but we understood that the race wasn’t so fast so it was better to be more comfortable instead of being fast. But for me it was impossible or difficult to pass and defend my position, and then I had a very bad start, I was in difficulty with braking hard. And in trying to make a recovery I had to use too much rear tyre. The result wasn’t so satisfying. But anyway, we were there all weekend, at the end I was more motivated to race here and I want to look forward at what we have.

“Argentina is a track I like, but I’ve never scored so many points here. Some bad luck, some mistakes but my target this year is to always fight with Dovi, stay around the top five, top six is good but I want to be faster. But here in Argentina it’s impossible to predict because we have to see how the asphalt is and the weather – and Honda will be very, very fast.”

MotoGP Rnd PressConf Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Will they? Track records say they could be the factory to beat – but as the past has shown, it’s never a simple task in Argentina. See how the weather lottery falls in 2019 as track action starts late tonight in Rio. See below for the weekend schedule in Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time.

MotoGP Championship Standings

  1. Andrea DOVIZIOSO – Ducati, ITA – 25
  2. Marc MARQUEZ – Honda, SPA – 20
  3. Cal CRUTCHLOW – Honda, GBR – 16
  4. Alex RINS – Suzuki, SPA – 13
  5. Valentino ROSSI – Yamaha, ITA – 11
  6. Danilo PETRUCCI – Ducati, ITA – 10
  7. Maverick VIÑALES – Yamaha, SPA – 9
  8. Joan MIR – Suzuki, SPA – 8
  9. Takaaki NAKAGAMI – Honda, JPN – 7
  10. Aleix ESPARGARO – Aprilia, SPA – 6
  11. Franco MORBIDELLI – Yamaha, ITA – 5
  12. Pol ESPARGARO – KTM, SPA – 4
  13. Jorge LORENZO – Honda, SPA – 3
  14. Andrea IANNONE – Aprilia, ITA – 2
  15. Johann ZARCO – KTM, FRA – 1

MotoGP weekend schedule
Times in AEDT

Source: MCNews.com.au

MotoGP Stats Smorgasbord update heading to Argentina

MotoGP Statistics Update
Argentina 2019

Andrea Dovizioso’s win in Valencia was his 13th in the premier class, equalling Randy Mamola and Max Biaggi. They’re tied second as the riders with the most victories without winning the title, behind Dani Pedrosa (31 wins).

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso claimed the win at Qatar

With his win in Qatar, Andrea Dovizioso won the opening race of the season for the third time in his Grand Prix career; he did it in 2004 on his way to clinching his 125cc title as well as last year.

Cal Crutchlow has finished on the podium at least once for eight successive seasons in the MotoGP class, equalling Mike Hailwood between 1960 and 1967. Only one other British rider has had premier class podium finishes in eight or more successive seasons: Geoff Duke (10).

MotoGP Qatar Rnd MotoGP Podium
MotoGP Podium – Qatar MotoGP 2019 – Round 1

Top Independent Team rider in Qatar in third place, Crutchlow won the race last year in Argentina, becoming the first British rider to lead the premier class championship since Barry Sheene after the opening race of 1979 in Venezuela.

With his fourth-place finish at Losail, Alex Rins has scored points in the last ten successive races. The last time he failed to score any points was in Ger-many last year when he crashed out on the opening lap with Pol Espargaro.

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Rins
Alex Rins – Qatar MotoGP 2019

In addition, Alex Rins has finished within the top six in the last eight successive races. The last time he was not inside the top six was in Austria last year, when he was eighth.

Johann Zarco crossed the line in 15th place at the Qatar GP for his first time on the KTM, which is his worst result across the line since he was also 15th in San Marino back in 2017 when he ran out of fuel and had to push his bike to the finish line.

Francesco Bagnaia retired from the race in Losail, which is the first time he has failed to score points since Italy in 2017 when he crashed on the final lap.

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Joan Mir
Joan Mir

First rookie across the line in Qatar, Joan Mir (2017) is the only one of the four rookies this year to have previously won at Argentina in any of the smaller classes.

Along with Joan Mir (2017), Miguel Oliveira (2017 and 2018) is the only one of the four rookies in the MotoGP class this year to have stood on the podium in Argentina.

Termas de Río Hondo is one of the five tracks on this year’s calendar where Jorge Lorenzo has not had a win in the MotoGP class, along with Austin, Sachsenring, Sepang, and Buriram.

MotoGP finishes are closer than ever

Johann Zarco finished the Qatar Grand Prix in 15th place, crossing the line just 15.093 seconds behind race winner Andrea Dovizioso, which is the closest top 15 of all-time in a full-length premier class Grand Prix. This breaks the record set last year in Assen last year.

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Dovi leads field
Qatar MotoGP 2019

The following list shows the ten closest top 15 finishes of all-time in the premier class of Grand Prix racing, nine of which have occurred since 2017 (only races that have completed full race distance). Followed by the closest Top Ten finishes, and the closest margins from first to second place.

Closest Top 15 finishes

Closest MotoGP Margins
Closest Top 15 finishes

Closest Top Ten finishes

Closest MotoGP Margins
Closest Top Ten finishes

Closest winning margins 1st to 2nd

Closest MotoGP Margins

Closest winning margins 1st to 2nd


MotoGP Qatar Rnd Marquez Dovi
Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso – Qatar MotoGP 2019

Andrea Dovizioso levels with Jorge Lorenzo

With his win in Losail, Andrea Dovizioso equals Jorge Lorenzo in fifth place on the following list of riders with the longest winning careers in Grand Prix Racing.

Longest winning careers in Grand Prix Racing March

Longest winning careers in Grand Prix Racing


MotoGP Qatar Rnd Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso – Qatar MotoGP 2019

MotoGP returns to Termas de Río Hondo circuit for sixth year

This year’s event at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit is the 16th motorcycle Grand Prix to be held in Argentina.

MotoGP Preview Argentina Rnd Michelin
Michelin’s Argentina Termas de Rio Hondo GP Track break down

The first Argentina GP took place in 1961 and was held in Buenos Aires; the first time that a Grand Prix had taken place outside of Europe. Not all of the top riders attended the event and the 52-lap, 203km 500cc race was won by home rider Jorge Kissling (Matchless) from fellow country- man Juan Carlos Salatino (Norton).

This is the sixth year that the Argentina GP has taken place at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit. All of the ten previous Grands Prix in Argentina had taken place in Buenos Aires, the last of which was in 1999.

Three riders from Argentina have won Grand Prix races: Sebastian Porto (seven wins in the 250cc class), Benedicto Caldarella (Argentina, 1962) and Jorge Kissling (Argentina, 1961) who both had single victo- ries in the 500cc class.

The last GP win for an Argentinean rider was in the 250cc class at the Dutch TT in 2005, when Sebastian Porto won the race from Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo.

Valentino Rossi celebrated football great Diego Maradona on the podium in Argentina back in 2015
Valentino Rossi celebrated football great Diego Maradona on the podium in Argentina back in 2015

The only current full-time Grand Prix rider who has raced at the Buenos Aires circuit is Valentino Rossi, who won the 250cc race in 1998 and was third in 1999.

Marc Marquez has twice won the MotoGP race in Argentina from pole position in 2014 and 2016. He was also on pole in Argentina in 2015 and in 2017 but crashed when battling for the lead.

Vinales won in Argentina in 2017

The riders other than Marquez to win a MotoGP race at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit are Valentino Rossi, who won the 2015 race after starting down in eighth place on the grid; Maverick Viñales, who won in 2017 from the sixth on the grid and Cal Crutchlow last year from tenth on the grid.

Since the introduction of the Termas de Rio Honda circuit to the calen-dar in 2014, Honda have had three wins in MotoGP with two different riders: Marc Marquez (2014, 2016) and Cal Crutchlow (2018).

Yamaha have had two MotoGP wins in Argentina for two different riders: Valentino Rossi (2015) and Maverick Viñales (2017).

Andrea Dovizioso’s second-place finish in 2015 is the only podium finish in MotoGP for a Ducati rider in Argentina.

The best result for a Suzuki rider at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit is the third place for Alex Rins last year.

2018 MotoGP Round Two Argentina Race Results Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 40'36.342 2. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +0.251 3. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +2.501
2018 MotoGP Round Two Argentina Race Results
2. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +0.251
3. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +2.501

Stefan Bradl’s seventh-place finish in 2016 is the best result so far for an Aprilia rider at the Termas de Rio Honda circuit. Scott Redding was the highest-placed Aprilia rider last year in 12th.

Pol Espargaro finished 11th last year in Argentina, which is the best re-sult at the track for a KTM rider.

The five Moto2 races that have taken place at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit have been won by four different riders, three of them are now competing in the MotoGP class: Tito Rabat (2014), Johann Zarco (2015 & 2016), Franco Morbidelli (2017) and Mattia Pasini (2018).

The five Moto3 races that have taken place at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit have been won by five different riders: Romano Fenati (2014), Danny Kent (2015), Khairul Idham Pawi (2016), who was the first Malaysian rider to win a Grand Prix race in any class, Joan Mir (2017) and Marco Bezzecchi (2018). None of the five races held at the track have been won from pole position.

MotoGP by numbers

78 – With his second-place finish at the Qatar GP, Marc Marquez equalled Eddie Lawson in sixth place on the list of riders with the most podium finishes in the premier class with 78, behind Giacomo Agostini with 88.

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Marquez
Marc Marquez

52– At the Qatar GP, Andrea Dovizioso stood on the podium for the 52nd time in the premier class of Grand Prix racing, equalling Wayne Gardner.

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Podium
MotoGP Podium – Qatar MotoGP 2019 – Round 1

15.093 – The top 15 in the MotoGP race at the Qatar GP is the closest ever in the premier class. There were 15.093 seconds between Andrea Dovizioso and Johann Zarco, beating the record set last year in Assen.

13 – Andrea Dovizioso’s win in Qatar was his 13th in the premier class of Grand Prix racing, equalling Max Biaggi in third place on the list of the most successful Italian riders in the class, behind Valentino Rossi (89) and Giacomo Agostini (68).

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Kaito Toba
Kaito Toba wins the opening Moto3 race – Qatar MotoGP 2019 – Round 1

12– With Kaito Toba’s win in Losail, Japan became the 12th different nation to have won in the Moto3 class since its introduction in 2012.

9.636– In addition, the top 10 was the second-closest in the premier class, with 9.636 seconds between Andrea Dovizioso and Aleix Espargaro.

5 – Andrea Dovizioso’s win at the Qatar GP is the fifth for Ducati at Losail International Circuit, equalling the record set by the Italian manufacturer in the premier class at Motegi and Sepang.

3.514– The 15th-place finisher in the Moto3 race in Qatar, Gabriel Rodrigo, crossed the line just 3.514 seconds behind race winner Kaito Toba; this is the sixth closest top 15 of all-time in Grand Prix racing.

0.102 – The winning margin across all classes at the Qatar GP is 0.102 seconds, which is the lowest winning margin across all classes since the Italian GP in 2016 (0.087 seconds).

MotoGP Qatar Rnd Start
MotoGP 2019 has got off to a great start

Source: MCNews.com.au