Crutchlow wins action-packed Argentinian GP

Cal Crutchlow sealed his third MotoGP victory to wrap up a controversial weekend in Argentina across all three classes. The Brit managed the race to perfection to see off the  competition from Johann Zarco and Alex Rins, who completed the podium places.

crutchlow ARG

Cal Crutchlow win was Honda’s 750th Grand Prix victory. Image: The Checkered Flag

Despite a disappointing qualifying session, Crutchlow had been going well all weekend, and the Honda rider seems to always go well in Argentina. Crutchlow was a part of the leading group for most of the race, conserving his tyres as Zarco, Rins, and pole-sitter Jack Miller diced for the lead.

The LCR Honda rider hit the front with two laps to go, and managed to hold off pressure from Zarco to take the win.

If Crutchlow was the hero of the story, Marc Marquez was certainly the villain. The Spaniard was penalised on three occasions, including for knocking off Valentino Rossi in the final stages of the race.

The race started in controversial circumstances, as the hero of qualifying Jack Miller was the only rider to start on slicks on the drying track. However, just before the start, every other rider changed and jostled for position for their start from pit lane.

The race officials decided to delay the start of the race, and then allowed everyone to start from the grid, albeit from the fourth row back.

This decision obviously infuriated Miller, who was brave enough to chance the slicks while everyone else had stuck with the wets. His decisiveness and bravery was rewarded with nothing.

The chaos was not finished there, as Marc Marquez stalled his bike on the grid. Instead of following protocol, and starting from pit-lane, the Spaniard jump started his bike, and rode it back to his position.

This broke the rule of not riding backwards on the track, and Marquez was given a ride-through penalty, which saw him drop back to twentieth.

Dani Pedrosa crashed out on lap one, as he was forced on to the wet part of the track by Johann Zarco.

The front four soon broke away, with Miller leading from Alex Rins, Johann Zarco and Cal Crutchlow.

Marquez Rossi Crash ARG

Marc Marquez once again clashed with Valentino Rossi in Argentina, having previously come off worse in their 2015 collision. Image: Cyclenews.com

On lap nine, Marquez committed his second offence of the race. On the penultimate corner he forced his way past Aleix Espargaro when there was no gap there. Espargaro was forced off the track, and Marquez was told to drop a position by race direction.

Crutchlow made his move with eight laps to go, slipping under Zarco. Alex Rins had also ran wide, allowing the Brit to go up to second, and Zarco to follow in to third.

On lap 21 Marquez again took the spotlight, going for a gap that wasn’t there on the penultimate corner. This time the victim was Valentino Rossi, who crashed out of fifth. Marquez was hit with a 30 second penalty for “irresponsible riding”, which saw him drop out of the points to eighteenth.

This saw Maverick Vinales take fifth place, 11 seconds behind Jack Miller in fourth. Andrea Dovizioso took sixth, with Rabat, Iannone, Syahrin and Petrucci rounding out the top ten.

Jorge Lorenzo finished fifteenth after a dismal ride, and Valentino Rossi rejoined the race to finish nineteenth.

Scott Redding had a good race on the Aprilia, coming twelfth, but Bradley Smith crashed out with eight laps to go.

In the Moto3, Marcos Bezzecchi took a debut victory, with Aron Canet, the villain of FP1 coming second. John McPhee finished seventeenth. Mattia Pasini won the Moto2 race, with Danny Kent and Sam Lowes finishing twelfth and thirteenth respectively.

The next race takes place in Texas, at the Circuit of the Americas, on April 22.

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Miller takes shock win at Assen

“This makes it clear that we do know how to ride a motorbike and I’m not an idiot.” These were the words of¬†Jack Miller as took¬†his first MotoGP victory¬†in a rain affected Dutch TT. The race was red-flagged on lap 15 when heavy rain caused flooding on the track, and the Australian was able to make the most of the 12 lap restart,¬†becoming the first satellite rider to win a MotoGP race since 2006.

Miller Assen

Source: Crash.net

Miller took the lead from Marc Marquez on lap four of the restart, slipping past the Repsol Honda rider at the final chicane. The Australian looked unfazed by the conditions, quickly establishing a lead of over two seconds.

Marquez was one of the riders to benefit from the restart, rising from fifth to a comfortable second place. The Spaniard’s championship lead has been extended after Valentino Rossi crashed out of the lead on lap four of the restart, while Jorge Lorenzo salvaged six points, ending a torrid weekend in tenth.

Scott Redding completed the podium, equalling his highest ever MotoGP finish. After ending the initial race strongly he continued his pace in to the restart, seeing off the challenge of Pol Espargaro.

Andrea Iannone recovered from an earlier crash to take fifth, with Hector Barbera sixth. Eugene Laverty took seventh, ahead of Stefan Bradl and Maverick Vinales, who also struggled to adjust to the conditions.

The conditions definitely affected the race, with Yonny Hernandez and Andrea Dovizioso joining Rossi in crashing out of the lead. In total there were eight non-finishers, including Cal Crutchlow, Danilo Petrucci and Aleix Espargaro. Dani Pedrosa and Bradley Smith rejoined the race after crashing, finishing in 12th and 13th respectively.

There were also first time winners in the other classes, with Takaaki Nakagami taking the chequered flag in the Moto2 race, whilst Francesco Bagnaia took the win in Moto3.