Rabat Wins In Argentina To Extend Championship Lead


Esteve Rabat has moved into a commanding 38 point championship lead after winning the Argentine Grand Prix. The Marc VDS rider led every lap and although Xavier Simeon kept him in sight, Rabat was never challenged as he claimed his second victory in three races.

Johann Zarco’s practice promise translated into second on the grid but the Frenchman fell back relentlessly through the field as Simeon took the fight to Rabat out front. Maverick Vinales ran third early on until he was barged out of the way by a typically aggressive Simone Corsi and the race continued to nosedive for the Austin winner who crashed out of sixth place at the start of lap five.

With his likeliest challenger out of the running, Rabat serenely set the pace and although his margin of victory was only two seconds at the finish, the championship leader always had matters under control, responding whenever Simeon started to edge towards him. The fight for third was much less clear cut though with class rookie Luis Salom chasing Simone Corsi, looking to exact a form of revenge for the Pons team after Simone’s early clash with Vinales. Four laps from the finish, Luis dived up the inside of the no.3 Forward KLX only for the forceful Italian to regain third straight away but a lap later, Salom handed the Italian a taste of his own medicine and promptly escaped to claim his first podium in the intermediate class.

Dominique Aegerter also got the better of Corsi to claim fourth, a fine result from sixteenth on the grid. Alex de Angelis finished sixth ahead of Mika Kallio but their performances were eclipsed by Sam Lowes who produced a heroic ride given his painful accident in qualifying to finish eighth from 22nd on the grid. The Briton had Sandro Cortese and Jordi Torres for company in the closing stages but proved too strong in the end, lapping quicker than ever in the deciding laps.