Marquez Wins In Argentina To Maintain Perfect Start

Marc Marquez became the first rider for 43 years to win each of the opening three races from pole position after overpowering Jorge Lorenzo in Argentina. The reigning champion recovered from a poor start to chase down Lorenzo who was later overhauled by Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda claiming their second 1-2 in a row.

Marquez was expected to have the race all to himself at the front but that script disappeared out of the window on an extraordinary opening lap. Lorenzo made the best getaway, without the need of a jump start this time, and made it into turn one first but at the end of the long back straight, the no.99 outbraked himself and allowed both Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi through. At least he stayed upright though with Alvaro Bautista and Danilo Petrucci both sliding out. Pedrosa now had clear track in front of him but approaching the penultimate bend, he was swamped by a pair of Movistar Yamahas with Rossi charging through under braking before Lorenzo mugged the pair of them on the inside to complete the first of 25 laps in the lead. The mayhem wasn’t quite over there either with Aleix Espargaro crashing out of the leading group at turn two of the second lap.

The shuffling ahead allowed Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso to power through at the start of the second lap, providing Lorenzo with an ideal opportunity to escape, but on lap four Marquez had got into his rhythm and eased past Rossi and Iannone within half a lap to take second. Stefan Bradl and Dani Pedrosa were next along with Dovizioso relegated to seventh, just ahead of the squabbling Tech 3 Yamahas of Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro.

Unfortunately for Yamaha, Lorenzo’s lead had only built up to one second by the time Marquez negotiated the traffic and with the Repsol Honda looking comfortable in second, there was an air of inevitability about the change of lead which came on lap seventeen. Having positioned his bike perfectly, Marc blasted past on the back straight and proceeded to set the fastest lap of the race, seventh tenths quicker than Lorenzo and all-but ending his victory hopes in the space of 4.8km.

Lorenzo still had hopes of splitting the Repsol Hondas but Pedrosa was now lapping at race-leading pace and having gradually chipped away at the deficit, pulling four tenths per lap back on his compatriot, Dani was in position to snatch second halfway around the penultimate lap.

Valentino Rossi spent much of the first half of the race dicing in traffic but eventually emerged to take fourth with Stefan Bradl bouncing back from his qualifying crash to finish fifth, just ahead of Andrea Iannone in a career-best sixth. Bradley Smith won his battle with Pol Espargaro in the end with both relegating Andrea Dovizioso to seventh while a last-gasp move on his Aspar teammate Nicky Hayden secured tenth for Hiroshi Aoyama.