Johann Zarco finally ended his agonising wait for a victory in the Moto2 class after dominating the Argentine Grand Prix at Termas de Rio Hondo. The Frenchman was cruelly robbed of his first win in Qatar by a broken gear lever before being beaten by Sam Lowes in Texas but nothing would deny him this time as he led comfortably throughout.
Defending champion Tito Rabat has endured a miserable start to his campaign with first lap mistakes blighting both of the opening races and unfortunately for the Spaniard, lightning would strike for a third time this afternoon. Having made it through the first two corners in the lead, Rabat slid wide at turn three under pressure from Sandro Cortese and fell all the way to the back, destroying his afternoon.
Cortese was soon shuffled back down the order as Zarco took up the leadership of the race but Lowes was losing crucial time behind the Gresini Kalex of Xavier Simeon. It wasn’t until lap five that the Briton found a way past the Belgian and Zarco had already eased into a two second lead, a cushion that Lowes never truly made an impression on.
Instead, the Speed Up came under mounting pressure from the Pons Kalex of Alex Rins with the championship leader having dispensed with Simeon shortly before half distance. The Spaniard shadowed Lowes for lap after lap until the Lincolnshire rider took the decision to let him through at turn six, opting to follow the no.40 machine and see where it was quicker. Unfortunately for Lowes, the second-placed machine just streaked away to secure Rins a second consecutive podium in the intermediate class.
Lowes was forced to settle for third with Mika Kallio claiming his best result of the season in fourth after Simeon crashed out seven laps from home. Franco Morbidelli finished fifth for the third race in succession with Thomas Luthi punting lap one leader Cortese back to seventh. Lorenzo Baldassarri was eighth ahead of Jonas Folger and Hafizh Syahrin while Tito Rabat recovered to twelfth, salvaging four points from another disappointing afternoon.
Moto2 GP RED BULL DE LA REPÚBLICA ARGENTINA: RACE RESULT (23 LAPS)
|1||5. Johann Zarco||Kalex||Ajo Motorsport||39:44.497|
|2||40. Alex Rins||Kalex||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||+2.715|
|3||22. Sam Lowes||Speed Up||Speed Up Racing||+4.161|
|4||36. Mika Kallio||Kalex||Italtrans Racing Team||+5.310|
|5||21. Franco Morbidelli||Kalex||Italtrans Racing Team||+7.958|
|6||12. Thomas Luthi||Kalex||Derendinger Racing Interwetten||+9.408|
|7||11. Sandro Cortese||Kalex||Dynavolt Intact GP||+9.926|
|8||7. Lorenzo Baldassarri||Kalex||Forward Racing||+10.028|
|9||94. Jonas Folger||Kalex||AGR Team||+10.152|
|10||55. Hafizh Syahrin||Kalex||Petronas Raceline Malaysia||+11.316|
|11||39. Luis Salom||Kalex||Paginas Amarillas HP 40||+11.764|
|12||1. Tito Rabat||Kalex||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||+11.872|
|13||77. Dominique Aegerter||Kalex||Technomag Racing Interwetten||+14.005|
|14||95. Anthony West||Speed Up||QMMF Racing Team||+20.788|
|15||73. Alex Marquez||Kalex||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||+21.321|
|16||23. Marcel Schrotter||Tech 3||Tech 3||+25.693|
|17||25. Azlan Shah||Kalex||IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia||+26.537|
|18||88. Ricard Cardus||Tech 3||Tech 3||+26.686|
|19||44. Steven Odendaal||Kalex||AGR Team||+27.397|
|20||30. Takaaki Nakagami||Kalex||IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia||+27.779|
|21||4. Randy Krummenacher||Kalex||JIR Moto2||+28.559|
|22||19. Xavier Simeon||Kalex||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||+35.988|
|23||70. Robin Mulhauser||Kalex||Technomag Racing Interwetten||+36.457|
|24||10. Thitipong Warokorn||Kalex||APH PTT The Pizza SAG||+46.710|
|25||66. Florian Alt||Suter||Octo IodaRacing Team||+47.522|
|26||60. Julian Simon||Speed Up||QMMF Racing Team||+1:02.910|
|27||51. Zaqhwan Zaidi||Suter||JPM Malaysia||+1:06.741|
|28||2. Jesko Raffin||Kalex||sports-millions-EMWE-SAG||+1:06.839|
|NC||96. Louis Rossi||Tech 3||Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2||+5 Laps|
|NC||3. Simone Corsi||Kalex||Forward Racing||+22 Laps|