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Old 04-04-2016, 04:29 AM   #1
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MotoGP 2016 Argentina race results

Tyre drama Ducati drama Italian drama

A DRAMATIC race for various reason saw Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez dominate at the Argentinian Grand Prix to take the win ahead of Valentine Rossi and Dani Pedrosa.

Unfortunately for Michelin, they were the at the epicentre of the drama in Argentina. Scott Redding's rear tyre appeared to 'explode' in Free Practice 4 just Loris Baz's did in testing. Redding was unhurt, but Race Direction, for obvious reason, were forced to get involved and a tyre debacle began once again as previously seen in Phillip Island.

Both Michelin and Race Direction were unsure about the safety of rear tyres brought to the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina and instead decided to reduce the race from 25 laps to 20. Riders were also required to come in on their ninth, tenth or 11th lap of the race in order to change to their second bike meaning there were therefore no concerns about fuel or tyre life.

The entire front row started with hard fronts and medium rear. With dark clouds looming overhead the race got underway and was declared dry with a flag-to-flag situation in play. Jorge Lorenzo took the hole shot into Turn 1. Ducati's Andrea Iannone got a great start but came into contact with Dani Pedrosa forcing them both wide and dropping Pedrosa outside the top ten whilst Rossi was swallowed up in the first corner.

Iannone's Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso used the power of the Ducati to hit the lead early with Rossi picking up the pace to sit behind. The factory Ducati took the field over the line to complete one lap with Rossi behind followed by the ever-present threat of Marquez.

LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow and Ecstar Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro crashed out, but both were able to re-join the race. Carving his way through field, Jack Miller found himself in 7th as the second lap began, slotting in behind Lorenzo and then passing him soon after.

The leading trio continually tightened, Rossi sniffing up the inside of Dovizioso at every chance he got. This opened the door for Marquez as the Spaniard slid through on both Rossi and Dovizioso to begin lap four in the lead.

Miller’s charge would be unfortunately short lived as the Australian rider crashed on lap four at Turn 3. Marquez pushed ahead at the front and attempted to open a gap as the top three were divided evenly by half a second.

Dovizioso then found himself with team-mate Iannone for company, with Maverick Viñales eagerly waiting to pick up the pieces of the Ducati battle.

Lorenzo’s pace dropped and soon his race would get even worse as with 15 laps to go he suffered yet another fall at Turn 1 which ended his race.

Marquez and Rossi continued to get away at the front, Marquez 0.8s ahead with Rossi two and a half second in front of the all-Ducati battle for third. Rossi rapidly closed in on Marquez. On lap nine of the race, Rossi took the lead down the back straight but Marquez responded straight away to cut back ahead.

Iannone and Viñales were the first riders to enter the pits on lap nine to change their bikes, Pedrosa, Baz, Barbera, Laverty and Bradl following suit as Marquez and Rossi tussled in the lead. With 11 laps to go, the pair came into the pits, Marquez just ahead as they were both forced to respect the 60km/h limit in pit lane.

Marquez re-joined the race in first position with Tito Rabat in second, due to not yet pitting. With Rabat as a buffer, Marquez pushed as hard as he could to break away from Rossi and opened up a lead of over two seconds.

The gap opened up to a massive three seconds as the final nine laps of the race began, Viñales two seconds back on Rossi. As the leading three settled into their rhythm, Redding used the power of the Ducati GP15 to blast past Pedrosa and move into six behind the Ducati factory pair.

Rossi’s pace soon settled in the 1:41's, but that was still not fast enough to catch Marquez and ‘The Doctor’ quickly found himself fending off Viñales. The Ducati factory pair of Dovizioso and Iannone continued to swap positions behind them - all four riders in the fight for second as Marquez’s lead grew with each lap.

Redding encountered a technical problem with five laps to go and was forced to retire, the Brit on course for a top six finish.

Viñales came under pressure from Iannone at Turn 1 as the 18th lap of the race began, but unfortunately crashed out of the race. This gave Rossi a small amount of breathing room with Iannone over half a second behind his compatriot. Iannone then blasted up the inside of Rossi and opening the door for Dovizioso to come up the inside of them both.

The last lap began with Dovizioso in second as Iannone held onto the final step of the podium, Rossi was left hunting for a way past the powerful Ducati. The Ducati had all the power on the straights whilst Dovizioso was good on the brakes to ensure Rossi couldn't get through.

Iannone soon made a mistake. Instead of defending he began to attack his team-mate Dovizioso which resulted in the pair crashing out together at Turn 12 as Iannone lunged into a gap that wasn't there.

Their incident promoted a very surprised Rossi to second and saw Dani Pedrosa take a surprise third place finish. Determined to finish, Dovizioso showed true grit and determination and pushed his Ducati across the line for 13th place.

Just off the podium was Eugene Laverty, the Irish rider ending fourth and as the top Independent Team rider. This is Laverty’s best result in MotoGP.

Pol Espargaro secured a solid sixth ahead of Stefan Bradl, who secured Aprilia’s best race result since returning with a factory entry. Bradley Smith, Tito Rabat and Alvaro Bautista completed the top ten.

There were also crashes for Yonny Hernandez and Michele Pirro. Both were unharmed and Pirro remounted to finish 12th. Cal Crutchlow and Loris Baz also failed to finish the race.

Race results:

1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team 34:13.628
2. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 34:21.307(+7.679)
3. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team 34:41.728(+28.100)
4. Eugene Laverty IRL Aspar MotoGP Team 34:50.170(+36.542)
5. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing 34:50.339(+36.711)
6. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 34:50.873(+37.245)
7. Stefan Bradl GER Factory Aprilia Gresini 34:54.981(+41.353)
8. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 35:4.337(+50.709)
9. Tito Rabat ESP Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 35:4.611(+50.983)
10. Alvaro Bautista ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini 35:15.016(+1:01.388)
11. Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar 35:22.496(+1:08.868)
12. Michele Pirro ITA Octo Pramac Yakhnic 35:32.615(+1:18.987)
13. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team 35:47.047 (+1:33.419)

DNF. Andrea Iannone ITA Ducati Team
DNF. Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda
DNF. Maverick Viñales ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar
DNF. Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac Yakhnich
DNF. Loris Baz FRA Avintia Racing
DNF. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
DNF. Jack Miller AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
DNF. Yonny Hernandez COL Aspar MotoGP Team

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