Crutchlow wins sensational Argentina MotoGP as stars clash

Speedcafe.com

Monday 9th April, 2018 - 7:40am

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Cal Crutchlow, Johann Zarco, and Alex RIns finished on the podium pic: MotoGP.com

Cal Crutchlow won an Argentina MotoGP which had just about everything, including a third penalty for Marc Marquez after he bumped Valentino Rossi and caused the Italian to crash.

LCR Honda’s Crutchlow took a third career MotoGP race win while Jack Miller finished fourth and neither Marquez nor Rossi scored points.

Marquez was 19th after a first ride-through penalty and had to twice pass Aleix Espargaro on his way back through the field after officials determined that the first was too aggressive and ordered him to cede the position.

He was back up to seventh on Lap 20 when he lunged at Rossi and made contact with the Movistar Yamaha, causing #46 to run onto the wet grass and fall.

Marquez took the chequered flag in fifth position, at which time he was issued a 30-second penalty which relegated #93 to 18th, one position ahead of Rossi.

Race start had been delayed a first time to allow all riders except for pole-sitter Miller to switch from wets to slicks, with the track drying quickly after a shower.

Miller was already on slicks and started alone with the rest of the field several rows behind, a compromise reached to avoid a crowded pit lane start.

A second delay came when Marquez’s Repsol Honda stalled on the grid, but he managed to get it refired and take up his position, despite being told to start from pit lane.

Miller led away on his Pramac Ducati but Marquez stormed into the lead and pulled clear before being handed a ride-through penalty.

The Spaniard filed into pit lane on Lap 7 and Miller regained the lead, but with Alex Rins, Johann Zarco, and Crutchlow making up ground behind him.

Rins and Miller would pass each other a number of times and it was the Suzuki Ecstar rider leading when he ran wide on Lap 17 and drop to fourth.

Miller made an error of his own a lap later and lost touch with the front-runners, now headed by Crutchlow from Zarco and Rins.

Zarco passed Crutchlow on Lap 20 but the Brit got back in front of the Tech3 Yamaha rider on the second-last of 24 laps.

Crutchlow went on to a narrow win over Zarco, with Rins on the podium for the first time in the premier class.

Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha) finished fifth, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Tito Rabat (Avintia Ducati), Andrea Iannone (Suzuki Ecstar), rookie Hafizh Syahrin (Tech3 Yamaha), and Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati).

Jorge Lorenzo battled to 15th on the second factory Ducati while Dani Pedrosa crashed his factory Honda early in the race after contact with Zarco.

Crutchlow now leads the championship by three points over Dovizioso, with Round 3 in the United States in a fortnight (April 20-22 local time).

Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi pic: MotoGP.com

Race results: Argentina MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 40:36.342
2 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +0.251
3 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +2.501
4 43 Jack MILLER AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +4.390
5 25 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +14.941
6 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati +22.533
7 53 Tito RABAT ESP Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +23.026
8 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +23.921
9 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +24.311
10 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati +26.003
11 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +31.022
12 45 Scott REDDING GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +31.891
13 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +32.452
14 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda +42.061
15 99 Jorge LORENZO ESP Ducati Team Ducati +42.274
16 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA ESP Angel Nieto Team Ducati +42.625
17 12 Thomas LUTHI SWI EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda +43.350
18 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +43.860
19 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +52.082
20 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Angel Nieto Team Ducati +1:03.944
21 10 Xavier SIMEON BEL Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +1:10.144
DNF 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 7 Laps
DNF 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 11 Laps
DNF 26 Dani PEDROSA ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda

Championship points

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR 38
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA 35
3 Johann ZARCO FRA 28
4 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 21
5 Marc MARQUEZ ESP 20
6 Jack MILLER AUS 19
7 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 17
8 Valentino ROSSI ITA 16
9 Alex RINS ESP 16
10 Andrea IANNONE ITA 15
11 Tito RABAT ESP 14
12 Dani PEDROSA ESP 9
13 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL 9
14 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA 6
15 Pol ESPARGARO ESP 5
16 Scott REDDING GBR 4
17 Alvaro BAUTISTA ESP 3
18 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 3
19 Karel ABRAHAM CZE 1
20 Jorge LORENZO ESP 1
21 Thomas LUTHI SWI 0
22 Bradley SMITH GBR 0
23 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP 0
24 Xavier SIMEON BEL 0

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