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MotoGP Burnt Rubber: Argentina Roundup

Another hot mess of a weekend. It's not been the best start to a season, but at least it's been interesting, and a star was born in Moto3.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

First off, apologies for no recap yesterday. The real world gets in the way sometimes. With that said, here's a look at the results.

For video highlights, have a look at @btsportmotogp on Twitter. Full of good content.


Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 89 Khairul Idham PAWI MAL Honda Team Asia Honda 145.5 41'35.452
2 9 Jorge NAVARRO SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda 144 26.17
3 41 Brad BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM 143.8 30.06
4 55 Andrea LOCATELLI ITA Leopard Racing KTM 143.8 30.339
5 36 Joan MIR SPA Leopard Racing KTM 143.8 30.506
6 76 Hiroki ONO JPN Honda Team Asia Honda 143.8 30.736
7 17 John MCPHEE GBR Peugeot MC Saxoprint Peugeot 143.7 32.493
8 88 Jorge MARTIN SPA ASPAR Mahindra Team Moto3 Mahindra 143.2 40.596
9 84 Jakub KORNFEIL CZE Drive M7 SIC Racing Team Honda 142.9 45.667
10 23 Niccolò ANTONELLI ITA Ongetta-Rivacold Honda 142.9 45.893
11 7 Adam NORRODIN MAL Drive M7 SIC Racing Team Honda 142.9 46.173
12 58 Juanfran GUEVARA SPA RBA Racing Team KTM 142.6 51.434
13 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Leopard Racing KTM 142.2 57.893
14 6 Maria HERRERA SPA MH6 Laglisse KTM 141.8 +1'05.983
15 65 Philipp OETTL GER Schedl GP Racing KTM 141.7 +1'08.426


Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Ajo Motorsport Kalex 161.9 40'57.806
2 22 Sam LOWES GBR Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex 161.8 1.347
3 94 Jonas FOLGER GER Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex 161.7 2.754
4 40 Alex RINS SPA Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex 161.5 6.101
5 77 Dominique AEGERTER SWI CarXpert Interwetten Kalex 160.7 17.384
6 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL Petronas Raceline Malaysia Kalex 160.7 17.484
7 12 Thomas LUTHI SWI Garage Plus Interwetten Kalex 160.1 26.411
8 49 Axel PONS SPA AGR Team Kalex 159.8 31.016
9 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex 159.8 31.403
10 54 Mattia PASINI ITA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex 159.8 31.816
11 23 Marcel SCHROTTER GER AGR Team Kalex 159.8 32.329
12 19 Xavier SIMEON BEL QMMF Racing Team Speed Up 159.2 40.968
13 7 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI ITA Forward Team Kalex 158.8 47.883
14 97 Xavi VIERGE SPA Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 158.2 56.027
15 39 Luis SALOM SPA SAG Team Kalex 158.1 58.278


Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 168.4 34'13.628
2 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 167.8 7.679
3 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 166.2 28.1
4 50 Eugene LAVERTY IRL Aspar Team MotoGP Ducati 165.5 36.542
5 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Racing Ducati 165.5 36.711
6 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 165.4 37.245
7 6 Stefan BRADL GER Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 165.1 41.353
8 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 164.4 50.709
9 53 Tito RABAT SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 164.4 50.983
10 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 163.6 +1'01.388
11 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 163 +1'08.868
12 51 Michele PIRRO ITA OCTO Pramac Yakhnich Ducati 162.2 +1'18.987
13 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 161.1 +1'33.419

Moto3 Roundup

Championship standings after round two

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
2 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda ITA 31
3 Jorge NAVARRO Honda SPA 29
4 Khairul Idham PAWI Honda MAL 25
5 Francesco BAGNAIA Mahindra ITA 16
6 Joan MIR KTM SPA 15
7 Romano FENATI KTM ITA 13
8 Jakub KORNFEIL Honda CZE 13
10 Enea BASTIANINI Honda ITA 11

Rain pre-race had everyone on tenterhooks, but in honestly there wasn't enough water on the track to make it worth starting on wets, as Livio Loi did, and in the end he paid for it by finishing just outside the points.

It's easy to blame the weather on the mixed up result, but to give full credit to Khairul Idham Pawi, he led from the second turn. There was a touch of the Danny Kent about his performance in the first few laps - get a lead, keep a lead, and clear off. While others were being careful around the wet patches, Pawi knew where to put the bike, and went. Whether he can do it in a more normal racing situation, we will see. It was a damn impressive show though.

Jorge Navarro ran a mature race to take second. He made the best of what he had. Brad Binder's consistency in finishing third gives him the championship lead, and it looks like he could be the man to beat. Johann Zarco's dominance of Moto2 last year was built around consistent top-end points finishes, and there's a feel of that about Binder's start.

Sympathies go out to Aron Canet, dropping the bike with three laps to go, and Adam Norrodin, who after spending the entire race stalking Navarro, making his move on the last lap, and losing the bike on a wobble. Big love to him for pushing the bike over the line to get some points.

Moto2 Roundup

Championship standings after round two.

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Thomas LUTHI Kalex SWI 34
2 Johann ZARCO Kalex FRA 29
3 Sam LOWES Kalex GBR 27
4 Hafizh SYAHRIN Kalex MAL 23
5 Dominique AEGERTER Kalex SWI 22
6 Luis SALOM Kalex SPA 21
7 Alex RINS Kalex SPA 21
8 Simone CORSI Speed Up ITA 16
9 Jonas FOLGER Kalex GER 16
10 Danny KENT Kalex GBR 10

How lovely to see a Moto2 race start properly this time out. The nonsense of the jump starts at Qatar left a bitter taste, so it was nice to be able to ignore that and have some actual racing.

The battle at the front was lovely. They all kept each other honest and rode sensibly. It was also a welcome return to form for Johann Zarco, who looked every part the world champion that he did last year. It was nice to see Sam Lowes being able to maintain a pace at the front. While not able to convert his pole into a win, he managed to hang with Zarco and keep off the challenge of those behind him. He always was a good rider, but this year he has a capable bike under him.

Franco Morbidelli continues his bewildering start to the year, though. Having been punished for the jump start in Qatar, he was running a very promising race in third, being very much involved, and then found a wet patch on the penultimate lap. He's another rider who gets respect for finishing the race, but again, it could have been so much more.

Alex Rins had some lightning pace in the middle section of the race, but didn't have enough to catch a very fast set of bikes in front of him. He's going to be involved at the top end come the end of the season though.

Tom Luthi retains the lead of the championship despite putting in what can only be described as typical Luthi - following up a really strong performance with a bang average, almost anonymous one.

Shoutout to Lorenzo Baldassarri, picking up three points in 13th after dislocating both shoulders in Qatar.

MotoGP Roundup

Championship standings after round two

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Marc MARQUEZ Honda SPA 41
2 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA 33
3 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 27
4 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 25
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA 23
6 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha SPA 19
7 Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 18
8 Eugene LAVERTY Ducati IRL 17
9 Bradley SMITH Yamaha GBR 16
10 Maverick VIÑALES Suzuki SPA 10

Where to begin?!

The entire weekend is a story of crashes and tyres. Friday's dusty track saw almost everybody fall off. Saturday was a story of tyres. Scott Redding had a tyre delaminate in FP4, which caused the entire grid to panic. Riders were only allowed to go out on brand new tyres in qualifying - no broken in tyres allowed.

Late on Saturday, Michelin withdrew all tyre options, forcing everybody onto the backup option that Michelin take with them in case of emergency. Because of uncertainty over that tyre, a mandatory pit stop was enforced at half distance of a reduced 20-lap race.

The race itself was a war of attrition. Cal Crutchlow and Aleix Espargaro crashed at turn one but got back on. Yonny Hernandez and Jack Miller went out on the first three laps, with Jorge Lorenzo of all people losing the bike two laps later. Alvaro Bautista crashed in pit lane but managed to carry on. Loris Baz had to retire with a rear spindle error. Scott Redding's second bike gave up the ghost underneath him while he was in sixth, ahead of Dani Pedrosa. Maverick Viñales was having the ride of his life on the tail of Valentino Rossi before losing the front end at turn one with four to go. Andrea Iannone took out his team mate, and Crutchlow fell off again. There were only 13 finishers.

The battle between Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi was great to watch, in the first half of the race anyway. The bike change did for Rossi. He took longer than Marquez to switch bikes, then got stuck behind Tito Rabat upon exiting pit lane. Then, he just couldn't find the pace to catch back up to Marquez. There was a big bunch of sour grapes from Rossi post-race, saying they didn't have a problem with the tyres and that because one person had an issue, their weekend was ruined. I've never known Rossi to be so bitter about things than he has been the past nine months. Marquez looks up for this year though, and he could take some stopping.

One of the big takeaways from the first two races is the speed of the Ducatis. They're fast. Very fast. At least in a straight line. When it comes to the corners, it looks like they can't handle the speed. While Andrea Dovizioso brakes earlier to compensate, Andrea Iannone does not. It's becoming a problem. He nearly wiped out Dani Pedrosa at the first corner, and the crash at the end of the race took out his team mate. The move wasn't on, at all. Iannone is a crazy good rider, but there's still a certain emphasis on the crazy part. It ruined a great race from both, as they were in line for a 2-3 finish having both put paid to Rossi.

The biggest winner of the fallers? Eugene Laverty, on probably the worst bike in the field, was fourth - ahead of both Tech 3 bikes. Dani Pedrosa had a big race doing absolutely nothing, somehow picking up a podium finish despite being well below average.

You have got to feel sorry for Maverick. I thought that Suzuki bike was going to be quick, but he is far outperforming his team mate Aleix, and had the beating of the Ducatis before he fell off. Future world champ, no doubt.

Next time out

No rest for the wicked, we're back this weekend with the US Grand Prix from the Circuit of the Americas. Come back Thursday for the preview.