MotoGP Review of Round 2 in Argentina

By: Colin MotorCycle Direct Posted: April 12th, 2016

Following on from a pulsating opening round in Qatar, The MotoGP headed to Argentina taking place from the 1st to the 3rd April. Round 2 of the MotoGP took place at the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica track and in turn was filled with its own thrills and spills.

Due to wet weather taking place over the weekend, on Saturday a tyre failure for Scott Redding meant that Michelin had planned to replace the rear tyres with a stiffer rear tyre, however because of the continued wet weather on the Sunday this meant there was no time to test out this new tyre before the race. This meant the decision was made to use the original tyres and introduce a compulsory bike change halfway through the race. This meant during the race, all riders were forced to pit stop on either their 9th, 10th or 11th lap.

At the start of the race, Lorenzo got the lead but within two laps he was swallowed up by Dovizioso, Rossi, Marquez and Iannone. With 18 laps remaining of the race, Marquez managed to get past Dovizioso and Rossi to take the lead at this stage. However Rossi made quick work of Dovizioso as he soon managed to get past and secure himself behind Marquez where the two battled out continuously for the lead. Behind the two leaders, the intensity continued to increase. Iannone, Dovizioso and Vinales fought for 3rd place. The Qatar winner Jorge Lorenzo suffered an unfortunate crash out at Turn 1 with 15 laps to go. This was the same place where he crashed in FP4.

During the middle of the race, Rossi and Marquez were running almost identical lap times however they both still needed to swap their bikes over at some point during the race, a crucial moment where seconds really do count. With only a 3 lap window to make the switch over, Rossi and Marquez battled for the lead so one of them could enter into the pit first. Marquez ended up getting in first and swapped over precisely and quickly. Rossi also had a smooth changeover with no mistakes however when getting back out onto the track, the pair found themselves split apart as on the track they ended up next to Tito Rabat who ended up between the two, meaning Marquez was able to extend the gap between Rossi and him even further.

Towards the end of the race, Marquez excelled on his second bike whereas Rossi seemed to struggle to adapt to the change of bike. Vinales managed to close the gap down between him and Rossi however unfortunately he suffered a crash at turn 1 with only 3 laps to go. Iannone and Dovizioso were right behind Rossi however one lap later Iannone pushed Rossi wide and Dovizioso pushed through getting into 2nd place. On the final lap Marquez was leading out in front followed by Dovizioso, Iannone and then Rossi. On the races last corner, turn 14, Iannone made a desperate attempt up the inside of Dovizioso to gain the lead resulting in him and Dovizioso crashing out as the front ends washed out. Both bikes ended up in the gravel. Dovizioso had spur of the moment quick thinking and he quickly righted his bike and pushed it across the finish line meaning he earnt himself four extra points. This would be the second race in a row where Iannone has crashed out of top position, much to his disappointment. This meant Marquez took the win, with Rossi following closely behind after the crash. In post-race interviews Iannone felt he had committed to no unusual actions in the race whilst Dovizioso described the behaviour as unacceptable. Marquez stated that he could barely believe that he had managed to win and gain an 8 point lead at the top. He is looking forward to Austin, Texas next weekend, a track where he has won three times in a row before. Rossi shared his view that he felt the pit stop was unnecessary as the decision was based upon one riders problems and Rossi felt this was unfair to force this upon other riders. Particularly because a lot of his momentum was lost after swapping bikes.

The final placings:

  • 1st Place: Marc Marquez - SPA - Respol Honda Team
  • 2nd Place: Valentino Rossi - ITA - Movistar Yamaha Team
  • 3rd Place: Dani Pedrosa - SPA - Respol Honda Team
  • 4th Place: Eugene Laverty - IRL - Aspar Team
  • 5th Place: Hector Barbera - SPA - Avinitia Team
  • 6th Place: Pol Espargaro - SPA - Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team