2014 Argentina MotoGP Results from Termas de Rio Hondo

2014 Argentina MotoGP Results from Termas de Rio Hondo
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi

2014 Termas de Rio Hondo MotoGP Results

Spoiler Alert: 2014 MotoGP results from Argentina’s Termas de Rio Hondo listed below

Can Marc Marquez do it again? This was the biggest question as the 2014 MotoGP Championship headed this weekend to Argentina’s Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.

The 21-year-old Spaniard won the opening round at Qatar just four weeks after breaking his right leg, and followed the stellar victory with a flawless performance at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas two weeks ago. During that Texas race, the Repsol Honda RC213V pilot led every session en route to his second-straight victory of 2014 MotoGP.

Marquez, who became the youngest rider to earn a MotoGP title last season at 20-years old, didn’t start quickly in Argentina. He was over two seconds off the pace during the first free practice, which was led by Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo.

But once Marquez’s factory prototype was set up, and he found his rhythm at the 2.986-mile circuit containing 14 corners, he was once again untouchable. Marquez continued to set the pace, taking the pole by nearly 0.8 of a second ahead of Lorenzo. He led Sunday’s warm up, and carried this momentum into the 25-lap MotoGP, taking his third-straight victory for a perfect open to the 18-round season.

The last rider to complete the same feat of winning the opening three consecutive races was nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi in 2001. But Rossi didn’t have pole and all three of those races; the only other rider to win the opening three rounds from the pole was Giacomo Agostini in 1971. Yep, Marquez is already gaining legendary status.

Joining Marquez on the Argentina podium was teammate Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo.

By far, this was the most exciting opening laps of any round in the modern age of MotoGP. Within the first four laps, the front of the 23-rider grid battled for the top positions with with three-rider wide passes and many positions swaps.

When the 25-lap race got underway, Lorenzo didn’t jump the start like he did at Circuit of the Americas. The two-time MotoGP Champion – who crashed out of round one and finished 10th at COTA – got to turn one first. By turn three, one of the fastest parts of the circuit, Lorenzo was followed by Pramac Racing Ducati’s Andrea Iannone, Pedrosa and Rossi.

Iannone and Lorenzo ran wide, giving the lead to Pedrosa, who was followed by Rossi. But a few turns later, the Yamaha duo of Rossi and Lorenzo sandwiched Pedrosa, passing him. Lorenzo retook the lead, and more shuffling occurred behind. While this action was in play up front, GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista and Ioda Racing Projects Danilo Petrucci crashed out.

At the start of lap two, Lorenzo was followed by Dovi, Iannone, Rossi and Bradl. The world champion Marquez was back in seventh. At turn 2 of second lap, Aleix Espargaro, who started fourth, crashed out. He eventually remounted to finish 15th.

On the third lap, Iannone took the factory-backed Ducati of Dovi for second. Then Bradl and Rossi both passed Dovi, and Rossi began attacking Iannone. Marquez was the next to pass Dovi, and slipped into fifth.

Marquez immediately began attacking, and a few turns later he was passed Bradl fourth. Meanwhile, Rossi passed Iannone. With 22 to go, Marquez passed Iannone as Rossi ran wide, allowing Marquez into second place. He immediately began chasing down leader Lorenzo, who was 1.3 seconds ahead with 21 laps to go.

Behind, a huge battle began between Rossi, Iannone and Bradl. Rossi ran wide a few times, and eventually fell back seventh behind Dovi. As Marquez chased down Lorenzo, Iannone was in a comfortable third, followed by Bradl and Pedrosa.

In just two laps, Marquez had already closed the gap to a half of second. Behind, with 19 to go, Bradl slipped into third ahead of Iannone. But Iannone battled back, and Bradl slipped back to fifth, losing fourth to Pedrosa. With 17 to go, Pedrosa and Bradl both passed Iannone. Pedrosa immediately began pulling away, and chased down the front riders of Lorenzo and Marquez.

Like in other races, Marquez remained patient; he was again on a harder front Bridgestone tire, whereas Lorenzo was on a medium. The battle would come down to a race based on tire degradation.

With 15 to go, Rossi made an aggressive pass on his fellow Italian Iannone for fifth. Rossi began stalking Bradl and Pedrosa. Further back in the field, an intense battle developed for seventh between Dovi and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith, who took his best-career finish of fifth in Austin.

Rossi – also on a hard front tire – passed Bradl with 13 to go, and even after running wide once again, he held onto fourth. Rossi was nearly two seconds behind Pedrosa, who was running alone in third.

With 10 to go, Marquez seemed to be playing games with Lorenzo, getting close and then backing off. But on the next lap, Marquez out-braked his fellow Spaniard Lorenzo at the end of the back straight, and took the lead for the first time of the race. Within three laps, he was nearly two seconds ahead of Lorenzo. Hasta leugo Lorenzo…haste leugo.

As Marquez pulled away, Pedrosa closed in on Lorenzo. He eventually stuffed Lorenzo on the inside of turn 13, and was second as he headed into the final lap.

Marquez would complete the feat of winning the first three races of 2014 from the pole, finishing 1.837 seconds ahead of Pedrosa. Lorenzo would finally make it to the podium, finishing third.

Rossi finished fourth, 4.898 seconds behind Marquez. Bradl finished in a lonely fifth, 15.029 seconds behind Marquez, and 4.418 seconds ahead of Iannone. Rounding out the top 10 were the Monster Tech 3 duo of Smith and Pol Espargaro, Dovizioso and Drive M7 Aspar’s Hiroshi Aoyama.

As for the Americans, Drive M7 Aspar’s Nicky Hayden finished 11th, and NGM Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards 20th.

With his win, Marquez has a perfect 75 points, leading teammate Pedrosa by 19. Rossi remains in third with 44 points, 31 behind Marquez.

The 2014 MotoGP Championship now heads directly to Jerez in Spain for round four of 18.

2014 Argentina MotoGP Results from Termas de Rio Hondo:

12593Marc MARQUEZSPARepsol Honda TeamHonda173.041’39.821
22026Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda172.9+1.837
31699Jorge LORENZOSPAMovistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha172.8+3.201
41346Valentino ROSSIITAMovistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha172.6+4.898
5116Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda171.9+15.029
61029Andrea IANNONEITAPramac RacingDucati171.6+19.447
7938Bradley SMITHGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha171.3+24.192
8844Pol ESPARGAROSPAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha171.0+29.118
974Andrea DOVIZIOSOITADucati TeamDucati170.7+33.673
1067Hiroshi AOYAMAJPNDrive M7 AsparHonda170.0+43.279
11569Nicky HAYDENUSADrive M7 AsparHonda170.0+43.352
12468Yonny HERNANDEZCOLEnergy T.I. Pramac RacingDucati169.9+44.819
13317Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingHonda169.9+45.178
14245Scott REDDINGGBRGO&FUN Honda GresiniHonda169.7+48.656
15141Aleix ESPARGAROSPANGM Forward RacingForward Yamaha169.4+52.250
168Hector BARBERASPAAvintia RacingAvintia169.4+53.505
1751Michele PIRROITADucati TeamDucati169.3+53.669
1870Michael LAVERTYGBRPaul Bird MotorsportPBM169.1+56.570
1963Mike DI MEGLIOFRAAvintia RacingAvintia168.7+1’03.140
205Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Forward RacingForward Yamaha168.5+1’05.760
2123Broc PARKESAUSPaul Bird MotorsportPBM167.8+1’16.722
Not Classified
19Alvaro BAUTISTASPAGO&FUN Honda GresiniHonda0 Lap
9Danilo PETRUCCIITAIodaRacing ProjectART0 Lap

2014 MotoGP Point Standings (after 3 of 18 rounds):

3Valentino ROSSIYamahaITA41
4Andrea DOVIZIOSODucatiITA34
5Andrea IANNONEDucatiITA25
6Stefan BRADLHondaGER24
7Jorge LORENZOYamahaSPA22
8Aleix ESPARGAROForward YamahaSPA21
9Bradley SMITHYamahaGBR20
11Nicky HAYDENHondaUSA18
12Hiroshi AOYAMAHondaJPN15
13Scott REDDINGHondaGBR11
14Yonny HERNANDEZDucatiCOL11
16Karel ABRAHAMHondaCZE8
17Colin EDWARDSForward YamahaUSA7
19Hector BARBERAAvintiaSPA1