Spoiler alert – 2015 MotoGP Championship results from Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina, listed below.
Young versus old was the theme during Sunday’s MotoGP at Argentina’s Termas de Rio Hondo circuit. Two of MotoGP’s best riders – the 22-year-old Marc Marquez and the 36-year-old Valentino Rossi – went at it intensely during the final laps.
How intense? Repsol Honda’s Marquez bumped Rossi with two laps remaining, and nearly crashed. A few feet later the same thing happened, but this time Marquez wasn’t so lucky; the front wheel of his RC213V struck the rear wheel of Rossi’s Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1, and Marquez flopped to the ground.
Marquez ran to his bike in attempt to finish the 25-lap race and garner some points, but he wasn’t successful. He ended the day with a DNF, and Rossi the win – his second of the year including the season opener in Qatar.
Joining Rossi on the Argentina MotoGP podium was Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, respectively.
It was a much different story in the beginning, though. Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez didn’t get off the line too well, the pole man getting beat by Team ECSTAR Suzuki’s Aleix Espargaro. But Marquez took the lead in turn one, and continually pulled away, opening up nearly a five-second lead over the remaining 24 riders.
Nine-time World Champion Rossi put his experience to work, and went from eight to second, eventually catching Marquez, who would suffer his first DNF of 2015 MotoGP after a sensational win last week at Circuit of the Americas in Austin.
Marquez’s hard-rear tire option was wearing down towards the end, and he was sliding at every corner. As for Rossi, he went with an extra-hard rear tire, which didn’t wear down as quickly, allowing him to lap the 2.99-mile sweeping circuit a full second faster than Marquez.
Rossi caught his young prodigy, and passed him on turn one, but Marquez quickly countered. Rossi again passed on the tight right-hander before the back straight, and remained out front ahead of the crash. Race Direction investigated the wreck, and declared nobody was at fault.
Rossi took the win by 5.685 seconds ahead of Dovizioso. This was Dovi’s third-straight podium of 2015 MotoGP. His teammate Andrea Iannone had to settle for fourth after being beat to the line by 0.054 of a second by Crutchlow, who was also on hard rear tire.
Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo earned fifth, and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith sixth. Rounding out the top 10 were Espargaro, his brother on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Pol Espargaro, Marc VDS Racing Honda’s Scott Redding and the other Suzuki GSX-RR pilot, Maverick Vinales.
CWN LCR Honda’s Jack Miller took the Open class victory as he finished in 12th, just 0.075s ahead of Hector Barbera on the Avintia Ducati.
As for the sole American in MotoGP, Aspar MotoGP’s Nicky Hayden finished 16 – just out of points range.
After three of 18 races, Rossi now has 66 points, six ahead of Dovizioso. Iannone is in third with 40, and Lorenzo fourth with 37.
The series now breaks for two weeks before round four at Jerez for the Grand Prix of Spain.
2015 Argentina MotoGP Results Photo Gallery:
2015 Argentina MotoGP Results from Termas de Rio Hondo
|1||25||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||173.3||41’35.644|
|2||20||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||172.9||+5.685|
|3||16||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||CWM LCR Honda||Honda||172.7||+8.298|
|4||13||29||Andrea IANNONE||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||172.7||+8.352|
|5||11||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||172.6||+10.192|
|6||10||38||Bradley SMITH||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||171.9||+19.876|
|7||9||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||171.6||+24.333|
|8||8||44||Pol ESPARGARO||SPA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||171.4||+27.670|
|9||7||45||Scott REDDING||GBR||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||170.9||+34.397|
|10||6||25||Maverick VIÑALES||SPA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||170.9||+34.808|
|11||5||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||170.5||+40.206|
|12||4||43||Jack MILLER||AUS||CWM LCR Honda||Honda||170.4||+42.654|
|13||3||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Avintia Racing||Ducati||170.4||+42.729|
|14||2||76||Loris BAZ||FRA||Athinà Forward Racing||Yamaha Forward||170.3||+42.853|
|15||1||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||Athinà Forward Racing||Yamaha Forward||170.3||+43.037|
|16||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Aspar MotoGP Team||Honda||170.3||+43.252|
|17||50||Eugene LAVERTY||IRL||Aspar MotoGP Team||Honda||170.3||+43.400|
|18||63||Mike DI MEGLIO||FRA||Avintia Racing||Ducati||170.3||+43.808|
|19||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||170.2||+44.878|
|20||33||Marco MELANDRI||ITA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||169.4||+56.236|
|21||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||AB Motoracing||Honda||169.0||+1’03.371|
|22||15||Alex DE ANGELIS||RSM||Octo IodaRacing Team||ART||168.6||+1’08.444|
|7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||JPN||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||170.5||1 Lap|
|93||Marc MARQUEZ||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||173.3||2 Laps|
|68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Pramac Racing||Ducati||170.6||19 Laps|