2017 Argentina MotoGP Results
Following a two-week break from the 2017 MotoGP season opener in Qatar, the series headed to Argentina’s Termas de Rio Hondo, a circuit that joined the World Championship in 2014.
All eyes were on two riders: Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, who claimed his fourth-straight pole in Argentina for a perfect qualifying record at Termas de Rio Hondo, and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales, the factory YZR-M1 newbie who dominated the preseason and round 1 in Qatar.
The three-time MotoGP Champion Marquez wasted no time when the 25-lap race began. The 24-year-old Spaniard got the holeshot and remained out front, quickly opening up a 2-second gap on the man chasing him in second, LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, and Independent Team rider.
Vinales was also quick off the line; the 22-year-old Spaniard started from sixth, and passed Crutchlow for second. Vinales began chasing Marquez, but suddenly Marquez crashed on turn two, giving the lead to Vinales.
From there Vinales was untouchable; he led the remaining 22 laps, finishing 2.915 seconds ahead of teammate Valentino Rossi, and 3.754 ahead of Crutchlow.
With his 2017 Argentina MotoGP victory, Vinales became the first Yamaha rider since Wayne Rainey in 1990 to win the opening two races of the season. This also brought Yamaha GP victories to 499 total.
“We did a great job. We made the tire decision already this morning. I feel really great! The tires grip level was really good the entire time,” Vinales says. “I feel pretty strong and Michelin is doing a great job, I feel really happy and confident. Its like we are in a dream. I have to say thanks to the team, they are doing a great job, so lets continue like that!”
When Vinales got out front, Crutchlow kept the pressure high from second place. But nine-time World Champion Rossi, who started from fourth on the grid, was able to pass Crutchlow on turn five with seven laps to go. The 37-year-old Italian eventually finished his 350th in second.
“My mechanic, Brent, said to me on the grid Its the 350th, try to make it a good race,” Rossi says. “I’m happy, because I was competitive today from the first to the last lap. I felt better physically and I trained hard so I felt good on the bike and I could push throughout the whole race.
“I feel that my concentration is good and also the battle with Cal was good also, because I was able to beat him. Unfortunately, Maverick was a bit faster, but this result is really important for me and the whole team, a Yamaha 1-2 is great! I dont think the results would have been different if Id passed Cal earlier in the race. Looking at the lap times, Maverick was a bit stronger and thats just the way it is today. This track is always tricky, also in the past we saw a lot of problems. Bumps and slipperiness and it also rained yesterday, so you have to pay attention and you also have to be lucky. For us this is good, because we took some important points for the championship and I also felt really good with the bike today.”
The battle for fourth behind Crutchlow was intense between Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, Octo Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco, Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso.
There was much drama. While dueling with Zarco, Pedrosa crashed out at turn 2 of lap nine—the same place has his teammate a few laps earlier. Next to crash was Dovizioso and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro. Dovi went wide on turn five, and Espargaro tried passing on the inside line. Espargaro tucked the front, and slid into Dovi, putting them bout out of the race.
When the race completed, Bautista would take fourth, followed by Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rookies Zarco and Jonas Folger. Petrucci earned seventh, ahead of teammate Scott Redding. Rounding out the top 10 were Marc VDS Honda’s Jack Miller, and Pull&Bear Apsar Team’s Karel Abraham.
As for Ducati Team newbie Jorge Lorenzo, it was another frustrating day. The five-time World Champion crashed after contact with Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone. Lorenzo was forced to retire. Iannone was able to restart, but finished last in 16th.
With his second win, Vinales now has a perfect 50 points, 14 ahead of Rossi and 30 ahead of Dovisioso.
The MotoGP series now breaks for two weeks ahead of round three at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, where Marquez has never been defeated.
2017 Argentina MotoGP Results: