If we can sum up the second round of 2018 MotoGP with two words, they’d be confusion and chaos.Due to a delayed start due to rain, teams were confused on what was actually happening. As for drama during the race, the reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez caused most of it. He suffered multiple penalties and caused some drama with series hero Valentino Rossi.
One rider truly benefited from this confusion and chaos – LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow. The Brit claimed victory ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Johann Zarco and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins, but it wasn’t an easy win.Here are the fast facts from 2018 Argentina MotoGP.1. The race was initially delayed due to rain, and the teams were scrambling to the pits, figuring out what to do with tire selections – slicks or rain? The track was drying, though, and pole sitter Jack Miller was the only one to remain on the grid, gambling on not changing his slicks. The other 23 riders pitted, meaning they’d have to start from the back of the grid in various positions. Race direction lined them up in their qualifying positions, three rows behind the Alma Pramac Ducati pilot. This gave Miller the ultimate holeshot advantage.2. The second bout of confusion arrived when Marquez stalled his bike on the grid, and frantically worked to bump-start his RC213V. He was successful, and was able to start the race in his sixth-place qualifying position (but three rows behind poleman Miller due to rules of pitting during the delay). When the race, now shortened from 25 to 24 laps, got underway, the four-time MotoGP Champion quickly got up front. He led laps two through six until he was penalized with a Ride Through Penalty for his blotched start. Marquez lost the lead, and after riding through the pits, he rejoined in 19th.3. With Marquez out back, Miller took over the lead, keeping a charging Rins far enough behind. Rins did take over the lead on lap 16 of 24, but made a small error, falling back to fourth. Miller then did the same, leaving Zarco and the charging Crutchlow up front to battle for the win.4. Crutchlow, who qualified fifth at Termas de Rio Hondo, rode with patience and smoothness as he charged to the front of the grid. By lap 7, Crutchlow he was in fourth. On lap 17 he began a duel with Zarco that lasted until the finish line. Crutchlow claimed the win by 0.251 of a second. Rins finished a further 2.501 seconds back in a lonely third.5. Crutchlow’s win, the third of his premier-class career, put his name in the history books. Crutchlow became the 750th World Championship race winner aboard a Honda.6. Miller was hoping for another win to match his 2016 Assen victory, but he had to settle for fourth. This was his second-best finish since joining MotoGP in 2015, the other being his Assen GP win in 2016.7. Marquez came back from 19th to finish fifth, but was penalized once again, this time for running nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi off the track with an aggressive move on lap 19. Marquez was penalized 30 seconds, placing him in 18th. This meant zero points for the reigning MotoGP Champion.8. As for Rossi, he bump-started his Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 and was able to rejoin the grid. Rossi, who finished third at the season opener in Qatar, finished 19th.9. With Marquez’s fifth-place position revoked, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales – last season’s winner in Argentina – was able to claim fifth. He finished ahead of Qatar winner Andrea Dovizioso on the Ducati Team GP17. As for Dovizioso’s teammate, Jorge Lorenzo continues to struggle; he finished 15th.10. Rounding out the top 10 at 2018 Argentina MotoGP were Reale Avintia Racing Ducati’s Tito Rabat, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Hafizh Syahrin and Alma Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci.11. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa crashed out on the opening lap of the race while battling for third with Zarco. Pedrosa was bumped by Zarco on corner 13 of 14, began sliding, and caught some drier pavement. This sent Pedrosa into a high side. He walked away unharmed.12. For the first time of his MotoGP career, Crutchlow has the series points lead. He has 38 points, three ahead of Dovizioso and 10 ahead of Zarco. The series now heads to Circuit of the Americas in Texas in two weeks for round three of 19.
2018 Argentina MotoGP Results
2018 MotoGP Point Standings (after 2 of 19 rounds)