Category: MotoGP

Petrucci scores first-ever win at Mugello

Ducati has been the team to watch this season, it’s inevitable a win should go to them one way or the other. At Round 6 in Mugello, Danilo Petrucci claimed his first-ever win with Reigning Champion Marc Marquez second and  team mate Andrea Dovizioso third. In a sprint to the finish line, Petrucci dashed to the line just 0.043 seconds in front of Marquez.

Petrucci’s win meant the third straight win for Ducati. Dovizioso at Mugello. Andrea Dovizioso won the previous two rounds here.

At race start, Marquez immediately stormed to lead the field from Cal Crutchlow and Petrucci. Dovizioso was right behind the lead group.  Marquez led for the moment, but Petrucci quickly dispatched the LCR Honda, with Dovizioso overtaking Crutchlow moments later. From there, it’s Marquez versus Petrucci and Dovizioso battled Suzuki’s Alex Rins for most of the race. Rins actually got ahead of the top three for half a lap. But, the Ducatis’ and Repsol Honda’s might was too much for the Suzuki. The two Ducatis quickly stormed back to the lead, with Rins and Marquez in tow.

Past the middle part of the race,  Marquez led from the Ducatis as Petrucci and Dovizioso. The top three exchanged overtaking moves repeatedly and Rins right there with them. It all came down to the final lap of the race, with only four riders left fighting for the victory, Petrucci defended the lead to precede Márquez on the finish line by only 43 thousandths of a second, with Dovizioso third. Prior to the last corner, Marquez and Dovizioso came together as the two were trying to get an edge. In the final sprint to the line, Petrucci was first then Marquez and Dovizioso. Rins who kept up with the leaders finished fourth, closely behind the second Ducati. A certain Takaaki Nakagami was fifth for LCR, ahead of Yamaha factory rider Maverick Vinales.

Viñales had an eventful race, having  lost a few positions at the start. He dropped to 12th and had to play catch up. First, he gained two places and tucked in behind fellow Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo. With relentless focus he reeled them in and tapped them on the back lying in ninth place when Francesco Bagnaia crashed out with 11 laps to go. But soon the group was pulled apart again. In the closing laps, he gained more positions to get sixth, 7.481s from first.

Ducati wild card rider Michele Pirro took seventh place, mounting a strong comeback despite an issue with his forearm to recover many positions in the second half of the race.

Although finishing in runners-up, Marquez managed to extend his championship lead to 12 points over Dovizioso. Honda have a six point advantage over Ducati in the Constructors.

“I really wanted this victory and when I realized the pace at the front wasn’t too fierce and I was able to manage my rhythm in the leading group, I told myself it was the right time to go for it. I tried to control the race by staying in the lead to avoid the risk of losing too many positions in the battle, dictating the pace to preserve the energies and the tyres for the final rush. I was a bit worried about the slipstream as we entered the final lap, but I managed to brake really deep and find a small gap between Andrea and Marc to retake the lead, then I simply pushed as hard as I could until the checkered flag. A good chunk of this win came thanks to Andrea, who took me under his wing this winter and gave so many precious tips,” Petrucci said.

Bad luck for Valentino Rossi as he started from a lowly 18th and crashed out as he was just getting in a groove.  Having taken 15th from Jorge Lorenzo, he was in the groove but clipped the rear of Joan Mir going into Turn 4 and had to skillfully steer his YZR-M1 through the gravel trap. He rejoined the track in 22nd place. He would finish 21st at the flag.

The Teams will resume action in two weeks’ time at Montmeló for the Grand Prix of Catalunya, scheduled for 14-16 June.

2019 MotoGP Mugello results

1         PETRUCCI Danilo   Ducati  41’33.794

2         MARQUEZ Marc     Repsol Honda + 0.043

3         DOVIZIOSO Andrea          Ducati            0.338

4         RINS Alex     Suzuki          0.535

5         NAKAGAMI Takaaki          LCR Honda              6.535

6         VINALES Maverick  Yamaha MotoGP     7.481

7         PIRRO Michele       Ducati Ducati 13.288

8         CRUTCHLOW Cal   LCR Honda   13.937

9         ESPARGARO Pol   KTM Factory 16.533

10       QUARTARARO Fabio  Yamaha SRT   17.994

Riders standings

1         MARQUEZ Marc     115     Repsol Honda

2         DOVIZIOSO Andrea                     103     Ducati     

3         RINS Alex     88       Team Suzuki

4         PETRUCCI Danilo   82       Ducati

5         ROSSI Valentino     72       Yamaha MotoGP    

6         CRUTCHLOW Cal   42       LCR Honda  

7         MILLER Jack            42       Pramac ti

8         NAKAGAMI Takaaki          40       LCR Honda          

9         VINALES Maverick  40       Yamaha MotoGP  

10       ESPARGARO Pol   38

MotoGP Mugello: The Heat is on

Mugello, host of MotoGP Round 6, is a special playground for most riders.  Featuring sweeping corners and one of the fastest straights of the year, riders typically produce some of the best races of the season.

The championship chase is on to dethrone Reigning Champion Marc Marquez in the riders’ standings. With a historic 300th premier class win in the books, Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo are going for more at one of the most exhilarating circuits in the world. Marquez leads the MotoGP riders standings by eight points and is looking as strong as ever aboard the Honda RC213V. Previously, Marquez has only one MotoGP win at Mugello and he, of course, wants to up the win number at this track.

Lorenzo’s progress with the team gets better with every race. Mugello is a happy hunting ground for Lorenzo since 2008, with six wins in the bag. During the streak, he only missed the podium twice.

Challengers Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales head to Mugello with two purpose to honor the team’s home GP and stop Marquez’s dominance. Rossi of course is a fan favorite here,with a great record of seven back-to-back premier class victories from 2002 to 2008. He also celebrated four MotoGP third places in 2009, 2014, 2015, and 2018, a 250cc win in 1999 following a second place in 1998, and a 125cc win in 1997. The Doctor looks to close his fourth place 23-point gap to Marquez in the standings at Mugello.

Vinales, who failed to get points at Le Mans, is keen on making a strong comeback. There is no better place for him to return to the podium than Mugello, as he likes the track and also looks forward to the great atmosphere there that makes the Italian GP so special. In the lower classes he notched up a run of three-consecutive podiums in Mugello, taking a win in 2012 (Moto3) and two third places, in 2011 (125cc) and 2013 (Moto3). In the MotoGP class he stood on the rostrum after scoring a second place in 2017. This weekend he will challenge for a top spot again.

Also home GP for Ducati, Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci are eager to defend home turf from the other factory squad challengers. Both riders got on the podium at Le Mans last time out. Aside from Rossi, Ducati riders have their fair share of supporters here. And they’ll certainly be able to count on the support of the many ducatisti fans expected during the weekend and gathered, as usual, at the Ducati Grandstands located by the Correntaio corner. 

Dovizioso, who will celebrate his 300th GP start at Mugello, is currently second in the championship, just 8 points behind Márquez. Dovizioso won the Italian GP in 2017, was second last year, and took two more podiums in top class at Mugello. Petrucci has a third place in 2017 (best personal result) with a Ducati satellite team.

Alongside Dovizioso and Petrucci, on a third Desmosedici GP19 fielded by Ducati, Michele Pirro will compete in his first race of the year as a wild-card and celebrate his 100th GP start on Sunday. 

Marquez gets on a roll to take win at Le Mans

It was Reigning Champion Marc Marquez’s second win in the European leg after his emphatic victory at Le Mans. The win was Marquez’s third of the season as he topped the two Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci.

Right from the start, Marquez tried to pull clear. However, Satellite rider Jack Miller decided to bring on the challenge to try to take on the defending champion. He successfully got ahead of Marquez for a couple of laps until the factory Honda answered back. Marquez would swoop past Miller for the lead on lap 6. From there, he never looked back.

Behind the champion, Miller had to ward off the two chasing factory Ducatis. But, the GP11s proved to be too much as Dovizioso easily took second at the half-way mark. His team mate in the second Ducati did it much later in the race as he squeezed past Miller for third, seven laps from the end.

Without even a glance back, Marquez would finish almost 2 seconds clear of the lead Ducati for Honda’s 300th in MotoGP. It was Marquez’s 47th premier class career win, which coincidentaly draws him level with team mate Jorge Lorenzo on the all-time list. Lorenzo finished the race in a dismal 11th.

“I think this is the first time I have had a race where I had the soft tyre in the front but it was the safest option. I was focused on being consistent until I saw the gap increasing, I pushed a little bit more and into the low 32s until I saw I had two seconds. I’m happy with today’s result and it is fantastic to be able to take Honda’s 300th premier class win!” Marquez said in post-race.

After five rounds, Marquez tops the riders standings with 95 points, then Dovizioso with 87 points. Repsol Honda hold the lead from Ducati in the manufacturers.

Valentino Rossi was the only finisher for Yamaha as Maverick Vinales was taken out of the race. Rossi had a duel with Dovizioso early in the race, but would soon drop out of the front runner contention. Petrucci would pass him for fourth in the mid-distance. After that, he would settle behind Miller until the end of the race. He made a last dash to challenge Miller for position but came just short of making a move.

The teams will be back in action in Tuscany in two weeks’ time for the Italian Grand Prix, held at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello.

2019 MotoGP Le Mans results

1         MARQUEZ Marc     Repsol Honda Team                     41’53.647

2         DOVIZIOSO Andrea          Ducati            1.984

3         PETRUCCI Danilo   Ducati                     2.142

4         MILLER Jack  Pramac               2.940

5         ROSSI Valentino     Yamaha 3.053

6         ESPARGARO Pol   KTM   5.935

7         MORBIDELLI Franco   Yamaha SRT      7.187

8         QUARTARARO Fabio Yamaha SRT       8.439

9         CRUTCHLOW Cal   LCR   9.853

10       RINS Alex     Suzuki          13.709

Riders standings

1 MARQUEZ Marc SPA 95  
2 DOVIZIOSO Andrea ITA 87  
3 RINS Alex SPA 75  
4 ROSSI Valentino ITA 72  
5 PETRUCCI Danilo ITA 57 i  
6 MILLER Jack AUS 42  
7 MORBIDELLI Franco ITA 34  
8 CRUTCHLOW Cal 5 GBR 34  
10 VINALES Maverick SPA 30

MotoGP hits fifth round at Le Mans

After the previous round, Reigning Champion Marc Marquez intends to continue the winning momentum at the Le Mans track.

With a dominating start-to-finish victory at Jerez, Marquez banished his Austin demons at the Spanish GP to walk away with 25 points and the lead in the riders’ standings. The Le Mans Circuit has offered the Repsol Honda Team rider somewhat mixed results in the premier class with two wins and a total of three podiums to his name.

Team mate Jorge Lorenzo is still finding his rhythm on the RCV. Lorenzo has five premier class victories to his name at Le Mans and hopes to make an impression in a Honda.

After finishing with both its riders in the top five at Jerez), Ducati riders are ready to resume action at Le Mans. Andrea Dovizioso won the French GP in 2004 in the 125cc class. Should he finish within the top three on Sunday, Dovizioso would score his 95th podium in the Premier class, equalling Mick Doohan in 12th place all-time for career podium finishes. The Italian has the most starts at Le Mns after the great ‘#46’. Dovizioso’s best result with Ducati at Le Mans is third (2015). When he reached the checkered flag in France, Dovizioso has always finished within the top five with Ducati in France. 

Team mate Danilo Petrucci scored his best result in dry conditions in MotoGP at Le Mans, finishing second with the Desmosedici GP with Pramac. The Italian rider took three more second-place finishes in his MotoGP career, but always in wet conditions. 

Rossi is currently fourth in the championship rankings, but only nine points from the top. Knowing that the Le Mans circuit is usually well-suited to his Yamaha’s nimble character, the Italian is looking to score his third podium finish of the season, and the odds are in his favor. The Doctpr has three victories at Le Mans (2002, 2005, and 2008), six second places (2003, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016), and four third places (2000, 2001, 2011, and 2018).

Maverick Viñales returned to the podium at the previous round in Jerez, which is essentially a difficult track for him. The third-place confidence boost made him determined to also pay a visit to the French rostrum again, of which he has fond memories. In 2017 the Spaniard secured a hard-fought win there on his YZR-M1, and one year earlier he also scored a MotoGP third-place race result.

After last week’s test he approaches the race in Le Mans with a positive mindset and will be giving his all to further fight his way up the standings.

Marquez storms to victory at Jerez

Reigning Champion Marc Marquez has won Round 4 of the Championship after a brilliant ride at the Jerez Frontera Circuit. Marquez topped Alex Rins of the Suzuki outfit and Maverick Vinales of the Yamaha factory team. 9-ttime champion Valentino Rossi was left playing catch up through the race  and finished sixth overall.

With his 46th win in the premier class, Marquez holds the top of the standings table with 70 points, a point clear of second placed Rins. He also becomes the third most successful Honda rider in the premier class, overtaking Jim Redman who claimed 45 wins and overtakes Lawson to become the sixth most successful MotoGP rider in terms of premier class podium finishes with 80. Meanwhile, Honda tops the Constructors with 76 points.

Off the blocks. Marquez zipped to the top of the heap and quickly opened a gap to lead all. Vinales pushed from fifth to fourth in the opening lap, behind two Yamaha Satellites and the Suzuki of Alex Rins. After Fabio Quartararo retired from the race, it was Marquez leading Franco Morbidelli, RIns and Vinales.  Both Rins and Vinales would overpower the Yamaha SRT with ten laps to run.  However, VInales came under pressure from Andrea Dovizioso in the latter stages of the race but defended his position masterfully. He set various personal best sectors and ended on a high setting his best race lap, a 1:38.157s. Dovizioso had to settle for fourth, followed by the second Ducati of Danilo Pettucci and Rossi who fought from start to finish for a sixth place

Marque said in post-race,  “This race was a mental race, more than a physical one. After the mistake in Austin it wasn’t easy to lead the race like that from beginning to end, but I knew I had the pace to do it and the bike to do it. I wanted to do a race like in Argentina and at the start in Austin to prove it was a mistake there. It’s great to be leading the championship again.”

Behind Rossi came Morbidelli, Cal Crutchlow, Takaaki Nakagami and Stefan Bradl. Round 5 moves on to the French GP in Le Mans, from 17 – 19 May.

2019 MotoGP Jerez results

1            MARC MARQUEZ            SPA       REPSOL HONDA TEAM              41’08.685

2            ALEX RINS          SPA       TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR   + 1.654

3            MAVERICK VIÑALES        SPA       MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP         + 2.443

4            ANDREA DOVIZIOSO      ITA        MISSION WINNOW DUCATI              + 2.804

5            DANILO PETRUCCI          ITA        MISSION WINNOW DUCATI              + 4.748

6            VALENTINO ROSSI          ITA        MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP         + 7.547

7            FRANCO MORBIDELLI    ITA        PETRONAS YAMAHA SRT              + 8.228

8            CAL CRUTCHLOW           GBR       LCR HONDA CASTROL    + 10.052

9            TAKAAKI NAKAGAMI      JPN        LCR HONDA IDEMITSU   + 10.274

10          STEFAN BRADL  GER       LCR HONDA       + 13.402

Riders standings

1 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 70 Repsol Honda Team Honda
2 RINS Alex 42 SPA 69 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
3 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 67 Mission Winnow Ducati Ducati
4 ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA 61 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
5 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 41 Mission Winnow Ducati Ducati
6 VINALES Maverick 12 SPA 30 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
7 NAKAGAMI Takaaki 30 JPN 29 LCR Honda Honda
8 MILLER Jack 43 AUS 29 Pramac Racing Ducati
9 CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR 27 LCR Honda Honda
10 MORBIDELLI Franco 21 ITA 25

MotoGP takes on Jerez, the first of the European legs

As MotoGP tackles Round 4 at the Jerez circuit, the first race of an 11-race European leg promises an exciting turn of championship status. Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati currently lead the Riders and Constructors. You can bet Reigning champion Marc Marquez and the Yamaha riders will answer the call to climb back up the standings.

Ducati, on the other hand, won’t just stand idle without a fight. From past records, Ducati has achieved a win and five podiums at Jerez. Dovizioso is tackling his 200th race this weekend and looks to continue the push in the riders standing, while Danilo Petrucci continues to hunt for a podium spot for his new team.

Following a disappointing race at Austin, Marquez and team mate Jorge Loenzo are most eager to resume their challenge on Spanish soil as 300th MotoGP race looms. Honda machines have taken 142 wins in that time and both Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo will be fighting to make it 143 in Jerez.

After the difficulties of Austin, Marquez arrives in Jerez aiming to get his title defence back on track. With six podiums and two wins to his name in the premier class at the track. The Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto is the perfect staging ground for Marquez to attack his nine-point deficit in the championship battle.

Lorenzo is one of the only riders with a better record at Jerez than Marquez, the five-time champion having secured three wins and eight podiums in the premier class at the iconic circuit. A now fully fit Lorenzo is out for a strong weekend at the familiar Jerez circuit after being careful to avoid further injury in the opening races.

For the race, Stefan Bradl will join the MotoGP grid on a fifth Honda RC213V as a wildcard.

Rossi is single-handedly carrying the team on his shoulders as Maverick Vinales continues to struggle, after three rounds. Rossi currently holds second place in the championship rankings after taking second place at the two previous rounds. He has set himself a firm goal for this weekend: he is going to try to make it a podium hat-trick.

The Italian is expecting a hard battle, as the previous two years in Jerez were challenging, but to his advantage, he knows the track like no other. So far, he has claimed seven wins at this circuit (in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2016), secured two second places (in 2008 and 2014), and achieved three third places (in 2000, 2010, and 2015) in the premier class alone. He was also successful here in the lower classes, securing a 125cc and 250cc win in 1997 and 1999 respectively, and a 250cc second place in 1998. 

Viñales arrives in Europe holding twelfth place in the championship standings after a disappointing end to the otherwise positive COTA weekend. Nevertheless, the Spaniard shows a strong determination to add another solid performance to his record at Jerez, which he considers one of his home races. 

Rins scores 1st career win at GP Americas

In an eventful Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, TX, Reigning Champion Marc Marquez has finally been dethroned, but it was actually a crash that forced retirement. And guess who won the race? It was a certain Suzuki rider Alex Rins, who scored his first ever win in MotoGP. For Suzuki, it was their second since 2016 Silverstone.

The 20-lap race had Marquez, who was on pole, written all over it, but the defending champion would lose the front of the bike and had to retire from the race. With him out of the picture, the field was open for anyone to take. Marquez got off the line ahead of Rossi and Crutchlow. Rins, meanwhile, was in the top five. As several riders started to tumble, the field became thin in the early stint.

Fufteen laps to go, Rossi had a comfortable space between himself and his pursuer Crutchlow, particularly when the LCR Honda rider crashed out moments later. Marquez led Rossi by almost 3 seconds. Another three laps in, Marquez would drop out of the race as he took a tumble at turn 12 on lap 9. He lost the front-end of the bike.

At the mid-distance of the race, Rossi now led the race while Rins had already placed himself in second right behind the 9-time champion. It was Yamaha vs Suzuki scenario…

Rins planned a victory charge for the last few laps, before executing a great pass on Rossi for the lead. Rins came through to pass Rossi, but  the veteran tried to retaliate. He lost 0.5s in that block attempt. The number 46 rider was making an attempt to undo the damage, inching closer, but he ran wide with two laps to go, meaning he had to do the work all over again. He wasn’t giving up, though. In the last lap Rossi managed to make up a lot of time and was looking threatening behind Rins in the final sector, but ultimately he came just 0.462s short as they crossed the finish line. Rins remained calm under pressure from the 9-time champion to earn his first ever MotoGP win.  Third was Jack Miller followed by the Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso. The second Ducati of Danilo Petrucci was sixth, behind Franco Morbidelli.

Dovizioso had a strong and consistent pace throughout and finished just nine tenths of a second behind Miller. His team mate progressively climbed his way back through the field to claim sixth position half-way through the race. The Italian rider then increased the gap from the riders behind him and defended the position until the checkered flag.

Dovi tops the riders standings, 3 points up on Val. Rossi.

The second Repsol Honda of Jorge Lorenzo also retired from the race. That meant both Repsol Honda came up empty-handed in the Race of the Americas.

Up next Is the GP of Spain at the iconic Jerez circuit, from 3 – 5 May.

2019 MotoGP COTA results

1            RINS Alex          Team Suzuki Ecstar              41’45.499

2            ROSSI Valentino            Yamaha MotoGP               0.462

3            MILLER Jack     Pramac Racing Ducati  8.454

4            DOVIZIOSO Andrea      Ducati                9.420

5            MORBIDELLI Franco    Yamaha SRT                       18.021

6            PETRUCCI Danilo         Ducati               21.476

7            QUARTARARO Fabio   Yamaha SRT                        26.111

8            ESPARGARO Pol            KTM Factory Racing           29.743

9            BAGNAIA Francesco    Pramac               30.608

10         NAKAGAMI Takaaki     LCR Honda                   31.011

Riders standings

1            DOVIZIOSO Andrea                    54        

2            ROSSI Valentino                          51        

3            RINS Alex          49        

4            MARQUEZ Marc                         45        

5            PETRUCCI Danilo                        30         i

6            MILLER Jack                   29        

7            NAKAGAMI Takaaki                   22        

8            CRUTCHLOW Cal                        19        

9            ESPARGARO Pol            18        

10         QUARTARARO Fabio   17

The MotoGP Round 3 at COTA: Could someone dethrone Marquez?

The MotoGP contingent is ready for Round 3 at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, TX. This round is the final fly-away race before the European leg.

Marquez won the GP of Argentina last time round in a rather dominating way. But, the highlight of the race was the exciting battle between Valentino Rossi and Championship contender Andrea Dovizioso. Rossi came up tops in that one.

It won’t be easy for anyone as the COTA has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Marquez, who has. won all six MotoGP races at the Austin track. Marquez’s riding style and the strengths of the Honda RC213V have always excelled at the Americas GP. A warning shot for Dovizioso and the factory Yamaha riders.

Team mate Jorge Lorenzo is excited to see how he will perform on his new machine. After two races, with a deeper understanding of the bike, the former champion should get things started and challenge the top riders for a podium spot.

Rossi, after securing a hard-fought second place, currently holds third place in the standings and would love nothing more than to climb up the order after this weekend‘s race. He has had a couple of podiums at COTA in 2015 and 2017.

Yeam mate Maverick Vinales counts himself lucky to have escaped injury after an unfortunate crash in Argentina. Due to the incident he has dropped to 11th place in the rankings, but he arrives in the USA determined to put the experience behind him and get back on the podium at COTA, which he has visited frequently. His best finish at COTA in MotoGP was a runner-up spot, last year.

Dovizioso, who took a win and a third place this season so far, is currently second in the championship with 41 points to his tally and is keen to extend the podium streak to cut the gap from the lead, which is currently only four points.

Dovizioso scored his personal best result at COTA in 2015, when he finished second. He looks for a strong finish this season, with the speed and dependability of the GP11.

Team mate Danilo Petrucci, sixth in both races in 2019, is also determined to improve his personal statistics at Austin, where his best position at the finish is 8th (in 2017) and to continue his progress and get closer to the podium. 

The action kicks off with the practice sessions, followed by the qualifiers on Saturday and the race on Sunday.

Marquez pulls off largest winning margin at MotoGP Round 2

Reigning Champion and pre-race favorite Marc Marquez has captured his first win of the year at the Termas de Rio Hondo, home of the MotoGP Round 2 race in Argentina. Though Marquez won the race, Valentino Rossi was the real highlight of the race as the Doctor pushed to the limits and finished in a remarkable runner-up spot.  Third place went to the first round winner, Andrea Dovizioso.

Marquez had a lightning start from pole and was quickly up by a second ahead of everyone else after just a lap. From there, the defending champion never once looked back. Rossi, meanwhile, started strong from fourth on the grid and held his position in the first corner, and shortly after moved up to second place. He aimed to prevent any riders from checking out at the front but didn’t succeed, as he fell back to fifth in the busy group. Not for long, though: he steadily worked his way back up. Dovizioso, too, was among the leaders as he feld second for most of the race.

Up front, Marquez was able to pull away lap after lap and had a 12-second at the three-quarters mark. In an amazing last dash to the finish line, Rossi decided to make his move to tussle with Dovizioso for second place. The pair gradually broke away from the others. The Yamaha rider observed the riding style of his rival and perfectly picked the place and moment to pounce: on the last lap, in Turn 7, he put his YZR-M1 on the inside and made it stick. He crossed the line in second place 9.816s from first.

Marquez was the winner and his win was accompanied the biggest winning margin in a dry MotoGP race, The Champion’s previous best coming at the 2016 Argentina GP (a gap of 7.679s) and is his 45th win in the premier class. Marquez leaves Argentina with 45 points and the championship lead

Fourth was the Satellite Pramac Racing Jack Miller who topped factory riders  Alex Rins (Suzuki) and Dnailo Petrucci (Ducati). Seventh through tenth were the Satellite teams.

MotoGP circus prepares to travel to Austin, Texas for round three at the Red Bull Gran Prix of The Americas, 12 – 14 April.

MotoGP Round 2 Termas de Rio Hondo results

1            MARQUEZ Marc              Repsol Honda Team       41’43.688

2            ROSSI Valentino       Yamaha MotoGP                           +9.816

3            DOVIZIOSO Andrea         Ducati   10.530

4            MILLER Jack               Pramac Racing   12.140

5            RINS Alex                    Suzuki Ecstar     12.563

6            PETRUCCI Danilo             Ducati                 13.750

7            NAKAGAMI Takaaki        LCR Honda         18.160

8            QUARTARARO Fabio      Yamaha SRT                     20.403

9            ESPARGARO Aleix           Aprilia Racing    25.292

10          ESPARGARO Pol 44          Red Bull KTM    25.679

Riders standings

1            MARQUEZ Marc              SPA       45

2            DOVIZIOSO Andrea         ITA        41

3            ROSSI Valentino ITA       31

4            RINS Alex            SPA       24

5            PETRUCCI Danilo             ITA        20

6            CRUTCHLOW Cal             GBR       19

7            NAKAGAMI Takaaki        JPN        16

8            MILLER Jack       AUS       13

9            ESPARGARO Aleix           SPA       13

10          ESPARGARO Pol SPA       10

MotoGP contingent heads to Argentina for Round 2

After an exciting season-opener in Qatar, MotoGP prepares for Round 2 at familiar grounds of Termas de Rio in Argentina. The Argentine round is one of the longest races in the championship at over 120 kilometers across 25 laps. Characterized by multiple long straights, demanding left-hand corners and often-unpredictable weather, the race has produced five different premier class winners in six years.

Reigning Champion Marc Marquez is eager to sought his revenge after a close-shave battle with Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, who won the first race. Marquez has a brilliant record at Termas with two wins previously, the only premier class rider to win there more than once. “We started well in Qatar and fought until the end for victory. The goal is of course to do the same in Argentina and take as many points as possible. Time between the two races has been good, I was able to return training with a motocross bike and I feel confident for this race.”

Team mate Jorge Lorenzo had a first race to forget, but he vows to come back strong in Argentina. The multiple Champion will continue to learn and adapt to the RC213V machine. After a physically punishing weekend, where it was later revealed he had sustained a fissure to one of his ribs, Lorenzo and the team are aiming for a smooth weekend.

Following a good weekend in Qatar, Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci, who finished 1st and 6th , hope to continue their consistent results in Argentina. Dovizioso rode with all his might and experience to fend off Marquez for the win. He feels that the bike has a superb straight line speed, but needs improvement on the corners.  “We need to improve our corner speed. This year there are plenty of quick riders and it’ll be crucial not to lose too many points on less favorable tracks.”

Petrucci on his full factory squad stint is confident to support his championship leading team mate. He aims to finish in the top five, given the bike’s praise-worthy performance.

Factory Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales need to answer their rivals in a hurry, otherwise it’d be a long and arduous season for the proud MotoGP squad. Rossi was just 0.6s off the victory at the opening round, despite starting from fourteenth. He showed great potential of this year’s YZR-M1.

In Argentina, Rossi is big with the South American fans. The nine-time champion hopes to not disappoint his fans there and aims for a podium finish, like he did in 2015 with a win. In 2016 and 2017, he took scored second on both occasion.

Though he didn’t end the first race of the season as high as he would have liked, Viñales took the positives from the first weekend in Losail and is motivated to show his speed again at Termas. Vinales had a win in Argentina two years ago, but he struggled here last year in a slightly chaotic and challenging race, but he still took home solid points, securing fifth position. This year he wants to feel competitive again, so he can duplicate the 2017 result.

The action in Argentina starts a bit later than usual, from Malaysian time.As always, practice, practice/qualifying 1, qualifying 2 and raceday.