Undaunted by a lousy start and quick rivals, Marc Marquez fought his way through the pack to win the Grand Prix of Argentina, his third win in row for the 2014 season. The victory marks just the second time since 1971 that a rider has taken pole positions and wins in a season's first three races.
Dani Pedrosa seized second at the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit after a late charge from third. Jorge Lorenzo, who led much of the race, secured the final podium spot for his best finish of the season. Valentino Rossi, who ran as high as second before a mid-race battle with Stefan Bradl, finished in fourth, nearly five seconds behind the leader. Bradl settled for fifth after losing the fight with Rossi.
Andrea Iannone, who ran as high as second in the race's early stages, came in sixth, well behind the leading group and four seconds ahead of Bradley Smith (7th). Pol Espargaro's eighth put him just behind his teammate and six seconds ahead of a disappointed Andrea Dovizioso (9th). Former 250cc world champion Hiroshi Aoyama pipped teammate Nicky Hayden at the race's end to take 10th. It was Aoyama's best finish of the season.
It was Lorenzo -- making up for a jump start at the last race -- who grabbed the hotshot as the riders bunched for the first right-hand corner. Starting from pole, Marquez got buried by the pack and dropped into seventh almost immediately. Early on, Aleix Espargaro crashed as did Alvaro Bautista, who has not finished any of the three races this season.
At the front, Lorenzo opened a small gap.
With 22 laps remaining, it was Lorenzo, Rossi, and Iannone with Marquez already up to fourth, followed closely by Bradl and Pedrosa. Iannone made a mistake. Then Rossi ran wide to put him back with Bradl. Bradl then forced Rossi wide to take the position.
Marquez, with 15 laps to go, moved into second and was closing fast, only three-tenths shy of the leader. Rossi repassed Bradl to settle into fourth.
For a brief period, Lorenzo held Marquez at bay, matching his lap times and maintaining the gap. Then Marquez turned up the pace and soon was on Lorenzo's tail. With nine laps to go, he passed the leader and immediately opened a gap. Behind Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa also upped the pace and turned a series of the fastest laps of any rider on the circuit. Rossi, who had been closing on Pedrosa, drifted back.
On the final lap, Pedrosa passed Lorenzo to take second, making it consecutve, top-of-the-podium races for Repsol Honda.
The newest circuit in the series has proved to be a strong racing venue once sufficient practice sessions cleaned the track and applied rubber on the racing line. In the MotoGP class, it now ranks at the second-fastest circuit after Philip Island in Australia.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Bike||Time / Diff.|
|15||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||Forward Yamaha||52.25|
|19||63||Mike DI MEGLIO||Avintia||+1'03.140|
|20||5||Colin EDWARDS||Forward Yamaha||+1'05.760|
|19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||Honda||0 Lap|
|9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ART||0 Lap|