2016 Argentina MotoGP Race Result: Another Crazy End

Marc Marquez, who pulled off his mandatory bike switch to perfection, won the MotoGP contest Sunday by a seven-second margin that kept him well clear of the late-race drama behind him at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit. 

And that drama came (again) in the form of Andrea "Crazy Joe" Iannone. A desperate attempt at a pass by Iannone on Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso at the race's final corner ended with both bikes in the gravel and Rossi seizing second. Dani Pedrosa also took advantage of the crash to grab the final podium spot in the race which saw eight riders fail to finish -- including Jorge Lorenzo -- and each remaining rider claim a share of the points.

Eugene Laverty, already having one of his best weekends as a MotoGP racer in both practice and qualifying, took a stunning fourth just in front of Hector Barbera (5th). Pol Espargaro made up for a difficult practice to take sixth. Stefan Bradl (7th) gave Aprilia its best finish in MotoGP since the company returned to motorcycle racing's top class in 2012 as a "claiming rule" team. 

Bradley Smith, whe qualified 12th, took eighth, just clear of MotoGP rookie Tito Rabat (9th) who has his best finish of the new season. Alvaro Bautista (10th) gave Aprilia two bikes in the top 10. 

At the race start, Lorenzo grabbed the holeshot at Turn 1, a corner that had proved to be a problem for many riders – including the World Champion – all weekend.  Within two laps, Lorenzo had been swallowed up by the pack when Dovizioso, Rossi, Marquez, Maverick Vinales and Iannone all pushed past.

Dovizioso led the race. With 18 laps to go, Marquez sliced past Rossi and then Dovizioso to take the lead. Rossi also made quick work of Dovizioso and latched onto Marquez tail, the pair swapping time in the front.

Behind the two, the mid-pack battle heated up. Iannone, Dovizioso and Vinales waged a fierce skirmish for third. Then Lorenzo, who had dropped to sixth at this point, crashed out at Turn 1 with 15 laps to go – the same corner where he had crashed in FP4.

At the front, Rossi and Marquez were running nearly identical lap times. But because of concerns about tire life after a Michelin rear tire disintegrated during practice, the race had been declared a "flag-to-flag" race, meaning that riders must switch to a backup bike with fresh tires mid contest.

With a three-lap window to make the mandatory switch, Rossi and Marquez battled for position to enter the pits in front. Marquez, who was in the lead, entered first, closely followed by Rossi. But while both riders made the bike switch rapidly, they emerged into the racetrack next to Tito Rabat who ended up between the two. Marquez immediately opened a gap.

Rossi began losing time to the race leader.

Near the end of the contest, with Marquez well out in front, Rossi struggled on his backup bike. Vinales closed but then crashed out at Turn 1 while on Rossi’s tail with three laps to go.

Iannone and Dovizioso also jumped right behind Rossi. One lap later, when Iannone pushed Rossi wide on a pass, Dovizioso slipped past both to take second.

On the final lap, it was Marquez out front, followed by Dovizioso, Iannone and then Rossi. Pedrosa was in fifth, 28 seconds back.

Then on the race’s last corner – the same final, Turn 14 spot that ended a Moto3 rider’s podium hopes hours earlier – Iannone made a desperate lunge up the inside of his teammate’s bike. The front end washed out and he collected both bikes into the gravel trap.

Dovizioso, thinking quickly, righted his bike and pushed it across the line to finish 13th and earn four points. It is the second race in a row that Iannone has crashed out of a top position.

Result:

Pos. No. Rider Bike Time / Diff.
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 34'13.628
2 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 7.679
3 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 28.1
4 50 Eugene LAVERTY Ducati 36.542
5 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati 36.711
6 44 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha 37.245
7 6 Stefan BRADL Aprilia 41.353
8 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 50.709
9 53 Tito RABAT Honda 50.983
10 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia +1'01.388
11 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Suzuki +1'08.868
12 51 Michele PIRRO Ducati +1'18.987
13 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +1'33.419
Not Classified    
  29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 1 Lap
  35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1 Lap
  25 Maverick VIÑALES Suzuki 3 Laps
  45 Scott REDDING Ducati 5 Laps
  76 Loris BAZ Ducati 8 Laps
  99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 15 Laps
  43 Jack MILLER Honda 17 Laps
  68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 18 Laps

 

Round Number: 
2
2016
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Total votes: 133

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Comments

Andrea Iannone was a complete tool. That is all I have to say.

Total votes: 128

Dani Pedrosa ends up on the podium due to a rival team pulling a Dani Pedrosa.

Total votes: 144

Marquez nearly took a Ducati winglet to the back during the Turn 1 dust-up. A winglet-banning injury may come sooner rather than later, likely at the hands of Iannone.

Maniac Joe lived up to his name, although I think his rear slid out when he aimed under Dovi. Ambition outweighing grip, to paraphrase the Australian slang. Shame on TV direction for cutting away right when we all knew SOMETHING nuts was about to happen between the Ducatis coming to the line. Poor choices on track and in the editing room both.

Speaking of Turn 1, I vote in favor of re-naming it Money Pit corner. Enough people crashed there during the weekend that I imagine teams might insist the track use a jet drier on that spot the next time it rains...

Total votes: 123

Maybe before races, the locals could do a ritual sacrifice of a TZ250 at Turn 1 to appease its hunger.

Total votes: 125

I think it's an unwritten rule that the TV direction must show the winner crossing the line for the advertisers' sakes.. they pay big bucks to be on the fastest bikes, they pay to have their brand shown on TV crossing the line first.  

Total votes: 110

Two turns in advance.  It was just waiting to unfold.  I wish it could be that easy with lotto numbers.

It was funny watching the camera switch from showing Dovi pushing his bike across the line for 3 points to idiot joe sitting on a marshall's plastic lawn chair rubbing his forehead.  With only 13 finishers there were still two points to be had for a little effort.

It seemed inevitable that come end of the year Dovi was out a ride but maybe not!

 

Chris

Total votes: 120

the smart thing for Iannone was for him to help push Dovi... that would have gone a long way to appeasing team and teammate and would have won praise.

 

Total votes: 100

That's such a shame, the Ducatis had a good race up until that point. I feel most of all for Vinales, he had that second place in the bag before that unfortunate fall.

So many crashes in turn 1, and every time it's just the front washing away inexplicably. Rossi had a moment there as well but just about saved it. Weird weekend, but with COTA coming up we really need to start talking about Marquez. It's not that weird that pretty much everybody is ignoring how incredibly brilliant his riding has been in the two races so far but at some point people are going to let go of this myth that Honda is somehow in huge trouble and that Marquez is not a championship contender.

Total votes: 115

People just won't grasp that testing is only useful for the teams to prepare and is never a guarantee of how the season will go. The general consensus seems to be that the Honda has been horrible since 2014 which is a load of crap too. 

I still think it's going to be a few races to see if a pattern has already emerged. It could still yo yo between bikes at each track. 

Total votes: 100

these flag to flag races where you switch bikes can be rather exciting because you never know how the second bike is going to handle compared to the first bike whether you're on the same tires or you switch between rains and slicks.  that being said Marquez did say he thought the one bike was better in the warm up so he chose to use it in the latter part of the race.  Rossi on the other hand seems not to have known which bike was better or chose to use the better bike in the beginning.  also Héctor Barberá seems to have stepped it up on the year old Ducati.  we'll see if this is a fluke or he keeps it up.  personally I think he's got it, time will tell.

 

Total votes: 99

Vale clearly had the speed to contend to the end....and just as clearly, his back up bike was not up to par. I wonder of Jorge's second bike was the better of his two? In any case, the similarity of Jorge's first half and Rossi's second was obvious....neither bike was capable of winning......

Total votes: 101

I was disappointed that Mavrick didn't seem to try to pick his bike up after his crash.  I couldn't tell, but If you're not injured and the bike isn't damaged, make an effort.

Dovi made that effort.  It's a shame that Iannone can't judge too hot.  He did it to Pedrosa, he did it to his teammate.  He came close to doing it to Marquez from the sight of the camera dangling...

Total votes: 107

bike was better or chose to use the better bike in the beginning"...Really?

Rossi's cumulative time from lap 12 - 19 was actually slightly faster than from lap 2 - 9 (141.3 av.).  Marquez went from 141.27 on the first bike to 1.40.7 on the 2nd.

 

He rode faster thats why he won....the bikes had little to do with the outcome.

Total votes: 121

I'm no Rossi fanboi, particularly after how last season ended, but I believe him in this case.  I opened up the analysis page on motogp.com, and it was quite telling.  I don't have time to do a lap-by-lap assessment of every rider in the race and how they did on their first bike vs. second, but there was a two second test that's good enough for me: The analyis breaks down each rider in the order they finish, looking at every lap time and every sector time, along with highest speed in each lap.  Each column has one value highlighted with a box around it, indicating either the fastest sector time of the race for that rider or the highest top speed of the race for that rider.  So in a matter of seconds you can scroll down rider by rider and see whereabout in the race they did their fastest sector times.

I didn't look at every single rider that finished, but I think I got through the top eight or nine.  Of those riders, every single rider except one set all four of their fastest sector times on their second bike.  That lone exception is Valentino Rossi.  Who didn't top a single sector on his second bike.

The track was getting faster as the race went on as the sun came up and more rubber was laid down.  It wasn't just Marquez that upped his pace, but ALL of the riders on track.  The difference for Rossi was just quite a bit less.

I also find it interesting that Lorenzo looked so off his game until he crashed out.  It wasn't just the crash that was uncharacteristic, but the poor form leading up to it.  It really has me wondering if Lorenzo saved his "A bike" for the second leg of the race, and maybe Yamaha is having a bit of trouble manufacturing consistent bikes.  Both factory Yamaha riders seemed to struggle uncharacteristically on at least one of their bikes.

Total votes: 87

All that was needed to make the race even more weird would be a black flag for Marquez for the danger of the camera falling off straight into Rossi.

Cross with Miller for blowing a chance to place high up.

Many riders lost the front but Miller has reached the stage where his career cannot absorb any more mistakes.

Total votes: 96

Vinales, Miller, Iannone, Michelin, Race Direction, track grip levels, the weather leading up to the race.
However way you look at it, it seems like a lot of things went horribly wrong at this round.

Total votes: 93

Dovi could be sitting at 40 points, a mere 1 point behind Marquez, if not for Ianonne's impetuousness (I believe "impetuousness" is putting it as kindly as possible). If Jorge Lorenzo is indeed negotiating with Ducati for 2017 their decision of which rider to keep and which to replace just got a little easier. Of course, there's a long season ahead and a lot could change between now and the end of the year. But a rider who is able to think that way (long term), instead of taking great risks for short term glory, might be a good asset to have as back-up for your hopeful championship contender.

Total votes: 94

Fortunately, contracts aren't decided on 1 or 2 races. Sure, it's easy to dismiss Iannone, to blame him for all that's happened. If you look back at last season though, Dovi was good in the first couple races and when all the way down in the 2nd part of the season why Iannone kept on going and going and fighting for podiums.

Remember last year as well, Lorenzo had a horrible start of the season, barely taking any points... yet he finished all the way on top of the list at the very last race.

It is quite early to say that it'll be easy for Ducati to say Dovi can keep his place and Iannone has to go. Yes, Iannone hasn't stolen his nick name(s) Crazy Joe or The Maniac, but he has matured over the years and I will bet that he will be a lot more prudent for the next races. He won't give in much speed, but he'll leave the (stupid) risks that he was willing to take in the first couple races. I'm sure he's smart enough to realize that himself and if not, Ducati will be there to let him know that overall points are what counts, not a risk to decide a 2nd and/or 3rd place.

Let's just wait and see how the rest of the season evolves before making any rash conclusions. 

Total votes: 87

So year 10 of "if your name is not Stoner, Rossi, Marquez, Lorenzo or Pedrosa" you will not win a race (with 2 exceptions, in 10 years)

10 years of 3-4 man match races. MotoGP is in a sad state.......

 

Total votes: 104

Chris Vermeulen at Le Mans 2007 and Loris Capirossi Motego 2007...

Is that it?

Oh, Dovizioso at Donnington 2009 and Ben Spies at Assen 2011.

Still, 4 exceptions (only Dovi still racing in the class)...

Total votes: 96

The ONLY time I've wanted to see one of Dorna's infernal "lets cross to pit lane while something interesting is happening on track" and they didn't.  Would have loved to see the Ducati pit reaction to the 2nd last corner.

Total votes: 92