Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) has taken an impressive third ever Grand Prix victory in the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina, besting Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) on the final lap to earn the honour of winning the 750th GP race for Honda. But the headlines must be shared, with drama for Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) as the reigning Champion accrued a number of penalties and clashed with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), with the fuse on the title fight now fired up and on full power.
Miller took fourth after not quite being able to make up the ground to the front, ahead of Marquez on track – but not in the results. As the flag fell, another penalty for the number 93 came up – a ride through, or 30 seconds added to his race time.
That means Marquez finishes 18th, and takes no points home from Argentina.
Viñales therefore takes fifth, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and an impressive ride for Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing). Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) came home eighth, with Hafizh Syahrin pulling a stunning to take ninth and top rookie for Monster Yamaha Tech 3. Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) completed the top ten, just ahead of KTM’s best result yet in 2018 in P11 as Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory) took solid points.
Aleix Espargaró forced to retire due to an electrical problem
The expectations that Aleix Espargaró had built with a great Saturday qualifying were not met due to a problem with a simple electrical component that began right from the start and which, after compromising his performance, forced Aleix to throw in the towel. The disappointment remains for a race in which Aleix entered as a protagonist after his great qualifiers yesterday, but also with the awareness that the potential demonstrated throughout the weekend, he is ready to bring home results on Sunday as well.
Aleix Espargaró: DNF
“To be honest, I felt very good today. But from the start, the bike responded strangely to the throttle when I accelerated from low speed. For everything else, the feeling was excellent, so much that for the first time in my career, I was able to handle the wet patches without any problems. Then things got worse with the collisions with Marquez and Petrucci who, quite frankly, took some avoidable risks. I cannot be happy with two consecutive zero finishes on two occasions when I felt like I could have battled for important positions. Now I want to recharge my batteries with my family before going to Austin, where we will pick back up from the good that we saw in these last two weekends".
Xavier Siméon: 21st
“I’m disappointed with the race. I made a mistake after five or six laps on the back straight and I lost contact with the group that was fighting for the points. I felt comfortable even though I was struggling with some grip issues getting the bike into the turns and under acceleration. But I braked very hard and with the carbon brakes I did a stoppie and I had to go long to avoid crashing. From then my race was finished. But overall I’m happy with this weekend. Yesterday I was the best rookie in qualifying, but today I expected more from the race. We learnt a lesson and now we have to analyse what happened and work harder for the next race”.