Rossi Rules MotoGP's Argentine Adventure
Movistar Yamaha MotoGPs Valentino Rossi ended his Argentine adventure in style today with a sensational victory in the Gran Premio de la República Argentina. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo started strongly as a key protagonist before dropping to finish in fifth.
Starting from a less than perfect eighth position on the grid, Rossi was immediately in the middle of the pack fighting for first corner position. Taking a lap to find his rhythm he then started his move up the field, taking first Danilo Petrucci and then Aleix Espargarò to move into sixth. With 20 laps to go his teammate Lorenzo was next as the Doctor continued his charge towards the front.
The next pack to be dispatched were Andrea Iannone, then Cal Crutchlow and finally Andrea Dovizioso to put the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider in second position. Rossi then had the seemingly impossible task of closing a gap of over four seconds to leading rider Marc Marquez.
The nine-time world champion then delivered a performance for the record books, putting the hammer down and cutting the lead lap by lap to reel Marquez in with just two laps remaining. A fast exchange of positions followed through turns two, three and four, with Rossi exiting turn five in the lead. In his rush to counter attack, Marquez then clipped Rossis back wheel on the exit, crashing out of contention.
Teammate Lorenzo was quick to attack from the grid start, taking third through the first corner then swiftly dealing with Aleix Espargarò for second and beginning the hunt for Marquez. The charge was to be short lived as the Mallorcan struggled to make the harder rear tyre work for him, gradually dropping to take fifth at the line.
Rossis victory brings with it some incredible numbers, bringing Rossis podium tally to 199, 110 of which are victories and 51 of those with Yamaha.
The result puts him on 66 points at the top of the rider standings, six clear of Dovizioso in second. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP also lead the team standings on 103 points and Yamaha lead the constructors standings with 66 points.
Lorenzos fifth place finish delivers 11 points, putting him on a total of 37 in fourth, one point ahead of Marquez.
1st / 41'35.644 / 25 laps
"It's a great victory, we made the right decision and started with the extra hard tyre. When I saw Marc start with the red one I knew that he would try to push at the beginning. I made a great start but on the first corner Iannone pushed me on the outside. Step by step I came back, and when I arrived in second Marc had a little more than four seconds lead. I knew the race was long, so I knew he could have some difficulty. Catching him lap by lap, I could see him far away but coming closer and closer, it was a great taste! I overtook him in braking, but he is a rider who is all or nothing, he touched me in the corner, then he touched me again as I was accelerating, I think he made a mistake and he crashed. It's a shame because it could have been a great fight on the last lap. In three races we have demonstrated we can be competitive everywhere and fight for the championship."
5th / +10.192 / 25 laps
"Honestly, I am very disappointed. I didn't expect to finish in fifth position. I expected to fight at least for the podium. I was was not able to ride as good as Valentino with the hard rear tyre, maybe we needed a softer one to feel better. I didnt feel good and I wasnt able to ride as I wanted. Anyway, we keep getting points and lets see in Jerez if we can be faster. Valentinos race was unbelievable, he was able to go faster than anyone else with the harder tyre, he is in an unbelievable shape."
Massimo Meregalli - Team Director
"Valentino delivered an incredible performance today, a race we wont forget! Its been a challenging weekend but both Vale and Jorge and the whole team have worked hard from the beginning to find solutions and improve the set up of the bikes so I have to thank them all for their efforts. Tyre choice was always going to be critical today and Vale was able to make the hard option work spectacularly to reel in Marc and take the win. He is in top form and proving he is still a real contender for the title fight. Jorge started really well and initially looked to have the pace to contend for the podium. Unfortunately he was not able to get as comfortable as Vale with the harder option but still worked hard to ensure a good points finish. Im confident we will see him at the sharp end in Jerez."
Smith and Espargaro conquer Argentine GP with strong finishes
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith continued his strong form in the 2015 season by expertly speeding to 6th position at round 3 of the MotoGP World Championship in Argentina. The young British rider kicked off his race from 10th position on the grid with the sun beaming down on the track and leapt forward as the lights went out to hold his qualifying position at the close of the first lap. He then ran a series of competitive laps as he sought to glide through the field and storm to a top result. With 15 laps until the end, Smith dived inside Aleix Espargaro to snatch 7th and his determination remained strong as he opened a gap on the pursuing rider. The young Briton carefully maintained his tyres before smoothly continuing his strong pace, greeting the finish flag in 6th position. His solid performance in Argentina confirmed his second consecutive sixth place finish this season and fills him with confidence for the forthcoming European rounds.
Additionally, Pol Espargaro completed a superb run to 8th position in Argentina after producing a driven and determined ride in the challenging race. Starting from 18th on the grid after a tricky qualifying session, the young Spaniard leapt into action and finished the first lap in 13th having expertly passed five riders. The 2014 rookie of the year carried on his fine work as he set into a solid rhythm and overtook Vinales on lap five and then Scott Redding just one lap later. He pushed onwards and clinched 9th position shortly afterwards as he continued his consistent lap times to gap the pursuing riders. He eventually soared across the finish line in 8th, having overtaken ten riders in the 25 lap battle today. His performance marks a positive end to a challenging weekend and now the 23 year old Spaniard looks onwards to the next round at Jerez optimistic of scoring a top finish.
6th / +19.876 / 25 laps
"Today I'm really happy about taking home this 6th position as this is actually better than we expected during some points of the weekend. Before the race, I was still undecided about which compound of rear tyre to use as the tyre life is vital at this track due to the grip issues we have had all week. We made a few changes inbetween the warm up and the race including the decision to go for the hard compound. It was a shame that the first corner didnt go to plan, like it did last week and I wasnt able to go around the outside and make up some places. A few guys got in underneath me who were riding on the racing line, whilst I was on the dirty section of the track. Afterwards, when you lose three or four seconds because of a tricky start like this, its impossible to get back with the leading bikes as the lap times are so similar. However, I will gladly take this result as it confirms my third consistent race finish in the top eight, which is a far better start to the season compared to last year. So now I am looking forward to Jerez with confidence as I can't wait to return to race in Europe in two weeks time."
8th / +27.670
"I can't be disappointed with the result considering where we started. The first few laps were quite positive as I was able to put myself right behind the two Pramac bikes as well as Vinales. However after this, Hernandez bike caught fire right in front of me and I lost a lot of time compared to Brad and my brother. Before he retired, there was oil on the track as well as on my vision so I needed to be careful even though I was sure he would stop sooner or later. By the time he pulled over, the gap to my brother who was in front of me, was already a bit too big. I tried to recover some time on him and Bradley, but it didnt go according to plan. Halfway through the race, I had closed in a bit but then as soon as I realised that I wasnt able to catch them, I decided to stay in my rhythm rather than risk crashing. To go from 18th to 8th is not a bad result as we managed to limit the damage and take home some valuable points. It was clearly not our best race, but Im really looking forward to going back to Europe and competing at the race tracks where I know I am strong."
First points for the team Athinà Forward Racing in Termas de Rio Hondo
Both Athinà Forward Racing riders finished the Termas de Rio Hondo race scoring points. Loris Baz and Stefan Bradl have crossed the line in 14th and 15th position respectively.
Baz, who started 22nd was the protagonist of a good recovery and he collected his first points in MotoGP. The Frenchman, who made his debut in the premier class of motorcycle Grand Prix in Qatar, had a good race pace and was able to reach his direct competitors finishing third in the Open category.
Stefan Bradl finished in 15th position also scoring points. It was a difficult race for the German conditioned by the fact he had no feeling with the electronics especially in the closing laps.
14th / +42.853 / 25 laps
"It was a really good race and I am very satisfied. I struggled in the opening laps with a full tank as I was losing the front and I had to give in different positions. With the passing of laps the feeling improved and I managed to keep a really good pace that allowed me to reach my direct opponents of the Open class. Today I picked up my first points in MotoGP, I am very happy and I have to say thanks to all the guys for their work. In just three races we have reach the goal of scoring points."
15th / +43.037 / 25 laps
"It was not an easy race for me. I am very sorry for the result, I did not have a bad start, but after 10 laps, I started to have problems with the electronics and the tires especially in the fast corners. Up to that point I was fighting for the head of the Open class but then everybody passed me. We have to analyze the data, to understand what happened and get ready for Jerez."