Rossi survives crash with Marquez to win
Seven-time MotoGP World Champion, Valentino Rossi, took his second victory of the season after a somewhat controversial ending to yesterday’s Argentine Grand Prix at Termas de Río Hondo, which saw the Italian clash with defending champion, Marc Marquez, two laps from the end.
Starting from a lowly eighth on the grid, Rossi managed to work his way through field and with less than five laps remaining, had managed to catch up with pole-sitter Marquez, who had build-up a four second lead after easily dispatching the Suzuki of erstwhile leader, Aleix Espargaro.
Lapping almost a second a lap quicker as the tyres on the Repsol Honda faded, Rossi had managed to almost eradicate Marquez’s lead before attempting his first bid at the lead, which resulted in him running wide and handing the top position back to the Spaniard.
A few corners later, Rossi divided down the inside again and although he made the move stick, Marquez attempted the cutback which saw the two make contact. Having managed to stay upright, he then tried to move to the left in an attempt to position himself for the next corner. This decision saw his front wheel come into contact with the rear of Rossi’s Yamaha, launching him over the handlebars and out of the race.
“It’s a shame what happened, because we were having a good race! It was interesting, because our tyre choice was different from Valentino’s as I felt we were not as competitive the harder compound,” the official MotoGP website quoted Marquez as saying.
“On the final laps I went back to riding in the low 1'39s to check that the tyres were still in good shape, and knew that we would be fighting to the end. When he caught me, we fought for a few corners and unfortunately we touched and I crashed. I've always said that he's my idol and my reference, so you always learn things from him”.
Although it was initially reported that the crash would be investigated, race officials eventually ruled it as being a simple racing accident.
Reacting to the crash, Rossi told the website he knew the battle was on as Marquez was unlikely to make it easy for him.
“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,” he said.
Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso finished second while in a dramatic move, LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow managed to steal the finial podium position from the second Ducati of Andrea Iannone on the final corner.
Rossi’s teammate and former champion, Jorge Lorenzo, finished fifth after a quite race, while Monster Tech3 Yamaha rider Bradley Smith came home sixth ahead of Espargaro, his teammate Pol Espargaro, and the second Suzuki of Maverick Vinales.
The next round takes place at Jerez in Spain on May 3rd.
IMAGE sourced from bleacherreport.com
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