Argentina MotoGP: Bezzecchi takes maiden win following sprint race podium

    With Johann Zarco finishing second and Alex Marquez third, the podium was an independent Ducati lockout.

    Published On Apr 03, 2023 11:34:00 AM

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    The 2023 Argentina MotoGP race saw Marco Bezzecchi take his maiden victory following a second-place finish in Saturday's sprint race. 2022 World Champion and fellow VR46 Riders Academy stablemate, Francesco Bagnaia, crashed in the closing stages of the race while running second and has now dropped to second in the championship standings. 

    1. Resurgent Morbidelli finishes fourth for Yamaha
    2. Zarco second after late charge 
    3. Aprilia duo fade away during wet race despite early promise

    Independent Ducatis lock out podium, Bagnaia crashes

    The podium-finishing trio of Bezzecchi, Alex Marquez and Johann Zarco were all on independent Ducati machinery, with only Pramac’s Zarco on the latest GP23-spec bike. This cements Ducati’s position as one of the strongest and most consistent constructors on the grid. Zarco impressed in particular, with him leading a late charge from eighth, and overcoming a near 4-second deficit to Alex Marquez and Morbidelli in the last few laps, to climb up the order and take the chequered flag in the second place.  

    While its bikes were dominating the track, factory Ducati rider Bagnaia lost the front end during the closing laps of the race while lapping in second place and thus conceding his championship lead to Bezzecchi. He eventually rejoined and finished in 16th place. There were no points to be had for the factory Ducati Lenovo team, with Enea Bastianini not competing due to an injury sustained the previous weekend. 

    Factory Yamaha resurgence, Aprilias fade in wet race

    With Franco Morbidelli qualifying as well as finishing both the main and sprint races in fourth place, it marked a return to form for the Italian, who had been struggling to finish in the top 10 for much of last season. 2021 World Champion Fabio Quartararo was involved in an incident with LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami, which saw the Frenchman run wide and lose precious positions in the opening few corners of the race. Despite rejoining at the back of the 17 rider strong pack, Quartararo managed to cross the finish line in seventh place.   

    Factory Aprilia duo Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro, who on Friday (during dry conditions) were two of the fastest riders on the grid, were unable to translate that into a podium finish during a wet race. With Miguel Oliveira out due to an injury sustained the previous weekend, RNF Aprilia’s sole rider on the grid, Raul Fernandez, finished 14th, just ahead of Espargaro. Meanwhile, Espargaro, who last year on this very circuit took Aprilia’s first-ever win in the modern MotoGP era, finished 15th, taking just one point. 

    Topsy-turvy weekend for KTM

    On Saturday, factory KTM rider Brad Binder took victory in the sprint race despite starting from 15th on the grid. But an opening lap incident during the main race saw him crash out and eventually rejoin to cross the line in 17th place. Fellow KTM teammate Jack Miller, despite starting on the last row of the grid in 16th place, managed to bring home his RC16 in sixth place. The sole rookie in the MotoGP class this year, Augusto Fernandez, battled with Quartararo and the factory Aprilia duo for much of the race before finally finishing 11th.

    2023 MotoGP championship standings

    With Bezzechhi’s dominant victory on Sunday and a second place finish in the sprint race on Saturday, he now leads the World Championship ahead of Bagnaia and Zarco. Morbidelli’s strong performance throughout the weekend sees him take ninth place in the standings, just ahead of teammate Quartararo.

    Up next on the calendar is the Grand Prix of the Americas, with MotoGP heading to COTA (Circuit of the Americas) on April 14-16.

    2023 Argentina MotoGP results   

    2023 Argentina MotoGP results
    PositionRiderTeam
    1Marco BezzecchiVR46 Ducati
    2Johann ZarcoPramac Ducati
    3Alex MarquezGresini Ducati
    4Franco MorbidelliMonster Energy Yamaha
    5Jorge MartinPramac Ducati
    6Jack MillerRed Bull KTM
    7Fabio QuartararoMonster Energy Yamaha
    8Luca MariniVR46 Ducati
    9Alex RinsLCR Honda
    10Fabio Di GiannantonioGresini Ducati
    11Augusto FernandezGASGAS Tech3
    12Maverick VinalesAprilia Racing
    13Takaaki NakagamiLCR Honda
    14Raul FernandezRNF Aprilia
    15Aleix EspargaroAprilia Racing
    16Francesco BaganaiaDucati Lenovo
    17Brad BinderRed Bull KTM

    Also see:

    Portuguese MotoGP: Unstoppable Bagnaia wins main and sprint races

    Where to watch MotoGP in India

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