Britain’s Cal Crutchlow has taken victory in today’s farcical Argentinian MotoGP race which began with Jack Miller having a five-row advantage at on the grid and Marc Marquez firstly nerfing Aleix Espargaro off-track and then shoving Valentino Rossi on to the grass which resulted in a crash.
Crutchlow was in a race-long scrap with close friend Miller, Johann Zarco and Alex Rins, and survived an intense onslaught from the Frenchman to take his third-ever premier class victory and becomes the first British man to lead the championship since Barry Sheene in 1979. It is also Honda’s 750th GP win.
Zarco had passed Crutchlow for the lead after Miller went wide into turn 13 and looked like he might make a break but the tenacious Crutchlow didn’t give in, going back past the Monster Yamaha rider with two laps to run and held on for the win.
Marquez was eventually given a penalty for the Rossi incident and finished the race in 18th after crossing the line in sixth place. He went to Rossi’s garage but was given his marching orders by The Doctor’s oppo Uccio Salucci.
Marquez gets told to vaffanculo by Uccio
It was Rins’ first blue riband podium and the Suzuki man did well to hang on after losing the lead to Miller on lap eight, and then fighting back to cross the line with a two-second deficit.
Unfortunately for Crutchlow, the race will be remembered more for Marquez’ antics and the delayed start which would have made a club race director blush.
As the grid formed, the track began to dry rapidly. Tyre decisions were being made back and forth except for poleman Miller who sat on his Pramac Ducati with slicks all round. Team managers began to yap around IRTA chief and man mountain Mike Trimby, and everyone was then pulled off the grid ‘on safety grounds’.
Miller’s team made representations and, after 15 minutes of what can only be described as pissing about, the grid re-formed with the Australian handed a three-row gap to second place as he was the only rider to have made his mind up on tyres when the race had been declared wet.
As Marquez came to his slot, he stalled, bump started it, ignored IRTA officials telling him to go to the pitlane as per the rules, rode the wrong way up the grid and took his place.
He was given a ride through penalty for this misdemeanour which meant he came in from the lead, exited in 19th and commenced a charge up the grid. He was then told to drop a place after shoving Espargaro off the track and then, as he went to pass Rossi, came in too fast, pushed the Yamaha off track and Rossi went down.
Marquez hadn’t quite managed to catch Maverick Vinales at the end despite lapping two seconds faster than anyone else but was then docked 30s for the Rossi incident which promoted the struggling Andrea Dovizioso back to sixth place. Tito Rabat, Andrea Iannone, rookie Hafizh Syahrin and Danilo Petrucci wrapped up the top ten. Scott Redding ended in 12th place for Aprilia.
It was another disaster for Jorge Lorenzo who ran wide on lap one and had to claw his way back from dead last to take one point for 15th. Dani Pedrosa didn’t finish the first lap, crashing after he was pushed wide on to a wet part of the track by Zarco and Bradley Smith went down with seven laps left to run.