2019 MotoGP
Round Two – Argentina

With Boris Mihailovic

In terms of the championship, the Argentine round can be whittled down to: “Marquez qualified on pole, led the race from start to finish, lapping a second faster than everyone else, then bathed in supermodels, the end”.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Marquez Flag
Marc Marquez

But of course it was much more interesting than that – even though it was all happening sometimes as much as 12-seconds behind the World Champion, who responded to the frantic waving of Alberto Puig on the pit-wall to slow down, and then ended up winning by almost 10 seconds anyway.

Into Turn One off the start it was Marquez, Dovizioso, Jack Miller and Valentino Rossi, who had shown some admirable pace in Qualifying to get himself into fourth on the grid.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Start

True to form, Vinales turned his second spot on the grid into rubbish, managed to squeeze into fourth by the end of Lap One then drifted back into a less stressful eighth, where he had to work hard for most of the race until Morbidelli put him out of his misery two laps before the end by ramming him.

Lorenzo, who tried very hard to wedge his still-healing body into 12th on the grid, pressed all the wrong buttons on his new bike, bogged the start, and was racing Plastic Iannone for dead-last by the end of the first lap.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Friday Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo

Crutchlow also fluffed the start by getting all twitchy and was awarded a ride-through penalty. The rules say you don’t move when the red lights come on. Crutchlow says he was “balancing”, but the footage shows he was rolling forward before the lights went out. I understand his team is still looking for bits of the pit garage he threw into the river after the race.

Miller did great, and showed some serious flair at the beginning of the race, passing Rossi and Vinales, while Morbidelli was also noticed by people who notice these things.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina QP Miller
Jack Miller

All eyes were on Rossi as early as Lap Three, by which stage Marquez was more than three-seconds clear, and the cameras only returned to the Spaniard maybe three times during the entire race. Rossi and Dovizioso were all the rage.

Miller engaged with Morbidelli in some serious bump-and-grind action, and bit by bit, the two Italians ahead of them started to eke out a gap.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Rossi Dovizioso Tight
Valentino Rossi

It was not a big gap, but when the top 20 riders are separated in Practice by about a second, a gap’s a gap.

And so began the race for second place.

Dovi’s Ducati would hose Rossi down the back straight and the main straight, but Rossi was demonstrably faster through some of the corners and would block-pass Dovi like a guillotine whenever he saw a chance.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Dovizioso Rossi Morbidelli Petrucci Miller
Andrea Dovizioso

Petrucci moved himself up to engage with Miller and Morbidelli, but Morbidelli wasn’t having any of that and shoved his rookie sass right back at the hairy one.

The commentators observed the “new” Vinales was much like the old Vinales. I agreed, and wished that one day he would be like the old old Vinales.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Vinales Miller Rins
Maverick Vinales

Rins was having a great day out on his Suzuki and got past Miller for sixth, while Petrucci and Morbidelli slapped at each other for fourth and fifth.

Marquez was now more than 11-seconds clear.

Rins moved into fifth, which was hugely impressive after having started in 16th place. His telemetry indicates he’s very sparing on his tyres, and he’s clearly got his head around the GSX-RR.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Rins
Alex Rins

Towards the end of the race Rossi had wedged himself onto Dovizioso’s back wheel and was stalking him with intent. His Yamaha did not have the straight-line grunt the Ducati had, so it was going to come down to testicle-size, rat-cunning, and block-passing – all of which The Doctor has Masters degrees in.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Rossi Dovizioso
Valentino Rossi

And he and Dovi are old rivals. And because they are old rivals, Rossi has always had the mental edge on his Italian mate. As good as Dovi is, and he is very good, Rossi has had his measure time and again when they are on relatively equal machinery.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Dovizioso Rossi
2019 MotoGP – Round Two – Argentina

And so it came to pass – if you’ll pardon the pun. A block pass at Turn Seven on the last lap and Rossi sailed into a well-deserved second-place ahead of Andrea.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Rossi Celebrate
Valentino Rossi

Miller was an endless two-seconds behind Dovi for a solid fourth, which he would have been defending against Rins if the race was a lap or two longer.

Nakagami managed to get gapped by Petrucci for seventh, while Quartararo has also indicated his future intentions by coming eighth.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Miller Team
Jack Miller

The unforgiving Termas Di Rio Hondo gravel welcomed Tito Rabat, Morbidelli, Vinales, Abraham and Mir.

Crutchlow, despite his ride-through penalty, maced Iannone (who finished last), Syahrin, Bagnaia, and Zarco, who seems to have given up on life.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Friday Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow

Lorenzo lumbered home in 12th but has promised to do better by the time they all get to Spain.

We can only hope.

Because Marquez will win at the Circuit of the Americas next round. It’s a given. The others might just as well sit it out.

MotoGP Rnd Argentina Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

I’m kidding. They won’t. And that’s why I love them.

2019 MotoGP – Round Two – Argentina
Race Results

Pos Rider Team Time
1. Marquez M. Repsol Honda 41:43.688
2. Rossi V. Movistar Yamaha +9.816
3. Dovizioso A. Ducati Team +10.530
4. Miller J. Alma Pramac Racing +12.140
5. Rins A. Team Suzuki Ecstar +12.563
6. Petrucci D. Ducati Team +13.750
7. Nakagami T. LCR Honda +18.160
8. Quartararo F. Petronas Yamaha SRT +20.403
9. Espargaro A. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +25.292
10. Espargaro P. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +25.679
11. Oliveira M. KTM Tech3 Racing +25.855
12. Lorenzo J. Repsol Honda +27.497
13. Crutchlow C. LCR Honda +31.398
14. Bagnaia F. Alma Pramac Racing +32.893
15. Zarco J. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +33.372
16. Syahrin H. KTM Tech3 Racing +35.545
17. Iannone A. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +38.238
DNF Vinales M. Movistar Yamaha DNF
DNF Morbidelli F. Petronas Yamaha SRT DNF
DNF Mir J. Team Suzuki Ecstar DNF
DNF Abraham K. Reale Avintia Racing DNF
DNF Rabat T. Reale Avintia Racing DNF
MotoGP Rnd Argentina Podium Marquez Rossi Dovizioso
2019 MotoGP – Round Two – Argentina
Race Results

MotoGP Championship Points

Pos Driver Team Points
1. Marquez Marc Repsol Honda Team 45
2. Dovizioso Andrea Ducati Team 41
3. Rossi Valentino Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 31
4. Rins Alex Team Suzuki Ecstar 24
5. Petrucci Danilo Ducati Team 20
6. Crutchlow Cal LCR Honda 19
7. Nakagami Takaaki LCR Honda 16
8. Miller Jack Alma Pramac Racing 13
9. Espargaro Aleix Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 13
10. Espargaro Pol Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 10
11. Vinales Maverick Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 9
12. Quartararo Fabio Petronas Yamaha SRT 8
13. Mir Joan Team Suzuki Ecstar 8
14. Lorenzo Jorge Repsol Honda Team 7
15. Oliveira Miguel KTM Tech3 Racing 5
16. Morbidelli Franco Petronas Yamaha SRT 5
17. Iannone Andrea Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2
18. Bagnaia Francesco Alma Pramac Racing 2
19. Zarco Johann Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 2
20. Syahrin Hafizh KTM Tech3 Racing 0
21. Abraham Karel Reale Avintia Racing 0
22. Rabat Tito Reale Avintia Racing 0
23. Smith Bradley Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 0
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