Motorcycling: Marquez shines in Argentina rain

Katrina Barker
April 11, 2018

Cal Crutchlow won a damp and chaotic Argentine MotoGP race on Sunday to become the first Briton to lead the top category of grand prix motorcycling since the late Barry Sheene almost 40 years ago.

Earlier, the MotoGP warm-up and the support races had taken place on a gradually drying track, but it was soaked again ahead of the main event, with all riders - except for Miller - lining up on wets on the grid.

As more and more abandoned their grid slots and began to queue up at pitlane exit, Miller was soon left as the only rider on the grid. The race start was also delayed, leading to some incredible scenes. All the riders on the grid except Miller were running on wet-spec motorcycles. However, considering the fact that virtually all of the riders were starting from the pit-lane, the race officials made a decision to delay the start and send all back to the grid in the name of safety. There was an impromptu meeting between the racing officials and team managers to decide on how to start the race without affecting Miller's advantage.

Tito Rabat will start from his best qualifying position in MotoGP today, from fourth position on the grid, with Suzuki's Alex Rins alongside him on fifth spot.

The drama though hadn't ended. It can happen, it's racing.

Frenchman Johann Zarco finished a close second for Tech3 Yamaha after a last lap battle for the lead while Honda's reigning world champion Marc Marquez was penalized for a collision with Yamaha's Italian great Valentino Rossi.

With six laps to go, Miller had a major moment at Turn 13 and gave up the lead to Crutchlow and dropped back from the lead battle. However, his joy was short lived as he was awarded a drive-through penalty for not starting the race from the pit lane and delaying the start. Marquez, riding like a raging bull, was making swift progress and nearly knocked out Aleix Espargaro while passing him on Turn 13. "When he was seeing that situation - you can imagine, when you're on the starting grid, and you have 20 riders behind with engines on, you want to be in the same position". Miller was coming under tremendous pressure and he finally buckled entering Turn 1, where he nearly lost the front of the bike, but somehow managed to stay on the motorcycle.

After the formation lap though, all the teams and riders chose to switch to slicks owing to the fact that the circuit had dried up. If all the riders race like this, this will become a very unsafe sport and it will finish in a bad way.

Marquez was handed a 30-second penalty in Sunday's Argentina Grand Prix for hitting Rossi as he tried to overtake on a corner, sending the 39-year-old Italian skidding to the floor on his Yamaha. The MotoGP legend was visibly furious, but somehow managed to rejoin the race in 19th place. After being hit with a ride-through penalty for delaying the start as he dropped down to 19th position, Marquez was then forced to drop down a place having run into the back of Alexis Espargaro.

Marquez and Rossi have, in the past, shared a fractious relationship due to multiple on-track controversies and the two clashed yet again at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina on Thursday.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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