Facebooktwittermail

The 2019 Argentina MotoGP race was stellar with Marc Marquez proving to be unstoppable once again. He was on form as soon as the lights went out and did not stop chasing greatness. Impressive, calculated and a 9.8 second gap is the Spanish Ant performed at Argentina GP. With overnight rain although no droplets during the race, Marquez sealed a 45th career win and also leaves the South American soil with 45 points which is quite the achievement. The spaniard is on track to challenging for another World Title even when the competition is close.

Credit: Repsol Honda MotoGP Team

Marquez: “Today was a perfect day. I have been so concentrated since FP1 and everything worked well, just a tiny hiccup in FP4. But we kept pushing, pushing and in the race I knew that my strongest point was the first five laps. I put everything in and then I saw the difference, one second, two seconds, three seconds and then I settled into my rhythm and pushed a little less. I managed the tyres and the bike, it was a really sweet feeling with the bike.” As with any MotoGP season, when Marquez knows the bike is hitting the sweet spot, he is very hard to beat both mentally and on track with race pace that reflects his strengths on board the Honda machine.

Credit: Repsol Honda MotoGP Team

On the other side of the garage, it was a race to forget for Jorge Lorenzo who hit the pit limiter and the bike stopped. Talk about disaster in more ways than one. Lorenzo was fast in warm up and when he realised the limiter was on, it was all too late. He fought hard for points and is looking forward to starting fresh in Austin, Texas. The same can be said for Cal Crutchlow who suffered a harsh penalty for an apparent jump start. If you analyse the footage, you can see it was ever so slight though he received a ride through penalty which sent his weekend in to meltdown mode. What could have been a podium finished ended with sadness and anger. Crutchlow: “First of all I want to thank my team for a great weekend and a positive race pace, I think we showed today that we would have been able to fight for the podium and probably would have had a good, safe second place. But we didn’t, the stewards said that I jumped the start, which I completely disagree with, as do my team, and we’re disappointed with this ride through penalty. But we accept the situation, we had to do a ride through and then I rode the best job that I could for the rest of the race with a good pace. Now I have to continue to look forward to Texas where we’ll plan to do another good race.” If you were race direction, what would you have done?

Credit: Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team

Lucio Cecchinello (LCR Honda Team Manager) was baffled. He was disappointed with the decision and did not hold back on his thoughts. Some are saying that it was Rossi or Marquez making the mistake, the penalty would not have been handed down. Cecchinello: “I am absolutely disappointed with what the Race Direction have done with us today. The penalty that Cal got was tremendously hard and his movement at the start was irrelevant, really irrelevant. We’re talking about 1.5 or 2 centimetres, it’s really nothing. However, we cannot do very much, all we can do is put forward our opinion at the next committee meeting that the penalty for this kind of infringement is far too hard. There is no relation between the potential gain of a couple of a centimetres compared to the 30-second penalty you get doing a ride through. So we are really disappointed, but we have to look forward and I can’t wait to be in Texas.”

Credit: Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team

Turning to the red garage, the grip for Mission Winnow Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso dropped off quickly and he ended up losing out to Valentino Rossi who darted underneath him for second place. It has been a long time since the Italian Doctor was successful at a race event and the smile of happiness was brighter than ever. It was the recovery ride Rossi needed to get back on track. We are happy for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider because fans around the world thought his career might be coming to a close. However, the master showcased his ability to go hard when it is required and confidence is key. Rossi: “It’s been a long time – since Sachsenring last year – that I’ve been on the podium. This second place is especially satisfying, because at the last two races last year, Malaysia and Valencia, I was lying in first and second place, but I made some mistakes. Finishing the championship like that was very difficult to accept, so also for this reason this result is so important for me, my team, and Yamaha, after a difficult period. I’m so happy! I tried to stay in front, because I expected to be faster, but today with the increased temperatures I struggled a bit more. Dovi stayed in front of me and rode a very good race with a good pace. We were able to break away from the guys behind us and be on our own. In that moment I knew I had to be very precise on braking to take second place, without making any mistake of even 1cm, else Dovi would pass me again. At that moment I was riding good, I entered very fast. I’m happy because, first of all, overtaking on the last lap is always special, and also because I did very good on braking.”

Credit: Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team

The overall Yamaha package was on point as opposed to Maverick Vinales who felt his bike was lacking in performance. Vinales: “When the bike is there, I’m always in the top-3.” How do you weigh up the incident that took place between Vinales and Franco Morbidelli, we think it was bad timing and just unlucky.

Credit: Alma Pramac MotoGP Team

The better luck was with Jack Miller in Argentina who finished fourth and with a happy Alma Pramac MotoGP team by his side. Miller celebrated in Parc Ferme as the 1st Independent rider and kept calm, cool and collected the entire race. It is a nice change to see the Australian push past the adversity of 2018 and come forward to collect key points even beating factory rider Danilo Petrucci. Miller: “I am obviously satisfied with the result we achieved in Argentina, although I may have lacked some experience. I fought a lot with Petrucci and Morbidelli and this duel made me lose contact with the riders in front. All thing considered it’s okay because today we have learned a lot. We are working very well and for this I thank the team”.

Credit: Alma Pramac MotoGP Team 

All round it was a positive weekend for the Alma Pramac MotoGP team with Francesco Bagnaia finishing in fourteenth position which is positive considering his rookie status. Both riders are looking forward to Austin, Texas which is a Marquez dominated track though anything can happen with two wheel racing!

Ride of the day goes to Alex Rins who went from the back of the pack to finishing in fifth position. As the track temperatures rose to 41oC, Rins was determined to show improved pace and did not stop pushing. He is a highly motivated rider in general which is a positive attribute to have as a young rider in amongst a competitive grid. Riding smoothly and staying focused allowed the Spaniard to make zero mistakes. Regardless of how slippery and tricky the circuit was, pushing to recover was the key ingredient that sent Rins in to points and to celebrate a top five finish. It is no easy task to manage tyres and pick the correct compounds to ensure the ratio of success is higher than losing out. Michelin did a wonderful job in preparing the tyres and brought a full range of rear symmetric tyres which was something they had never carried out before. The consistency with the tyres was a clear indicator that the French outfit are living up to the demands of competitive racing. By having three manufacturers on the podium, Michelin are demonstrating the level of MotoGP in the year 2019 and how often the results are forever changing from one event to the next. Next up is Texas, so where does Marquez go from here: is it domination, disaster or a new winner waiting to be crowned!

About The Author

Myanna has an incredible grasp and knowledge of the sport in detail and continues to secure lead stories every week. She is in constant contact with team and rider media management. She is an admitted lawyer with two degrees and is currently writing a biography on Alan Jones MBE 1980 F1 World Champion. She is a fond lover of two wheel motorsport, predominantly MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3.