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Bezzecchi claims victory in a wet Argentina MotoGP™

Monday, 3 April 2023

Italian Marco Bezzecchi splashed his way to the lead of the MotoGP world championship after a wet-weather masterclass at a sodden Termas de Rio Hondo circuit on Sunday.

Ducati's Marco Bezzecchi took his maiden MotoGP™ race win and P1 in the world championship with a dominant display in treacherous conditions at Termas de Rio Hondo, the Italian taking the lead from pole-sitter Alex Marquez (Ducati) at the opening corner and storming away to win by 4.085secs.

Bezzecchi inherited the lead of the title chase when reigning champion Pecco Bagnaia (Ducati) crashed out of second place with eight laps remaining, with a late-charging Johann Zarco (Ducati) securing second by passing Marquez in the closing stages.


Bagnaia remounted to finish 16th and out of the points. In Saturday's 12-lap Sprint, KTM's Brad Binder scored a stunning win in dry conditions from 15th on the grid; it was a weekend of contrasting fortunes for the South African, as Binder fell twice in the opening two laps of Sunday's feature race and finished last.

Aussie watch

Jack Miller salvaged solid points from a tricky second weekend for KTM, the Australian finishing sixth in Sunday's Grand Prix from a lowly 16th on the grid after qualifying.

The noted wet-weather specialist was cautious in the early stages on Sunday, picking his way methodically through the spray in the early stages to move inside the top 10 on the third lap. Scrapping with Pramac Ducati pair Jorge Martin and Zarco, Miller leapt up the order on lap 17, passing Honda's Alex Rins for seventh, and then inheriting sixth when former teammate Bagnaia fell.

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At the flag, the 28-year-old was 10.562secs behind Bezzecchi after repelling a late charge by Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo, the 2021 world champion finishing half a second behind him.

In Saturday's Sprint, Miller was 10th in a 12-lap dash where teammate Binder, who began behind him, came through for a remarkable victory.

Miller, who fell one spot to sixth place in the world championship standings with 25 points, was Australia's sole representative in all three world championship classes in Argentina, Moto3™ compatriot Joel Kelso sidelined with a broken ankle after his post-race crash in Portugal.

Surprise packet

Yamaha's Franco Morbidelli had his best weekend since finishing on the podium at the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix – 30 races ago – when he finished fourth in both the Sprint and Grand Prix proper at Termas, shining on the circuit's low-grip surface in both wet and dry conditions. The 2020 championship runner-up has struggled for form and fitness since that season, but was a front-runner all weekend, qualifying fourth and finishing in the same position in both races.

Number to know

17: Riders who started the Argentina main race after Honda's Joan Mir withdrew from the weekend with head and neck injuries following a crash in the Sprint; the 2020 world champion became the fifth regular rider to miss the season's second round with injury.

Argentina Motorcycle Grand Prix: top 10

1. Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati) 44mins 28.518secs
2. Johann Zarco (Ducati) +4.085secs
3. Alex Marquez (Ducati) +4.681secs
4. Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha) +7.581secs
5. Jorge Martin (Ducati) +9.746secs
6. Jack Miller (KTM) +10.562secs
7. Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) +11.095secs
8. Luca Marini (Ducati) +13.694secs
9. Alex Rins (Honda) +14.327secs
10. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Ducati) +18.515secs

Riders' championship standings (top 5)

1. Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati) 50 points
2. Pecco Bagnaia (Ducati) 41 points
3. Johann Zarco (Ducati) 35 points
4. Alex Marquez (Ducati) 33 points
5. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) 32 points

What's next?

Round 3: Americas (Circuit of the Americas, Austin), Apr 16