2022 MotoGP Argentina, Termas de Rio Hondo – Race Results

Originally posted by Crash. net

Aleix Espargaro makes history with his and Aprilia’s first-ever MotoGP win, in his 200th premier-class start, after a tense race-long duel with Jorge Martin at Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina.

Espargaro had been fastest not only in qualifying but also free practice and warm-up, presenting the Spaniard with a perfect chance to finally break his victory drought.

But when the red lights went out, Espargaro got a shaky getaway and lost out to fellow front-row starters Jorge Martin and Luca Marini, plus younger brother Pol by turn two, before recovering to second behind Martin by the end of the lap.

It also threatened to put Espargaro within range of the pursuing Rins, but the Aprilia rider regrouped with the fastest lap of the race to clamp back onto Martin’s rear wheel.

With 8 laps to go Espargaro slipstreamed ahead of Martin along the back straight to lead for the first time, but promptly ran wide at the following hairpin allowing Martin to casually return to the front.

Espargaro repeated the attempt, with the same result, soon after. But it was a case of third time lucky as Espargaro held his line into the hairpin with five laps to go.

Martin wasn’t done, clinging persistently to the RS-GP until the final lap, where Espargaro finally edged out of reach for an emotional victory. 

Until today, Aleix had been the only rider on the MotoGP grid without a grand prix win, in any class, to his name while the RS-GP had taken just one prior podium,with Espargaro at Silverstone last year. A dream day was made complete by Espargaro now also leading the world championship standings.

Pol was among those flocking to congratulate Aleix, his brother’s triumph helping soothe the disapointment of crashing out of fourth place with 11 laps to go, leaving Rins to complete the podium ahead of Suzuki team-mate Joan Mir.

Starting 13th and 14th after a problematic Saturday, factory Ducati team-mates Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller failed to gain early ground. Bagnaia then chipped his way up the order to fifth but Miller couldn’t make an impression on the race and finished 14th.

Maverick Vinales, who had also enjoyed his best Aprilia weekend heading into the race, lost a few places from fifth on the grid before stabilising in seventh.

Reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo was shuffled from sixth on the grid to 13th in the early laps. The Monster Yamaha star gained a place when countryman Johann Zarco slid off ahead of him, but could only recover to eighth.

Marco Bezzecchi was the top rookie in ninth for VR46, with team-mate Marini fading to eleventh.

Qatar winner and world championship leader Enea Bastianini began the race twelfth on the grid, reached a peak of eighth, but then ran wide and dropped to 13th. Bastianini completed the top ten by the chequered flag.

The RNF Yamaha team seemed to suffer tyre warmer generator problems on the grid for both Andrea Dovizioso and Darryn Binder. Dovizioso then entered the pits at the end of the opening lap before re-joining the race.

Dovizioso wasn’t the only Yamaha rider in technical trouble with Monster’s Franco Morbidelli looking to suffer some kind of rear tyre issue as he entered the pits with 18 laps to go.

All riders chose to race with the hard front and soft rear tyre combination.

Marc Marquez, who suffered a new episode of double vision in the aftermath of his huge warm-up accident in Indonesia, missed this weekend’s event and was replaced by HRC test rider Stefan Bradl.

After a medical check last Monday, Marquez’s Ophthalmologist Dr Sánchez Dalmau said there had been a “a very favourable evolution in the paralysis of the fourth right nerve affected by the fall that occurred at the Indonesian Grand Prix.”

But he added: “Recovery is not yet complete, and Marc Marquez must follow the established therapeutic regime with conservative treatment.”

It is thus not yet known if Marquez will return for COTA next weekend, one of his most successful circuits, or re-join sometime during the European season, which begins in Portimao on April 22-24.

Fellow Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami also looked set to miss this weekend after testing positive for Covid-19 and being unable to leave Japan. However, the cancellation of Friday combined with subsequent negative Covid results meant Nakagami was able to get to Termas in time for Saturday’s start.

MotoGP was returning to Termas de Rio Hondo for the first time since March 2019, with the event cancelled for the past two years due to the Covid pandemic. That also meant the current ‘standard’ rear tyre construction, introduced in 2020, had not previously been used at the track.

Barring any freight issues, MotoGP will be back on track in Austin, Texas on Friday.

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25 Responses to “2022 MotoGP Argentina, Termas de Rio Hondo – Race Results”

  1. Starmag Says:

    Good race, but not great. Kudos to Aleix and Aprilia. My picks of Antman, Baggy, and El Diablo look spectacularly wrong at this point, but it’s a long schedule, so we’ll see. The top three in the championship have no proven consistency, and hence little chance to be near the top at the end. 4-6 Bins, El Diablo, and Mir do.

    Antman may indeed be toast. I hope he proves me wrong, but sadly I think at the least the days of wild front end saves are gone for good. Tis a shame.

    Whoever it was, that was one of the wildest get offs I think I’ve ever seen in the Moto 2 highlights.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paulevalence Says:

      If you could do 3 new picks today, at this point in the season, who would you choose? I still feel like there’s no clear choice based on the results of these first 3 rounds

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bruce Allen Says:

        I never would have made these picks before the start of the season. The 2022 podium will include Aleix, Mir and The Beast.

        Like

      • Starmag Says:

        Hi Paul, I like your comments, glad you are here.

        Antman, despite his injuries is Mr. Consistency, and Baggy finished the season strong, even though Baggy hadn’t shown consistency up until then. El Diablo, despite early flashes of brilliance, showed his first season of consistency last year and became champ. I thought those for 123 would be safe picks. lol. Little did I know.

        A new 123 is tough. El Diablo is seriously complaining about the new Yamaha, as is Baggy about the new Ducati, even though someone else has won with a satellite version of it. Antman has taken a horrific beating from his high siding Honda and it’s hard to watch as a fan of his. Arg and Cota are a couple of his favorite tracks to make up for those that are not, and it looks like he will miss both.

        I make a point about consistancy because that is what wins championships. Nicky Hayden won one with only two wins and Mir with only one. I was really hoping he would have won it with no wins to really drive the point home. Good luck picking a top 3 from the currrent top 10, Mir and El Diablo are the only ones who have proven consistency in the current top 10. Maybe MO as a wild card?:

        1

        41
        Aleix
        Espargaro
        Aprilia Racing Aprilia 45
        2

        33
        Brad
        Binder
        Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 38
        3

        23
        Enea
        Bastianini
        Gresini Racing MotoGP™ Ducati 36
        4

        42
        Alex
        Rins
        Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 36
        5

        20
        Fabio
        Quartararo
        Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ Yamaha 35
        6

        36
        Joan
        Mir
        Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 33
        7

        88
        Miguel
        Oliveira
        Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 28
        8

        5
        Johann
        Zarco
        Pramac Racing Ducati 24
        9

        89
        Jorge
        Martin
        Pramac Racing Ducati 20
        10

        44
        Pol
        Espargaro

        Like

    • Spff Says:

      The Moto2 get off when he smoked the tire? If so, yeah that was cool.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Old MOron Says:

    I wish they would talk more about the engineer/technician that Aprilia stole from Ducati this year. Recall that Ducati only turned its fortunes around after they stole Gigi Dall’Ignia from Aprilia a few years ago.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Buzz Says:

    What a total shocker. Really enjoyed watching Martin and Espargaro duel at the front. Heads need to roll at Yamaha. I’m sure Fabio is totally frustrated right now.

    It looks like Austin will be a total toss up with 93 most likely sitting it out. I’ll be at the track all weekend.

    In other racing news: I couldn’t be happier for my friend Ron Capps winning his first NHRA Funny Car event in Las Vegas as a team owner. It was his 69th career win but 1st as a team owner and I’m sure he will remember it forever.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. paulevalence Says:

    I enjoyed the race. Aleix definitely earned the win, as Martin did not give it up easily. Well done, congratulations Aprilia

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vrooom Says:

    Was surprised Marini fell back so far after doing so well in qualifying. Enea was way down too, surprising. I’ve been a big Aleix fan for a long time, it’s taken years to pay off, but to see him leading the championship as well is miraculous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bruce Allen Says:

      Hey y’all. Sorry I punked out on this round. My daughter was in from Seattle and had me doing stuff wall to wall all weekend,. I was exhausted once she lieft, couldn’t even watch the race. I’m using the blog just to record events so I can do the mid-season article on MO with some authority. The obvious headline this week was Aleix and Aprilia, plus future Alien Jorge Martin. I’ll do better next week.

      Like

  6. Mad4TheCrest Says:

    Couldn’t be happier for Aleix. Maybe he will be the exception to Burgess’s Rule (“If X hasn’t done it by now, X never will”).

    Disappointed in the results of my team – Bagnaia, Mir, and Miller, but Mir does seem to be trying, and Baggy showed signs of revival. I don’t know what’s wrong with Jack-o, but if it’s due to an issue within the factory Ducati setup, then if it gets fixed Miller might turn around.

    Over in Moto2 two out of the three American racers did ok, finishing in the top 16. The third, SDK, is getting a harsh baptism in this meat grinder of a class.

    Finally just want to say I like that track. Nice layout and it made for interesting racing.

    Like

  7. Spiff Says:

    Good on Aleix and Aprilla, in that order. Aleix always put in 100%, nice to see Aprilla step up.

    Also, it is nice to see MotoGP as competitive as it is. Quality guys on competitive equipment. No longer the days where only 3 guys have a chance.

    Random thoughts:

    I would like to see Miller have a go on a KTM.

    I think Marquez needs to be careful. I figured he would wreck in the first two laps, not warm up. Bikes can be replaced, his body can’t. (A week old.)

    Dovi needs to relax, and begin again. He is waaay to good for his present form.

    Last, would you rather be on be on a year old Ducati, new Suzuki, or new Yamaha?

    Like

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