MotoGP 2023 – Argentina Results

Saturday qualifying was fascinating, as the risk/reward ratios changed along with track conditions. Alex Marquez and Fabio Quartararo passed through a wet Q1, but the rain quit at the end of the session. Q2 took place under the most difficult conditions possible, a cool track drying on the racing line. The session opened with all 12 riders on rain tires, and Frankie Morbidelli, defining “anomoly,” set the benchmark time, sitting briefly on pole.

The riders entered the pits after their first pass. Nine re-emerged on wets, but three brave souls–Marquez, Bagnaia and Bezzecchi–came out on slicks with their hearts in their throats, slipping and sliding. As the session drew to a close and the track continued to dry, their bravery (which is virtually indistinguishable from stupidity) paid off. All three made it to the front row, with Little Brother claiming his first premier class pole and a shiny new Tissot watch. Bezzecchi claimed P2 and Bagnaia P3. The Ducati lockout of the front row produced dancing in the streets in Borgo Paginale. The entire grid was as nervous as Mike Tyson in a spelling bee waiting to see what the weather would be like on Sunday. There would be, however, the matter of a Sprint race before any of that.

The 12-lap Sprint was, for a little while, somewhat biblical, as the last were briefly first. Early on, it was Morbidelli in P1 for the first time since the Truman administration. The two Mooney VR46 youngsters, Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi, had good starts, swapping paint on the first lap, looking very comfortable on their year-old Ducatis. The big surprise early, mid-race and at the flag was KTM veteran Brad Binder. Starting from P15, he made his way to P3 by Lap 2 and took the lead from Morbidelli on Lap 3. He held off the best that Ducati Corse has to offer to take the win by an eyelash from Bezzecchi, who would have won a 13-lap race, and Marini. Morbidelli managed to salvage P4 in front of polesitter Marquez and series leader Pecco Bagnaia.

Joan Mir, it says here, is already ruing his decision to join Repsol Honda after last season. He barely qualified at all, at the bottom of the last row, and crashed out on Lap 1 before heading for the medical center. He re-injured the ankle he broke last year; if he is unavailable on Sunday, he will join 11 other riders with no chance of winning the 2023 championship. Last year’s Argentine winner, Aleix Espargaro, went walkabout on Lap 8. He was not hurt physically, but the same cannot be said for his championship aspirations. He’s still in the hunt, but appears to have ceded the #1 seat on the factory Aprilia team to #12, our boy Cole Trickle.

Sidebar: I agreed to watch my daughter’s dog for six days, starting Friday. On Saturday, and again on Sunday morning, he evidenced his displeasure at the situation by defecating all over my white sofa and two chairs in the living room. I was up until midnight Saturday night putting a full load of cushion covers through the wash, and had to repeat the process again on Sunday WHILE THE RACE WAS BEING RUN. Accordingly, I had to scramble to catch the news about the race and watch the video. This week’s race report is, unhappily, terrible. As my Jewish forebears say about The Holocaust, “NEVER AGAIN!”

The race took place on a drenched track. Marco Bezzecchi got away early and was never challenged. Franco Morbidelli spent the entire weekend in P4. The two Frenchmen on the grid, Pramac Ducati pilot Johann Zarco and former world champion Fabio Quartararo, rallied furiously late in the race after lackluster starts. Zarco, running in P8 at the end of Lap 7, ended his day on the second step of the podium and was gaining on Bezzecchi at the close of festivities. Quartararo, tagged by Takaa Nakagami early in the race, completed Lap 1 in P16. By the time he saw the checkered flag, he sat in P7. Hats off to both riders, and to Bezz on his first premier class win; he also leads the 2023 title chase after Pecco Bagnaia lowsided out of P2 and into P16 late in the race.

All in all, a forgettable weekend for yours truly. Let’s hope COTA has more excitement and less excrement.

One more thing. Unsurprisingly, the MotoGP Fantasy game is user un-friendly to the max. I spent 15 minutes on Friday changing my picks for the weekend. Last night, I checked in to discover none of the changes had stuck. I’m going to try this one more time, but, seriously, why can’t these guys get it right the first time?

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12 Responses to “MotoGP 2023 – Argentina Results”

  1. Starmag Says:

    Little Brother must be making Antman even more anxious with his high finishes on a second tier Ducati. LB could never beat his bro.

    Who could have seen Morbo and El Diablo swap positions? It’s hard to believe that will last. If backmarker Morbo can ride at the front, what’s El Diablo’s excuse? I think that’s ultimately why there are two riders on a team, I’m sure it cuts down on the sniveling.

    Ducati hadn’t won a championship since Stoner, now they are a third of the grid and the question is will someone get lucky and displace one from the podium. Things can change fast.

    I was skeptical about the sprint races adding a load to the riders they didn’t need, but I must say that was great and fun to watch. With no tire concerns, more balls-to-the-wall.

    Sounds like you had a shitty weekend Bruce. Lol. Always glad to read anything you put up.

    I see Burns landed at the AMA magazine. Lucky them. Unfortunately for me, it’s print only so I can’t heckle and praise him from the cheap seats. I’m sure he’s quite relieved. His new boss is Mitch Boehm, who I also like. Not enough to get me to drop $50 though. I’m cheap like that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • SomeRandomPerson Says:

      Everyone and anyone with championship ambition should be angling for a Ducati seat first, an Aprilia second.
      Would love to see how MM stack up against current Ducati pilots on a Ducati.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Starmag Says:

        Yeah, me and plenty of others as well. I think he’s contracted through 2024, but contracts were made to be broken. If he keeps doing so-so and his brother is near the front we could see him jump ship at the end of this year. Time is not on his side.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Buzz Says:

    Yes. Fantasy is a pain. I actually switched Bezzechi in and would have scored a boat load of points. I even added Cole Trickle. It defaulted back to my original picks.

    I can’t even make it change my name to Buzz. Still showing #2!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Vrooom Says:

    Bruce, once you do your picks you have to save them, there’s a little red button below your picks that says something generally indicative of save, without actually saying that. I’ve made my picks, so it says rollback on mine now. You may just be frustrated by being in second? 🙂 You’ll have first next race. Sorry about the dog incident. The first time since the Truman administration, a new classic. It sure was wet out there, wetter than the floor of the porta potty next to the all night taco stand. Can’t imagine how these guys still drag a knee.


    • SomeRandomPerson Says:

      There was a slo-mo of Bezzecchi dragging elbow during the race. Amazing. The VR-46 academy guys are turning out to be a mafia

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Old MOron Says:

    I think Race Direction is full of shit.
    Did anyone watch Moto3? The slightest contact between riders was deemed “irresponsible riding” and incurred long-lap penalties.
    Then in MotoGP, reckless barging and running people off track incurs “no further action.” What a load of nonsense. I don’t mind if they call it one way or the other. But they must be consistent.


  5. Mad4TheCrest Says:

    I had hoped Pecco was done crashing out of podium positions after his new consistency took the title last year and the first round this year, but classically frustrating Baggy-Eyes showed up again on Sunday. Poor Mir – from champion hero to just about zero in 3 seasons. I hope he and Honda can turn it around.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. dmensch Says:

    Has anyone seen data on tire pressures during
    the Sprint and Race? I’m curious who’ll be in trouble once underpressure has consequences. Side note: how is it that I know more than all the rest of you put together but I’m still lagging in the fantasy league? 😉


  7. Spiff Says:

    You have to save your changes in the fantasy thing. It did exactly what I wanted, and I did horrible. You did nothing, and rocked.


  8. Buzz Says:

    Marquez missing Austin race.


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