Aleix Espargaro brings Aprilia their first MotoGP victory at Argentina GP | The Financial Express

Aleix Espargaro brings Aprilia their first MotoGP victory at Argentina GP

Not only was this the first MotoGP victory for the team, but also for the Spaniard. Jorge Martin and Alex Rins took the other two spots on the podium.

Aleix Espargaro brings Aprilia their first MotoGP victory at Argentina GP

The race at Termas de Rio Hondo was a special one for Aprilia. This was Aleix Espargaro’s 200th MotoGP race and after a fantastic Qualifying session, he was starting in pole position. The Spaniard also managed to cross the finish line first in the race on Sunday, making it his first-ever win in MotoGP. This was also Aprilia’s first victory in the premier class. After the results at the Argentina GP, there have been nine different podium finishers in the first three races of the season.

The 25-lap race in Argentina got off to a flying start with Jorge Martin quickly springing up to P1. Marc Marquez was missing in action for the second consecutive race following his horrific crash in Indonesia. This left Repsol Honda with just one contender in the race, Pol Espargaro. He had a spicy start, veering all the way from left to right, allowing him a chance to grab P2 but he could not quite manage to pull it off.

Defending world champion Fabio Quartararo started the race in P6 but was struggling to keep up. He quickly found himself in P9 followed by Brad Binder and Enea Bastianini. Andrea Dovizioso had a bad start as he had to visit the pit lane even before the first two laps were done. The Italian got back into the race after a little while but only managed to finish last in P20. Four riders out of the 24 could not complete their race.

Jorge Martin of Parmac Racing was the closest contender to Espargaro and after having led the majority of the race, finished second. It was a good day for the Suzuki factory team as well. Alex Rins finished on the podium with Joan Mir in P4. This result has propelled them to the top of the Teams’ Championship. Having started in 7th position, Alex Rins steadily climbed the pecking order and grabbed his first podium of the season.

Johan Zarco was the first person to crash in the race. The Frenchman found himself out of grip coming into Turn 2 of Lap 5. It must have been heartbreaking especially since he had overtaken Quartararo just a few turns before that. Within the next two laps, Franco Morbidelli had to retire due to the rear tyre on his Yamaha R1 being punctured. Turn 2 took another victim in Lap 15 and it was the younger Espargaro this time. He had a good pace and could have finished in the top 6 in all probability. Late in the race, we also saw Gresini Racing’s Fabio Di Giannantonio crash at Turn 5.

Championship leader Bastianini found himself in the middle of the pack and there was not much that he could do about it. He finished the race in P10 and just managed to score some points. However, this knocked him out of the top spot in the Riders Championship. Luca Marini, Francesco Bagnaia and Brad Binder found themselves fighting for 5th place for most of the race. The KTM and Ducati we so close together that they even managed to make contact at one point. Marini could not keep up with this fight and eventually slipped back and finished the race just outside the top 10. His teammate Marco Bezzecchi, however, showed some late-race pace and finished the race in P9.

The battle for pole was rather interesting, the two top riders running away with more the one second between them and the rest of the pack. Lap 10 saw Aleix make a few mistakes that increased the gap between him and the race leader. However, on the very next lap, the Aprilia man got his act together and managed to even set the fastest lap. Aleix made a move in Lap 18 and got ahead of the race leader but was overtaken again at the very next corner. Viewers got a sense of déjà vu as the leading duo made the same overtake move in Lap 20 as well. I, however, got flashbacks of a similar scenario in the opening race of Formula One in Bahrain. Finally, in Lap 21, Aleix managed to properly take the lead from Martin and started to open the gap between him and the Ducati rider. However, Martin was not ready to give up his position and was biting at his heels.

It was an emotional moment for the Aprilia team and for Aleix Espargaro, who would go down in history as the first man to achieve pole position in an Aprilia in MotoGP. Team Suzuki Ecstar seems to be the most consistent performer in the races so far and has got a very fast bike at their hands. Except for Brad Binder, all other KTMs were struggling to match the showing they had in the last race.

2022 MotoGP: Argentian GP results (Top 10)

1Aleix EspargaroAprilia Racing41’36.198
2Jorge MartinPramac Racing+0.807
3Alex RinsTeam Suzuki Ecstar+1.33
4Joan Mir Team Suzuki Ecstar +1.831
5Francesco BagnaiaDucati Lenovo Team+5.84
6Brad BinderRed Bull KTM Factory Racing+6.192
7Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing +6.54
8Fabio QuartararoMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGP+10.215
9Marco BezzecchiMooney VR46 Racing Team+12.622
10Enea BastianiniGresini Racing MotoGP+12.987

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