MotoGP: Aleix Espargaro Takes his Maiden MotoGP Victory of his Career in the Argentinian Grand Prix
In his 200th premier class start Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro took the Italian Manufacturer’s Maiden MotoGP Victory at Termas De Rio Hondo
As the bikes lined up on the grid, all the riders were unanimous with their tyre selection with a hard front and soft rear. Aleix Espargaro started from pole position ahead of Jorge Martin and Luca Marini.
The lights went out and it was Jorge Martin who took the holeshot into turn one with Aleix and his brother Pol Espargaro side-by-side in turn one with Alex Rins from the third row just behind.
Martin pulled a huge gap by turn five over the Aprilia, Marini had recovered to third, championship leader Enea Bastianini was in 13th and ahead of him was Pecco Bagnaia.
Takaaki Nakagami who at the start of the week looked to be out of the race due to COVID had a great start from 11th and managed to move his way up to sixth by the end of lap one.
Pol and Marini swapped third place throughout turns seven, eight and nine with the Repsol Honda rider coming out on top.
By lap five World Champion Fabio Quartararo was down in 13th place! The Frenchman stated before the weekend that the circuit is not one of his favourites and it was showing. Ahead of his was compatriot Johann Zarco who unfortunately fell victim to turn two which had caught out a lot of riders this weekend.
Martin and Aleix had pulled a gap over Pol in third who was under pressure from Rins who was searching for his first podium since the British Grand Prix last year. Pol then made a mistake at turn seven and he was able to put the Suzuki inside the top three.
Franco Morbidelli and Andrea Dovizioso had retired due to technical problems with their Yamaha M1’s; it was looking like a disasterous day for the Iwata Factory.
On lap ten, Aleix made two big mistakes at turn one and five running wide onto the dirty parts of the track and gave Martin an one second gap, but he quickly closed that down within the next three laps, setting the fastest laps of the race.
Maverick Vinales was having his best race of the season, battling it out for sixth place with Mooney VR46 Racing’s Luca Marini who was able to hold off Vinales for numerous lap before ultimately dropping behind the Spaniard and would soon drop down the field further.
On lap 15 it was a disastrous end for Pol who also fell victim to turn two in the same way as Zarco earlier in the race, a big dent in his championship hopes.
Bastianini looked to move into the top eight out-braking Marini into turn five but went in too deep onto the paint and dropped all the way back down to 13th.
Red Bull KTM’s Brad Binder was behind Bagnaia who was catching Vinales in fifth place, Binder was continuing his consistent top eight point scoring finishes for his championship tally.
On lap 18 Espargaro made his move into turn five, but ran wide and Martin went straight back into the lead. He tried again on lap 20 but it was Deja vu; then on lap 21 Aleix Esparagro took the lead and made the move stick.
Despite huge pressure from Martin on the final laps, Aleix Espargaro held his nerve to win his first-ever MotoGP race and Aprilia’s first victory in the premier class. Martin was second with Rins returining to the podium in third.
Joan Mir made it a Suzuki three-four, once again the Suzuki duo are very close together on track and Pecco Bagnaia took his first top five finish of the season as he looks to get his season going.
Brad Binder took a solid sixth place ahead of Vinales in seventh, Quartararo eight and Marco Bezzecchi who was last out of turn one on the opening lap managed to finish in an incredible ninth place, Enea Bastianini rounded out the top ten.
Aleix now leads the championship ahead of Brad Binder by nine points as they head to Austin in a weeks time with the potential of Marc Marquez returning to the track where he’s been so dominant in the past.
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