The race had to be split into two to compensate for the fears that officials had over the endurance of the tyres, meaning that all riders had to pit between laps nine and eleven.
Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez is, ‘really happy with this win’ at the Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina and puts it down to the fact he and the team have “worked very, very hard during the pre-season in Qatar and here”.
Marquez led the first half of the race
Marquez led going into the pits following a battle in the first half with rival Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi. He said, “I knew that the first part of the race would be tough because it was damp in some places and with the first bike I hadn’t felt as good as with the other one even during practice.”
Marquez oblivious to the dramatic battle for second place
The Spaniard then made a very efficient change in the pits which meant he had a lead of a few bike lengths on Rossi when exiting the pits; Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat ended up in between the two and that combined with the lack of Rossi’s confidence in the second bike, allowed Marquez to get away and go on to win the race with a seven second lead.
He said: “I knew that the second part of the race was key.” Marquez was completely oblivious to the drama that continued behind him saying, “I pushed 100% in the first five laps after the bike change, I opened the gap and after that I just kept the distance.”
The confident Spaniard said: “It’s a special win not only because it’s the first one of the year, but also because with the team we managed the situation very well and after what happened in Australia on a similar occasion, it was important for us to do well. Honda is working very well and I feel the support. We’re going in the same direction and that’s the most important thing.”
Pedrosa 'lucky' from the start of the race
Rossi and the two Ducati riders battled for second place after Team Suzuki Ecstar rider Maverick Vinales fell off ahead of them after a fantastic ride. In the last few corners Andrea Iannone fell taking his teammate Andrea Dovizioso with him meaning that Rossi claimed second and Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa managed to claim the final spot on the podium on what he claims to be, ‘maybe the luckiest day of my career’.
At the start of the race as the riders entered the first corner Iannone ‘The Maniac’ dived down the inside and came into contact with Marquez, he then went wide and forced Pedrosa out with him. Pedrosa was not aware of who this was: “I had a good start but someone, I didn’t know who, came straight through the first turn and I had to pick my bike and go wide in order to avoid him.”
Pedrosa knew that if he had kept his line going into the first corner that he ‘would have crashed’ so he went out wide and ended up in the middle of the group. When things calmed down he was sat back from the drama in seventh, as he felt, “the lines they were doing were quite crazy”. Pedrosa felt his "pace wasn’t good and that’s disappointing!"
So many crashed helped Pedrosa to the podium
Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha) fell first, then Vinales, followed by the two Ducatis. By the end of the race Pedrosa’s consistency paid off and he finished in third. “Many riders crashed in front of me and I was able to take third. Last year I wasn’t even here so it’s positive to be on the podium this time.”
Pedrosa did not seem overly pleased as he stood on the bottom step of the podium, he said, “We have to look ahead and keep working hard to improve the bike to be faster.”