The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
Team gave an astounding performance in Sunday’s (April 9, 2017) Gran Premio
Motul de la República Argentina, securing an immaculate 1-2 finish. Maverick
Viñales was in a league of his own in the 25-lap sprint, as he flew from sixth
on the grid to first place. Valentino Rossi was a man with a plan for his 350th
Grand Prix start and was in hot pursuit, to ultimately secure a brilliant
Vinales stormed off the line
from the second row and soon muscled his way to third place, putting pressure
on Cal Crutchlow in second. He attacked in turn 7 on lap 3 and soon after took
over the lead as Marc Marquez crashed out of the race.
Now at the front, with a clear
track as far as the eye could see, the Spaniard put his head down and pulled
away from the field. He was completely in his element and rode a faultless
race, steadily increasing the gap to the pursuing riders. The 22-year-old
crossed the line with a healthy 2.915s lead, securing his second consecutive
victory on the Yamaha with ease.
This amazing achievement not
only makes Vinales the first Yamaha rider since Wayne Rainey in 1990 to win the
first two races of the season, but it also brings Yamaha?s
Grand Prix win tally up to 499 victories in total.
Rossi had a brilliant start
from seventh, entering the first corner side by side with Viñales to exit it in
sixth place. He soon flew past Dani Pedrosa and Karel Abraham with the
intention to stick to the rear wheel of his teammate. With Marquez out of the
race on lap 4, the Italian moved up to third and felt the lure of a second
With sixteen laps to go he
dipped under the 1?40s mark and closed right up to
Crutchlow. As the riders behind them got involved in a scrap and were unable to
match the pace of the three riders at the front, the Doctor had a comfortable
margin of close to 5 seconds, allowing him to focus on the battle to come. The
nine-time World Champion sized up the Brit carefully, choosing the best place
and time to make a move.
With seven laps remaining,
Rossi made a pass in turn 5 and made it stick. He followed it up with a couple
of low 1?40s laps to inch away from Crutchlow,
making it a perfect Yamaha 1-2, the first since the Grand Prix of Le Mans in
2016, when he took the chequered flag 2.915s behind his teammate.
Crutchlow took third and the
honour of First Independent Team Rider. Alvaro Bautista secured fourth on a
Ducati and equalled the best-ever result by the Pull & Bear Aspar Team,
after it finished fourth here last year. Fifth and sixth went to rookies Johann
Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
respectively, whilst team-mates Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding of the OCTO
Pramac Racing team filled the seventh and eighth positions. Jack Miller (EG 0,0
Marc VDS) took ninth, with Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) rounding
out the top-ten.
The race on Sunday around the 4,806m circuit
was watched by 61,223 spectators and held in overcast conditions, which added
to the variable weather that has been over Termas all weekend. Warm sun on
Friday produced some very impressive times and allowed the riders to try the
full selection of Michelin Power Slicks, whilst Saturday saw rain fall and
again the riders tried the complete range of Michelin Power Rain tyres - with
some very quick lap-times recorded - meaning all 10 types of tyre were put into
operation during the weekend. For Sunday’s race the riders chose a mix of
medium and hard compound slick tyres, with many different configurations used
throughout the field.
Sunday’s dream results see
Viñales hold the lead in the championship standings with 50 points, closely
followed by Rossi in second position with 36 points. Yamaha remains in the lead
in the Constructors? Championship with a maximum of
50 points, while the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team lead the way in the Team
Championship with 86 points, 59 points ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech3 in second
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
Team will be back in action in two weeks' time at the Circuit Of The Americas
in Austin, Texas, in the United States.
Source: Yamaha Racing / Michelin
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