MotoGP: 2016 Argentina GP Race Results

Final-lap Ducati Team crash puts Rossi and Pedrosa on the podium.

2016 Argentina GP race results
Marc Marquez©Motorcyclist

Issues with the rear tire of Scott Redding’s (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) Ducati during Free Practice 4 on Saturday saw last-minute changes brought in on race day. Michelin and Race Direction were unsure about the safety of rear tires brought to the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina, and came to the decision to reduce the race from 25 laps to 20. As warm-up had been held in wet conditions and the race started dry, riders were required to come in on their 9th, 10th or 11th lap of the race and change to their second bike, leaving no concerns about fuel or tire life.

Early lead by Jorge Lorenzo at Argentina GP
Early lead by Jorge Lorenzo©Motorcyclist

Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was the only rider to opt for the harder rear tire. The entire front row started with hard fronts and medium rears. With dark clouds looming overhead the race got underway, Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) getting the holeshot into Turn 1. Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) got a great start but came into contact with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), forcing them both wide and dropping Pedrosa outside the top 10.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) used the power of the Ducati to hit the lead early with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) behind. The factory Ducati would head the field across the line on lap one with Rossi in second, and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) an ever-present threat. Meanwhile, Lorenzo fell back to sixth.

As the first lap came to a close, Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Aleix Espargaro fell, both able to re-join the race. Carving his way through field, Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) was up to seventh as the second lap began, slotting in behind Lorenzo and then passing him soon after.

Valentino Rossi and Desmo Dovi
Rossi and Ducati Team©Motorcyclist

The leading trio continually tightened, The Doctor moving up the inside of Dovizioso at every chance he got. This opened the door for Marquez, the Spaniard sliding through on both Rossi and Dovizioso to begin lap four in the lead of the race.

Miller’s charge would be short lived as the Australian rider fell at Turn 3 on the fourth lap. Marquez pushed ahead and attempted to open a gap, the top three divided evenly by half a second. Dovizioso then found himself with teammate Iannone for company, Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) eagerly waiting to pick up the pieces of the Ducati battle.

Dani Pedrosa third at Argentina GP
Dani Pedrosa©Motorcyclist

Riders frantically glanced at their pit boards as they roared down the straight, their teams doing all they could to keep them up to date with bike change strategy. Lorenzo’s race would get even worse as with 15 laps to go he suffered yet another fall at Turn 1, ending his race. After the perfect weekend in Qatar, few imagined the World Champion would DNF in Argentina.

Marquez and Rossi continued to sprint away at the front, Marquez 0.8s ahead and Rossi 2’5s in front of the all-Ducati battle for third. On lap nine, Rossi took the lead down the back straight but Marquez responded to cut back ahead.

Maverick Viñales crashes out at Argentina GP
Maverick Viñales ahead of Andrea Iannone©Motorcyclist

Viñales was able to get ahead of the Ducati Team pair for third. Iannone and Viñales were the first riders to enter the pits on lap nine for the mandatory bike swap. Pedrosa, Baz, Barbera, Laverty and Bradl following suit as Marquez and Rossi fought for the lead. With 11 laps to go, the pair came into the pits, Marquez just ahead as they were both forced to respect the 60km/h limit in pit lane.

Argentina GP mandatory bike swap
Marquez bike swap©Motorcyclist

Marquez would re-join the race in first position with Tito Rabat (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) in second, as he had not yet pitted. With Rabat as a buffer, Marquez pushed as hard as he could to break away from Rossi and opened up a lead of over two seconds. The gap increased to three seconds as the final nine laps of the race began, Viñales two seconds back on Rossi as the Suzuki rider was able to retain third after the bike changes.

As the leading three settled into their rhythm, Redding used the power of the Ducati GP15 to blast past Pedrosa’s Repsol Honda and move into sixth behind the Ducati factory pair.

Rossi’s pace soon settled in the 1’41s, not fast enough to catch Marquez and The Doctor quickly found himself fending off Viñales. The Ducati factory pair continued to swap positions behind them, all four riders fighting for second as Marquez’s lead grew with each lap. Rossi was able to up his pace as soon as Viñales was with him, the young up and comer giving as good as he got with the old master.

Rossi battles for second place
Rossi, Viñales and Iannone©Motorcyclist

Redding encountered a technical problem with five laps to go and was forced to end his bid for a top six finish.

Viñales came under pressure from Iannone at Turn 1 as the 18th lap of the race began, unfortunately crashing out of the race. This gave Rossi a small amount of breathing room, Iannone over half a second behind his teammate. But the cushion wouldn’t last for long, Iannone blasting up the inside of Rossi and opening the door for Desmo Dovi to come up the inside of them both.

The last lap began with Dovizioso in second as Iannone held onto the final step of the podium, Rossi hunting for a way past the powerful Ducati. Every time they ran across a straight the Ducati was able to run, Rossi trying all he could on the brakes. Iannone did not defend; instead he began to attack his teammate Dovizioso, causing the pair to crash out together at Turn 12 after an overly enthusiastic move from Iannone. This pass was seen as overly optimistic by Race Direction and Iannone was handed a three-place grid penalty for the race in Austin and a penalty point. Iannone, appealed the decision at the MotoGP Court of Appeal, which will meet within the next four days.

Ducati Team Iannone and Dovisioso crash out of podium finishes
Ducati Team's Andrea Dovisioso and Andrea Iannone©Motorcyclist

Their incident put Rossi into second with Pedrosa taking a surprise third place finish. Determined to finish, Dovizioso showed true grit and determination to push his Ducati across the line in 13th place.

Just off the podium was Eugene Laverty (Aspar Team MotoGP), the Irish rider ending fourth and as the top Independent Team rider. This is by far Laverty’s best result in MotoGP, besting Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) by 0.169s.

Rossi in second at Argentina
Valentino Rossi©Motorcyclist

Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) secured a solid sixth ahead of Stefan Bradl (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), who secured Aprilia’s best race result since returning with a factory entry. Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Tito Rabat (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), completed the top 10.

Aleix Espargaro finished 11th after his early fall.

There were also crashes for Yonny Hernandez (Aspar Team MotoGP) and Michele Pirro (Octo Pramac Yakhnich). Both were uninjured and Pirro remounted to finish 12th. Cal Crutchlow and Loris Baz also failed to finish the race.

Best MotoGP race finish for Eugene Laverty
Eugene Laverty finished fourth as the top Independent Team rider, his best-ever result in MotoGP.©Motorcyclist

Argentina GP Results
1. Marc MARQUEZ (93), Repsol Honda Team HONDA
2. Valentino ROSSI (46) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YAMAHA
3. Dani PEDROSA (26) Repsol Honda Team HONDA
4. Eugene LAVERTY (50) Aspar Team MotoGP DUCATI
5. Hector BARBERA (8) Avintia Racing DUCATI
6. Pol ESPARGARO (44) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA
7. Stefan BRADL (6) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini APRILIA
8. Bradley SMITH (38) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA
9. Tito RABAT (53) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS HONDA
10. Alvaro BAUTISTA (19) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini APRILIA
11. Aleix ESPARGARO (41) Team Suzuki Ecstar SUZUKI
12. Michele PIRRO (51) OCTO Pramac Yakhnich
13. Andrea DOVIZIOSO (4) Ducati Team DUCATI

Not Classified
Andrea IANNONE (29) Ducati Team DUCATI
Maverick VIÑALES (25) Team Suzuki Ecstar SUZUKI
Scott REDDING (45) OCTO Pramac Yakhnich DUCATI
Loris BAZ (76) Avintia Racing DUCATI
Jorge LORENZO (99) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YAMAHA
Jack MILLER (43) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS HONDA
Yonny HERNANDEZ (68) Aspar Team MotoGP DUCATI