Lewis Duncan  |    |   0  |  8 April 2018

Crutchlow wins chaotic Argentina race, Marquez 18th after penalty

Cal Crutchlow took victory in a chaotic Argentina MotoGP race, while Honda stablemate Marc Marquez finished 18th following a late penalty for a collision with Valentino Rossi.

The 25-lap race was delayed as all bar pole man Jack Miller entered pitlane just moments before lights out to switch from wet tyres to slicks – the Australian already fitted with dry tyres.

Miller held onto pole, while the rest were placed four rows further back in original order, as the rules state a rider must start from last should they start the warm-up lap from the pits.

The Pramac rider's advantage made sure he led the opening lap of the race, though Marquez – who had stalled on the grid but managed to restart his RC213V – passed him on lap two.

The Spaniard eased into the distance, but was forced to serve a ride through penalty on lap seven for failing to start from pitlane after stalling on the grid.

This released Miller back into the lead, with Suzuki's Alex Rins, Tech3's Johann Zarco and LCRs Crutchlow close behind, while Marquez rejoined in 19th.

The top four ran line astern for much of the race, while Marquez scythed his way through the pack despite having to drop a place for contact with Aleix Espargaro at Turn 13 on lap 10.

At the front, Rins applied pressure on Miller with several attempts at taking his lead, but continually ran wide. The Spaniard eventually made a move stick on the inside of Turn 6 on lap 17, but a mistake on the following lap at Turn 7 saw drop to fourth.

Miller retook the lead, but he too ran wide at the penultimate corner and allowed Crutchlow and Zarco through, with the Frenchman carving past the Briton with four to go.

Crutchlow passed Zarco once more on the penultimate lap at Turn 5, and held firm over the final lap to tally up his third MotoGP win, Honda's 750th grand prix victory, and he become the first British rider to lead the premier class standings since Barry Sheene in 1979.

Rins just dropped back from Crutchlow and Zarco at the end, but remained ahead of Miller to take his debut Suzuki rostrum.

Marquez took the chequered flag in fifth, but a collision with Yamaha's Rossi at the penultimate corner with four laps to go saw him slapped with a 30-second time penalty, dropping him out of the point to 18th.

The promoted Maverick Vinales back up to fifth ahead of Andrea Dovizioso - who slips three points behind Crutchlow in the standings to second – Tito Rabat, Andrea Iannone, Hafizh Syahrin and Danilo Petrucci.

Rossi remounted to take the chequered flag in 19th, with Bradley Smith, Aleix Espargaro and Dani Pedrosa – who crashed after contact with Zarco at Turn 13 on lap one – failing to make the finish.

Argentina - Race Result

Pos Rider Team Gap Points
1   Cal CrutchlowLCR Honda25
2   Johann ZarcoYamaha Tech 30.25120
3   Alex RinsSuzuki Ecstar2.50116
4   Jack MillerPramac Racing4.39013
5   Maverick VinalesYamaha MotoGP14.94111
6   Andrea DoviziosoDucati Team22.53310
7   Tito RabatAvintia Racing23.0269
8   Andrea IannoneSuzuki Ecstar23.9218
9   Hafizh SyahrinYamaha Tech 324.3117
10   Danilo PetrucciPramac Racing26.0036
11   Pol EspargaroKTM Racing31.0225
12   Scott ReddingAprilia Racing31.8914
13   Takaaki NakagamiLCR Honda32.4523
14   Franco MorbidelliMarc VDS42.0612
15   Jorge LorenzoDucati Team42.2741
16   Alvaro BautistaAngel Nieto Team42.6250
17   Thomas LuthiMarc VDS43.3500
18   Marc MarquezHonda Team43.8600
19   Valentino RossiYamaha MotoGP52.0820
20   Karel AbrahamAngel Nieto Team63.9440
21   Xavier SimeonAvintia Racing70.1440
22   Bradley SmithKTM RacingDNF0
23   Aleix EspargaroAprilia RacingDNF0

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