Maiden MotoGP victory for Marco Bazzecchi and Valentino Rossi's VR46 Ducati team in Argentina

Marco Bezzecchi produced a wet weather masterclass at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina, claiming his maiden MotoGP victory.
Marco Bezzecchi celebrates his maiden MotoGP victory in Argentina on Sunday.Marco Bezzecchi celebrates his maiden MotoGP victory in Argentina on Sunday.
Marco Bezzecchi celebrates his maiden MotoGP victory in Argentina on Sunday.

The 24-year-old from Rimini, Italy now leads the 2023 championship after reigning champion, Lenovo Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia crashed out of second place on lap 18.

The Mooney VR46 Racing Ducati rider led from the lights to take the chequered flag over four seconds clear of Prima Pramac Racing’s Johann Zarco, with Gresini Racing’s Alex Marquez making it a Ducati 1-2-3.

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Bagnaia, who threw away his championship lead in the Turn 13 crash, rejoined to finish outside the points in 16th, just ahead of Saturday’s sprint race winner Brad Binder on the KTM.

A return of form from Monster Energy Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli saw the Italian claim his second fourth place of the weekend with Jorge Martin and Jack Miller completing the top six.

Fabio Quartararo, the 2021 champion, fought back from 16th after being pushed wide on the opening lap by Takaaki Nakagami.

New championshop leader Bezzecchi said: “I have no words, because today I woke up with a strange sensation and I knew I could go fast but I didn’t expect to go so fast.

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"I was really scared from the wet because normally I am not very good with the MotoGP in the wet. Today was fantastic! I had an incredible feeling from the first minute of the warm-up and I enjoy a lot with my bike.

"I was speaking to the bike to stay concentrated. It was really tough and an incredible feeling.”

Runner-up Zarco added: “After half-race distance I began to get a better feeling from the tyres. It’s a good podium, 20 points, I’ll take them. It’s a very good feeling and I am so happy to be on the podium.”

It was a delighted GASGAS Aspar Team rider Jake Dixon who celebrated the birth of his daughter Summer with a third place finish in the shortened 14-lap Moto2 race behind Toni Arbolino and Alonso Lopez.

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Dixon, who suffered from a misted visor in the closing stages, said: “I couldn’t see with eight laps to go. It was a difficult race and to come away with a podium is great.”

Fellow Briton Sam Lowes finished 10th.

Leopard Honda’s Tatsuki Suzuki claimed victory in a crash-littered Moto3 race, finishing well clear of KTM riders Diogo Moreira and Andrea Migno. Vision Track Honda’s Scott Ogden crossed the line fourth but was penalised six seconds after colliding with Riccardo Rossi on the final lap dropping, him to fifth.

It was still his best GP career finish.

Ogden said: “I tucked the front at the end of the back straight and all I could do was hit the other guy. I feel we had podium pace. I’m a little bit disappointed but over all I’m happy.”

Round three of the MotoGP World Championship takes place at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas from April 14-16.

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