Cal Crutchlow became the first British rider to lead the premier class Grand Prix championship since Barry Sheene in 1979 after clinching his second MotoGP win in Argentina.
The LCR Honda rider beat Johann Zarco (Tech 3 Yamaha) and Alex Rins (Ecstar Suzuki) in a dramatic race, which saw reigning champion Marc Marquez penalised after he collided with Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi.
Repsol Honda rider Marquez was earlier hit with a ride-through penalty after turning his bike back and riding the wrong way down the track before the race started.
He battled his way through the field before running into Rossi, sending the Italian crashing out. Marquez was later penalised by 30 seconds for the incident, dropping him to 18th place.
After the race, Marquez went to Rossi’s garage in an attempt to apologise, but the Spaniard was turned away by team personnel.
Crutchlow, celebrating his third career MotoGP win, said: “It was nice to win but it was to be expected. I thought I could leave the weekend being first or second with Marc Marquez.
“A satellite team leading the championship, we are really pleased. The bike’s working really well.
Pole man Jack Miller finished fourth on the Pramac Ducati, with Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha) and Qatar winner Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) completing the top six.
Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Bradley Smith (KTM) were among the fallers.