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Rossi takes second victory of the year in thrilling Argentina MotoGP

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Rossi takes second victory of the year in thrilling Argentina MotoGP
By:
Apr 19, 2015, 8:13 PM

The legendary Valentino Rossi won a dramatic race to score his second victory of 2015 and stretch his championship advantage, as Marc Marquez crashed out during battle for the lead.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Aleix Espargaro, Team Suzuki MotoGP and Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda
Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Valentino Rossi took a stunning victory at Termas de Rio Hondo after an inspired tyre choice helped the seven-time MotoGP champion chase down race leader Marc Marquez, who dramatically crashed his factory Honda trying to re-pass Rossi for the win.

It's a great victory, we made the right decision

Valentino Rossi

The 25-lap race got off to a frantic start as Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro grabbed the lead from Marquez, who assumed his familiar position at the front within a few corners and began to build on his lead.

Rossi's race was nearly ruined at the first corner, as he touched the rear of Ducati rider Andrea Iannone. He remained in his starting position of eighth for a couple of laps before he began his charge to the front.

The 36-year-old Italian took 10 laps to fight his way through into second place, and he then set after Marquez, who was four seconds ahead but losing grip with his hard rear Bridgestone.

Rossi's extra-hard option – brought especially for the abrasive Argentine circuit – gave him the advantage he needed.

While Rossi was reducing the gap to the leader, Dovizioso was able to stay with the Yamaha. Dovizioso's teammate Iannone was being hunted by LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow, as Rossi's teammate Jorge Lorenzo was marooned in sixth place for the majority of the race. 

The gap to Marquez was progressively closed down, with Rossi's advantage clear to see on the timing screen, and with just three laps to go Rossi was ready to pounce.

When the decisive move came, Marquez tried his best to get back under Rossi but touched the rear wheel of the Yamaha and crashed out in a shower of sparks.

Rossi crossed the line for his second win of the year, with Dovizioso taking another podium finish for Ducati. The drama continued as a last-gasp pass by Crutchlow on Iannone gave the British rider a well-deserved third place finish on the satellite LCR Honda.

There was bad fortune for Pramac Ducati's Yonny Hernandez, who was forced to drop his bike after it caught fire.

Speaking afterwards Rossi said: "It's a great victory, we made the right decision and started with the extra hard tyre. When I saw Marc start with the red one I knew that he would try to push at the beginning. I made a great start but on the first corner Iannone pushed me on the outside.

"Step by step I came back, and when I arrived in second Marc had a little more than four seconds lead. I knew the race was long, so I knew he could have some difficulty. Catching him lap by lap, I could see him far away but coming closer and closer, it was a great taste!" Rossi said.

Reflecting on the incident with Marquez, Rossi added: "I overtook him in braking, but he is a rider who is all or nothing, he touched me in the corner, then he touched me again as I was accelerating, I think he made a mistake and he crashed.

"It's a shame because it could have been a great fight on the last lap. In three races we have demonstrated we can be competitive everywhere and fight for the championship.”

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 41m35.644
2 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 5.685
3 Cal Crutchlow Honda 8.298
4 Andrea Iannone Ducati 8.352
5 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 10.192
6 Bradley Smith Yamaha 19.876
7 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 24.333
8 Pol Espargaro Yamaha 27.670
9 Scott Redding Honda 34.397
10 Maverick Vinales Suzuki 34.808
11 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 40.206
12 Jack Miller Honda 42.654
13 Hector Barbera Ducati 42.729
14 Loris Baz Forward Yamaha 42.853
15 Stefan Bradl Forward Yamaha 43.037
16 Nicky Hayden Honda 43.252
17 Eugene Laverty Honda 43.400
18 Mike Di Meglio Ducati 43.808
19 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 44.878
20 Marco Melandri Aprilia 56.236
21 Karel Abraham Honda 1'03.371
22 Alex de Angelis ART 1'08.444
 Retirements
  Hiroshi Aoyama Honda Retirement
  Marc Marquez Honda Retirement
  Yonny Hernandez Ducati Retirement
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Front row start for Iannone in qualifying at Termas de Rio Hondo

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Front row start for Iannone in qualifying at Termas de Rio Hondo

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Valentino Rossi calls Marquez an 'all or nothing' rider after Argentina collision

Valentino Rossi calls Marquez an 'all or nothing' rider after Argentina collision
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