The MotoGP riders faced challenging grip conditions during the second race of the 2023 season, the Argentine Grand Prix. At the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, it was 25 laps of high tension, culminating in Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46) winning for the first time in the premier class. Not only did the young Italian secure the team of Valentino Rossi’s first victory in the category, but he also took the championship lead.
Bezzecchi left no doubt that he would win the Argentine GP. Starting perfectly from the front row of the grid, the Mooney VR46 rider took the lead of the race immediately after the first corners and never let go. He built a good safety margin, riding a few tenths of a second faster than his pursuers and lap after lap, he accumulated a lead that reached over six seconds.
With four laps to go until the checkered flag, Bezzecchi realized he had a safety margin to manage the Argentine race, avoiding errors that would jeopardize the final result. He then took his Ducati Desmosedici GP22 to the finish line, ending the Argentine Grand Prix in dominant style.
It is the first victory of the Mooney VR46 rider in MotoGP, the first victory of Rossi’s team, and with this result Marco Bezzecchi rises to the top of the championship taking advantage of Francesco Bagnaia’s (Ducati Lenovo Team) crash, with the champion finishing the race but outside of the points.
The second place on the podium seemed to be destined for Bagnaia, however, around lap 18, the Italian made a mistake, lost the front of his Ducati Desmosedici GP23, and saw a good result slip away. Even so, “Pecco” Bagnaia had the ability to grab the clutch of his bike to prevent the engine from stalling, returned to the track, but far behind. He crossed the finish line in 16th and therefore did not score any points.
With all of this, Alex Márquez (Gresini Racing) and the surprising Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha) seemed destined to finish on the podium.
But neither of the two pilots could avoid the strong comeback at the end of the race by Frenchman Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Ducati). After struggling in the early moments, Zarco found his rhythm to secure a fantastic second place, relegating Alex Márquez to third even on the last lap, with Morbidelli having no arguments but still obtaining another great result at the Argentina Grand Prix and finishing fourth.
In a weekend where it seemed that the Aprilia Racing bikes would dominate, that changed as soon as the surface at Termas de Rio Hondo became wet, which culminated today in a race with Maverick Viñales in 12th and Aleix Espargaró in 15th. We also saw Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) have a race of ups and downs.
Starting from 10th, the former MotoGP champion found himself involved in a “hotter” moment with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) early on in the race, dropping to 16th, but then he gradually regained many positions and finished the Argentina Grand Prix in 7th, thus saving a weekend that was always difficult unlike his teammate Franco Morbidelli.
Also noteworthy in these complicated conditions was the performance of Augusto Fernandez (GasGas Factory Tech3), who, while still adapting to the powerful MotoGP bikes coming from the Moto2 category, managed a solid 11th place in only his second race in the premier class.
MotoGP Argentine Grand Prix – Race Results
1 – Marco Bezzecchi – Mooney VR46
2 – Johann Zarco – Prima Pramac Ducati
3 – Alex Márquez – Gresini Racing
4 – Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha
5 – Jorge Martin – Prima Pramac Ducati
6 – Jack Miller – Red Bull KTM Factory
7 – Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha
8 – Luca Marini – Mooney VR46
9 – Alex Rins – LCR Honda Castrol
10 – Fabio di Giannantonio – Gresini Racing
MotoGP – Championship Standings after Argentine GP
1 – Marco Bezzecchi – 50 points
2 – Francesco Bagnaia – 41 points
3 – Johann Zarco – 35 points
4 – Alex Márquez – 33 points
5 – Maverick Viñales – 32 points
6 – Jack Miller – 25 points
7 – Jorge Martin – 22 points
8 – Brad Binder – 22 points
9 – Franco Morbidelli – 21 points
10 – Fabio Quartararo – 18 points
19 – Miguel Oliveira – 3 points