Argentina MotoGP - gritty Crutchlow takes deserving win

Randolph Lopez
April 11, 2018

Honda's reigning world champion Marc Marquez was penalised for a collision with Yamaha's Italian great Valentino Rossi and finished well back.

In a desperate attempt to make up positions, Marquez barged into Rossi on Turn 13 which resulted in the Yamaha rider running wide off the track, onto the wet grass, and crashing.

"This is a very bad situation, because he destroyed our sport, because he don't have any respect for his rivals, never", Rossi said.

Rossi was damning in his assessment of both the incident and Marquez's race weekend overall, pointing to other incidents involving the Honda rider. But from Friday morning on, Marquez did this to ViƱales, to Dovizioso, to me, and on Saturday morning, and today he went straight through four riders. "It was unacceptable, risky and deserves a very strong penalty", he told after the race. With two race laps remaining, it looked like a battle to the finish line between satellite riders Crutchlow and Zarco, as Rins had nearly destroyed his rear tyre.

He said he had spoken to race director Mike Webb and hoped his words had an effect.

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"What happened yesterday between Marquez and Rossi has happened to everyone, has happened to me, to Valentino Rossi and even happened again in that race when [Johann] Zarco knocked out [Dani] Pedrosa".

"When you go 300km per hour on the track, you have to have a respect for your rival, you have to be strong, you have to make the maximum, but doing it like this is over".

Honda's Marquez was seen heading to Rossi's box to apologise at the end of the race, but the Spaniard was quickly turned away by the Italian's camp. After being hit with a ride-through penalty for delaying the start as he dropped down to 19th position, Marquez was then forced to drop down a place having run into the back of Alexis Espargaro. If we disqualify a rider every time, we won't race any more. It's true he came to him very fast, he was lapping three or four seconds faster than Aleix and maybe approached to him a little faster. I saw the penalty and, to be safe, gave up two positions, not just one, before starting to push again. "When he crashed I immediately apologized", said the Spaniard. Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Johann Zarco survived a late flurry of times to end P9, with Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) taking the final automatic Q2 spot in P10. British rider Crutchlow capitalised on the situation to take the race lead and was followed closely by Zarco and Rins.

Race start resumed with all riders, save Miller, relegated several rows back on the grid.

Marquez accepted in a Honda release that he had been to blame for a high speed collision with compatriot Aleix Espargaro but said the Rossi clash was down to the conditions.

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