A faultless flag-to-flag race by Marc Marquez saw him dominate the Argentina GP, running away with victory from Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa.
Issues with the rear tyre of Scott Redding‰Ûªs (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) Ducati during Free Practice 4 on Saturday saw a raft of changes brought in. Michelin and Race Direction were unsure about the safety of rear tyres brought to the Gran Premio Motul de la RepÌ¼blica Argentina, and came to the decision to reduce the race from 25 laps to 20. As Warm Up had been held in wet conditions and the race started dry, riders were required to come in on their ninth, tenth or 11th lap of the race and change to their second bike. There were therefore no concerns about fuel or tyre life, riders able to give it their all on both stints.
Team Suzuki Ecstar' Aleix Espargaro was the only rider to opt for the harder rear tyre. The entire front row started with hard fronts and medium rear. With dark clouds looming overhead the race got underway, Jorge Lorenzo getting the hole shot into Turn 1. Ducati's Andrea Iannone got a great start but came into contact with Dani Pedrosa, forcing them both wide and dropping Pedrosa outside the top ten.
Marquez took the lead on lap 2 by moving past Rossi and Dovizioso, and he was engaged in a thrilling battle with Rossi for first position until the bike change. On lap 10, he entered the pit a fraction ahead the Italian and re-joined the track in the lead. On his second bike, Marc put in a sequence of fast laps that nobody was able to match, and in five laps he opened up a gap that allowed him to comfortably cross the line with a 7.6-second advantage.
‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm really happy with this win because we‰Ûªve worked very, very hard during the pre-season, in Qatar and here," Marquez said.
"Honda is working very well and I feel the support; we‰Ûªre going in the same direction, and that‰Ûªs the most important thing. It‰Ûªs a special win, not only because it‰Ûªs the first one of the year but also because with the team, we managed the situation very well, and after what happened in Australia on a similar occasion [in 2013], it was important for us to do well.
"I knew that the first part of the race would be tough because it was still damp in some places, and with the first bike I hadn‰Ûªt felt as good as with the other one even during practice. I knew that the second part of the race was the key. I pushed 100% in the first five laps after the bike change, I opened a gap and after that I just kept the distance," the Spaniard concluded.