TERMAS DE RIO HONDO - World champion Marc Marquez clinched his third win in three races this season with victory in the Argentina MotoGP on Sunday. The 21-year-old Spaniard also became the first rider in 43 years to win the first three rounds from pole position. His Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa was second with Yamaha duo Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi in third and fourth spot respectively.
Marquez, who had won in Doha and Austin, slipped back to fifth place after a poor start which saw 2010 and 2012 world champion Lorenzo storm to the front. Nine-time world champion Rossi moved into third, but it was Lorenzo who stayed in front. However, with nine of the 25 laps remaining, Marquez pounced to take the lead which he would not relinquish.
Lorenzo tried desperately to cling on to second spot, but Pedrosa's Honda had too much power and his compatriot passed him on the last lap. Marquez won by 1.837sec from Pedrosa with Lorenzo 3.201sec off the pace and Rossi finishing almost five seconds behind. Marquez has a perfect 75 points in the championship standings with Pedrosa on 56 and Rossi in third on 41 points. "The beginning was difficult. My tyres were not good and I span as I was on the dirty side of the track," said the world champion. "But it was fun. Jorge opened the gap and I just kept pushing to catch him at the end."
Lorenzo admitted that the Yamahas are struggling to match the pace of the Honda duo. "I didn't expect to stay in front for so many laps," he said. "I was pushing hard but Dani was faster than me. It's a hard time for us at the moment but we need to keep strong. I want to improve my physical condition still and also the bike and when the moment arrives I think we will be ready to win races. We have to keep improving and have patience and wait for our moment."
Rossi, who raced in the old 250cc class when Argentina last hosted a grand prix in 1999, said the Honda of Stefan Bradl may have cost him a podium place. "I had the potential and the pace to end on the podium and especially to fight with the three guys in front," said the Italian, who had been running in second place early in the race.
"Unfortunately in the first laps I made a mistake and lost a bit but I lost some more when Bradl made a mistake. He arrived too deep in braking and he pushed me out of the track and I lost two seconds and so the podium."
Moto2 world championship leader Esteve Rabat clinched his second win of the season as the 24-year-old Spaniard consolidated his domination of the division. Rabat, on a Kalex, had already won the opener in Doha before adding a second place in Austin. Rabat led from pole to finish with Belgium's Xavier Simeon finishing second and Spain's Luis Salom completing the podium. Maverick Vinales, the 2013 world champion in Moto3 and the winner in Austin last time out, retired on the fifth lap after a fall Italy's Romano Fenati won the Moto3 race as Australian Jack Miller failed to make it three wins from three races.
Fenati, riding a KTM, came home ahead of Spanish Honda rider Alex Marquez while Miller, also on a KTM, came third. Miller stays in charge of the championship with a 17-point lead over Fenati. The fourth round of the world championship takes place in Jerez next weekend.