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Argentina Moto2: Rabat takes control for Rio Hondo victory

Esteve 'Tito' Rabat eased to victory in the first ever Moto2 Grand Prix of Argentina at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit for his second win of the season.
Kalex rider Tito Rabat controlled the Moto2 Argentinian Grand Prix from start to finish for the Marc VDS team, untroubled as he crossed the line over two seconds ahead of his nearest rival, Xavier Simeon.

The win gives Rabat his second victory of the season, an increased 28 point championship lead and a great conversion rate - with four wins and a second place from his five pole starts in Moto2.

Gresini rider Simeon put in a solid and consistent performance but could not make up any ground, and instead concentrated on holding second - a career high finish - giving the Belgian his second ever podium appearance having been third in France last year.

After a long battle with Simone Corsi, Luis Salom finally broke free and was the highest placing rookie in third – The Pons HP 40 riders first Moto2 podium finish. The Spaniard also went on to set the fastest lap of the race after losing time battling for position.

Dominique Aegerter made up places quickly from 16th on the grid and although passed by Salom held on for fourth aboard his Technomag carXpert bike.

Aegerter had engine difficulties in the race, which stopped him pushing harder, smoke could be seen, the Swiss rider has already had one retirement from engine failure this season, so was happy to finish.

Corsi took fifth on the line for NGM Forward racing comfortably ahead of Tasca Racing's Alex De Angelis in sixth. Corsi has now finished fifth at every race this year.

The race marked Mika Kallio's 200th Grand Prix start. The Finnish rider had qualified down the order in 14th but made up places to place seventh, 14 seconds behind his winning team-mate.

There was a big battle down the order covering 8th to 12h with the position changes coming fast and frequent in a pack of experienced riders bar rookie rider Sam Lowes.

Supersport champion Lowes put in a great performance to beat his more seasoned rivals to eighth, setting his fastest three laps on the final three laps of the race. Lowes was also the best placed Speed Up rider over the line.

Ninth went to Sandro Cortese, who just pipped Jordi Torres, the Aspar rider just making the top ten.

Not far behind was Tech 3 rider Marcel Schrotter in eleventh. Ant West was next across the line in twelfth for QMMF Racing.

Rookie Franco Morbidelli scored his first championship points in 13th. Nico Terol finished his first race in 2014 in 14th for Aspar.

Japanese rider Taka Nakagami took the final point on offer in Argentina.

Despite being the form rider in practice Jonas Folger finished just out of the points in 16th , never recovering from running wide after being knocked in the opening laps.

Swiss rider Tom Luthi was also uncharacteristically off the pace and crossed the stripe in 19th.

Johann Zarco, who went into the race with more penalty points than championship points after picking up two points for his Saturday collision with Roman Ramos, finished outside the points despite a second place start.

The Frenchman crashed out in both Qatar and Austin so finishes for the first time this year.

Argentinian wild-card rider Sebastian Porto was 23rd across the line.

Gino Rea was 30th for the AGT REA Team.

Maverick Vinales found the gravel with 19 laps remaining and retired to the pits on the next lap.

Mattia Pasini retired on the opening lap. Tech3 rider Ricky Cardus crashed out in the early stages.
by Lisa Lewis

Tagged as: moto2 , Rabat

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