Espargaro makes history after beating Martin to Argentina MotoGP win

He’s done it! Aleix Espargaro wins his first-ever MotoGP race after finally overcoming a determined Jorge Martin.
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia MotoGP
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia MotoGP

Looking to win his first-ever MotoGP race, Aprilia’s first in the MotoGP era, Espargaro got a good start despite it not being enough to retain the lead. 

That honour instead went to Jorge Martin who made a brilliant launch from P2, as did Pol Espargaro from fourth. 

Looking to make up for poor qualifying sessions, Takaaki Nakagami and Enea Bastianini were two of the biggest movers as both made their way in the top ten. 

On the other hand it was a shocker for the reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo, who dropped from P6 to 13th. 

At the front, Martin and Espargaro began to pull clear of Pol in third. Lap three saw back-to-back fastest laps from both riders, with Espargaro going two tenths quicker. 

There was more misery for Andrea Dovizioso who had to retire for the second consecutive race weekend. 

Although top speed wasn’t expected to be an issue this weekend, Quartararo felt just that as Johann Zarco blasted past his fellow Frenchman on lap five.

Johann Zarco, Argentinian MotoGP, 2 April 2022
Johann Zarco, Argentinian MotoGP, 2 April 2022

Zarco wasn’t in front for long however, as the Pramac Ducati rider then crashed a lap later at turn two. 

With Martin and Espargaro continuing to gap the group behind, a group that was now led by Alex Rins, The Aprilia rider managed to set yet another fastest lap despite Martin retaining the lead of the race. 

Yamaha’s day went from bad to worse as more gremlins hit, this time it was Franco Morbidelli who had to cut short his Argentina MotoGP. 

As he began to seize up a move for the lead, Espargaro made back-to-back mistakes on lap 11, errors that saw Martin’s lead increase to one second.

Unmoved by the double mistake, Espargaro immediately responded by setting a new fastest lap. 

The gap came down from one second to seven tenths. 

Lap 13 saw another three tenths taken out of Martin’s lead, while further back Francesco Bangaia was making good progress.

Having started 13th, Bagnaia made a move on Marini for P7 just after mid-race distance. 

Trying to make his way through into P8, a loose-looking Bastianini made a big error at turn five as he ran off-track and therefore lost six places. 

After a stern defense from Martin for most of the race, lap 18 saw Espargaro make his first attempt at taking the lead. 

The Aprilia rider got a great exit off turn four before dragging himself past the Ducati rider on the back-straight, however, the polesitter made the same mistake as Bastianini by running wide at turn five. 

Espargaro tried the same move two laps later, but in what was a carbon copy of the first attempt, he ran wide at turn five.

While all this was happening, Rins was beginning to close in on the two leaders. 

Alex Rins, Argentinian MotoGP, 2 April 2022
Alex Rins, Argentinian MotoGP, 2 April 2022

As lap 21 began, Espargaro set up the move again, and finally, it was third time lucky for the 32 year-old who made the move stick at turn five. 

As he tried to break away from Martin, Espargaro continued to make small errors which allowed Martin to stay close. 

But after finally composing himself with three laps to go, Aprilia rejoiced as they saw their star man come home for a comfortable win ahead of Martin and Rins.

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