Mattia Pasini made himself hard to pass, forcing his rivals to ride around into the wet and work hard as he held on to the lead to cross the line in first place in the Moto2 Grand Prix in Argentina.

The Italtrans Kalex rider marked his 100th Moto2 start with a hard earned win, his second in the intermediate class, pushed all the way to the end by Xavi Vierge and Miguel Oliveira with the trio swapping the lead until Pasini focussed and took control on the final lap.

The result also hands the Italian the lead in the championship standings, with 38 points after his fourth last time out in Qatar.

Vierge, who had started on pole for Dynavolt Intact GP (Kalex) had great speed in the corners and had lead after a strong start when the lights went out, but could not find a way past the veteran racer when it mattered most, leaving him second.

KTM take the final spot on the podium thanks to the efforts of Miguel Oliveira for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team who immediately pulled himself into podium contention on the first corner of the race.

Lorenzo Baldassarri faded from the leaders but held on to fourth for Pons HP40 after battling Alex Marquez to the line, the EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider who struggled, running wide several times in the tricky conditions, knuckled down to battle the Italian but had to settle for fifth.

Tech3’s Remy Gardner spent much of his time solo on track on his way to a lonely sixth, his best finish to date with the distant battle for seventh next to reach the finish line.

That was won by a gutsy ride from top rookie Joan Mir on the second Marc VDS entry, pushed all the way by a determined Dominique Aegerter on his Kiefer Racing machine.

Sky Racing Team VR46 rider Francesco Bagnaia arrived leading the title hunt after his win in Qatar but never really got to grips with the changeable, wet conditions at Termas De Rio Hondo, though he did improve from his qualifying position of 15th to claim ninth at the chequered flag.

The final spot inside the top ten went to Marcel Schrotter, who continued his solid start to the season on the second Dynavolt entry as he raced Bagnaia to the line.

Iker Lecuona also enjoyed his best ever Moto2 finish in eleventh, ahead of his team-mate at Swiss Innovative Investors Sam Lowes who finished thirteenth after contact and a trip over the slipery paint, coupled with unwanted vibrations from his bike saw him drop from the lead pack.

They were split by fellow Brit Danny Kent, who had a poor start from the front row, dropping to 12th on the first lap, where battles kept him pinned, only progressing to eleventh at the close for Speed Up.

Isaac Vinales took 14th for SAG Team, with Italtrans rider Andrea Locatelli claiming the final point on offer in 15th.

Brad Binder was the first casualty after being hit in the rear by Jorge Navarro, leaving him in the gravel at turn thirteen after just two laps. Navarro retired on lap six. Jules Danilo also failed to finish.

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