Cal Crutchlow has claimed victory in an unbelievable Argentina MotoGP race which saw a delayed start, grid confusion and Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi clash.

In a race which will go down in the history books for multiple reasons, Crutchlow won a final lap fight with Johann Zarco for victory and clinch the MotoGP world championship lead after the opening two rounds.

But the drama unfolded behind the front-runners as Marc Marquez had a race littered with incidents from start to finish.

After a start delay due to safety conditions, with every MotoGP rider on the starting grid except Jack Miller on wets but opting to switch to slick tyres as circuit conditions dried up, all 23 riders apart from Miller started nine rows back in qualifying order. But the drama continued before the race started as Marquez stalled on the grid only to bump start his Repsol Honda and ride the wrong way down the grid.

As the race eventually got underway, reduced by one lap, Marquez darted into the lead before being hit by a ride-through penalty for riding the wrong way up the grid.

Marquez returned to track action after his ride-through in 20th place and as the fastest rider on track he began to carve back through the field. The reigning MotoGP world champion, battling the mixed conditions, endured a clash of fairing with Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, before dropping one place for the incident.

At the front a four-bike breakaway saw Crutchlow, Zarco, Suzuki’s Alex Rins and pole-sitter Miller battled for victory.

With four laps to go, Marquez climbed up the order and on to the back of Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi but once again went in too hot up the inside of the Italian rider at Turn 13 and the pair collided in a similar incident to Marquez’s hit with Espargaro.

Both riders went wide which forced Rossi on to the wet grass and duly tumbled off while Marquez was able to stick to the track and continue.

Marquez was hit by a post-race 30-second time penalty which dropped him out of the points positions while the incident will be reviewed by race officials.

At the front Crutchlow made his move into the lead around the penultimate corner up the inside of Zarco to set up a final lap sprint for victory. Crutchlow used his LCR Honda’s extra grunt and traction on the drying circuit to steer clear of Zarco and take a historic victory at Termas de Rio Hondo.

Suzuki’s Rins secured a maiden MotoGP podium result with pole-sitter Miller having to settle for fourth place for Pramac Ducati.

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