MotoGP Argentina, Termas - Race Results
PosRiderNatTeamTime/Diff
1Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)41m 36.198s
2Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP22)+0.807s
3Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+1.330s
4Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+1.831s
5Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP22)+5.840s
6Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+6.192s
7Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)+6.540s
8Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+10.215s
9Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)*+12.622s
10Enea BastianiniITAGresini Ducati (GP21)+12.987s
11Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+13.962s
12Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+14.002s
13Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+14.456s
14Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo (GP22)+14.898s
15Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+23.472s
16Raul FernandezSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+25.862s
17Remy GardnerAUSKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+28.711s
18Darryn BinderRSAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*+28.784s
19Stefan BradlGERRepsol Honda (RC213V)+31.943s
20Andrea DoviziosoITAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)+3 laps
 Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP21)*DNF
 Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)DNF
 Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)DNF
 Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP22)DNF

* Rookie

Aleix Espargaro makes history with his and Aprilia's first-ever MotoGP win, in his 200th premier-class start, after a tense race-long duel with Jorge Martin at Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina.

Espargaro had been fastest not only in qualifying but also free practice and warm-up, presenting the Spaniard with a perfect chance to finally break his victory drought.

But when the red lights went out, Espargaro got a shaky getaway and lost out to fellow front-row starters Jorge Martin and Luca Marini, plus younger brother Pol by turn two, before recovering to second behind Martin by the end of the lap.

The pair swiftly pulled one second clear of the battling pack - led by Pol Espargaro, Alex Rins, Marini and Joan Mir - with Espargaro continuing to shadow the Pramac Ducati until small mistakes on lap 10 allowed Martin breathing room.

It also threatened to put Espargaro within range of the pursuing Rins, but the Aprilia rider regrouped with the fastest lap of the race to clamp back onto Martin's rear wheel.

With 8 laps to go Espargaro slipstreamed ahead of Martin along the back straight to lead for the first time, but promptly ran wide at the following hairpin allowing Martin to casually return to the front.

Espargaro repeated the attempt, with the same result, soon after. But it was a case of third time lucky as Espargaro held his line into the hairpin with five laps to go.

Martin wasn't done, clinging persistently to the RS-GP until the final lap, where Espargaro finally edged out of reach for an emotional victory. 

Until today, Aleix had been the only rider on the MotoGP grid without a grand prix win, in any class, to his name while the RS-GP had taken just one prior podium,with Espargaro at Silverstone last year. A dream day was made complete by Espargaro now also leading the world championship standings.

Pol was among those flocking to congratulate Aleix, his brother's triumph helping soothe the disapointment of crashing out of fourth place with 11 laps to go, leaving Rins to complete the podium ahead of Suzuki team-mate Joan Mir.

Starting 13th and 14th after a problematic Saturday, factory Ducati team-mates Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller failed to gain early ground. Bagnaia then chipped his way up the order to fifth but Miller couldn't make an impression on the race and finished 14th.

Maverick Vinales, who had also enjoyed his best Aprilia weekend heading into the race, lost a few places from fifth on the grid before stabilising in seventh.

Reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo was shuffled from sixth on the grid to 13th in the early laps. The Monster Yamaha star gained a place when countryman Johann Zarco slid off ahead of him, but could only recover to eighth.

Marco Bezzecchi was the top rookie in ninth for VR46, with team-mate Marini fading to eleventh.

Qatar winner and world championship leader Enea Bastianini began the race twelfth on the grid, reached a peak of eighth, but then ran wide and dropped to 13th. Bastianini completed the top ten by the chequered flag.

The RNF Yamaha team seemed to suffer tyre warmer generator problems on the grid for both Andrea Dovizioso and Darryn Binder. Dovizioso then entered the pits at the end of the opening lap before re-joining the race.

Dovizioso wasn't the only Yamaha rider in technical trouble with Monster's Franco Morbidelli looking to suffer some kind of rear tyre issue as he entered the pits with 18 laps to go.

All riders chose to race with the hard front and soft rear tyre combination.

Marc Marquez, who suffered a new episode of double vision in the aftermath of his huge warm-up accident in Indonesia, missed this weekend's event and was replaced by HRC test rider Stefan Bradl.

After a medical check last Monday, Marquez's Ophthalmologist Dr Sánchez Dalmau said there had been a “a very favourable evolution in the paralysis of the fourth right nerve affected by the fall that occurred at the Indonesian Grand Prix."

But he added: "Recovery is not yet complete, and Marc Marquez must follow the established therapeutic regime with conservative treatment.”

It is thus not yet known if Marquez will return for COTA next weekend, one of his most successful circuits, or re-join sometime during the European season, which begins in Portimao on April 22-24.

Fellow Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami also looked set to miss this weekend after testing positive for Covid-19 and being unable to leave Japan. However, the cancellation of Friday combined with subsequent negative Covid results meant Nakagami was able to get to Termas in time for Saturday's start.

MotoGP was returning to Termas de Rio Hondo for the first time since March 2019, with the event cancelled for the past two years due to the Covid pandemic. That also meant the current 'standard' rear tyre construction, introduced in 2020, had not previously been used at the track.

Barring any freight issues, MotoGP will be back on track in Austin, Texas on Friday.