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Marco Bezzecchi and VR46 Take First MotoGP Victory in Argentina

Written by Owen Bradley, Edited by Yu Xin Wang

Credit: Lukasz Swiderek, Michelin

The Argentinian MotoGP weekend was a weekend of firsts - it was the first Argentina GP weekend with the new sprint race format, it was the first Ducati victory at Argentina, it was Alex Marquez’s first pole position, it was Marco Bezzecchi’s first MotoGP victory, and it was the first Team VR46 victory in MotoGP.

It was a phenomenal weekend for Bezzecchi in particular, as he qualified P2 and started on the front row on Saturday morning, before taking a strong P2 in the sprint race on Saturday afternoon. However, it is Sunday when the big points are scored, and Bezzecchi got a great launch off the line and managed to slip one up the inside of Marquez, taking the lead.

The rain was pouring but many predicted that the track would eventually dry out, perhaps giving us a flag-to-flag race. But alas, that wasn’t meant to be. Instead, we got a dominant victory from Bezzecchi, aboard the VR46 Mooney Ducati.

Once Bezzecchi took the lead, nobody seemed to be able to catch him despite some being on the same Ducati spec. Bezzecchi ended up pulling out a 7-second lead to Marquez and Francesco Bagnaia behind. Bagnaia eventually made a move on Marquez, but ended up falling at the final braking zone at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo. It seems like “Pecco” fell as soon as he got on throttle, with tyre degradation and tricky wet weather. This was a very costly mistake for Bagnaia, as he also tumbled down the championship standings to P2.

Credit: Steve Wobser

Bezzecchi has, so far, managed to finish P3 in the Grand Prix at Portugal and now P1 in Argentina - meaning he takes the championship lead with a 9-point advantage over the 2022 World Champion, Francesco Bagnaia.

Factory Ducati and Bagnaia fans should not be too disheartened though, because we saw Bagnaia's ability to overturn a mammoth of a deficit in 2022. He managed to overturn a 91-point lead that Fabio Quartararo had, and eventually had a 23-point lead over Quartararo heading into the season finale at Valencia last year.

Of course, this also marks Valentino Rossi’s first victory as a team owner in MotoGP - and it is also the first time we’ve seen someone carry the VR46 logo to the top step of the podium, since Rossi’s victory at Assen in 2017.

Ducati have also given all of its customer teams the same machinery as the factory bike itself. Therefore, it is no surprise that we had an all-Ducati podium, with Johann Zarco and Alex Marquez rounding up the other podium places.

MotoGP has a new championship leader, Marco Bezzecchi. Is the VR46 rider going to be a potential title contender? Should Bagnaia be worried about his pointless finish at Argentina? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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1 則留言


Its a great result for Bezzecchi and team - I will be hoping they can build on it and become meaningful challengers at each round, given they have as much, or have almost as much of a competitive bike as anyone on the grid it isn't too fanciful to think they could mount a serious challenge.

I doubt Pecco is too worried yet but he will need to cut out mistakes if he is to have an easier path to the title this year. In some ways on the evidence of the start of the season his task might be easier as everyone else seems to be capitulating around him and hurting themselves, or on far inferior machinery. You never…

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