Yesterday’s race at Termas De Rio Honda was all about Aprilia and Aleix Espargaro as he clenched a momentous victory. It was Aleix’s 200th MotoGP race and needless to say, the Spanish racer made the most out of it by getting Aprilia its first win in the premier class. Aprilia made a comeback to MotoGP in 2015 after it announced its exit from the sport following a miserable spell in 2004. Aprilia has often been accused of being the slowest manufacturer on the grid. Not anymore!
Espargaro might have started well from his pole position but Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin had no intentions of making it easy for the poleman. Martin was quite exemplary in his own right as he didn’t let Aleix overtake him for the first 17 of 25 laps. Martin remained the closest rival to Aleix and after leading the majority of the race, he ultimately finished second after Aleix executed a perfect overtake during lap 20.
Since Marc Marquez wasn’t a part of the action following his terrible crash in Indonesia, the reigns of Repsol Honda were solely in Pol Espargaro’s hands. He did get a spicy start and held P2 for a while but couldn’t hold the position for long. It was a bad day for the Yamaha camp as Andrea Dovizioso had to visit the pit lane even before the second lap completed. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the defending champion either. Fabio Quartararo started the race in P6 but soon lost momentum. Quartararo recovered to eighth after his dismal start.
The 2022 Argentina GP proved to be quite fruitful for the Suzuki factory team as well. Alex Rins managed to grab the third step on the podium while his teammate Joan Mir settled for P4. This has propelled the Suzuki team on top of the Teams’ championship.
Aleix Espargaro will go down in history as he has become the first rider to claim victory astride an Aprilia in a MotoGP race. “I’m very happy, it’s been a long, long time. It was my 200th GP in the premier class,” an emotional Aleix Espargaro said in a post-race interview. “It wasn’t an easy race, I didn’t have grip at all, I couldn’t do my best, I was trying to find a good configuration,” he added.
Aleix Espargaro leads the championship with 45 points, seven ahead of KTM’s Brad Binder who finished sixth.