Maverick Viñales continued his perfect start to life with Yamaha in the 2017 MotoGP season by taking his second straight victory – and the third of his career – in Sunday’s race in Argentina.
Viñales took a stunning victory on his Yamaha debut in Qatar two weeks ago, but looked set to struggle in Argentina as Honda’s Marc Marquez set the pace in qualifying, taking his fourth straight pole at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo.
Marquez made a clean getaway from pole to lead the early part of the race from LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, only to crash out at Turn 2 on Lap 3 when pulling away from the field at over two seconds per lap.
This mistake handed Viñales a lead that he would not relinquish, cruising to his second win of the year by 2.9 seconds to give himself a perfect score of 50 from the opening two rounds.
Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi battled through to finish second, passing Crutchlow late on to complete a one-two for the Japanese manufacturer, leaving the Briton to complete the podium in third place.
Alvaro Bautista scored a huge result for the satellite Pull and Bear Aspar Ducati team, finishing fourth ahead of rookies Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger in P5 and P6.
Danilo Petrucci ended up seventh for Octo Pramac Racing ahead of teammate Scott Redding, while Jack Miller and Karel Abraham rounded out the top 10 positions.
To compound matters for Honda, Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa also crashed out of the race while running inside the top five, while Jorge Lorenzo’s rough start to life with Ducati continue has he fell at the first corner, ending a rough weekend at the first corner.
MotoGP returns in two weeks’ time at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas for the sole U.S. round of the 2017 season.