TERMAS DE RIO HONDO, Argentina – Maverick Vinales romped to his second-straight victory to start the MotoGP season on Sunday at Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo.
Vinales became the first Yamaha rider since Wayne Rainey in 1990 to win the first two races of the year. His Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi was second, followed by LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow in third.
Marc Marquez who leapt into the lead from pole, with Crutchlow taking second as the pack shuffled behind them. Vinales and Rossi moved into third and fourth as they chased Marquez and Crutchlow.
Vinales soon attacked Crutchlow to take second before drama struck ahead of him. Marquez crashed in turn two while nearly two seconds ahead of Vinales, handing the race lead to Vinales.
Vinales eventually pulled away from the battle for second, with Rossi getting the better of Crutchlow after taking second with seven laps to go at turn five.
“We did a great job. We made the tire decision already this morning. I feel really great. The tire’s grip level was really good the entire time,” Vinales said. “I feel pretty strong and Michelin is doing a great job, I feel really happy and confident. It‘s like we are in a dream. I have to say thanks to the team, they are doing a great job, so let‘s continue like that.”
Alvaro Bautista ended the day with an impressive fourth-place finish, followed by Johann Zarco in fifth. The top-10 was completed by Jonas Folger, Danilo Petrucci, Scott Redding, Jack Miller and Karel Abraham.