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MotoGP Raceweek: Revisiting the chaos of the 2018 Argentina Grand Prix

Omnisport
NEWS
News
29 Mar 2019, 13:30 IST

Marc Marquez attempts to restart his bike on the grid.
Marc Marquez attempts to restart his bike on the grid.

MotoGP returns to Argentina this weekend but the race might struggle to live up to the drama of the 2018 edition.

The race, which was ultimately won by Cal Crutchlow, verged on the farcical as it was dominated by chaos on the grid and the antics of defending champion Marc Marquez.

Changeable weather conditions led to scenes of confusion prior to the race, with polesitter Jack Miller the only man to take to the grid on slick tyres.

As the track dried out with the riders already on the grid, all 23 of the bikes set up for wet conditions returned to the pits, making it unclear how the race would eventually get under way.

Miller cut a lonely figure as the only rider to remain on the grid and - after much debate - was given the advantage of starting 50 yards ahead of the rest of the field.

The drama was far from done there, however.

Following the formation lap, Marquez stalled his Repsol Honda on the grid, leaping off and pushing his bike around in a bid to get it restarted.

MORE DRAMA! Now for @marcmarquez93 on the grid!

And we are finally racing! #ArgentinaGP pic.twitter.com/r2v0704JOS
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— MotoGP™(@MotoGP) April 8, 2018

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Successful in his mission, Marquez retook his place for the start, but - after overtaking Miller in the early stages - was hit with a ride-through penalty for delaying the start, leaving him down in 19th.

Marquez set about powering through the field like a man possessed and was ordered to drop a place after running into the back of Aleix Espargaro.

Having climbed to sixth, the Spaniard then had a similar coming together with Valentino Rossi, forcing the Movistar Yamaha rider off the circuit and landing him with a 30-second penalty that dropped him out of the points.

EVEN MORE DRAMA @marcmarquez93 and @ValeYellow46 clash and the Italian goes down! #ArgentinaGP pic.twitter.com/6bZxTFISuJ
— MotoGP™ (@MotoGP) April 8, 2018

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Marquez was immediately ordered to leave when he went to Rossi's garage to apologise after the race, with the Italian later accusing his rival of "destroying our sport".

Unbelievable scenes at the #ArgentinaGP as @marcmarquez93 heads to @ValeYellow46 's box to apologise #TermasClash pic.twitter.com/5ZT4CwSd9t
— MotoGP™ (@MotoGP) April 8, 2018

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The controversies all distracted from events at the front of the field, where Crutchlow showed his class to follow up a fourth-place finish in the season opener in Qatar with the third win of his career, joined by Johann Zarco and Alex Rins on the podium.

Miller had to settle for fourth, while Qatar winner Andrea Dovizioso was sixth and Marquez ended a bad day down in 18th.

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