The MotoGP race in Argentina was attritional in the early stages, with Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Márquez, Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso and Aleix Espargaró all crashing out of the fight for the front positions.
Maverick Viñales stayed clear of trouble to establish a comfortable lead at the front, leaving Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi to fight for a second place that eventually went the way of the Italian.
Behind them Pull&Bear Aspar rider Álvaro Bautista made a late push for the podium but after losing time in a skirmish with Pedrosa, Zarco and Petrucci, the Spaniard had to settle for his preseason prediction of a top five finish with a highly creditable fourth.
It was a repeat of the Pull&Bear Aspar Team’s result here last season and capped off a weekend that included a best ever grid position with Karel Abraham (second) and a best ever race finish thanks to Álvaro Bautista (fourth).
The Spaniard was only left to rue the valuable seconds he lost at the start of the race, when the lead group escaped, otherwise he could clearly have been fighting with them in the closing laps. A
4th Álvaro Bautista:
“That was a nice race, a little like at the end of last season when I was starting from the back but making my way through. I lost a little time at the start because everybody was really going at it and I got in a tough group, with a particularly aggressive rider in there, and it was difficult to pass. Once their pace dropped off I was able to overtake them and lap as fast at the guys at the front. I was catching them at the end but I had lost too much ground in the early laps. I feel that I am a rider capable of this kind of result, these are realistic positions for me, and I think we have to continue in this way. I want to thank Pull&Bear Aspar and Ducati for these results and for all their support.”
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