MotoGP Grand Prix of Argentina 2018 Results: Cal Crutchlow Wins Dramatic Race

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2018

RIO HONDO, ARGENTINA - APRIL 07:  Marc Marquez of Spain and Repsol Honda Team leads the field during the qualifying practice during the MotoGp of Argentina - Qualifying on April 7, 2018 in Rio Hondo, Argentina.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)
Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

Cal Crutchlow narrowly held off Johann Zarco to win the 2018 MotoGP Grand Prix of Argentina on Sunday, a race that will go down as one of the most eventful and dramatic of the year.

Defending world champion Marc Marquez was involved in several incidents that saw him end up with three separate penalties, finishing out of the points. The race start was also delayed, leading to some incredible scenes.

Alex Rins took third place behind Crutchlow and Zarco. Wth the win, Crutchlow also took the lead in the overall standings, taking a three-point lead over Andrea Dovizioso.

Here are the race results:

CRASH.NET/MotoGP @crash_motogp

MotoGP race results: Crutchlow, Zarco, Rins, Miller, Viñales, Dovizioso, Rabat, Iannone, Syahrin, Petrucci, P.Espargaro, Redding, Nakagami, Morbidelli, Lorenzo

For the full MotoGP standings, click here


Chaos and Controversy Before Start

The tricky weather conditions in Argentina led to chaotic scenes before the race even began, as Jack Miller was the only rider to make the decision to change to slick tyres in time.

It resulted in some incredible scenes, with the race start quickly approaching:

MotoGP™🏁 @MotoGP

It's chaos down there!!! 🙃 #ArgentinaGP https://t.co/dz6OPzrdgN

The pole-sitter spent minutes sitting on the grid all by himself as race organisers delayed the start, and Miller clearly wasn't happy with proceedings:

CRASH.NET/MotoGP @crash_motogp

Miller had made the right call to change to slicks in time for the original start and is clearly not happy with the delay... #ArgentinaGP #MotoGP https://t.co/0kkbJ5X9Na

With the entire group of riders changing tyres at the last minute―except for Miller―the start got complicated. Having them all start from the pit lane wasn't an option, so instead, the grid was laid out anew, with Miller receiving a head start.

The result was odd, to say the least:

CRASH.NET/MotoGP @crash_motogp

Have you ever seen a grid like this?! #ArgentinaGP #MotoGP https://t.co/FqIdlF0zXK


More Chaos on Opening Lap

The absurd scenes were likely to result in more chaos during the opening lap, and world champion Marquez nearly didn't make it in time after his bike stalled:

MotoGP™🏁 @MotoGP

MORE DRAMA! Now for @marcmarquez93 on the grid! 😮 And we are finally racing! #ArgentinaGP https://t.co/r2v0704JOS

To cap things off, Dani Pedrosa saw his chances of winning the race end early as he went flying off the track:

MotoGP™🏁 @MotoGP

The drama doesn't stop!!! @26_DaniPedrosa highsides out of the race on lap one! 😖 #ArgentinaGP https://t.co/K8oTFV9k9q


Penalties for Marquez

Miller's advantage didn't amount too much, as Marquez flew up the grid and took the lead in no time. He quickly built an advantage while his race start was under review, and the stewards ended up assessing a ride-through penalty.

Some fans thought it wasn't enough:

Neil Spalding @Spalders

Marquez should get a black flag for that start.

The Catalan would exit the pit lane in 20th place, with Miller back in the lead. Shortly after, he made far too much contact while overtaking Aleix Espargaro, and he was assessed another penalty, dropping a position.

Marquez did well to fight his way back up the field and moved up to seventh, but he once again moved in recklessly on Valentino Rossi, causing the Italian to crash onto the grass. That resulted in another 30-second penalty, leaving him out of the points.

Marquez tried to apologise to the racing legend, to no avail:

MotoGP™🏁 @MotoGP

Unbelievable scenes at the #ArgentinaGP as @marcmarquez93 heads to @ValeYellow46's box to apologise 😮😮😮 #TermasClash https://t.co/5ZT4CwSd9t


Battle for the Win

The fight at the front was a good one, with Miller holding off Rins for several laps before making a crucial mistake in Turn 13 and dropping all the way to fourth. 

Crutchlow couldn't enjoy the lead for long, as Zarco surged ahead with four laps still to go. But the Brit would battle back and hold off his rival in the final corners, winning the race by a slim margin.


What's Next

The Grand Prix of the Americas is next on the schedule, taking place on April 22.