Vietti on top in Moto2 as Garcia makes move when it counts in Moto3.
Aleix Espargaro has broken through to take his maiden MotoGP victory and the first for Aprilia in the modern era, as Celestino Vietti and Sergio Garcia emerged on top in Moto2 and Moto3 at Termas de Rio Hondo.
Espargaro experienced a near-perfect weekend, fastest in shortened practice, qualifying and warm up before converting that pace to a race win, 0.807s clear of Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin.
To Martin’s credit, he held the lead for the majority of the race, only to be eclipsed by the number 41 with five laps to go, scoring a much needed 20 points to open his 2022 account after two challenging rounds in Qatar and Indonesia.
Taking the final place on the podium was Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins, ahead of teammate Joan Mir, as Francesco Bagnaia recovered from qualifying P13 to finish fifth.
Top of the KTM’s was Brad Binder in sixth, atop of Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing Team), current world champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), MotoGP rookie Marco Bezzecchi (Money VR46 Racing Team) and round one winner Enea Bastianini who completed the top 10.
Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) finished a frustrating 14th, unable to move forwards during the race as Tech3 KTM Factory Racing’s Remy Gardner continued to gain valuable experience onboard the RC16, crossing the line in P17.
Espargaro’s victory moves him into the championship lead, seven points clear of Binder who is a further two ahead of Bastianini.
Vietti scored his second Moto2 victory of 2022 to extend his points advantage, as round two winner Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) confirmed his potential by finishing just 1.5s adrift in second.
Third was Chantra’s teammate, Ai Ogura, the Japanese talent besting Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) and Jake Dixon (Inde GasGas Aspar Team) who completed the top five.
Vietti enjoys a 21 point buffer over Canet following the opening three rounds, with Chantra making progress after a zero points haul at Qatar to sit in third, another four points back.
A penultimate corner move on the last lap saw Garcia secure the Moto3 victory for the Gaviota GasGas Aspar Team), as Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) crossed the line in hot pursuit ahead of Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max Racing Team’s Ayumu Sasaki who claimed third.
Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corsa) claimed P4 as Tatsuki Suzuki was demoted a position, crossing the line fourth but ultimately classified fifth at Argentina.
Australian Joel Kelso (CIP Green Power) qualified an impressive P5, ultimately finishing the race in 10th in a weekend that surely marked a sign of things to come from the Moto3 rookie.
Looking at the points standings in the lightweight class, Garcia sits on top with 58, Foggia second on 54 and Guevara third courtesy of 28.
The MotoGP World Championship now heads to the United States for round four on 8-10 April at Circuit of the Americas.