LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow produced a brilliant ride to emerge victorious in an action-packed Argentina Grand Prix on Sunday. Mixed wet conditions, a delayed start, penalties and crashes ensured it was a wild race at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, but Crutchlow held his nerve superbly to see off the challenge of Johann Zarco to clinch his third career MotoGP win and the 750th for Honda in the premier class.
Starting from the fourth row, Crutchlow moved through the field and took advantage of a start penalty that was handed to a charging Marc Marquez. Moving past Zarco and Alex Rins to claim second, the Briton hit the front seven laps from the end when leader and polesitter Jack Miller went wide at a corner. Crutchlow managed the closing stages expertly, keeping Zarco at bay to seal a memorable triumph.
#35 Cal Crutchlow – (1st – 40’36.342)
“It was nice to win, but it was to be expected to be honest. I came into the weekend thinking I could leave here with a chance of being first or second with Marc (Marquez) and we ended up winning. I was comfortable in the battle, I felt I took no risks and stayed with riders that I probably could have dropped should I have needed to.
“We have to be pleased, the team has done a fantastic job in the last two races and I think we could have fought for victory no matter which circuit it would have been this weekend. Now we go to Austin and we’ll aim for the top five and look to come out of there with strong points. This year I said I wanted to win some races! It’s really nice to be part of that group of riders that have been able to win these 750 races for Honda. I’ve been supported very well by them in the last few years and this year the support is even better.”
LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami claimed his first points in the MotoGP class as he finished 13th in Sunday’s Argentina Grand Prix. Having started from last place on the grid, it was fine result for the Japanese rookie who has made an encouraging start to life in the premier category having now finished both of the opening two races of the new season.
Nakagami handled the difficult conditions at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo well with rain and a delayed start complicating matters for the riders. He found good rhythm in the second half of the race and eventually claimed three points as he finished two places ahead of former world champion Jorge Lorenzo.
#30 Takaaki Nakagami – (13th – 41’08.794)
“I’m really happy for the team to see Cal’s victory today. Also for myself, I’m really happy to take my first points in MotoGP and finish in 13th place in a difficult race. There were some delays and rain which made it difficult to concentrate and the race was really long.
“But like in Qatar, our pace from the middle of the race to the end was quite good and I learnt a lot of new things again. Thanks to the team; yesterday was a bit disappointing, but to go from last position to take my first points today I’m really happy. Now I’m looking forward to the next race in Texas and trying to make another step forward.”
(fonte: LCR Honda press realise)