The Citizen (KZN)

Vinales sails to second win

- Termas de RÍo Hondo

– Maverick Vinales (above) won the Grand Prix of Argentina on Sunday, extending his lead in the world championsh­ip after also winning the season-opener in Qatar.

Spanish rider Vinales, on a Yamaha, inherited the lead on the fourth lap when world champion and pole-sitter Marc Marquez crashed out on his Honda, his machine careering spectacula­rly into the gravel at turn two.

Valentino Rossi, racing in his 350th grand prix, took second place on the second factory Yamaha, 2.915sec behind.

Britain’s Cal Crutchlow, on a Honda, finished third.

It was a third career victory in the elite class for the 22-year-old Vinales who switched to Yamaha from Suzuki for this season.

“Marquez started very strong and when he fell I said to myself I needed to get as many points as possible,” said Vinales who has a perfect 50 points after two races, 14 ahead of Rossi.

Rossi, 38, added a second place to his third position in Qatar but admitted that Vinales, 16 years his junior, is the man to beat.

“Unfortunat­ely, Maverick was a bit faster, but this result is really important for me and the whole team,” said the Italian.

Marquez was not the only three-time world champion to suffer embarrassm­ent.

His compatriot Jorge Lorenzo crashed out on the first lap as the Spaniard’s miserable start to life as a Ducati rider continued.

He started the race on the sixth row on the grid having already struggled home in a disappoint­ing 11th place in Qatar two weeks ago.

Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, second in Qatar, was also a faller and failed to finish.

Honda saw their second factory rider Dani Pedrosa crash out on the same bend that had claimed Marquez. – AFP

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