Top five takeaways from the MotoGP 2022 Argentina Grand Prix
Aprilia deliver on their promise
Aprilia and Aleix Espargaro – the perennial underdogs – have worked together and worked hard for six years to develop the bike into something worthy. Finally, the results are bearing fruit. The Spaniard put his Aprilia on pole on Sunday (as the paddock dealt with the freight issues that delayed proceedings), and then won the race as well! However, it was not an easy win, as Jorge Martin got better on his Pramac Ducati. By lap 17, Espargaro had been caught. Lap 18 was when the first attack came, although the Aprilia went in too deep. He tried again a lap later, and again the Aprilia went in too deep. Third time lucky, as on lap 21 the Espargaro reeled in Martin and pulled off a sublime block pass to capture a lead he would not relinquish for the next six laps. He was the last one left on the grid without a Grand Prix win in any class of GP racing, but on his 200th MotoGP start, he proved all of them wrong. Truly a magnificent showing for the man from Andorra, capped by the fact that he’s heading to Texas with the championship lead!
Where is Ducati?
It was not that people were asking where the once-feared Ducatis were, but that Ducati was out of the conversation entirely. There was no way to accurately judge how low the Italian team have fallen though, as Johann Zarco crashed out early on and Pecco Bagnaia had a mystifying loss of pace in the early stages, which he rectified with a charge to P5 in the latter stages. Enea Bastianini had an understandable off-weekend, while Jack Miller was embarrassingly slow. Jorge Martin was the one bright spot as he held the lead for most of the race while trying to start a campaign in which before this race he had 0 points. The main problem for them seems to be the tyres, which they eat up in a matter of seconds. The rivals must be wondering whether they should be as scared as they were.
Fabio Quatrararo muddles in the midfield, while Alex Rins and Suzuki triumph
It was not exactly an untidy display for the reigning world champion, but you expect more from the French wunderkind. Salvaging a bad weekend to finish in eighth place was probably as much as he could expect, considering he was the only Yamaha that scored points at all. In any case, one must never count out Fabio, for you never know where he’ll strike from again.
The champions preceding him, however, were having their moment in the sun. After a promising period of testing where it genuinely seemed like Suzuki had one of the faster bikes on the grid, much was expected of them. And in Argentina, the marque from Hamamatsu proved why they’re the kings of consistency as they scythed through the field to finish in P3-4, with Alex Rins finally getting a confidence-boosting podium after a litany of crashes ruined his reputation last year. As a fan, I am more excited than ever for the Japanese bikes that could.
Honda missing Marquez
While brother Aleix won the race, Pol Espargaro crashed out of a podium position by literally sliding out of contention on his own. It was an odd crash on a day that could have been so much more. While dramatic changes to the bike helped Pol and the other Honda riders get a better feel on the bike, it is obvious that the RC213V is a long way from the class of the field. It remains to be seen whether Pol can wrangle some performance from the bike or if Honda should settle in to a year of being happy if they finish a race in the top 5. Marc Marquez’s injury could not heal sooner for Honda.
Are we in for a crazy season?
9 podium sitters in the first 3 races! If this is what the season has in store for us, bring it to us in doles! The 2022 season so far has been chaotic, with another astounding stat being that no Japanese manufacturer has yet won a Grand Prix. An unheard of scenario, especially if you have been with us through the last couple of years when Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki divided the spoils for themselves. However, this year Ducati (Gresini), KTM and Aprilia have all won the three races. And Aprilia’s win made another stat shine – since 2019, every single manufacturer in MotoGP has now won a Grand Prix! The golden era is surely not over yet.