Moto2 Argentina: Back-to-back wins for brilliant Baldassarri

Lorenzo Baldassarri fought to the front to continue his perfect start to the season, taking victory in the Moto2 Grand Prix in Argentina.
Moto2 Argentina: Back-to-back wins for brilliant Baldassarri

Lorenzo Baldassarri recovered from a poor qualifying to claim consecutive wins and keep his explosive start to the season going after victory the Moto2 Grand Prix of Argentina.

The Flexbox HP 40 rider had qualified down in seventh and was away from the drama that came before the race had even started when pole man Xavi Vierge experienced a rare electrical failure on the warm-up lap, preventing him from taking up his slot at the front of the grid.

That left Marcel Schrotter with clear track ahed of him, battling it out with Remy Gardner and Alex Marquez over the opening laps.

Baldassarri set to work reducing the gap and soon arrived in the front group. The Italian found the next step, pulled away and didn’t look back, at ease on old tyres and 1.244s ahead of his rivals at the finish to sit on a maximum 50 points after the first two races of the season.

Equally sensational, Gardner claimed his first podium finish after the disappointment of fourth in Qatar. The SAG Team rider was in with a shout of winning after leading the way before a tough move on Baldassarri saw him lose ground, but the Australian was undeterred and fought back - his superb pass at turn six on Schrotter towards the end of the race guaranteed him second place at the chequered flag.

Marquez kept his head amongst all the hard moves and contact to secure third for EG 0,0 Marc VDS and complete the podium.

Iker Lecuona was a lonely fourth for American Racing as the top KTM behind the all Kalex rostrum.

Brad Binder was rubbing paint with anyone willing to challenge on his way to fifth after an aggressive performance on the Red Bull KTM Ajo.

Marcel Schrotter was on the receiving end of the worst of Binder’s moves - having already been passed by Marquez, the Dynavolt Intact GP rider then found himself forced out wide and down from third to seventh in just one lap. The German gained one place in the closing stages to finish sixth.

Seventh went to Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46), who also clashed with Binder on track, Jorge Navarro was superb as the top Speed Up in eighth, with a short wait back to see top rookie Enea Bastianini claim ninth for Italtrans.

After a further gap Somikat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) took his best ever Moto2 finish to complete the top ten.

Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans) held off Tetsuta Nagashima (SAG Team) to take eleventh, forcing the Japanese rider to settle for twelfth.

The remaining points on offer were claimed by Khairul Idham Pawi (Petronas Sprinta Racing) in 13th, Bo Bendsneyder (RW Racing), who pushed the NTS to limit to climb to 14th with his team-mate Jesko Raffin just behind in 15th.

They all benefited from a fall on the last lap by Dominique Aegerter who had been running in the points places.

Jake Dixon improved greatly over the course of the race to finish 18th for the Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team.

Jorge Martin crashed out with five laps to go at turn five, as did Joe Roberts in a separate incident. Fabio Di Giannantonio also failed to go the distance - he reportedly retired to the pits with cramp in his calf. 

Stefano Manzi was the first to exit at turn one after completing just one lap. Tom Luthi hit the back of Brad Binder’s trye to be the next to fall, swiftly followed by Sam Lowes who slid out of contention at the same corner.

Dimas Ekky Pratma saw his race end soon after.

Augusto Fernadez missed the Argentina Gran Prix after his huge highside on Saturday left him with a double wrist fracture.