Argentina Moto2: Zarco gets title defence back on track with win

Reigning Moto2 champion Johann Zarco got his title defence back on track in Argentina with a controlled win ahead of Sam Lowes and Jonas Folger.

The race began in slightly damp conditions following earlier rain, albeit with everyone starting on slick tyres, and it was Folger who grabbed the lead from Zarco and poleman Lowes at the start.

Lowes moved ahead of Zarco on the second lap, before taking the lead on the following tour as Folger ran out wide - Franco Morbidelli also joining the leading pack as the quartet pulled away from the rest.

Another error by Folger on lap 8 allowed Zarco and Morbidelli through into second and third, but it was only Zarco who was able to put leader Lowes under serious pressure.

The decisive move of the race came on lap 13 as Zarco moved to the front for the first time, although with four laps to go Lowes ran very wide to slip behind Morbidelli, barely keeping third from Folger.

However, Lowes soon re-passed Morbidelli, who then squandered a chance of a third-place finish on the penultimate lap as he fell at low speed at Turn 1, clinging to his Kalex machine as it went down and proving unable to restart it.

It completed a miserable race for the Marc VDS team, as Alex Marquez had crashed out early on.

That left Zarco to cruise home with a 1.3 second advantage over Lowes, with Folger completing the podium a further 1.4s back.

Alex Rins was the fastest man in the closing stages, but having started back in 11th, the Pons rider ran out of time to catch the leading trio, and was forced to be content with fourth place.

Dominique Aegerter narrowly held off Hafizh Syahrin in a spirited battle for fifth place, with Qatar winner Thomas Luthi a subdued seventh ahead of Axel Pons, Takaaki Nakagami and Mattia Pasini.

Xavier Simeon was the top non-Kalex rider in 12th aboard the best of the Speed Up machines, one place ahead of Lorenzo Baldassarri - who scored three points two weeks on from dislocating both shoulders in Qatar.

Race results:

PosRiderTeamBikeTime
1 FranceJohann Zarco  Ajo Motorsport Kalex 40:57.806
2 United KingdomSam Lowes  Gresini Racing Kalex +1.347
3 GermanyJonas Folger  Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex +2.754
4 SpainAlex Rins  Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex +6.101
5 SwitzerlandDominique Aegerter  Technomag Racing Interwetten Kalex +17.384
6 MalaysiaHafizh Syahrin  Petronas Raceline Malaysia Team Honda Kalex +17.484
7 SwitzerlandThomas Luthi  Garage Plus Interwetten Kalex +26.411
8 SpainAxel Pons  AGR Team Kalex +31.016
9 JapanTakaaki Nakagami  Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex +31.403
10 ItalyMattia Pasini  Italtrans Racing Team Kalex +31.816
11 GermanyMarcel Schrötter  AGR Team Kalex +32.329
12 BelgiumXavier Simeon  QMMF Racing Team Speed Up +40.968
13 ItalyLorenzo Baldassarri  Forward Racing Kalex +47.883
14 SpainXavi Vierge  Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 +56.027
15 SpainLuis Salom  SAG Team Kalex +58.278
16 United KingdomDanny Kent  Leopard Racing Kalex +58.437
17 ThailandRatthapark Wilairot  Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex +58.615
18 ItalyLuca Marini  Forward Racing Kalex +59.245
19 SpainJulian Simon  QMMF Racing Team Speed Up +59.535
20 ItalySimone Corsi  Speed Up Racing Speed Up +59.878
21 PortugalMiguel Oliveira  Leopard Racing Kalex +1:00.406
22 SwitzerlandRobin Mulhauser  Technomag Racing Interwetten Kalex +1:09.254
23 SwitzerlandJesko Raffin  Sports-Millions-EMWE-SAG Kalex +1:14.825
24 SpainIsaac Viñales  Tech 3 Racing Tech 3 +1:16.792
25 ItalyFranco Morbidelli  Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex +1:41.530
26 SpainEfren Vazquez  JPMoto Malaysia Suter +1 lap
27 ItalyAlessandro Tonucci  Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 Kalex +1 lap
R Sandro Cortese  Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex  
R Alex Marquez  Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex  
NS Edgar Pons  Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex  

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About this article
Series Moto2
Event Termas de Rio Hondo
Track Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo
Drivers Johann Zarco , Jonas Folger , Sam Lowes
Article type Race report