MotoGP: Marquez: 'Track conditions' cause of Rossi clash

Miller took off from his lonely pole position with Dani Pedrosa on the second works Honda leading the charge behind him and Tech 3 Yamaha's Johann Zarco initially in third - until Zarco had a moment and Marquez pounced.

15-times world champion Giacomo Agostini says Valentino Rossi's accusations that Marc Marquez deliberately targeted him in the Argentina MotoGP race are "not true" and "exaggerated".

The pair clashed on a damp track in Argentina at the weekend, with Rossi falling after being pushed onto the grass by the Spaniard who had already incurred a ride-through penalty for a breach of start procedures.

Fellow Honda rider Crutchlow was his nearest challenger, finishing the day as top Independent Team rider on a track he has good results on in the past. He quickly built an advantage while his race start was under review, and the stewards ended up assessing a ride-through penalty. The previous race victor and Factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso will start from eight, whereas his teammate and two-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo could do no better than 14th spot on the grid.

As for Marquez, he was first penalized with for a botched start, and was later forced by Race Direction to give up his position due to clashing with Aleix Espargaro (Gresini Aprilia).

The Argentina Grand Prix has raised all kinds of controversy that is not about to die down.

Suzuki's Rins secured a maiden MotoGP podium result with pole-sitter Miller having to settle for fourth place for Pramac Ducati.

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LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow will start from 10th on the grid whereas Aprilla's Alexis Espargaro and Suzuki's Andrea Iannone will start from 7th and 12th on the grid respectively.

The Catalan would exit the pit lane in 20th place, with Miller back in the lead. This meant Miller got a bit of a head-start.

"Today what happened with Valentino was a mistake, a effect of the track conditions because I locked the front".

With less than five laps remaining, the tussle for the race lead was getting serious as Rins managed to plunge ahead of Miller, but the Aussie rider always had better drive to regain the lead.

Marquez passed Maverick Vinales on the final lap to take fifth, but was hit with a 30-second penalty that dropped him down to 18th.

"In my career I never, never, never go straight to a rider thinking that he will crash".

Zarco soon overtook Crutchlow, but the Briton returned the favour with a slipstream pass on the penultimate lap - and held on to claim his third MotoGP win. In the end, it was Crutchlow who snatched victory from Zarco by just 0.251s!

  • Regina Holmes