Vinales claims second MotoGP win after disaster strikes champ
MAVERICK Vinales' perfect start to 2017 has continued, winning his second MotoGP race in succession in the Grand Prix of Argentina.
The Spaniard headed home a Yamaha one-two, Valentino Rossi vaulting from seventh on the grid to finish second, with Cal Crutchlow rounding out the podium.
Alvaro Bautista survived a fearsome scrap to be the first independent rider home in fourth ahead of Johann Zarco.
Jack Miller enjoyed another steady ride, earning a healthy haul of points with ninth place and passing the chequered flag as the second Honda home.
The race was a disaster for Marc Marquez.
The reigning world champion took off like a jackrabbit from pole and immediately began building an imposing lead.
At the end of Lap 1 it was over a second and a half.
At the end of Lap 2 it was two seconds.
On Lap 3, he crashed.
The front tyre slipped out from under the No.93 Honda as he tipped it into Turn 2, tumbling through the gravel.
"I'm okay," a dejected Marquez said. "I was feeling amazing with the bike.
"I don't know why (I crashed), for sure I did some mistake."
Vinales assumed the lead from Crutchlow and Rossi, the factory Yamahas scything their way forward in the early laps.
Rossi pursued the Honda for much of the race, making his move with seven laps to go to take second place. But by that point Vinales was almost three seconds up the road.
A five-bike scrap had ensued behind them for fourth, Danilo Petrucci initially at the point before being overhauled by Johann Zarco, Dani Pedrosa and Alvaro Bautista.
Pedrosa crashed out of fourth with 12 laps to go in a carbon-copy of his teammate's spill at Turn 2.
Aleix Espargaro soon tacked onto the tail of the group, only to crash out and take Andrea Dovizioso with him at the end of the back straight a lap later.
It rounded out a miserable race for the factory Ducati squad.
Jorge Lorenzo's race lasted only as far as the first corner, crashing after tangling with the rear wheel of Andrea Iannone's Suzuki.
Iannone's race was ruined by a ride-through penalty for jumping the start, while Rins had a crash of his own with 18 laps to go that prompted his retirement a few laps later.
Alex Lowes was also a retirement with gearbox problems.
The attrition allowed KTM to score their first world championship points in MotoGP, Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith securing the final two points-paying positions in 14th and 15th.