Three Things We Learned From The MotoGP Argentina Grand Prix
After a rain-disturbed Argentina Grand Prix weekend, here are five things we learned from the action in Termas de Rio Hondo.
1. Marco Bezzecchi Is A Threat To Bagnaia's Title Defence
Having seen what Marco Bezzecchi is up to in 2023, we can say that he absolutely has evertýthing in hand to become World Champion.
While the Italian was eliminated in the first sprint of the season in Portimao after a crash, he was virtually unbeatable in the next three races.
At the latest after his first race win in MotoGP and taking over the world championship lead in Argentina, Bezzecchi has to be counted among the closer favorites.
If the Italian maintains his current momentum, he can pose a threat to title reigning champion and fellow VR46 Academy rider Francesco Bagnaia.
2. Aprilia Will Hope For Less Rain Than In Argentina
After the Aprilia team around Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro had started grandiosely into the Argentina Grand Prix weekend, a glaring weakness of the bikes from Noale emerged in the rain.
Aleix Espargaro explained afterward: “That was the worst race of my career.” Especially the 33-year-old had to fight the poor rear grip of his Aprilia.
The set-up of the Italians in the rain does not seem optimal. Espargaro described his problem: “I couldn’t open the throttle, not even on the straight.”
“The rear wheel was spinning all the time, I had to shift up the gears well before I got to the rev limit.”
3. Bagnaia Is Not A "Changed Man"
For Francesco Bagnaia the season could not have started better in Portimao. Two wins in Sprint and Feature Race gave the Italian the full points haul in the first Grand Prix weekend of the season.
There was talk of renewed confidence after his title win last year and a potentially dominant 2023 campaign.
However, a week later in Argentina, Bagnaia’s old problems, like those that cost him the title in 2021, have returned
Bagnaia looked comfortable in second and nailed on for a podium before he slid off his factory Ducati at the penultimate corner on lap 17.
The result is the loss of the world championship lead to VR46 Academy colleague Marco Bezzecchi – Bagnaia is not unbeatable, certainly not in the rain.
Saying he doesn’t understand why he crashed since he did nothing different at Turn 13 compared to previous laps, the World Champion is “angry” as he falls back into old habits.
Bagnaia himself thought he had eradicated these early-2022-type errors for the new season.