Pole-sitter Marquez wins Argentina GP

Marquez hit the front early on but was forced to work hard to keep Valentino Rossi at bay but pulled clear after pitting. Rossi was left battling Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso for second, a place the former claimed when the two Ducati riders collided on the last lap.

Valentino Rossi Marc Marquez - cropped

Marc Marquez leads during Argentina GP race on Sunday.

Marc Marquez claimed victory from pole position in the Argentina Grand Prix and top spot in the MotoGP riders' standings as reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo crashed out at Termas de Rio Hondo.

In a race reduced to 20 laps and featuring a compulsory pit stop due to concerns over the safety of Michelin's rear tyres and changing track conditions, Repsol Honda rider Marquez hit the front early on but was forced to work hard to keep Valentino Rossi at bay.

However, it was a different story after the two leaders pitted to switch to their second bikes, Marquez pulling clear of his rival to claim an ultimately comfortable victory. Rossi was left battling Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso for second, a place the former claimed when the two Ducati riders collided on the last lap.

Iannone attempted to pass Dovizioso on the inside at turn 12, but made contact with his team-mate and both men were sent spinning off - enabling Dani Pedrosa to take the final spot on the podium.

Lorenzo, the winner of the season-opener in Qatar last weekend, saw his race came to an end on lap six as he crashed out at turn one.

  DUCATI CHIEF SAYS COLLISION 'HARD TO SWALLOW'
Ducati team director Paolo Ciabatti was less than impressed by the incident that saw Iannone and Dovizioso denied a podium.

Ciabatti told BT Sport: "It was a great race until that happened. I understand that your team-mate maybe is the guy you want to beat, but in this case it's hard to swallow. We had a great result and we threw it away. We're very disappointed and we'll talk to the drivers."

MIXED DAY FOR PEDROSA
Pedrosa slipped down the field early on after being forced wide on the opening lap, but he and Rossi were the chief beneficiaries of Iannone and Dovizioso's final-lap collision. "It's maybe the luckiest day of my racing because everybody was crashing in front," said Pedrosa.

VINALES AND REDDING IMPRESS, THEN CRASH
Suzuki's Maverick Vinales competed superbly and held third position before coming off his bike at turn one with three laps to go. Redding was also running well in sixth when his race came to an end due to a technical problem on lap 15.

LAVERTY TAKES ADVANTAGE OF OTHERS' WOES
Eugene Laverty benefited from the string of retirements to claim a stunning fourth-placed finish for the independent Aspar team, with Avintia's Hector Barbera fifth.

IN THE POINTS
1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
2. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) +7.679s
3. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) +28.1s
4. Eugene Laverty (Aspar) +36.542s
5. Hector Barbera (Avintia) +36.711s
6. Pol Espargaro (Yamaha Tech 3) +37.245s
7. Stefan Bradl (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) +41.353s
8. Bradley Smith (Yamaha Tech 3) +50.709s
9. Tito Rabat (Marc VDS) + 50.983s
10. Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) +61.388s
11. Aleix Espargaro (Suzuki Ecstar) +68.868s
12. Michele Pirro (OCTO Pramac) +78.987s
13. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) +93.419s

TITLE STANDINGS
Marc Marquez 41
Valentino Rossi 33 (+8)
Dani Pedrosa 27 (+14)
Jorge Lorenzo 25 (+16)
Andrea Dovizioso 23 (+18)

Repsol Honda 68
Movistar Yamaha 58 (+10)
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 35 (+33)
Ducati 23 (+45)
Suzuki Ecstar 20 (+48)

NEXT UP
A quick turnaround sees the season's third race take place at the Circuit of the Americas next weekend.