The result of Sunday’s Argentine Grand Prix saw a new winner, Marco Bezzecchi, and a team that had never before won in the MotoGP class, but also an unusual podium finish. There were three Ducati riders making it up (the first time since the 2021 Valencia Grand Prix), but they all represented satellite teams, and this is rare enough to be underlined.
In itself, the dominance of the Italian manufacturer is no longer a surprise: it has been present on the front row without interruption since the 2020 Valencia GP and systematically on the podium since the 2021 Aragon GP. In Argentina, the hat-trick came in qualifying and then in the race main, and only escaped him in the Sprint, when Brad Binder’s KTM won.
For Johann Zarco, who has contributed to this collective success with his return to the podium, it all lies in the quality of the work Ducati has done to live up to its strong grid presence, with the marque supplying eight of the 22 riders. “Ducati proved last year that it is not able to supply just eight competitive bikes, but 16, because every rider has two bikes and both are ready to race,” the Frenchman told the official MotoGP website.
“I think this was the biggest challenge: being able to provide all the teams with enough material to be competitive. Pramac is the ‘old’ satellite team, the one that has had the experience and the factory bike for many years, but the others teams are getting used to the Ducati and the riders also understand how to use it. It’s nice to live this moment with the Ducati and I’m enjoying it. Congratulations to the Borgo Panigale manufacturer because it’s incredible what they manage to do before the weekend to prepare it for the Better”.
Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team
Photo by: Media VR46
A triumph without official drivers
Before the success of Marco Bezzecchi, the 12th Ducati rider to win in MotoGP, Termas de Rio Hondo was one of the very few circuits on the current calendar that has never seen a Desmosedici triumph – the others are Buriram, Mandalika and, logically, the two new circuits debuting this season. But the addition of this 23rd track to the success record of the Reds and this show of strength was somewhat overshadowed by the absence of the factory riders in the standings. Enea Bastianini was absent with a shoulder injury immediately after Portimao and Pecco Bagnaia crashed, much to his chagrin. He also lost the championship lead to Bezzecchi.
Gigi Dall’Igna admitted his “bitterness at this slip by Pecco, who until then had no fault”. The general manager of Ducati Corse said: “He was managing the race very well and, with a lot of talent, he was making the most of it. Unfortunately, in wet races it’s very easy to make a mistake suddenly.”
Praising “an incredible Bezzecchi”, “an absolute ruler who demonstrated great talent” and a first victory that comes as “a very important confirmation” for the VR46 team in the premier class, Gigi Dall’Igna also praised “a tenacious Zarco ” and “a very good Alex Marquez” in what was only his second Grand Prix with Ducati.
“Three of our bikes on the podium, with three different teams, are a source of immense pride for the Ducati project,” added the Italian boss. “This state of mind must now prevail, with the modesty and team spirit that distinguish us, as well as the desire and need to improve, to learn from every mistake that can happen in a season that will be long and fought, and that it’s just begun.”