The 2018 MotoGP of Argentina was filled with thrills and spills even before green light. Due to fast changing weather and road conditions, many riders opted to switch tire compounds from dry to wet rubbers. This resulted to an unusual race start as the stewards decided to readjust the starting position of most riders further back, leaving just 1 rider several empty grid slots up front.
Among those who were affected by the adjustment were Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone of the newly-formed team Suzuki Ecstar. But this major setback didn’t stop the 2 riders from gunning it all out, which would eventually reward their team with its first ever podium win.
When the lights went green, Rins went full on, attacking each corner and clinching position after position until he reached 5th place. He kept his pace up to par with the small lead group where he would soon gain 3rd.
The 22 year old rider held the position quite well until the end. This resulted to the team’s maiden stint on the podium. With him in 1st and 2nd places were Cal Crutchlow of team LCR Honda Castrol and Johann Zarco of team Monster Yamaha Tech 3, respectively.
Iannone, on the other hand, snagged 8th place, a valuable position to move forward the team’s mission to dominate this year’s season. Although he struggled during the opening laps, he kept cool and went on to clinch the position, even going head to head with Valentino Rossi of team Movistar Yamaha at some point.
“I’m very satisfied with this race, because it wasn’t easy and before the start I was nervous due to the delay and everything. But we have worked really hard to have a competitive bike, and we’ve done it,” said Rins.
Photos by Suzuki Philippines and Team Suzuki News Service. Video from MotoGP official YouTube channel.