Aleix Espargaro wins for Aprilia in Argentina, SA's Brad Binder sixth

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South African MotoGP rider Brad Binder
South African MotoGP rider Brad Binder
Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto

 • Aleix Espargaro won his first MotoGP race in 200 starts in Argentina.
 • Espargaro's victory is the first for Aprilia in the four-stroke era of MotoGP.
 • South African Brad Binder retained second place in the 2022 World Championship standings with a sixth place finish.

The third stop on the 2022 MotoGP calendar saw the travelling circus head to Argentina and the Termas de Rio Honda circuit. The weekend's schedule initially hung in the balance as a plane carrying a large volume of MotoGP cargo was hampered by flight and freight clearing delays. 

The late arrival of this equipment saw all of Friday's sessions cancelled. Practice commenced on Saturday but only afforded riders two sessions to refine their setup before the all-important qualifying session.

Aleix Espargaro, aboard his Aprilia, managed to snatch pole position, the first for the Italian manufacturer in the four-stroke era. South Africa's Brad Binder showed good pace in the last moments of the qualifying session, but a missed gear saw him only manage 10th position in qualifying.

Aleix Espargaro of Spain and Aprilia Racing wins his first MotoGP race during the MotoGP race of Argentina at the Autodromo Termas de Rao Hondo on April 03, 2022 in Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina.

On Sunday, a lightning start saw Jorge Martin on the Pramac Ducati snatch the lead in the first corner, ahead of Aleix Espargaro. The duo slowly built up a comfortable lead on the chasing pack, trading the fastest lap times during the first third of the race.

A few small mistakes by Aleix Espargaro saw him lose time to the race leader, with Martin stretching his lead to more than a second on lap ten. Espargaro managed to recover to the point where he was fighting for the lead with seven laps to go once more. After several attempts, Espargaro finally managed to overtake Martin on lap 21 and retained the lead until the chequered flag.

"I am very happy with the victory, but the pressure was double with a good qualifying and it being my 200th race. I struggled with grip all race and couldn't ride my pace, playing with the settings on the handlebar, but finally, in the last four laps, I was the fastest," said a visibly emotional Espargaro.

The duo was followed by Suzuki riders Alex Rins and Joan Mir in third and fourth position, who once again showed great pace in the latter portions of the race.

Red Bull KTM rider Brad Binder was involved in a race-long battle for sixth position, running in ninth place for the first portion of the race before managing to gain three positions to finally finish in sixth position. In doing so, Binder scored valuable championship points, enough to retain second place in the 2022 MotoGP World Championship standings.

Brother Darryn Binder managed 18th position in his first MotoGP visit to Argentina.

The competitiveness of the MotoGP series is perfectly illustrated by the fact that nine different riders have stood on the podium in the first three races of the 2022 season.

The next MotoGP race is only a week away, with riders heading to the Circuit of the Americas in Houston, Texas, next weekend.

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