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Marc Marquez claims hat-trick of wins at start of MotoGP season
Marquez wins Argentina round from pole
Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa in second place
Valentino Rossi in fourth and third in standings
World champion Marc Marquez continued his impeccable start to the 2014 season with his third win in three races with victory in the Argentina MotoGP Sunday.
The Honda rider also became the first rider since the great Italian star Giacomo Agostini in 1971 to win the first three from pole position.
The 21-year-old Spaniard’s teammate Dani Pedrosa finished second ahead of the Yamaha duo of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi in third and fourth respectively.
Marquez, so dominant in Doha and Texas, did not have things all his own way after opting for a hard front tire choice and following a sluggish start was as low as seventh on the second lap.
Read: Third straight pole for Marquez
But as his tires bedded in on the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, a circuit being used for the first time for a MotoGP, he powered through the field.
He was in second place by lap four and then overtook the Yamaha of former champion Jorge Lorenzo after tracking him for a dozen laps.
Marquez soon pulled well clear and Pedrosa also overhauled Lorenzo with a lap to go of the 25, to complete a one-two for the Repsol Honda line-up.
Marquez has a perfect 75 points after three rounds, with Pedrosa on 56 and Rossi in third on 41 points.
“The beginning was difficult. My tires were not good and I span as I was on the dirty side of the track,” admitted the world champion.
Read: Marquez dominant at Circuit of Americas
“But it was fun. Jorge opened the gap and I just kept pushing to catch him at the end.”
Stefan Bradl and Andrea Iannone finished fifth and sixth, with promising young Briton Bradley Smith in seventh in his debut season at the highest level.
In the Moto2 competition, championship leader Esteve Rabat of Spain scored his second win of the season while Italy’s Romano Fenati won the Moto3 race to deny Australian Jack Miller his hat-trick of wins in that class.
MotoGP was returning to Argentina for the first time since 1999 as the third of 18 rounds this season.