Starting second from last at the MotoGP Grand Prix of Argentina, Malaysian Hafizh Syahrin, also known as “El Pescao” powered his way up the field to finish ninth on his Yamaha YZR-M1. This gives Hafizh seven championship points, adding to his previous tally of two from his MotoGP debut at Qatar for a running total of nine points.

With nine points, Hafizh stands at 13th position in the world championship rankings, and at the top of the Rookie of the Year table. He is three and six points ahead of rookie rivals Franc Morbidelli of Italy and Takaaki Nakagami of Japan, respectively.

The second MotoGP race of the season saw a lot of drama, with a delayed start when riders opted to pit for a tyre change to slicks from wets due to a rapidly drying track. Australian Jack Miller, riding a Ducati GP17 for satellite team Pramac Racing, alone at the front of the grid.

Race start resumed with all riders, save Miller, relegated several rows back on the grid. However, Miller’s solo start was short-lived as he was quickly caught by current MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez.

Marquez happened to collect a ride-through penalty for clashing with Valentino Rossi that dropped him to 19th position, eventually finishing 18th. Marquez made a move that forced Rossi onto the grass, causing him to drop his Yamaha, though he was able to remount and restart the bike.

This left Miller, Alex Rins, Johann Zarco and Cal Crutchlow in the leading pack, with Crutchlow of CWM LCR Honda on a Honda RC213-V taking the win in a time of 40 minutes 36.342 seconds. In second place was Hafizh’s Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team mate Zarco, 0.251 of a second behind, and Rins on a Suzuki in third.

Crowd favourite Rossi finished the race at the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo in 19th place while Jorge Lorenzo ended up 15th with Ducati team mate Andrea Dovizioso in sixth. In Moto2, Khairul Idham Pawi, riding for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia finished 24th, and fellow Malaysian Zulfhami Khairuddin of SIC Racing Team in 26th.

In Moto3, Adam Norrodin of Petronas Sprinta Racing gained fifth place in this hard fought racing class, giving him 11 championship points. Next race for the 2018 MotoGP season is at the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on April 22.