Marc Marquez completed the perfect weekend in Austin, having led every session, taken pole (with a new lap record), recorded a new fastest race lap, then crowned it with a victory at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas. The Repsol Honda rider won by 4.124s from team-mate Dani Pedrosa, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) completing the podium.
Marc Marquez: “I’m very happy! I got a really good start, but when I saw Jorge overtake me off the line at first I was a little worried, but then I saw that he had jumped the start. It was a different race to previous ones because I led from start to finish; although it might seem easier that way, it is tough because you have to maintain concentration. It was a perfect weekend and gives us plenty of confidence, although we are aware that the coming races will be different. I know that the race was a little boring for the fans, but sometimes these types of races are good for a rider. Let’s hope that the next one is more exciting!”
Marquez had his best start in the premier class, only beaten in the first corner by Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) who made an uncharacteristic jump start – forcing him into the pit lane for a drive through penalty – and promoting Marc back up to first by the end of the first lap.
Pedrosa tried to stay with Marquez, who was the only ‘Factory’ rider to run the hard rear tyre, but the youngster sped away to become the first rider to win the first two races of the year from pole in the premier-class since Mick Doohan in 1995.
A first podium for Dovizioso as a Ducati Team rider was great news for the Italian factory, though there was some bad news for them too as Cal Crutchlow crashed out and injured his right hand, having earlier pitted due to tyre problems.
Dani Pedrosa: “It was a tough race as Marc was that little faster than me and although I tried to improve with every corner, it was too difficult to gain ground on him and the distance between us increased with every lap. In the end, he was too far away from me. I didn’t have anyone behind me either, so I just kept up my pace as best I could. I learnt a few things in this race and we will try to apply them and make the maximum improvement possible, in order to be able to put up more of a fight next time”
Andrea Dovizioso: “We worked very well during the practice, but we didn’t think we had the pace to fight for the podium. I always push 100% to get a result and we got something special after struggling for a while. I want to say thank you to the team and everyone working with me because it’s very hard working like this.”
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) missed the podium by just under two seconds after winning a battle for fourth with Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3), whilst Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) was sixth.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) dropped back to seventh having been third in the early stages, whilst there were problems too for Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) as he hunted the podium in the early stages and faded to eighth in the second half of the race.
Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) was ninth at a track which he has admitted is not his strongest, whilst Lorenzo rounded out the top ten after his mistake at the start.
Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar) finished as the top ‘Open’ Honda rider and top American in 11th – whilst his compatriot Colin Edwards (NGM Forward Racing) was unable to finish his home race. Crashes for Alvaro Baustista and Scott Redding also ruined GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s weekend.
Honda riders have now won the last nine MotoGP races in the USA and the last non-Honda MotoGP winner in the States was Lorenzo, at Laguna Seca in 2010.
A disappointing weekend for Broc Parkes (Paul Bird Motorsport) retired from the race early with tyre and mechanical problems.
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 43m 33.430s
2. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 43m 37.554s
3. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici) 43m 54.406s
4. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 43m 56.220s
5. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 43m 56.393s
6. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 43m 59.997s
7. Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 44m 1.687s
8. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 44m 18.949s
9. Aleix Espargaro ESP NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) 44m 21.035s
10. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 44m 22.541s
11. Nicky Hayden USA Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 44m 34.165s
12. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Drive M7 Aspar (RCV1000R) 44m 37.384s
13. Yonny Hernandez COL Pramac Racing (Desmosedici) 44m 40.763s
14. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (RCV1000R) 45m 1.402s
15. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Avintia) 45m 5.806s
16. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART) 45m 5.973s
17. Danilo Petrucci ITA IodaRacing Project (ART) 45m 12.606s
18. Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing (Avintia)* 45m 25.392s
Scott Redding GBR Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RCV1000R)* DNF
Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (Forward Yamaha) DNF
Cal Crutchlow GBR Ducati Team (Desmosedici) DNF
Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) DNF
Broc Parkes AUS Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART)* DNF
1 Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team 25
2 Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 20
3 Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team 16
4 Aleix Essargaro, NGM Forward Racing 13
5 Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team 11
6 Cal Crutchlow, Ducati Team 10
7 Scott Redding, GO&FUN Honda Gresini 9
8 Nicky Hayden, Drive M7 Aspar 8
9 Colin Edwards, NGM Forward Racing 7
10 Andrea Iannone, Pramac Racing 6
11 Hiroshi Aoyama, Drive M7 Aspar 5
12 Yonny Hernandez, Emergy T.I. Pramac Racing 4
13 Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing 3
14 Danilo Petrucci, IodaRacing Project 2
15 Broc Parkes, Paul Bird Motorsport 1
Maverick Viñales (Pons HP 40) took the honours in just his second appearance in the intermediate class, with Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) second and Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert) third.
Aegerter took the final podium spot a further three seconds back with Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) crashing out of the rostrum hunt at the end of the penultimate lap having earlier led the race.
Aussie Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team) had another top 10 finish.
There was chaos at the first corner when the race got underway as a crash hindered the race of many riders, with Josh Herrin (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing), Mattia Pasini (NGM Forward Racing), Axel Pons (AGR Team), Nico Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2), Sam Lowes (Speed Up) and Luis Salom (Pons HP 40) all involved. Of that group only Herrin, Terol and Salom were unable to finish the race and all riders were ok.
1. Maverick Viñales SPA Pons HP 40 (Kalex) 41m 31.520s
2. Esteve Rabat SPA Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 41m 35.529s
3. Dominique Aegerter SWI Technomag carXpert (Suter) 41m 38.843s
4. Mika Kallio FIN Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 41m 40.110s
5. Simone Corsi ITA NGM Forward Racing (Forward KLX) 41m 41.454s
6. Thomas Luthi SWI Interwetten Paddock Moto2 (Suter) 41m 48.507s
7. Anthony West AUS QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 41m 49.081s
8. Alex De Angelis RSM Tasca Racing Moto2 (Suter) 41m 50.468s
9. Marcel Schrotter GER Tech 3 (Tech 3) 41m 51.240s
10. Ricard Cardus SPA Tech 3 (Tech 3) 41m 56.072s ……etc