Marquez Continues American Dominance

Marc Marquez extended his winning run on American soil to nine races after securing a comfortable victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas. The world champion saw off early pressure from his team-mate, Dani Pedrosa, who ended the race in third, with Valentino Rossi splitting the two Repsol Hondas.

Marquez Texas

Image: Crash.net

After qualifying on the second row, it was Dani Pedrosa who made the strongest start, with pole sitter Marquez following him closely. It wasn’t long before the first incident of note, as the so far infallible Maverick Vinales slipped off of his Yamaha on a long right hander.

Controversy followed on lap seven, as rookie Johann Zarco tussled with Valentino Rossi. The Frenchman punted Rossi off the track through the chicanes, but it ultimately caused Rossi to actually gain ground on the leading Hondas. Race direction, perhaps harshly, awarded Rossi with a 0.3 second penalty for the incident, even though the Italian did everything in his power to avoid coming together with Zarco.

Marquez first hit the front on lap eight, but was pegged back immediately as Pedrosa blasted past him on the back straight. But Marquez had learnt his lesson, passing Pedrosa a few corners earlier on the next lap to ensure that his team-mate could not catch him on the straight.

From that point onward Marquez looked in complete control of the race. Pedrosa fell back, and Rossi was able to pass him on the final bend with two laps to go. With the 0.3 second penalty hanging over his head, Rossi continued relentlessly, opening up a two second gap in the final two laps.

The win is Marquez’s fifth consecutive victory in Texas, whilst Rossi’s second place takes him to the top of the championship, six points clear of Maverick Vinales.

Cal Crutchlow followed up his podium in Argentina with a fourth place, edging out Johann Zarco with a lap to go. Andrea Dovizioso finished as the top Ducati in sixth, whilst Andrea Iannone and Danilo Petrucci managed to finish ahead of Jorge Lorenzo. Jack Miller rounded up the top ten.

Scott Redding finished in twelfth, whilst Bradley Smith finished just outside the points in sixteenth. The last of the British riders, Sam Lowes, crashed out on his Aprilia.

After the initial Moto3 race was red flagged, Romano Fenati took the chequered flag. John McPhee’s seventh place sees him slip to third in the championship. Franco Morbidelli continued his dominance in Moto2, finishing over two seconds clear of the rest of the field to take his third win from three races.

The next race is at Jerez on 7 May.

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Starlet first over the stripe in American GP

Young prodigy Marc Marquez became the youngest ever winner of a Moto GP race in Texas at the tender age of just 20 years and 63 days old. Marquez, who became the youngest rider to qualify on pole during on Saturday, passed team-mate Dani Pedrosa on lap 13 at the inaugural race in Austin. World champion Jorge Lorenzo had a quiet race in third place from start to finish, with his Yamaha struggling to keep up with the Honda’s speed down the straights. Lorenzo’s lap times picked towards the end of the race to finish almost 2 seconds behind Dani Pedrosa, who fell away with 2 laps to go, citing “losing the strength in his left arm through the chicane section” for the 1.5 second gap from the race winner. As in Qatar, Britain’s Cal Crutchlow initially got stuck in 5th behind Stefan Bradl, before running off the track on lap 4. He lost little time though, rejoining the action having only dropped 1 place to Alvaro Bautista. Crutchlow passed Bautista through the chicanes on the next lap. The Monster Yamaha man then made up a 1.2 second gap to pass Stefan Bradl on lap 8, slipping through as the German ran slightly wide. Nine time world champion Valentino Rossi finished 6th with Aleix Espargaro again the leading CRT in 11th, ahead of 2 satellite bikes. Brits Bradley Smith and Michael Laverty finished 12th and 16th respectively. In front of a home crowd Ben Spies finished 13th and the ‘Texas Tornado’ Colin Edwards was forced to retire. It was a Spanish hat-trick as Nico Terol won in Moto2 and Alex Rins won in Moto3.