Marquez Completes Perfect Ten in USA
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) stormed to a masterful victory at the Circuit of the Americas this afternoon to secure a tenth consecutive race victory on U.S. asphalt and extend his lead in the 2016 MotoGP World Championship.
- Marc Marquez
- Marc Marquez
The 23-year-old grabbed first place from reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) exiting the first corner. Lorenzo counter-attacked later the same lap at the Turn 11 hairpin but ran wide and Marquez retook the lead. From there he set about establishing an astonishingly fast pace that no one could get close to matching. By lap ten he was almost four seconds ahead of Lorenzo and in the closing stages he had extended his advantage to eight seconds, before he eased off on the final lap to cross the line 6.1 seconds ahead, only slightly less than his winning advantage in Argentina last Sunday.
Marquez’s 135th Grand Prix gave him his 52nd win across all three classes, his 26th MotoGP victory and his 32nd pole position in the premier class. It also extended his championship advantage to 21 points over Lorenzo after three races.
While Marquez enjoyed his latest U.S. success before preparing to cross the Atlantic to begin the European season, his fellow Honda MotoGP riders had little to celebrate at COTA. Team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) was riding a superb race, chasing third position after qualifying eighth fastest, until lap seven when he lost the front over the rise in Turn One, where his fallen bike struck Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati). Both men went down but neither was seriously hurt and Pedrosa apologized to Dovizioso for the incident, at trackside and again in the pits.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda RC213V) was also going well when he slid off while braking into the Turn 11 hairpin on lap eight. The Briton had been holding eighth place when he crashed, in unison with compatriot Bradley Smith (Yamaha).
Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) was unable to start the race after a big highside crash during practice that exacerbated a right ankle injury which will need resting until the Spanish GP in two weeks’ time.
Sole MotoGP rookie Tito Rabat (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V) took points for the third time in his three races in the premier class, bringing his RCV home in thirteenth position.
Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex) took a perfect victory in the Honda-powered Moto2 race, taking the lead at the second corner and then resisting huge pressure from last year’s winner Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex), who set a new lap record during his pursuit
Rins started from pole position and didn’t put a wheel wrong throughout the 19 lap race. Lowes gave it everything he had in pursuit, fighting his way into second place after a so-so start and at one point reducing the gap to just four tenths of a second. But he had over-used his front tire in the opening laps and didn’t have the grip to mount an attack. During the final two laps – with drops of rain falling at parts of the circuit – the Briton knew he had little choice but to settle for second place, two seconds behind Rins. Lowes’ second consecutive second-place finish moves him into the championship lead, just one point ahead of Rins.
While the race for first was all about tension, the contest for the final spot on the Moto2 podium was a classic no-holds-barred battle with six riders swapping places every few corners, their CBR600RR-powered machines all very evenly matched: reigning champion Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport Kalex), Dominique Aegerter (CarXpert Interwetten Kalex), Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex), Simone Corsi (Speed Up Speed Up), Thomas Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten Kalex) and Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Kalex).
This was a classic encounter, won by Zarco whose bike got better as the race went on. The Frenchman, who won last Sunday’s Argentine GP, felt he could have had the pace to go with the leaders if his bike had felt better during the early stages. Nakagami came off worse in the skirmish, after tangling with Corsi and falling. He remounted to take the final World Championship point in 15th place.
Xavier Simeon (QMMF Racing Team Speed Up), Julian Simon (QMMF Racing Team Speed Up) and Marcel Schrotter (AGR Team Kalex) completed the top ten, with less than two seconds between them
Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) strengthened his position in the battle for the Moto3 World Championship with a superb ride to second place in today’s opening Moto3 event.
The 20-year-old Spaniard’s second successive runner-up result moves him into second overall, only three points behind series leader Brad Binder (KTM) who finished third today.
Navarro led the early laps, until Romano Fenati (KTM) came past at Turn One. Navarro wanted to go with Fenati and counter-attack in the final stages, but a few set-up issues made it too risky to chase the Italian, so he sensibly decided that twenty points was better than a potential zero. He crossed the finish line six seconds down and almost four seconds ahead of Binder, who on the last lap grabbed the final place on the podium from Peter Oettl (KTM), who had started from pole.
Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold Honda NSF250RW) won last month’s season-opening Moto3 race in Qatar and had every reason to expect to challenge once again here, but the youngster was unlucky in the changeable conditions during yesterday’s qualifying session and failed to record a good lap while the track was at its driest. He started from 30th on the grid, making a brilliant comeback to fight for fifth place, before sliding off with two laps to go. He still sits fourth in the championship.
Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3 Honda NSF250RW) rode to a hard-fought sixth-place finish, ahead of impressive rookie Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW). Livio Loi (RW Racing GP Honda NSF250RW) was eighth, Jules Danilo (Ongetta-Rivacold Honda NSF250RW) ninth and Jakub Kornfeil (Drive M7 SIC Racing Team Honda NSF250RW) eleventh.
The MotoGP paddock now packs up and heads to its European heartland for the Spanish Grand Prix on April 24, the first of eleven races in Europe.
- Tito Rabat
- Alex Rins
Honda MotoGP Rider Quotes
- Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 1st
- “I’m very happy with how the whole weekend has gone. This is a circuit that I like, one of my favorite, but there were some unknowns here because just before the race we decided to run the soft front tire. In the end the team advised me very well, because the change gave me the good feeling with the bike that I had partly lost in the warm-up. I have to thank them all, as well as the Michelin technician. When I asked, they told me that I would be okay for the first 12-15 laps, and then after that I would have to manage the situation more, which is exactly what happened. We’ve taken another victory here in Austin and are now on a run of four in a row, which is great. In addition, the joy of the team after we won illustrates everything we’re working on. In these first three races of the year, we’ve made good use of the situations that we’ve encountered.”
- Tito Rabat, Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS: 13th
- “It was another difficult race but we are improving all of the time. In Qatar I was alone and last but in the last two races I’ve managed to battle with some much more experienced riders and that is a big positive. I find it difficult to overtake in the first laps because I have a lot of movement from the front and it is easy to make a mistake. I need to finish and learn and that’s what I did again, so I am happy with my own job and also the job of the team. I had a good battle with Laverty and picked up some tips where I can be stronger. I passed Yonny and almost passed Laverty on the last lap but just couldn’t quite find a way through. Now I am looking forward to returning to Europe and being fully prepared for Jerez, which is a race I am really looking forward to.”
- Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team: DNF
- “It was a rather difficult weekend overall. The practice sessions didn’t go entirely well, but I approached the race with hope and I think we started quite well. I gained positions and was in a very good group, and I think we could have fought with Lorenzo for second place; the pace we had was much better than in practice. Unfortunately, I made a small mistake, losing the front end under braking when I was still turning into the corner. I lost control and tried to save the crash, but I ended up going down and taking Dovizioso with me. It’s a shame to have finished the race in that way, and I feel especially bad for Andrea and want to apologize to him. I’m glad he’s fine. The good news is that we took a big step forward from practice to the race. Now we must carefully look into the data we collected during the race and try to build on it for the Jerez GP in two weeks’ time.”
- Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda: DNF
- “Three races and no finishes, so I’m not happy and I shouldn’t be happy. We were in a good group and there was no reason I shouldn’t have had a good result. We seem to be crashing on the brakes, not in the corners. We will get there but there’s a lot of work we have to do. Honda are working hard to help us. I have to say a big congratulation to Marc: he is so special, he’s better than everyone else at the moment.”
Honda Moto2 Rider Quotes
- Alex Rins, Paginas Amarillas HP 40: 1st
- “It’s been a very difficult weekend from the very beginning, but the most important thing is that we’ve got faster and faster with every lap, so we were in a not so bad position once we came to the race. I have to say a big congratulation to Sam because he pushed so hard all the way through the race and that kept me right on the limit, every lap. Now we go home to Spain and we will keep pushing hard.”
- Sam Lowes, Federal Oil Gresini Moto2: 2nd
- “I’m happy with this second place, although of course I wanted to win. Congratulations to Rins, who was very strong today, but I was fast too and until about 7 laps to go I thought it was still possible to try to attack him, because I was feeling very good with the bike. A few laps later, though, for two consecutive laps I lost grip at the front on the last corner, so I decided not to take risks, finish the race and bring these 20 points at home, also because Rins was keeping great pace and it would still have been very difficult to catch him. It’s good to get two second places in two races and it’s nice to be leading the Championship despite the ride through in Qatar: it’s going to be a hard-fought championship in all races with the other two riders on the podium with me today, Rins and Zarco. Now we head to Jerez, a track I love, so I can’t wait to get there!”
- Johann Zarco, Ajo Motorsport: 3rd
- “It was a great fight with the riders battling for third position, but I felt that I could be fast at the end. I would have liked to have followed Rins or Lowes, but it was too difficult. If I were to have been able to push as hard at the end as at the beginning, I would have been up there with the front riders. However, this is quite a tricky circuit for me and getting a podium is fantastic. I can be very happy to have fought like this and it was amazing. When I saw I was fourth, I thought I could risk things a little more, so I pushed and was able to get this third position. I think we’ve done a good job here and certainly we have learned from these two weeks in Argentina and Texas. Now it’s time to rest and in two weeks we have to be ready for Jerez, because there will be many riders fighting for the top positions.”
Honda Moto3 Rider Quotes
- Jorge Navarro, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 2nd
- “We had a good race. I started out very well, determined to break up the group, I pulled away and I could see that I was moving clear. In turn one I made a mistake and went long, so Fenati overtook me. Then I made a couple more errors and that made it very difficult to catch him. I saw that the group was far enough behind though, so I decided to be conservative and finish second, as this position is very good for the championship. Now we head to the Jerez Grand Prix second overall and this means we are doing things the right way, so we have to keep going like this.”
- Enea Bastianini, Gresini Racing Moto3: 6th
- “Unfortunately, once again we were very fast in the last part of the race, but we struggled in the early laps. At the moment it seems that we are struggling with the full tank and consequently in the early stages of the race I was not able to push to remain with the other riders in the lead. Then, halfway through the race, I found myself together with some riders who were stronger than me on the brakes: I could not brake as I wanted and the other riders were always overtaking me, breaking my pace. At that point I definitely lost contact with Binder and Quartararo. Too bad, I’m convinced that I had the potential to attack in the final stages of the race, but the races are like that. We need to work to be faster in the first part.”
- Aron Canet, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 7th
- “I think that little by little we are improving. Today I started 22nd and finished seventh. During the first laps I went long on some corners and [Niccolò] Antonelli passed me, but I rode after him and gradually we caught up with [Enea] Bastianini and then I decided to attack. Then Antonelli crashed and I was a bit distracted because his bike almost touched me, but I still managed to keep fighting in the group and finish seventh. It has certainly been one of the most fun races I’ve ever had.”
- Jorge Navarro
|1||Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Jorge LORENZO (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)|
|3||Andrea IANNONE (Ducati Team)|
|4||Maverick VIÑALES (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|5||Aleix ESPARGARO (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|6||Scott REDDING (OCTO Pramac Yakhnich)|
|7||Pol ESPARGARO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)|
|8||Michele PIRRO (OCTO Pramac Yakhnich)|
|9||Hector BARBERA (Avintia Racing)|
|10||Stefan BRADL (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|11||Alvaro BAUTISTA (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|12||Eugene LAVERTY (Aspar MotoGP Team)|
|13||Tito RABAT (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|14||Yonny HERNANDEZ (Aspar MotoGP Team)|
|15||Loris BAZ (Avintia Racing)|
|1||Alex RINS (Paginas Amarillas HP 40)|
|2||Sam LOWES (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)|
|3||Johann ZARCO (Ajo Motorsport)|
|4||Dominique AEGERTER (CarXpert Interwetten)|
|5||Jonas FOLGER (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|6||Simone CORSI (Speed Up)|
|7||Thomas LUTHI (Garage Plus Interwetten)|
|8||Xavier SIMEON (QMMF Racing Team)|
|9||Julian SIMON (QMMF Racing Team)|
|10||Marcel SCHROTTER (AGR Team)|
|11||Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|12||Sandro CORTESE (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|13||Luis SALOM (Stop and Go Racing Team)|
|14||Franco MORBIDELLI (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|15||Takaaki NAKAGAMI (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)|
|1||Romano FENATI (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|2||Jorge NAVARRO (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|3||Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|4||Philipp OETTL (Schedl GP Racing)|
|5||Andrea LOCATELLI (Leopard Racing)|
|6||Enea BASTIANINI (Gresini Racing Moto3)|
|7||Aron CANET (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|8||Livio LOI (RW Racing GP BV)|
|9||Jules DANILO (Ongetta-Rivacold)|
|10||Nicolo BULEGA (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|11||Jakub KORNFEIL (Drive M7 SIC Racing Team)|
|12||Juanfran GUEVARA (RBA Racing Team)|
|13||Fabio QUARTARARO (Leopard Racing)|
|14||Francesco BAGNAIA (ASPAR Mahindra Team Moto3)|
|15||Andrea MIGNO (SKY Racing Team VR46)|