Marquez Completes Perfect Ten in U.S.A.

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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. Photo Credit - MotoGP.com

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. Photo Credit – MotoGP.com

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.

2016 Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas - Marquez marches to fourth Austin win as Rossi crashes out. Photo Credit - Circuitoftheamericas.com

2016 Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas – Marquez marches to fourth Austin win as Rossi crashes out. Photo Credit – Circuitoftheamericas.com

“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.”, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team.

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.

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