Marc Marquez remains unbeaten on American soil: He wins in Austin ahead of Maverick Viñales and Andrea Iannone – Valentino Rossi is fourth
MotoGP Austin – Marquez Triumphs – Sixth consecutive wins: Austin remains in 2018 in the hands of MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez. At the US Grand Prix, the Honda driver prevailed with a clear lead over Maverick Viñales (Yamaha) and Andrea Iannone (Suzuki), who finished second and third. Vinales’ team-mate Valentino Rossi could not keep up the pace and had to settle for fourth.
“My strategy was to push right from the start, and the rhythm was right,” Marquez said after his confident victory, commenting on the harsher approach of the race director, “I did not have a good feeling for race fights today, so I did everything right from the start. It was a great race, we scored 25 points and now I am looking forward to the next race in Spain. ”
Maverick Viñales confirmed his role as the first pursuer in second place. Although he could not keep up with Marquez’s pace, he was satisfied: “I really enjoyed the race, although I had some problems with the front tire, I’m really happy, the people here and the layout are fantastic.” He dedicated his race to the deceased in 2017 Nicky Hayden, who was thought in Austin with his own hill named after him.
Iannone celebrates comeback on the podium
The third man on the podium was pleased with his result as well as with a victory. After all, it was the first podium finish for Iannone in his second year with Suzuki. “I’m really excited about this podium,” said the Italian and became emotional. “That’s the result when a man never gives up, I’ve always believed in myself and worked on myself, there has been a lot of talks, but now I’m back.”
— Circuit of The Americas (@COTA) 22 de abril de 2018
In the past, Iannone had received a lot of criticism because he was well below expectations. Last time, even team-mate Alex Rins seemed to be out of the running. Now the liberation: “I thank Suzuki, the team and all those who have not lost faith in me and have supported me even in the difficult times, I think we will move forward bit by bit.”
In the race, the Italian took the lead first, followed by Marquez, Viñales, Cal Crutchlow (LCR-Honda), Johann Zarco (Tech-3-Yamaha) and Rossi. But even on the first lap the world champion passed the Suzuki and took over the lead. Iannone did not give up and even dared the attack, but could not hold the position. Still, it was a wake-up call for Marquez: he set the pace and hurried to the field.
Crutchlow, Syahrin, and Rins go down
Behind them, the Yamaha duo quickly put pressure on Iannone, but only managed Viñales to overtake the Suzuki and so to take second place. Rossi rubbed against his compatriot and did not pass. The next battlegroup of Zarco, Crutchlow, Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa (Honda), who kept eighth despite the pain, had already lost the connection to the top field at this time.
With twelve out of 20 laps to go, the Argentina winner Crutchlow crashed for the first time, of all people, who lost control of his Honda in turn 20 on Position 6 and skidded off the front wheel. Syahrin’s race came to an abrupt end a little later in Turn 1. After his highsider in the warm-up, he crashed again and had to give up.
It was the same with Rins, who threw away his chance for a top 10 result in Turn 12. His bike remained on the track, luckily, the following drivers were able to dodge in time. Marquez continued to lead the pace, driving in a league of his own. His advantage was still growing: Maverick Viñales was at times six seconds behind. The victory was thus no longer acceptable to the world champion.
Dovizioso finished fifth thanks to new championship leader
Iannone claimed third place ahead of Rossi. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) was fifth in the championship after a difficult weekend and finally prevailed on Zarco. The Frenchman came in sixth ahead of a brave Pedrosa on Position 7. The top 10 were completed by Tito Rabat (Avinitia-Ducati), Jack Miller (Pramac-Ducati) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia). Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo did not get past the eleventh place.
Also, Pramac Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci disappointed in Austin in twelfth. Pol Espargaro also took 13th place for KTM this season. Teammate Bradley Smith narrowly missed the points behind Takaaki Nakagami (LCR-Honda / 14th) and Alvaro Bautista (Nieto-Ducati) in 16th. Scott Redding clearly lost the team-internal duel with Aleix Espargaro and put his Aprilia in 17th place.
Rookie Tom Lüthi, however, prevailed against his teammate Marc-VDS-Honda and came in eighteenth, three places ahead of Franco Morbidelli finish, which was only last in Austin. Crutchlow finished 19th after his crash. Xavier Simeon (Avinita-Ducati) was waved off in position 20. Karel Abraham (Nieto-Ducati) gave up the race early due to pain in the wrist.
Dovizioso leads the season with 46 points ahead of Marquez after three races of the season, who made a big leap forward thanks to his first victory this year. He is now at 45 points. Viñales is in third place with 41 points. Crutchlow (38) slipped from the top to fourth. Zarco holds fifth place ahead of Iannone (31). Rossi currently ranks only seventh (29).