Following Argentina, Cal Crutchlow leads the MotoGP Championship standings with a score of 38 points. This is the lowest score for a rider leading the Championship after the opening two races of the year since the current points scoring system was introduced in 1993.
33 points cover the top 15 in the MotoGP Championship classification which is the smallest margin in the premier class after the first two races since the introduction of the current points scoring system in 1993.
With his 2nd place finish in Argentina, Johann Zarco stood on the podium for the 4th time in the premier class, becoming the 4th highest French rider with podium finishes in the class after Pierre Monneret (5), Raymond Roche (9) and Christian Sarron (18).
Johann Zarco has scored points at the last 19 successive races. The last time he failed to score any points was in Qatar last year when he crashed out after leading the first six laps of the race. That makes his points scoring record in MotoGP 95% since graduating to the class in 2017.
Johann Zarco is now in 3rd in the Championship, the highest placed rider from France in the premier class since Jean-Philippe Ruggia was also 3rd after the second race in Laguna Seca back in 1990.
Álex Rins finished in 3rd place in Argentina, the first podium finish for a Suzuki rider since Maverick Viñales was also 3rd at Phillip Island in 2016. It was the 20th podium finish for Suzuki since the introduction of the MotoGP class in 2002.
Álex Rins is the 14th Spanish rider to stand on the podium in the premier class.
Neither of the two Yamaha factory riders have won at least one of the two opening races of the year; the first time that has happened since 2014.
Marc Márquez hasn’t won since the Australian Grand Prix last year. It’s just the second time he’s not won one of the first two races of the year since he joined the MotoGP class in 2013.
Marc Márquez was classified 18th in Argentina, which was the first time he failed to score any points since he had an engine issue in Silverstone last year.
Tito Rabat crossed the line in 7th place in Argentina, his best result in what was his 37th premier class race.
Austin is one of just four current circuits where Valentino Rossi has not had a MotoGP victory, along with Aragón, the Red Bull Ring, and Buriram, which joins the calendar this year.
Franco Morbidelli (2017) is the only one of the five rookies in the MotoGP class this year to have previously won at COTA in any of the smaller classes.
Three years ago, at Austin, Xavier Siméon started from pole position in the Moto2 class for the second time in his career.
Hafizh Syahrin is one of the 10 riders who have scored points in both of the two opening races of the year, and he is currently leading the fight for Rookie of the Year.
Honda still dominates in the USA
Honda rider Marc Márquez has qualified on pole and won all five MotoGP races that have taken place in Austin.
Honda riders have won the last 14 MotoGP races in the USA. The last non-Honda MotoGP winner in the country was Jorge Lorenzo, who won at Laguna Seca in 2010.
Honda riders have qualified on pole for the last 10 MotoGP races held in the USA. The last non-Honda rider to start from pole at any of the US circuits is Jorge Lorenzo at Laguna Seca in 2012.
Honda have won 17 of the 22 premier class Grands Prix that have taken place in the USA in the MotoGP era.
Grand Prix racing at Austin
MotoGP returns to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin for a sixth successive year, and below are a selection of facts and stats related to this event:
In total, there have been 30 previous Grand Prix events hosted in the USA: Laguna Seca (15), Indianapolis (8), Austin (5) and Daytona (2).
Marc Márquez has won on each of the nine occasions he’s raced in the MotoGP class in America; five times at Austin, three times at Indianapolis and at Laguna Seca in 2013.
Only once in these nine appearances in MotoGP in America has Márquez not been on pole, which was at Laguna Seca in 2013 when he qualified in second behind Stefan Bradl.
The only riders currently competing in the MotoGP class who have won in the class at any of the American circuits are: Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Márquez.
Valentino Rossi finished second last year at Austin, equalling the best result for a Yamaha rider at the track after Jorge Lorenzo back in 2016.
All 15 podium finishers in the five previous MotoGP races held at Austin have been riders from either Spain or Italy.
The three riders who finished on the podium in the Moto2 race last year in Austin (Franco Morbidelli, Tom Lüthi and Takaaki Nakagami) have all moved up to the MotoGP class in 2018. Sam Lowes (2015) is the only other rider competing in the class to have won in Moto2 at Austin.
The last three Moto3 races that have taken place at COTA have been won by riders now competing in Moto2: Danny Kent (2015) and Romano Fenati (2016 and 2017). The other two riders to win a Moto3 race in Austin are Álex Rins (2013) and Jack Miller (2014), who are now racing in the premier class.
Cal Crutchlow takes his third MotoGP win
Cal Crutchlow’s win at Termas de Río Hondo is the 138th for a British rider in the premier class in 69 years of Grand Prix racing, and the 382nd across all solo classes. He levelled with John Hartle, with 3 wins in the premier class.
Crutchlow is the second British rider to win a Grand Prix race in the premier class in Argentina, after Mike Hailwood did the same back in 1963.
Crutchlow has finished on the podium at least once for seven successive seasons competing in the MotoGP class. Only two other British riders have had premier class podium finishes in seven or more successive seasons: Mike Hailwood (8) and Geoff Duke (10).
He is the first British rider to lead the premier class Championship since Barry Sheene after the opening race of 1979 in Venezuela.
Crutchlow’s win was the 750th for a Honda rider in Grand Prix racing.
At Austin, Crutchlow will be aiming to become the first British rider to win back-to-back races in the premier class since Barry Sheene back in 1977 (Belgium/Sweden).
Great weekend for Independent Team riders in Argentina
It was a great weekend for the Independent Team riders at Termas de Río Hondo, as shown by the following facts and stats:
Jack Miller started from pole position for the first time on what was his 50th Grand Prix start in the premier class. This is the first pole position for an Australian rider since Casey Stoner in Australia, 2012, and the first for a Ducati rider from an Independent Team.
Miller’s pole was the second in a row for an Independent Team rider following Johann Zarco’s pole in Qatar. 2018 is the first time it’s happened since 2005, when Sete Gibernau qualified on pole in the final two races of the season in Turkey and Valencia, and the first time with two different riders since with Alex Barros (Estoril) and Sete Gibernau (China) in 2005.
Cal Crutchlow’s win is the 26th for an Independent rider in the MotoGP class, and all of them were taken by Honda riders: Sete Gibernau (8 wins), Marco Melandri (5), Max Biaggi (3), Alex Barros (3), Cal Crutchlow (3), Makoto Tamada (2), Toni Elias (1) and Jack Miller (1).
With Johann Zarco’s 2nd place finish, Argentina was the first time since Assen 2016 – with Jack Miller (1st) and Scott Redding (3rd) – that two Independent Team riders stood on the podium.
Cal Crutchlow is the first rider from an Independent Team to lead the Championship since Sete Gibernau led after the Catalunya Grand Prix back in 2004.
Moto2 Facts and Stats
At Argentina, Mattia Pasini won for the 2nd time on what was his 100th Moto2 start. It was the 22nd win for an Italian rider in the class since its introduction in 2010, and the 222nd in the intermediate category.
Mattia Pasini crashed last year at COTA at Turn 1 while he was battling in fourth place, having started the race from second on the grid – equalling his best qualifying result at that time. He managed to get back on his bike to eventually cross the line in 22nd position.
Xavi Vierge finished in second place in Argentina, equalling his best result across the line from Japan last year.
Miguel Oliveira crossed the line in third at Termas de Río Hondo, which is his tenth podium in Moto2. Sam Lowes is the only rider on the current grid who has more podium finishes in the class, with 11. Last year at Austin, Oliveira finished sixth in Texas after battling with Dominique Aegerter for fifth.
Iker Lecuona finished in 11th place in Argentina, which is his best result across the line on what it was his 21st Grand Prix start. This will be Lecuona’s second year competing at Austin but last season he had to withdraw from the event at the end of the second day due to injuries sustained during preseason.
Sam Lowes (2015 and 2016) and Dominique Aegerter (2014) are the only two riders in the current Moto2 field who have stood on the podium in the Moto2 class at Austin since its introduction to the calendar in 2013. Lowes took his first ever Grand Prix win at the track in 2015.
Romano Fenati is making his 100th Grand Prix start in the Americas GP. He won for the second successive time last year at the Austin circuit in the Moto3 class to become the first rider to win twice on two different tracks since the introduction the class in 2012, in Jerez (2012-2014) and Austin (2016-2017).
Brad Binder, who crashed out of the race in Argentina, will compete at Austin for the first time in the Moto2 class. Ricky Cardús stood in for the South African rider last year as Binder missed the event due to injury.
The second youngest rider on the grid, Fabio Quartararo, will celebrate his 19th birthday on the opening day in Austin. He finished second at Austin in Moto3 in 2015 to claim his first podium on just the second Grand Prix start of his career.
Moto3 Facts and Stats
Marco Bezzecchi won for the first time of his Grand Prix career in Argentine to become the 49th Italian rider to win in the lightweight category and the sixth in the Moto3 class. Last year Bezzecchi finished 17th at the COTA, his best result across the line at that time.
Bezzecchi win’s at Termas de Río de Hondo was the first for a KTM rider since Andrea Migno in Mugello last year.
KTM took its 65th race win in the lightweight category to move into third place of the most successful manufacturer in the class behind Aprilia (151) and Honda (207).
Second in Termas de Río Hondo, Arón Canet stood on the podium for the ninth time of his Grand Prix career. He qualified on pole position last season in Austin for the second time in the class, setting a new best lap record. He fought for the lead in 2017 before crashing out.
Fabio Di Giannantonio crossed the line in third in Argentina–his ninth podium finish in Moto3, equalling Jorge Navarro. Di Giannantonio finished on the podium last year in Austin, 0.023s behind teammate Jorge Martín.
Jorge Martín and teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio are the only riders on the grid who have stood on the podium at Austin.
Jorge Martín finished in 11th in Argentina, which was the first time he has missed out on the podium since Japan last year. He crashed during the race on his first two visits to Austin.
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