MotoGP™ World Champion Marc Marquez utterly dominated the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas race, taking victory by a four second margin from his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) completing the podium.
A jump start ruined the race for Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and he finished 10th after a ride through penalty.
Lorenzo took the holeshot after a bizarre error from the former World Champion and he rode through pit lane at the end of the first lap, leaving Marquez clear at the front. Pedrosa tried to stay with Marquez, who was the only ‘Factory’ rider to run the hard rear tyre, but the youngster sped away to become the first rider to win the first two races of the year from pole in the premier-class since Mick Doohan in 1995.
A first podium for Dovizioso as a Ducati Team rider was great news for the Italian factory, though there was some bad news for them too as Cal Crutchlow crashed out and injured his right hand, having earlier pitted due to tyre problems.
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) missed the podium by just under two seconds after winning a battle for fourth with Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3), whilst Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) was sixth.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) dropped back to seventh having been third in the early stages, whilst there were problems too for Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) as he hunted the podium in the early stages and faded to eighth in the second half of the race.
Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) was ninth at a track which he has admitted is not his strongest, whilst Lorenzo rounded out the top ten after his mistake at the start.
Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar) finished as the top ‘Open’ Honda rider and top American in 11th – whilst his compatriot Colin Edwards (NGM Forward Racing) was unable to finish his home race. Crashes for Alvaro Baustista and Scott Redding also ruined GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s weekend.
Honda riders have now won the last eight MotoGP races in the USA and the last non-Honda MotoGP winner in the States was Lorenzo, at Laguna Seca in 2010.
MotoGP 2014 – Grand Prix of The Americas – Round 2 – Race Results
- Marc Marquez 93 ESP 25 Repsol Honda Team HONDA 43’33.430
- Dani Pedrosa 26 ESP 20 Repsol Honda Team HONDA +4.124
- Andrea Dovizioso 4 ITA 16 Ducati Team DUCATI +20.976
- Stefan Bradl 6 GER 13 LCR Honda MotoGP HONDA +22.790
- Bradley Smith 38 GBR 11 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA +22.963
- Pol Espargaro 44 ESP 10 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA +26.567
- Andrea Iannone 29 ITA 9 Pramac Racing DUCATI +28.257
- Valentino Rossi 46 ITA 8 Yamaha Factory YAMAHA +45.519
- Aleix Espargaro 41 ESP 7 NGM Mobile Forward Racing YAMAHA +47.605
- Jorge Lorenzo 99 ESP 6 Yamaha Factory Racing YAMAHA +49.111
- Nicky Hayden 69 USA 5 Drive M7 Aspar HONDA +1’00.735
- Hiroshi Aoyama 7 JPN 4 Drive M7 Aspar HONDA +1’03.954
- Yonny Hernandez 68 COL 3 Pramac Racing DUCATI +1’07.333
- Karel Abraham 17 CZE 2 Cardion AB Motoracing HONDA +1’27.972
- Hector Barbera 8 ESP 1 Avintia Racing MotoGP FTR-KAWASAKI +1’32.376
- Michael Laverty 70 GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART & PBM +1’32.543
- Danilo Petrucci 9 ITA IodaRacing Project IODA-SUTER +1’39.176
- Mike Di Meglio 63 FRA Avintia Racing MotoGP FTR-KAWASAKI +1’51.962
- Scott Redding 45 GBR Go & Fun Honda Gresini HONDA DNF
- Colin Edwards 5 USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing YAMAHA DNF
- Cal Crutchlow 35 GBR Ducati Team DUCATI DNF
- Alvaro Bautista 19 ESP Go & Fun Honda Gresini HONDA DNF
- Broc Parkes 23 AUS Paul Bird Motorsport PBM DNF
MotoGP 2014 – Round Two – Rider Standings
- Marc Marquez 93 ESP 50 Repsol Honda Team HONDA
- Dani Pedrosa 26 ESP 36 Repsol Honda Team HONDA
- Valentino Rossi 46 ITA 28 Yamaha Factory YAMAHA
- Andrea Dovizioso 4 ITA 27 Ducati Team DUCATI
- Aleix Espargaro 41 ESP 20 NGM Mobile Forward Racing YAMAHA
- Andrea Iannone 29 ITA 15 Pramac Racing DUCATI
- Stefan Bradl 6 GER 13 LCR Honda MotoGP HONDA
- Nicky Hayden 69 USA 13 Drive M7 Aspar HONDA
- Bradley Smith 38 GBR 11 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA
- Cal Crutchlow 35 GBR 10 Ducati Team DUCATI
- Pol Espargaro 44 ESP 10 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA
- Scott Redding 45 GBR 9 Go & Fun Honda Gresini HONDA
- Hiroshi Aoyama 7 JPN 9 Drive M7 Aspar HONDA
- Yonny Hernandez 68 COL 7 Pramac Racing DUCATI
- Colin Edwards 5 USA 7 NGM Mobile Forward Racing YAMAHA
- Jorge Lorenzo 99 ESP 6 Yamaha Factory Racing YAMAHA
- Karel Abraham 17 CZE 5 Cardion AB Motoracing HONDA
- Danilo Petrucci 9 ITA 2 IodaRacing Project IODA-SUTER
- Hector Barbera 8 ESP 1 Avintia Racing MotoGP FTR-KAWASAKI
- Broc Parkes 23 AUS 1 Paul Bird Motorsport PBM
- Alvaro Bautista 19 ESP 0 Go & Fun Honda Gresini HONDA
- Mike Di Meglio 63 FRA 0 Avintia Racing MotoGP FTR-KAWASAKI
- Michael Laverty 70 GBR 0 Paul Bird Motorsport ART & PBM
The Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas brought victory in the Moto3™ race for Jack Miller, with the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider being joined on the podium by Romano Fenati and Efren Vazquez.
A crash for Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) on the final lap ruined his day when he was in the hunt for the podium, leaving Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) and Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG) to chase the rampant Miller to the finish line, with the Australian ultimately outpacing his rivals.
After winning at Qatar Miller now has maximum points from the first two rounds and he deservedly won from pole after leading for most of the race.
Behind the podium finishers an off colour Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) finished fourth by a seven second margin from the front, with Jakub Kornfeil (Calvo Team) following the Spaniard across the line in fifth.
The experienced Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold) was sixth, with Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46), Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo), John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG) and Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) all in the top ten.
There were early crashes for Arthur Sissis (Mahindra Racing), Andrea Locatelli (San Carlo Team Italia) and Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia), with Locatelli rejoining to finish 25th.
Hafiq Azmi (SIC-Ajo KTM) crashed and rejoined for 24th, whilst Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team) crashed out at turn 19 on lap 8 with Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN) going down at the same corner a lap later. Antonelli was taken to the medical centre by ambulance to be checked over after the race.
Luca Grünwald (Kiefer Racing) jump started and faced a penalty, riding through pit lane to rejoin but finishing 23rd. There were late retirements meanwhile for Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) and Gabriel Ramos (Kiefer Racing).
The Moto2™ race at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas brought victory for Maverick Viñales (Pons HP 40) in just his second appearance in the intermediate class, with Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) second and Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert) third.
Moto3™ World Champion Viñales rode brilliantly from sixth on the grid, holding his nerve in an incident-packed ‘dry race’ which was slightly delayed by rain in Texas, the Spaniard eventually crossing the line four seconds ahead of Rabat.
Aegerter took the final podium spot a further three seconds back with Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) crashing out of the rostrum hunt at the end of the penultimate lap having earlier led the race.
There was chaos at the first corner when the race got underway as a crash hindered the race of many riders, with Josh Herrin (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing), Mattia Pasini (NGM Forward Racing), Axel Pons (AGR Team), Nico Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2), Sam Lowes (Speed Up) and Luis Salom (Pons HP 40) all involved. Of that group only Herrin, Terol and Salom were unable to finish the race and all riders were ok.
Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing) crashed out on lap two taking Julian Simon (Italtrans Racing Team) with him, though the latter remounted to finish 23rd. There were crashes too for Louis Rossi (SAG Team), Lorenzo Baldassarri (Gresini Moto2) and Jonas Folger (AGR Team), though they too escaped injury.
Behind the front three Mika Kallio Marc (VDS Racing Team) missed the podium by just over a second, whilst Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing) also made the top five.
Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2), Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team), Alex De Angelis (Tasca Racing Moto2) and Tech 3 pair Marcel Schrotter and Ricard Cardus completed the top ten.
Magnificent Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) was in a class of his own at the Circuit of the Americas this afternoon, making the race all his own, as he did a year ago, when he won his first MotoGP race at this track.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) was the only man who got close to his young compatriot, but even he had to give up the chase and settle for a strong second place to put him second in the World Championship points chase behind his team-mate.
Marquez would have led from start to finish, but for former World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) jumping the start and leading the way, only to ride into the pits at the end of lap one to pay his ride-through penalty. Marquez was ahead from then on, steadily opening a gap over Pedrosa until he had more than five seconds advantage. He crossed the line 4.1 seconds ahead after surviving a lurid front-end slide at the final corner, the result, he said, of a moment’s lack of concentration.
As last year, Marquez was the only rider on the grid able to use the harder compound Bridgestone, which suits his aggressive riding style. The tactic worked perfectly, giving him his second consecutive pole/win/lap record at this challenging, undulating circuit.
The 21-year-old has now won the first two races of 2014 and leads Pedrosa by 14 points with 16 races still to go.
Pedrosa nonetheless had a great weekend: second in the race, second in qualifying and riding the second fastest lap, but there was nothing he could do to match Marquez’s scintillating pace and he was man enough to admit as much after the race. For some laps he stayed close to the leader, learning many things that may help him in the future, but bit by bit the gap grew until he decided to focus on keeping second place, well ahead of a thrilling three-way scrap for the final podium place between Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) and Bradley Smith (Yamaha).
Bradl did make it into third place during the final laps, but he didn’t quite have the front grip he needed to deal with Dovizioso, so he ended the race in fourth place, two seconds down on the Italian. Upset to miss the podium after such a determined fight, he was nevertheless happy to score his first points of the year, after he had crashed out of the lead of the season-opening Qatar GP.
Nicky Hayden (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) was the top finisher on Honda’s production racer in 11th, after a frustrating scrap with several rivals. The last man to come past him at the end of the race was Lorenzo, who spent his whole race fighting his way through from last position to finish tenth.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) was 12th, three seconds down on his team-mate after starting further back on the grid. He steadily worked his way through once his set-up and tyre choice came into their own and enjoyed the race more with every lap.
Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R) scored his second points of the year in 14th place.
Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) struggled all weekend to get the best out of his machine and yet he still gave it his all in the race, fighting through from 12th on the grid to run with the leading pack and move into eighth place shortly before half-distance. Unfortunately he then made a small mistake and couldn’t save the crash.
MotoGP rookie Scott Redding (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RCV1000R) was having a great ride, until he ran out of front-end grip and slid off without injury.
Reigning Moto3 World Champion and Moto2 rookie Maverick Vinales (Pons HP 40, Kalex) rode like an established intermediate-class star to win today’s Honda-powered Moto2 race, comfortably ahead of Qatar winner Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex). The 19-year-old Spaniard charged through from eighth place on the first lap to overpower race leader Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert, Suter) in the closing stages. Rabat followed Vinales through into second but had no answer for the leader’s stunning end-of-race pace. Vinales finally crossed the line four seconds in front of his compatriot, with Aegerter a further 1.3 seconds down at the flag.
Vinales was in a class of his own in a race that had been delayed slightly due to a rain shower. The youngster seemed able to find room to pass where others could find none. Qatar runner-up Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex) was in fine form, till the lingering effects of an old injury prevented him from riding at 100 per cent. At the end of the race he led the next group in fourth place, just ahead of Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing, Forward KLX).
Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock, Suter) crossed the line another seven seconds down and just ahead of Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team, Speed Up).
There were a number of crashes, including a multiple pile-up at the first corner. Significant fallers included Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham, Caterham Suter) who took out Julian Simon (Italtrans Racing Team, Kalex) in the early stages.
Honda riders Efren Vazquez (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda NSF250R) and Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) played a starring role in the thrilling Moto3 race, which was eventually won by a fraction of a second by Jack Miller (KTM).
Vazquez was in with a chance of victory all the way to the flag, while Marquez slid out of a close fourth place with just a few corners to go, having set the fastest lap of the race in the early stages. Finally Vazquez crossed the line in third pace, just 0.103 seconds behind Roman Fenati (KTM) and a further 0.069 seconds behind winner Miller.
Vazquez and Miller enjoyed most of the limelight in the 18-lap encounter, Vazquez using the impressive speed of his Honda NSF250R to take the lead on several occasions. In the end, however, he didn’t quite have what it took to grab first position from the Australian.
Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) ran with Fenati for much of the race, but couldn’t quite go with the Italian when he zeroed in on the leaders. Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold Honda NSF250R) had a good race, battling all the way to secure sixth place after working hard with his crew to improve the race performance of his Honda.
John McPhee (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda NSF250R) rode well to take ninth place, the second top-ten result of his GP career. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Ongetta-AirAsia Honda NSF250R) was 17th, just three seconds outside of a points-scoring finish.
The next MotoGP event takes place at the brand-new Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo facility in Argentina. The following weekend the action moves to Jerez, Spain.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: race winner – “I’m very happy! I got a really good start, but when I saw Jorge overtake me off the line at first I was a little worried, but then I saw that he had jumped the start. It was a different race to previous ones because I led from start to finish; although it might seem easier that way, it is tough because you have to maintain concentration. It was a perfect weekend and gives us plenty of confidence, although we are aware that the coming races will be different. I know that the race was a little boring for the fans, but sometimes these types of races are good for a rider. Let’s hope that the next one is more exciting!”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd – “It was a tough race as Marc was that little faster than me and although I tried to improve with every corner, it was too difficult to gain ground on him and the distance between us increased with every lap. In the end, he was too far away from me. I didn’t have anyone behind me either, so I just kept up my pace as best I could. I learnt a few things in this race and we will try to apply them and make the maximum improvement possible, in order to be able to put up more of a fight next time”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 4th – “First of all this race was a bit strange because of the jump-start of Lorenzo and in the beginning I struggled a bit to find my pace. I had to battle with Rossi and Ducati riders in the first laps and it took me some time to get out of that to find my speed. After that I could go but honestly we had a big problem with the front tyre as it dropped down too fast. I had to slow down and it was impossible for me to catch Dovizioso. The tyres performance throughout the weekend was good but in the race we had a very big problem and I think it’s the same for many riders right now. I smelled the podium today and it’s difficult to accept the defeat, but we can be happy anyway because we did a very good job.”
Nicky Hayden, Drive 7 Aspar Honda: 11th – “To be honest the race went a lot better than I expected and obviously it was much better than the rest of the weekend. It hasn’t been an easy Grand Prix for us, we had a few setbacks during practice and to be honest my reaction wasn’t the best. It was hard for me to be so far off the pace in my home race and I have to apologise because I’m sure I wasn’t easy to be around. The team worked really hard all weekend, I gave the mechanics plenty to do and they did their best to give me the best possible bike. In the end we have come away with a positive result and I had fun fighting with a strong group of riders. The positive thing is we have more experience with this new bike and we know the season is long so we have to keep going to make the most of our potential.”
Hiroshi Aoyama, Drive 7 Aspar Honda: 12th – “I think starting from 16th and finishing 12th, we have to be satisfied and it shows the progress we have made all weekend. I had a good start but with us going for the hard [medium] tyre we had to wait for the feeling to come in and as the laps went by I was able to close on the group in front and make some passes. In the end I almost caught Nicky so I am really happy and grateful to the team for giving me a great setting, the bike worked well and I felt better than in Qatar, especially with the front end. We still need to build experience with this bike but a twelfth place finish today is positive and we are on the right lines. I want to thank the team, the sponsors and everybody around me that helps us score results like this.”
Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing: 14th – “We always knew this race was going to be tough because it’s a left-handed circuit, so it’s very demanding on my injured left shoulder. Anyway, we ended the first lap near the back and we came through to finish the race, so we learned plenty about the bike, and we also scored a couple of points. Hopefully next time out the shoulder will be a bit stronger.”
Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: DNF – “We knew that it wouldn’t be an easy race: I got off the line pretty well and I found myself in the group battling for third place. I could keep a good rhythm and I was able to stay with them, so much so that I even overtook a few riders. Unfortunately, I continued to have the same problems encountered during practice and qualifying: at a certain point I lost the front and I couldn’t avoid the crash. It’s been a really difficult weekend for us, however in the race I might be able to get a top six finish. We will try to forget this weekend as soon as possible: we need to reset everything and start again from scratch, with the highest concentration ahead of the next round in Argentina, where the priority will be to finish the race.”
Scott Redding, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: DNF – “I felt comfortable for the first seven or eight laps, but then I started to lose more and more grip on the front tyre and my rhythm started to drop a lot. I tried to resist, but after losing the front several times in the end I crashed: I’m okay, nothing serious, just a small crash. After the race, we checked the front tyre and we noticed that the right side was completely ruined: it’s strange because we already had a lot of laps with this kind of tyre during practice and we haven’t had any problems, so we need to investigate more if there’s been a problem with the tyre. The bike was fine, although the battle with Hernandez, who was passing me every time on the straights, broke my rhythm, taking away the possibility to try to catch the group of riders in front of me,”
Moto2 rider quotes
Maverick Vinales, Pons HP 40: race winner – “It’s an incredible feeling to win, especially my second Moto2 race. I’ve felt good with the bike all weekend. We spent most of our time during practice working with used tyres. The team worked very hard and when you work very hard you can win. Today we had the bike to win.”
Esteve Rabat, Marc VDS Racing Team: 2nd – “It was tough – I had to go wide to avoid a collision after the start and then Zarco touched me, so after that I tried to find a good rhythm and I passed many riders. The worst problem was we had an issue with the gearbox – so when I changed down to first it would go into neutral and suddenly back into first, almost throwing me off the bike. But I’m happy because we had some problems and we still finished second.”
Dominique Aegerter, Technomag carXpert: 3rd – “After the disappointment of my engine problem at the first race I’m very happy today. The team did a great job and I had a good set-up all weekend, so we got my first front-row start, which really helped because usually I am used to having to overtake many riders in the first laps. After the first ten or 15 laps the front-tyre performance dropped a little, so I couldn’t stay with the others braking into the corners. Overall, I’m very happy to be on the podium again.”
Honda Moto3 rider quotes
Efren Vazquez, SaxoPrint-RTG: 3rd – “That was a really important race for us. After qualifying and practice we had a great package with our Honda engine and the whole bike. We had a very good top speed, which really helped on the long back straight here, but in the end Jack was too strong!”
Alex Rins, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 4th – “We have improved a little from Qatar, but we found it really hard to set the bike up throughout the weekend. When I was behind Alex [Marquez] and saw that he was getting away, I tried to brake later. That was my mistake. When I saw that I couldn’t keep up the same pace, I decided to focus on the points and try not to make any errors. The result today was both good and bad.”
Alexis Masbou, Ongetta-Rivacold: 6th – “That was a big shame because we had a good day yesterday, improving the bike in general and especially the Honda engine which gives such good power. I knew it would be tough today but I thought I could fight close to the front. Unfortunately there was something strange with the rear tyre and we had a lot of chatter which didn’t allow me to ride the way I like to ride.”
Today’s Grand Prix of the Americas at the COTA circuit in Austin, Texas proved to be a difficult one for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders with Valentino Rossi taking eighth and teammate Jorge Lorenzo taking tenth.
After a less than perfect start that saw him drop from sixth on the grid to ninth, Rossi re-grouped and started to work his way back through the pack. Displaying his trademark efficiency the nine-time world champion made short work of the opening laps, passing Andrea Dovizioso, Stefan Bradl and finally Cal Crutchlow for fourth in turn seven. Rossi then began to close down Andrea Iannone and looked confident of scoring a podium finish until a sudden loss of grip on the right side of the front tyre left him unable to keep his pace, dropping him to eighth which he held to the line.
Teammate Jorge Lorenzo experienced his second Grand Prix weekend to forget today, making a jump start at the beginning of the race and receiving a ride-through penalty as a result. He pitted immediately at the end of the opening lap and re-joined at the back of the field in 23rd. The four-time world champion then showed his dedication and professionalism, working hard to move back through the pack to earn his first championship points of the season. As he crossed the finish line he did so in tenth position, less than four seconds from Rossi in eighth.
The eighth place finish gains Rossi a further eight points to give a total of 28, dropping him to third on the overall standings. Lorenzo’s tenth place earns his first championship points of the season, putting him in 16th with six points.
The championship stays outside of Europe for round three, moving south for the Gran Premio de la República Argentina on 27th April.
Valentino Rossi – 8th / +45.519 / 21 laps – “We destroyed the front tyre completely on the right side. I had the same problem during the weekend but less than this. This morning we made a good step and with a used tyre I could do all the warm up so we were quite positive. Unfortunately after seven or eight laps the front was gone and I had to go three seconds slower. It’s a pity because we could do another podium which was the target here in Austin, unfortunately it wasn’t to be.”
Jorge Lorenzo – 10th / +49.111 / 21 laps – “I wasn’t thinking and was distracted and I made a big mistake in the start. I just tried to push at the maximum afterwards to get the best result but the race was almost over for me. I want to say sorry to the team as I destroyed my race, but at least I didn’t crash because it was a difficult situation with the tension and it was easy to make a mistake and get injured. The good thing is that I finished the race and got my first points in the championship but clearly it wasn’t our weekend.”
Massimo Meregalli – “Unfortunately Valentino completely destroyed the right side of his front tyre after a few laps. We had suffered already this weekend with this and made some changes to the set up, this morning we could do 16 laps with the tyre still looking good so we thought the problem was solved. It’s a shame because as a result we lost the podium here in Texas, where we knew from the beginning it was going to be a tough race. As for Jorge, no matter how hard you prepare for a race weekend there are some things that cannot be anticipated. We all know he is one of the hardest working riders here and very rarely makes a mistake. He did a good job to make the best of it afterwards. I want to thank all the team for another weekend spent working extremely hard to overcome challenges and make a competitive bike for the race, we are looking forward to Argentina to come back even stronger.”
Bradley Smith – 5th, +22.963 – “I am very pleased with my performance during the 21 laps with this being the most physical track on the calendar in my opinion. I made it hard work for myself. It’s difficult to get a perfect setting around here as there are so many different corners, and it is impossible to make one setting which suits all of them. You have to make the best compromise. I was a bit too aggressive during the first laps, and overheated my brakes and the front tyre got really warm. So rather than risking anything, I let them recover, which took me 3 or 4 laps. I saw Pol come past me and then Valentino getting away, so I just had to take a breath. Once the tyres had stabilised, I started moving forward. I then thought either the bike is going to come to me or I am just going to have to sit where I am. With 12 laps to go, I realised that I had a chance and put my head down. I got to Bradl and gave everything I could, and when I reached those left right left corners, where I tried to go underneath him, my heart rate just went through the roof. I put all my cards on the table, as I knew that Dovizioso was edging away, but I am still really pleased to be the top Yamaha”
Pol Espargaro – 6th, +26.567 – “I’m truly happy with today’s result; to finish my first MotoGP race in sixth position and in front of the Factory Yamahas makes me quite proud. I knew that I had to push as much as possible at the beginning, as I didn’t want to lose contact with the guys in front of me. I probably pushed a little too much and I could not keep the rhythm until the end of the race. But I’m happy that I was able to battle with my teammate during a certain stage of the race because Bradley is going really fast this season. Being the second Yamaha means we have not done a bad job at all. The biggest problem during the race has been the front tyre and I think all of the Yamaha’s struggled with it. We knew already from last year’s race that it would not have been an easy track for our bike. I can physically feel that it has been a very demanding race, the MotoGP bikes are exhausting. I have some pain in my shoulder because of the high number of left corners and especially during braking towards the end of the race. The team did a great job and I’m really giving it my all to learn and improve as quickly as possible. I’m already looking forward to the next round in Argentina in a couple of weeks”.
Aleix Espargaro – 9th, +47.605 – “This morning we struggled a lot due to the front chattering and it happened the same in the race. I couldn’t push. I had to be a bit conservative, focusing on finishing the race and getting some points. It was very frustrating but it was impossible for me to push more today. Anyway I’m confident for the next gp and I look forward to race in Argentina.”
Colin Edwards – DNF – “We struggled the whole weekend and I also had an issue with my front tyre, that made my race even more complicated. With 4 laps to go, I had problems with the fuel pressure and my bike stopped, when I was in the back straight. My race was over. Now we will try to understand what happened.”
Today was a day of excitement at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, where the second round of this year’s MotoGP World Championship was held. Starting from tenth place on the grid, Andrea Dovizioso administered the 21 laps in a masterly way to conclude the Texan race in third place, his best result since he joined the Italian manufacturer. The last time a Ducati rider stepped onto the podium was in September 2012.
His team-mate Cal Crutchlow’s day was on the other hand more complicated. The British rider started from seventh on the grid, and three laps in was already up to fourth. After feeling a strong vibration in the rear of his Desmosedici GP14, Cal came into the pits to change the rear tyre. Two laps later and his race was over as he had a nasty high-side in Turn 2, crashing down heavily and injuring his right hand.
Taken immediately to the circuit’s medical centre, he was diagnosed as having a dislocated little finger of his right hand, together with some bruising. He will fly to San Diego tomorrow for a specialist visit, but there should be no problems regarding his return to the track at the next round in two weeks’ time, on the brand-new Termas de Rio Hondo track in Argentina.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 3rd – “I am very pleased with the way I managed the race because in the early laps I didn’t have the right pace. But I kept calm and kept up a constant pace, and this paid off because I didn’t stress the tyres too much. My performance dropped off a bit towards the end but obviously less than the other riders I was fighting with and this allowed me to do the final stages in a good condition. Then I pulled out a small gap over Bradl and Smith, which allowed me to take the chequered flag with an advantage of almost two seconds. I am very pleased with this result for my team. We’ve been working hard for a year and suffering a lot, and we are still not as quick as we would like to be. Getting a result like this at this time of the season is very important, also for all the engineers and mechanics in the racing division back in Bologna, who are working very hard to improve the Desmosedici’s competitiveness.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – DNF – “I was very optimistic, but unfortunately I had a problem with the rear tyre of the bike immediately from lap 1, there were some very big vibrations and it was becoming worse so I thought it was better to pit and change the tyre. Because we were not even at half-distance, the team made the decision to put the soft rear tyre in and I took benefit from that but I was never going to get any points. I remember hitting a bump on the track that upset the bike. It was a fast corner and seemed like it was just going to be a normal crash, but I got caught up with the bike and it ended up highsiding me. I really hit my hand so hard that I dislocated the finger and the swelling of the hand was so bad that I couldn’t see the problem. I’m sorry for the team, but very pleased for Andrea to be on the podium after all the hard work the guys in Ducati Corse have put in over the winter.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager) – “It was a good result for the team, somehow unexpected after yesterday’s qualifying. Andrea did a really great race, riding hard and in a very clever way, to finally take a Ducati back onto the podium. Unfortunately Cal had a problem with vibration at the rear of his bike and he subsequently crashed after stopping in the pits to change the rear tyre. Luckily it seems that the condition of his right hand is not too serious and he should be OK for the next race in Argentina in a couple of weeks’ time. After all the work we’ve been doing over the last few months, today we scored a positive result and so I’d like to thank all the guys in Ducati Corse for their massive commitment on track and back in Bologna.”
The Ducati Team wishes to express its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the Italian racer Emanuele Cassani, who tragically lost his life today in a crash at the Misano Adriatico circuit.
- Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Medium; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
- Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)
- Weather: Dry. Ambient 26-27°C; Track 32-33°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez capped off a perfect weekend at Circuit of The Americas by winning his second successive Americas Grand Prix ahead of teammate Dani Pedrosa.
The race started in dramatic fashion after Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo jumped the start and as a result had to relinquish his race lead and enter the pits to serve a ride-through penalty. This gifted the race lead to Marquez who was able to consistently lap in the 2’03 time bracket to quickly build a gap over the rest of the field. At the chequered flag Marquez crossed the finish line 4.124 seconds of Pedrosa in second place, while Andrea Dovizioso finished in an impressive third place to score his first podium with Ducati.
Intermittent rain fell earlier in the day but track conditions were dry for the race, although track temperatures were considerably lower than yesterday. The peak track temperature during the race was 33°C, ten degrees cooler than yesterday afternoon. The medium compound rear slick was the preferred race option, with sixteen of the twenty-three riders on the grid selecting this option, while six Open-class riders selected the soft compound rear slick. In similar fashion to the season-opener in Qatar, only race winner Marquez selected the hard compound rear slick. All riders selected the medium compound front slick for the race. The improved track conditions compared to last year resulted in quicker race pace this year, with Marquez setting a new Circuit Record Lap time of 2’03.575 on lap three, while the overall race time was nine seconds quicker than last year.
Marquez’s two wins from two races sees him lead the championship standings over teammate Pedrosa by fourteen points, while Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi is a further eight points behind and third overall in the championship points table.
Hiroshi Yamada – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Division – “Congratulations to Marc for another victory at Circuit of the Americas and to Repsol Honda for achieving another double podium at this venue. It was also pleasing to see Ducati return to the podium, so well done to Andrea and the team for their fantastic result today. I was sorry to see Cal crash and injure himself during the race and I want to wish him a full and speedy recovery. I hope that the exciting start to the season continues when we visit the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo in a couple of weeks’ time, and I look forward to returning to the United States for the Indianapolis Grand Prix in August.”
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Division – “Conditions were much cooler today for the race but track conditions were good, which resulted in the race being run at a very quick pace. Only Marquez selected the harder rear slick for the race and it worked well for him, and all three rear slick options were utilised in the race. As expected the whole of the grid selected the medium compound option, yet during the race some riders experienced higher levels of front tyre abrasion than was seen during practice and qualifying. We will now analyse the tyres to work out what were the contributing factors that resulted in the high levels of wear that occurred during the race.”
Marc VDS Moto2 Report
Tito Rabat maintained his 100% podium record in 2014 after the Marc VDS Racing Team rider rode to a determined second place in an entertaining Moto2 race at the Circuit of the Americas.
After a delayed start when rain spots fell just moments before the warm-up lap, Rabat recovered brilliantly from sixth position to take second, extending his World Championship lead to seven-points over race winner Maverick Vinales.
The physical demands of the long and technical COTA track, which features some of the hardest braking zones and fastest changes of direction on the calendar, aggravated on old left shoulder injury for Mika Kallio.
The Finn ignored the intense pain to keep himself in the podium hunt right to the chequered flag and he eventually finished just over a second behind third place in fourth.
Front-end modifications and a super aggressive start to the 18-lap Moto3 race were decisive in helping Livio Loi enjoy a positive race debut at COTA.
The Belgian teenager came from 24th on the grid to score his first World Championship points of the season with a hard earned 12th position, which equals his best ever Moto3 finish.
Tito Rabat // 2nd – “After making the pole position obviously I wanted to win but these are 20 very important points for the Championship. I got a good start but there was a lot of contact throughout the race, so I pushed as hard as I could and I’m satisfied to come through to second. I had a problem with the gearbox again in the first gear corners. It was so bad at the end I wasn’t even using first gear, so to finish second is a positive result and we can go to Argentina leading the World Championship and ready to fight for the victory again.”
Mika Kallio // 4th – “I was really strong at the start of the race and I was always around fourth position and confident my pace was good enough to stay with the first group and get on the podium again. I was right in contention and then suddenly I started to get a really bad pain in my left arm and shoulder from an old injury. I lost power in my hand and I kept making mistakes on the brakes and it was hard to use the clutch for shifting down. The pain was coming so bad in the shoulder I just wanted to finish the race and without that I am sure I could have finished on the podium.”
Livio Loi // 12th – “I am really happy to score my first points of the season at the end of a difficult weekend. We made a positive change for the warm-up to help the bike turn better in the fast and flowing sections and it really helped my feeling and confidence on the bike. I just decided to ride like a beast. At the first corner I passed about six riders and I kept working my way up. And at the end I am really happy to keep Bastianini, Ajo and Oliveira behind me because it was a great battle.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal – “Tito did another great job today and I am happy he is back on the podium to remain at the top of the Championship. The clutch and gearbox problems he had in the first gear corners yesterday weren’t completely fixed, so we couldn’t give him the best package today. So we have to say a big thanks to him because he made a great job. And it is a pity Mika had some problems with his left shoulder because I’ve no doubt without that we’d be celebrating a double podium for the second race in a row otherwise. I’m pleased with Livio to equal his best result in Moto3 because he beat some quality opposition in a straight fight like Oliveira, who was close to the podium in Qatar. Hopefully this is the platform for him to build on to establish himself as a consistent top 15 finisher, which was our big pre-season target for him.”
Husqvarna Moto3 Report
Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo factory rider Danny Kent picked up a solid eighth place in the Moto3 GP of the Americas on Sunday in the second round of the 2014 World Championship.
Both he and Husqvarna-supported rider Niklas Ajo were in the points for the first time. Husqvarna, a brand with a great tradition and success in off road racing is making its debut year in road racing.
Kent had his share of difficulties in the earlier practice sessions while the team worked on the bike set-up but made a big improvement on race day after adjustments to the bike following the morning warm-up session. He started back at sixteenth on the grid after a difficult qualifying but moved up two places on the opening lap then settled down to a steady pace to battle it out for tenth position.
Kent, who returns to Moto3 after a year in Moto2 kept a steady head, avoided any trouble as a slew of riders crashed and ended the day for his first top ten finish for 2014. After two GPs the British rider is eleventh in the standings with 11 points.
Danny Kent: “We improved 0.6 seconds this morning compared with qualifying. If we had run this pace in the first free practice session, we would have been stronger today. Now we have to work hard with our focus on Argentina, taking things step by step.”
Supported rider Niklas Ajo started from twelfth on the grid but did not get away well and dropped four places in the early part of the race. But on a positive note, his fourteenth place finish allowed him to pick up his first points in the 2014 championship.
Team boss Aki Ajo: “ I think we’ve improved since Qatar and we also can see this in the results,” he said. “We made some steps with the guys. It’s a new team so I think somehow we have to be quite happy about this weekend. Danny had some problems in practice and Niklas seems to have had some tire issues in the race but we have to be positive and look forward.”
The next GP is on April 27th at the new Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina, which hosts the only South American round of the year.
San Carlo Moto3 Report
Ready to start to the race after getting some promising results in practice, the riders of the San Carlo Team Italia today have been affected by a series of particularly unfortunate problems at the Circuit of the Americas at Austin. In a race that saw Jack Miller (KTM) taking his second consecutive victory edging by just 69/1000 the strong comeback of Roman Fenati (KTM), the riders of the federal team have been forced to postpone their aim to get a positive result in the competitive Moto3 class.
Andrea Locatelli made a small mistake soon after the start. After re-joining the race, the Italian Moto3 Champion maintained a pace in line for a place in the top-15. The unlucky moment of Matteo Ferrari continued today when he was betrayed by a minor issue with the clutch just a few seconds before the lights got off.
Today the San Carlo Team Italia raced edged in black to remember Massimo Tamburini, motorcycle engineering and design genius, who passed away in the night of Sunday, April 6 and to mourn Emanuele Cassani who tragically died today in an accident at Misano (Italy). The Team Italia and the FMI with his President Paolo Sesti is close to the family of Massimo and Emanuele.
Andrea Locatelli (San Carlo Team Italia – Mahindra MGP3O #55) 25th – “It was a real shame. By my side there is a great disappointment for having been unable to take advantage of this opportunity. I made a small mistake under braking soon after the start, and I am really sorry for myself and for Arthur Sissis who got involved in the accident. I didn’t give up and after a pit-stop I re-joined the race aiming to make the most of the rest of the day increasing my experience: my times have been competitive, and I think that without the crash I would have been able to fight for a top-15 position. We certainly won’t give up because we always try to find the positives of each weekend, no matter the result. I leave from Texas determined to do well in two weeks in Argentina, because I think we are working in the right direction”.
Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia – Mahindra MGP3O #3) DNF – “The bad luck is haunting us. There’s not much to say, except that I’m frustrated for not taking part in the race. In this morning warm up I had found a great setting for the bike with used tires, and I think a comeback race was possible. Too bad, but I remain positive because very soon we will have the opportunity to take revenge”.
Virginio Ferrari (Team Manager – San Carlo Team Italia Moto3) – “It was a day to forget. The guys have tried hard and gave their best throughout the whole weekend, but a series of circumstances and unfortunate problems have affected our chances to do well. The race of Andrea was compromised since the start: unfortunately, crashes are part of this sport. As for Matteo, in the recent period he has indeed been affected by a series of unconventional issues that have so far prevented him to show his real value. The whole team will continue to work hard looking forward to the next race in Argentina in order to achieve the goals we set for our project”.