The complaint commonly leveled at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, is that it does not produce great racing. And this is often true. But not this Sunday. In 2023, the fans who flocked to COTA for MotoGP saw three great races on Sunday, and a whole heap of surprises.
The Moto2 race was a great example of how a track like COTA can produce a tense and exciting race. Marc VDS rider Tony Arbolino and Pedro Acosta of the KTM Ajo squad broke away shortly before the halfway mark and a hard chase ensued. At a track which is as physically demanding as COTA, Acosta knew he had to plan an attack on Arbolino, rather than just try to pass and having to spend the rest of the race battling. The additional energy that would take would leave them both with nothing left to finish the race.
So Acosta waited. When Arbolino ran wide into Turn 1, Acosta seized the lead, but the effort of leading saw him outbrake himself and run a little wide into Turn 12. Arbolino snatched back the lead, while Acosta slid back in behind him. On the last lap, Acosta attacked again into Turn 12, the tight left hander at the end of the back straight, and snatched back the lead.