Press releases from the teams and Michelin after Sunday's race at the Circuit of The Americas:
Masterful win for Marquez in Texas, with Pedrosa third
Taking his first win of this season today, Marc Marquez completed another perfect weekend at Circuit of the Americas, succeeding in Austin for the fifth-straight time after starting from pole position. Meanwhile, Dani Pedrosa made it a double-podium finish for Repsol Honda Team, posting a solid third-place result after leading the early going.
The Repsol Honda riders completed lap one at the front of the pack, Dani having grabbed the lead into turn one from his second-row start, with Marc following in his teammate’s slipstream for several laps before making a bid for the lead. Although Pedrosa put up a strong defence, the reigning champ took over for good on lap 9 of 21 and extended his advantage during the latter part of the race, while Dani was obliged to relinquish the runner-up position to Valentino Rossi with three laps remaining.
Amazingly, Marc has won every Premier-class GP he has ever entered in the U.S., having also taken three MotoGP victories in Indianapolis and one in Laguna Seca; including his two Moto2 wins in the country, this is Marc’s 11th consecutive victory in the USA. That said, the last time the Repsol Honda man had stood atop the podium was when he clinched last year’s title in Suzuka, Japan, last October, so this victory marked a welcome return to the top.
Marc’s win today also adds yet another important piece to Honda’s own domination in MotoGP events hosted in the USA. In fact, the last 14 MotoGP races on American tarmac have been won by Honda riders. (The last non-Honda MotoGP winner in the country was Jorge Lorenzo, at Laguna Seca in 2010.) Honda have therefore won 17 of the 22 premier-class Grand Prix races that have taken place in the USA during the MotoGP era.
With this result, Marc and Dani move up the Championship standings to third and sixth places, respectively.
“This was a crucial race because after Argentina it was important to come back in the best way, so we are really happy with this result. Although I won, it was difficult, because the temperature was much higher than yesterday. Five minutes before the start, I said to my chief mechanic, ‘Okay, let’s use the hard tyre’ because I knew that I would push the medium front tyre a lot. In the beginning I was just trying to understand the limit because I hadn’t tried it a lot on Friday. I was behind Dani and when I saw that he was struggling a little bit and Valentino was challenging, I said, ‘Time to attack.’ I was able to win, and I’m happy to be back in the championship.”
“I’m happy because we made some steps forward today, and overall this weekend was positive. We made some good improvements from the last races, and also in practice we were higher up in the results. Qualifying still wasn't as good as I’d have liked, but today were able to get a good start and arrive first to turn one. It was the first time I’ve done that in a while, and I led the race for a few laps, which is good. In the end it was difficult to manage the front tyre. I could feel that the right side was finished, so I couldn't prevent Valentino from passing me. After the crash in Argentina, I wanted to avoid losing the front, so I just tried to finish.”
ROSSI CLINCHES SECOND PLACE AT THE CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi secured a superb second place at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA). Teammate Maverick Viñales was on the move in the early stages, but a slide down the track in lap 2 prevented him from completing the race.
Austin (Texas, USA), 23rd April 2017
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi showed an impressive pace in the Grand Prix of The Americas to claim his third consecutive podium finish of the season. Teammate Maverick Viñales was looking confident, but his race ended prematurely 20 laps before the end.
Rossi was strong out of the gates and settled into third position exiting the first corner. He chased Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa in the opening laps, careful not to let them clear off into the distance.
With 15 laps to go the Italian went wide in the first corner and got into a scrap with Johann Zarco. After a touch between the two Yamaha riders in turn 4, the Doctor was pushed wide, but he quickly rejoined the track and held on to third position.
As the front runners quarrelled over the next few laps, Rossi took the opportunity with both hands to close the gap. He reached Pedrosa with five laps to go and bided his time. Two laps later, his carefully planned overtake came in the last corner. The nine-time World Champion then put his head down. He was on the limit for the last two laps to take the flag +3.069s behind the leader, securing second place despite being penalised with 0.3s at the end of the race, due to the incident with Zarco.
Viñales had a busy first lap. Starting from second place on the grid he got off the line well, but found himself in fifth place after all 22 riders had squeezed through the first corner. He soon overtook Jorge Lorenzo for fourth and was eager to remain on the tail of his teammate on their way to the front, but his challenge was cut short by a crash in turn 16 one lap later. The Spanish youngster was left unhurt, but unable to continue the race.
Today‘s results see Rossi take over the lead in the championship standings with 56 points, 6 points ahead of Viñales in second place. In the Constructor's Championship, Yamaha still holds the lead with a 16-point margin, while the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team stays on top in the Team's Championship standings, 41 points ahead of its closest rival.
The Yamaha Factory Racing Team will next cross the Atlantic Ocean for the Gran Premio de España at the Circuito de Jerez in two weeks‘ time.
Overall it‘s been a mixed day for us. Valentino did a fantastic job to take a very important second place. His start was good and played a vital role. He positioned his YZR-M1 exactly right and this allowed him to chase the leading duo. It was inevitable for him to go onto the run-off area after the incident with Zarco, but Vale's experience shone through again. He was quick to get his head down and at the end we get to celebrate a strong second place, even after the questionable 0.3s penalty. It was very unfortunate that Maverick‘s race ended early because, judging by the pace he displayed all weekend, he would certainly have been able to challenge for the victory. We have checked the data and there‘s nothing strange or different from what he has done since Friday. The front closed without any warning and he could not do anything to save it. It‘s a great pity because he was really confident on the bike, so we take that away from this race weekend as a positive. We‘re certain he will come back strong in Spain in two weeks‘ time.
+3.069 / 21 LAPS
It was a great surprise for me and for the team because we were struggling very much with the new bike, especially during the winter. I think we need more time to understand the setting and the way to ride it, but at the end this bike is very good, especially in the race and with the used tyres. I‘m so happy, because today I wasn‘t so far from the front and it‘s also the best result of my career at this track, so it‘s good. When I saw ’Viñales out‘ I started to think “I‘m on top of the championship standings”. I felt good and I also saw Dani having some problems, especially on the right, so I said “maybe those four points are important” and in fact it was like that. For me the penalty wasn‘t right. The problem is we either do it like this, or we crash together at a very dangerous point. But for me, though accepting Race Direction‘s decision, the mistake was made by Zarco.
/ 1 LAPS
It was a really strange crash. I did exactly the same as in Warm Up and all weekend, but I crashed. I think we had some issues with the front tyre, but anyway, we know that we are strong and that we have the speed. We can be strong again, so I‘m going to try to forget this crash and come to Jerez even faster, stronger and more consistent than I was here.
Andrea Dovizioso finishes the GP of the Americas at Austin (Texas) in sixth place, Jorge Lorenzo in ninth
Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo were classified sixth and ninth respectively in the GP of the Americas, the third round of the MotoGP World Championship which was held today at COTA, the Texan circuit on the outskirts of Austin.
Dovizioso, who was starting from row 3 with seventh-quickest time in qualifying, crossed the line at the end of the opening lap in eighth place and then passed Lorenzo and moved up to sixth. The Italian rider administered the race to bring his Desmosedici GP machine home in the same position at the chequered flag.
Lorenzo, who started from the second row with sixth quickest time, was sixth at the end of lap 1 but was then passed by Dovizioso on the following lap. The Spanish rider kept the same position until lap 18, but was then passed by Iannone and Petrucci towards the end of the race and he finished in ninth place.
Dovizioso now lies fourth in the overall standings with 30 points, while Lorenzo is thirteenth on 12 points.
The MotoGP World Championship will be back in action on the weekend of 5-7 May at Jerez de la Frontera, for the first European round of the 2017 season.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 6th
“This was a difficult weekend and also in the race we never had the pace that we had hoped for. Pity, because I expected more from this GP, but the result confirms that unfortunately we still have a lot more work to do in order to resolve certain limits of our bike and to be able to stay up there ahead with our rivals at every circuit.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 9th
“All in all, the race went better than I expected, at least regarding my pace over practice and qualifying. For sure we cannot be satisfied with the final position, because our target is certainly much higher, but in feeling and pace we made a small step forward in this race. It all went more or less how I expected until the front tyre began to have some graining and I lost touch with Dovizioso. Without this problem, I think I could have finished the race right behind him but the situation got worse over the last few laps and both Iannone and Petrucci passed me, so I lost out on seventh right at the end.”
FIRST POINTS FOR IANNONE AS HE ENDS SEVENTH IN THE AMERICAS´ GP
Team Suzuki Press Office – April 23.
Andrea Iannone: 7th - +15.491s
Finally the first points of the 2017 season have arrived for Andrea Iannone at the third round of the championship. The Italian rider was able to advance from 11th to 7th position in today´s Americas GP.
The race day started off better than yesterday´s qualifying. The tarmac’s temperature today was higher and this allowed Iannone to immediately feel more confident in the warm up, and then to finalise a comfortable setup for the race.
Starting from the 11th place in the grid, the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s rider more or less maintained his position in the early laps, although struggling a bit to find a comfortable pace and to overtake. He was able to be more competitive in the second half of the race. Lapping at the same average pace as the top 5 riders, he was able to advance several positions to end up in 7th place.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
“This has been a very difficult weekend: Alex has a big crash and got injured and also Andrea had many crashes. Finally with Andrea we could finish the race and get some points, which is important. I’m very sorry we couldn't prepare the perfect bike for him. But he did a very good job also, supporting Alex and getting to the pins. I’m happy with him. The seventh place doesn’t satisfy me, but I consider this as a starting point for us and I believe we can restart from here to become better and better, race after race. I hope Alex will get better soon and come back to the garage. Also, we have room for improvement to perform better in the European circuits, where I hope we will get the chance to go back on the podium again.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“In the end we are happy for how this day went. At the beginning of the race Andrea struggled to find his rhythm, but then he was able to find a good pace that allowed him to pick up some positions. For this reason, I’d say that, concerning the race, we hit our target which was to arrive at the chequered flag. After two races like those we had in Qatar and Argentina, it was crucial to end the race and get experience. It’s been important to ride many laps with the other riders and fight until the end. This enables data collection not just for our engineers, but also for Andrea to have a better understanding. This will be important information for us, from where we will be able to restart. Now it’s time to go back to Europe, where the Championship will be heating up. We have to restart from here, to take advantage of what we’ve learnt today and move on.”
“I’m really happy because finally I got some good feelings back with the bike, but at the same time I’m not happy at all about the first part of the race. I lost too much time in the first 5 laps, and then it was hard to recover from that. Afterwards, I found a good pace, but having already lost 6 or 7 seconds, it was too hard to recover any more than I did. There will be a very important test we will do on Monday after Jerez, where we will try some different setup configurations that would be impossible to try on a race weekend. For sure this weekend, and especially this morning, we’ve learnt many things. They will be very useful to ensure we arrive in Spain well prepared.”
RINS FLIES BACK HOME TO UNDERGO A SURGERY
Team Suzuki Press Office – April 24.
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR and Spanish rider Alex Rins are finally travelling back home after a fateful weekend at the COTA circuit in Austin, Texas. The rider, who suffered a crash during the Free Practice 3 last Saturday, could not compete in the Grand Prix of the Americas due to a double fracture of the left arm that had to be treated in the hospital by Doctor Austin Hill, orthopedic traumatologist at the University Medical Center Brackenridge.
Rins will land tomorrow afternoon in Barcelona, where he will be operated on throughout the week at the University Hospital Dexeus, in Barcelona, by Dr. Xavier Mir, Head of the Hand Unit and Coordinator of the MotoGP Traumatology Service, when inflammation of the left arm has subsided.
The recovery stages are not yet known, and it will not be until after the surgical intervention occurs that the times and rehab therapy will be determined.
“It's been a very tough weekend. This is a special track where I have always found myself pretty comfortable, and I enjoyed riding a lot, but this grand prix instead has been complicated. We have paid very dearly for Saturday´s fall. Now that we have accepted it, we can begin the recovery. The team is giving me exceptional support and I hope soon to start giving them back some joy so that we can all get rid of this bitter taste in our mouths. Now it’s time to go back home, wait for the arm´s swelling to reduce, and undergo surgery. I’m not thinking about recovery time as much as coming back at 100%”.
THE RS-GP CONFIRMS ITS POTENTIAL EVEN ON A DIFFICULT WEEKEND
ESPARGARÓ FINISHES THE RACE DESPITE A PIT STOP
LOWES CRASHES IN THE 12TH LAP
ALBESIANO: “WE HAD THE POTENTIAL TO STAY IN THE TOP TEN”
You need to search through the various sessions of the Texan weekend between practice, qualifying and the race to “filter” the performance of Aleix Espargaró and his RS-GP from the extraordinary chain of adverse events that clipped the wings of his ambition. Having started from the last spot on the grid for not having participated in the qualifiers on Saturday, Aleix found his pace after a few laps, catching up to 15th position. His times, improving decisively, even made a top-ten finish seem possible, something that would have been quite an undertaking. Instead, from the seventh lap, problems with the front end first slowed him visibly and then forced him to pit lane.
After changing the tyre and re-joining, without any more hope of a placement, Aleix lapped at a pace even better than the riders who were battling for tenth. This feedback and the times in the Sunday warm-up, the only positive notes on a weekend that was difficult like few others for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, confirm the potential of the Espargaró-Aprilia duo. Sam Lowes' race came to an early end after a crash when, after finding his pace, he had moved in behind Smith just behind the points zone.
Now it is time to head for Europe, with two days of testing at Mugello on Wednesday and Thursday. The goal is to pick up from all the positive that had been demonstrated in the first two rounds of the season.
"From the first laps I had a bad feeling with the front tyre. I kept losing it. I thought maybe it was because of the full tank, but things got worse lap after lap, so much that at a certain point I was no longer riding but just trying not to crash. Making a pit stop is always the last thought for me. It seems like a lack of respect for the work my team has done, but today I had no choice. When I re-joined with a new tyre, I lapped at my own pace without pushing, with the times we had expected. Now I want to forget this weekend quickly. In two days we will be on the track at Mugello to continue working and to be ready for the European races."
"I think that today was the slowest crash of my career. To be honest, it was a strange weekend for us. Even in the race, the harder front tyre was perfect on the left side in terms of feeling, whereas on the right I wasn't able to ride. The pace was what I had expected. I was able to stay in the group that was battling for points and despite a mistake in the early stages, I had managed to close the gap. Even on a weekend like this one, we were still able to take a few steps forward. My goal is to stay focused and to continue working with my team so that I can get to the point of exploiting the full potential of my RS-GP."
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
"Even with the handicap of a start from the last spot on the grid, we had the potential for a top-ten race, but instead Aleix had a problem with the front. After replacing the tyre he found the sensations and the times we expected, the ones from warm-up where he finished in ninth place. Sure, it was a particular track, with bumps and different grip than the previous tracks, which put us to the test, but without everything that happened to us, we were definitely capable of finishing in the top ten. But even here, we learned something and now we are headed to Europe confident because of what we demonstrated until now and even hoping that this whole series of episodes that hindered us here is over."
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
"The many crashes in practice conditioned the entire weekend, both for Aleix and Sam. When you begin like that, it makes everything harder. It's like starting on an uphill slope. The team was unable to work at their best for the race. But even an unlucky weekend has plenty to teach us and it has to be used to continue improving. Now we are waiting for the European races so we can leave this weekend behind us, well aware of our potential."
Steep learning curve for Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory Racing Team in Austin
RACE 3rd Rd. MotoGP 2017 – Circuit of the Americas (USA)
The Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory Racing Team wrapped up a difficult race weekend at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday in the third round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship. Factory rider Bradley Smith finished 16th on this long, 5.5km circuit, KTM teammate Pol Espargaro retired mid race after experiencing clutch problems. Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Miguel Oliveira (POR) continued to be a top finisher with a sixth place in Moto2, while the two best KTM Moto3 riders were Nicola Bulega and Juanfran Guevara who finished 5-6 in in a race that was shortened to 12 laps after a red flag.
It was the team’s first visit with the KTM RC16 MotoGP bike to the difficult Texan circuit, and represented another stage in their steep learning curve as they tackle their first season in the premier class.
Bradley Smith: “It was a tricky day with tire choice. When the sun came out we were a bit worried about whether the soft tire would really work, and we had done the majority of our work on that tire choice. The hard tire was okay when we had grip but then we had problems when it slowly disappeared. I was a bit nervous when I saw Pol’s bike smoking and after that, I just tried to look after the bike and the tires. I started to push a bit to see if I could stay in front of Bautista but he was stronger than us. In the end I just tried to finish the 21 laps to get some important information for the team. We always knew that this race was going to be a difficult one for us. I’m proud that we were able to have a bike that could do one fast lap, now our objective is to move forward and make one that does 21 laps.”
Pol Espargaro: “We started to feel this problem with the clutch in the second lap. I was not fast enough in the straights and in some corners the front was shaking quite a lot. Honestly the guys put in a big effort this weekend with the new fairing, and they didn’t get much sleep. We were really unlucky today. I don’t know what we could have done, but maybe it would have been possible to take a point. We will have some new parts to test in Le Mans and after that we race in Jerez, where we have already been with the KTM. I feel something good is coming but we need to be patient.”
Mike Leitner (Team Manager MotoGP): “This was a typical track where we were for the first time, and we ran out of time to make any really big steps on the bike setting, and to test everything to be competitive. We have to take it like it is because we will face this problem a few more times this year. With Pol we had an issue with the clutch, which caused an oil leak and this is why the engine was smoking. Now we just have to accept it and keep working to make it better.”
IN-FORM CRUTCHLOW CLAIMS FOURTH IN TEXAS
PRESS RELEASE: 23 April 2017 | COTA Race Day
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow followed up his podium finish in Argentina with a fine fourth-placed finish at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin on Sunday. The Briton demonstrated his battling qualities once again with a superb ride in the MotoGP class to finish just outside the top three having departed from ninth place on the grid in Texas.
Crutchlow made a great start to the race as he quickly moved through the field into sixth place and assumed fifth when championship leader Maverick Viñales crashed out on lap two. He was then involved in a thrilling battle with Johann Zarco and eventually got the better of the Frenchman on the final lap to claim fourth spot.
Although he acknowledged afterwards that he was disappointed to miss out on a second consecutive podium, Crutchlow is pleased with his start to the 2017 MotoGP World Championship. Fellow Honda rider Marc Marquez claimed his fifth straight victory at the Circuit of The Americas with Valentina Rossi and Dani Pedrosa behind him.
Cal Crutchlow – 4th
"It was a good race, I felt confident throughout and my team did a fantastic job all weekend. Of course, I’m a little disappointed not to get the podium because we were very close, but I took too long to pass Johann Zarco and after that I lost a little bit of time running off the track".
“But I felt comfortable during the race and physically strong, and I was still able to push towards the end. I would have liked another podium, but a third in Argentina and fourth here in Texas is good from the last two flyaway races. Hopefully we can carry this momentum into the first European round in Jerez.”
Zarco stars under the Texan sun to seal 5th – Folger perseveres to scoop 11th
Johann Zarco continued his dazzling form aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 in his third race in the premier class to finish 5th at the Circuit of The Americas today. The French rider leapt forward from the middle of the second row of the grid and quickly stuck into a formidable rhythm as he battled against the vastly experienced Grand Prix winners at the front of the field. Eventually, Zarco powered across the finish line in 5th with the result moving him to 7th in the standings. Meanwhile, Jonas Folger fought relentlessly in the gruelling 21 lap sprint in Austin, Texas to seize 11th and seal another solid point scoring result. The young German fully intends to break back into the top ten at the next round in Spain at the Circuito de Jerez in a fortnight.
Position: 5th - Championship: 7th- Points: 22
"I am really happy with the result but the start of the race was tricky and it was not easy to get into a good position at the first turn. However, I felt great on my Yamaha so I started attacking from the third corner, and I was quickly able to overtake my opponents and get into 5th. I wanted to follow the top group so I pushed to stay close to Valentino and I was able to fight with him, which was fantastic. We came very close at one point because I had a bit more speed than him in the third corner, and maybe it was a bit too tight but fortunately, nothing serious happened and he went on to finish second. I really didn’t want to cause a problem for Vale and I know that I can learn a lot from him so luckily, we both recovered. After this, I continued to do my best and at the end of the sprint, Crutchlow was slightly faster, but nevertheless, 5th is just awesome and I am pleased because the podium was close today."
Position: 11th - Championship: 8th- Points: 21
"It was a tough race and I did my best, but I’m a little bit disappointed, to be honest. However, there are always positives and today, we were just 18 seconds back from the top, plus six seconds behind Dovizioso who finished 6th which is good. Having said that, I made some mistakes in the GP, especially when the bike started to get lighter due to the decreasing fuel load. I was not able to adapt as well as I did in the last GP, and that’s when I lost some positions. Now we have to analyse everything and see how we can move forward. We learnt a lot again this weekend but I have to be able to set the bike up better in the practices and be stronger in the fight. I have scored points in all three races so far, and this is pleasing, but once you reach a certain position, your goals get higher and I aim to make a step up. We know what we can do and we realise that 6th could have been ours if we worked more effectively in the practice. Anyway, I will focus now on the next round in Jerez where I am sure that I can finish in a stronger position."
"The weekend ended positively for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team and now it’s time to head back to Europe. Johann Zarco had another incredible Grand Prix and he quickly made up the places he lost at the first corner. By the end of the opening lap, he was 5th before he closed in on Valentino. Then, he stayed with Vale for two-thirds of the race, which is quite an achievement and we must not forget that Johann is a rookie even if he is really strong. He said that he made a few small mistakes so he needs to understand how to adapt his riding style for when the fuel load decreases but this is part of the learning process and we are more than on schedule with our plans. The 5th position today was much more rewarding than the Argentina result because no one crashed in front of us and Johann keeps getting quicker so it was a superb job by him and his whole crew. On the other side of the garage, Jonas also had a solid race. However, we can see that at the moment he doesn’t quite have the aggression early on in the race that his teammate does. Jonas ran some laps at the same pace, or sometimes even quicker than Johann, but it was not regular enough. Anyway, it was another point scoring finish and his results so far have been good and he is 8th in the championship with Johann in 7th. They are both just a few points behind Dovizioso in the standings and in addition, we are third in the team championship and the best independent team. We can be proud of what Johann, Jonas and the crew have achieved at the first three races and now we will fly back to Europe where you can be sure that we will put on another exciting show at Jerez."
Petrux puts in a great race to take 7th place. Scott 12th after suffering a shoulder pain
The third round of the 2017 season of MotoGP ends up with the great performance of Danilo Petrucci who conquers eighth place at the end of a striking comeback. Scott Redding finished in twelfth position that allows the English rider to confirm himself in the Top 10 (9th place) of the World Championship standings.
At the Circuit of the Americas Petrux was one of the major players thanks to an extremely convincing race pace. The italian rider, who started from 13th place, between the 14th and 18th lap managed to close a gap of 2 secs off Folger and Miller, then passing them 3 laps to the end. On the following lap, Petrux started to chase Lorenzo and he overtook him gaining a precious eight place under the checkered flag.
A stunning performance that Octo’s CEO Fabio Sbianchi wanted to celebrate with Petrux and his team with a toast in the VIP Village lounge activated for the Grand Prix of the Americas.
Scott Redding's race was more difficult. A crash in the first lap of the warm-up probably made him lose a bit of confidence, as the result the English wasn't able to find the same feeling he had during the free practices. Plus, from the middle of the race a strong left-shoulder pain forced him to tighten his teeth and bring home four precious points for the standings
8° - DANILO PETRUCCI
"I am very happy for today's race. Yesterday we were in trouble as I could not have a good feeling with the front. We have studied the data very much and this job paid as well as the choice of hard the tire at the rear. We've made all the right choices. That is why I want to thank the whole team, especially my crew chief Daniele Romagnoli and my electronic engineer Christian Battaglia because they did a great job. It's a great resul for us".
12° SCOTT REDDING
"It was a very tough race today. We choose to go with the hard tyre but I did not find the feeling. Maybe I should have tried the medium but now it's too late for regrets. The problem is that I was unable to be competitive from the early laps. I had no traction in corner exit that's why I had to work hard in braking probably stressing too much the front tire. We have some work to do. We must now focus on Jerez".
Miller goes top ten in Texas
Jack Miller continued his run of top ten finishes for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS in today’s Grand Prix of The Americas in Austin, Texas.
Miller fought off an intense late race challenge from German rider Jonas Folger to finish just 0.5s behind three-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo who was ninth.
Miller made a strong early race dash from 12th on the grid to be eighth on lap three and spent the remainder of a frustrating 21-lap race stalking Lorenzo, who controlled the gap on the fast straight at the Circuit of The Americas.
This result consolidates Miller in 10th place in the points standings.
Miller was joined in the points by his hard riding teammate Tito Rabat, who finished 13th to boost his confidence with a third consecutive finish in the points.
Rabat also had to deal with the challenge of Ducati riders and he finished strongly, squeezed between Scott Redding (12th) and Hector Barbera (14th).
Rabat continues to accelerate his learning curve in MotoGP and has set a solid platform for his home race at Jerez, the next event on the calendar.
After a cold and windy qualifying today’s race was run in near perfect sunny and warm conditions.
Jack Miller: 10th
“I had good speed from the start of the race but it is just so difficult to overtake, I was losing so much time off the slow corners and it is not easy to make it up in the braking zones. All I could was wait and hope Lorenzo made a mistake and then towards the end of the race I lost some feeling with front. It was another solid result, I got some points with a top ten finish and learnt a lot.”
Tito Rabat: 13th
“I am very happy for this result because today I understood many things by going a little slower at the beginning and then faster towards the end of the race. And in the normal conditions of today’s race I was closer to the front guys and this is good for my confidence. To score points in the opening three races of the season is a very good start and a boost in advance of the next race at home in Jerez.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“The three overseas races to start the season are always tough but this is another good result with both Jack and Tito again in the points. Both riders are improving and closing the gap to the front. It was not easy for Jack who in the slow sections was able to be close behind a Ducati which could always pull away on the straight. Another solid weekend from our team before we head to the European races.”
Barbera and Baz leave Texas with mixed feelings
Reale Avintia Racing riders left Texas with mixed feelings after the third round of the MotoGP World Championship. Hector Barbera scored two points finishing the race in 14th place, while Loris Baz got no reward after crashing out of lap 9 of the race, when he was battling with the British rider Scott Redding.
But there were also positive aspects on this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas, a track that does in general not favour the Ducati riders. Hector Barbera made some good steps in the learning process of a new riding style with his Desmosedici GP16. Although the final position in the race was fairly disappointing, he understood some things that should be useful in the next race at home in Spain.
Baz was unlucky, but until the crash, he was showing his potential, battling in the group that was fighting for the top 10.
Following three overseas races, the World Championship returns to Europe in two weeks time, and Jerez will be the home round for Reale Avintia Racing and Héctor Barberá.
Hector Barbera | P14
“It was a strange race, because the result is not good, but I improved my riding style with this bike. It was the first weekend so far this season where we did not touch the set-up, and it was just me who had to change and adapt to the bike. In the last five laps I struggled with arm-pump, because this is a really demanding track and this year even more so due to its bumpy surface. But we have to focus on the positive aspects and this is that we finished the race close to the other Ducatis. I want to thank the team for being patient, and I promise to keep working at the maximum. The next race is Jerez, a circuit I like and where I’m sure that we can do better.”
Loris Baz | DNF
“It was a shame, because although I was not riding at my best, I was able to stay in the group. Then I tried to catch Scott (Redding) and something failed in the gearbox going into a slow hairpin. The bike was like in neutral and I was forced to run off the track. I came back and maybe I pushed too much, because I crashed just two or three corners later, and today I could not save it… We knew that it was important to finish the race and score points, but today it was tough and the bike was not as easy to ride as in Argentina. But I’m sure that we will be back stronger in Jerez.”
Bautista's tenacity rewarded with a point
Sunday, 23 April 2017 22:04
Pull&Bear Aspar rider recovers from a crash to finish fifteenth in his 125th MotoGP GP appearence, a race that saw Karel Abraham depart on the second lap
Marc Márquez did the only thing he knows how to do at the Circuit Of The Americas today: win. This is the fifth time the MotoGP World Championship has visited this track and the Spaniard has five poles and five wins to his name. With series leader Maverick Viñales crashing out early in the race, the gap between the two is reduced to twelve points in a championship that now has a new leader, with Valentino Rossi taking second today to move to the top of the standings. The Italian returns to Europe with a six-point lead over his team-mate and eighteen over Márquez. Dani Pedrosa made the podium today for the first time since San Marino last year, with Cal Crutchlow and Johann Zarco completing the top five as the top Independent riders.
It was a bittersweet weekend for Pull&Bear Aspar rider Álvaro Bautista, who started his 125th MotoGP race from nineteenth on the grid after some practice issues with his Ducati. Bautista battled his way up to thirteenth in the race before a crash at the midway stage saw him lose forty seconds, although he was able to continue and pick up a single point in fifteenth. His team-mate Karel Abraham has endured a difficult weekend ever since a crash on Friday set back his working programme. The Czech rider has proved he had the pace to be fighting for points today but a crash on the second lap meant that he was unable to do so. The cause of the crash is still unknown, although it could have been caused by a loss of grip on the front tyre.
15th Álvaro Bautista:“I don't know why I crashed. I was on the same line and going through the corner in the usual way. It is a shame because it hasn't been a good weekend for us, but with the pace we found we could have been fighting for a top ten finish, close to the factory guys. Now we need to get our feeling back at Jerez, and see if in front of the home fans there we can be competitive again like we have been in the previous Grands Prix.”
Karel Abraham (DNF): “It was a fast crash and I hit the tyre wall but luckily I am okay. When I stood up and looked for the bike it was everywhere and nowhere. It must have broken into a million pieces. This weekend was really unlucky for me. This morning we had some things we wanted to try but we had a tyre problem, then we restarted on a used tyre and I only managed to make one lap time. I was worried about the race but I felt quite good at the start, I was with Rabat and I should have stayed in that group, which would have been good after the weekend we have had. Then I came to turn eleven and all of a sudden I was on the ground. We have checked the data and what we can see is that we did just the same as the other laps. We need to analyse the data further.”
MICHELIN SEES MARQUEZ SERVE UP A TEXAN MASTERCLASS
Michelin witnessed Marc Marquez continue his unbeaten run at the Circuit Of The Americas today as he raced to victory at the third round of the championship during the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas held in Texas.
Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) started from pole position following yesterday’s qualifying session, but had to concede the holeshot and first-lap advantage to team-mate Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team). The pair led the race as the pack started to form behind them, which was then quickly altered when championship leader Maverick Viñales crashed. As the race wore on Marquez and Pedrosa swapped positions at the front several times before the reigning World Champion seized the opportunity on lap-nine and took a decisive lead which he held until the chequered flag. Marquez crossed the line to take his fifth successive victory at COTA and his ninth consecutive MotoGP class win on American soil, whilst setting the fastest lap of the race on his 15th circulation.
The battle for the podium positions was an entertaining affair as Pedrosa was hunted down by nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). The Spaniard held off the charging Italian for as long as he could, but succumbed on lap-19 leaving Rossi to take second – a position which also gave him the lead in the World Championship Classification – with Pedrosa coming home third. Fourth place was the fight for the First Independent Rider position as Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) both chased the spoils, with Crutchlow eventually getting the better of the rookie as the race concluded. Sixth position went to Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), with Andrea Iannone (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) in seventh. Danilo Petrucci (OCTO Pramac Ducati) took eighth, with Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) and Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) rounding out the top-ten with ninth and tenth respectively.
The range of MICHELIN Power Slicks were put to good use today as five of the six specifications were used by the riders and paired in many different configurations throughout the field. The choice of the podium men saw Marquez go with a hard front and rear compound, while Rossi favoured the medium front and rear, with the third placed rider Pedrosa choosing the medium front and hard rear. This difference in choice again highlighted that Michelin can supply a range of tyres for all riders and machines and give competitive options to all the field.
Michelin and the whole of the MotoGP paddock will now re-group and return to Europe after the hectic start to the season which has seen three fly-away tests and three long-haul races. Round four of the championship will be the Spanish Grand Prix to be held at Jerez in Spain on Sunday 7th May.
Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team:
“Today’s race was very good, but also very tricky. It was difficult last year, but this year it was really demanding for the tyres, especially the right side with the many long corners and today the temperature was quite high. Today I chose the hard option front and rear and at the start it was difficult to get the feeling because I hadn’t used the hard front properly in the practice because the temperature wasn’t high enough. I managed my tyres well and attacked during the middle of the race. This was a nice result for us because in this kind of race where we manage the tyres is really demanding for a rider and so today was a good result for me, my team and Michelin.”
Nicolas Goubert – Deputy Director, Technical Director and Supervisor of the MotoGP Programme:
“This has been another important weekend for us and again shows the different options of tyres that can be used by the riders. Today we had five of the six specifications used, with the top-three all using different configurations, and this was also repeated throughout the field. The riders reported the track was very bumpy and had a changed a lot from last year, so we were impressed with how they coped and used the tyres to make the best of the unusual conditions. Overall this has been another encouraging weekend and one that we will again take a lot from. We now go to Europe where we will race at Jerez and then have an important test at the same track on the Monday after the race, which will see us doing some back-to-back comparisons between existing tyres, previous prototypes and new versions, all designed to take our performance – and that of the riders – on to the next level.”