Press releases from the teams and Michelin after the Grand Prix of the Americas at Austin, Texas:
Marquez remains unbeaten at COTA, impressive Pedrosa takes seventh
Competing in his 93rd MotoGP race, Marc Marquez rode the RC213V to his sixth straight win of the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas MotoGP, the Spaniard having been unbeatable at COTA since the circuit was added to the calendar in 2013. It was also Marc’s 12th consecutive victory on U.S. asphalt, an amazing statistic.
Also impressive today was Marc’s Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, who is recovering from the surgery he underwent less than two weeks ago, and who put in an incredible effort to earn seventh place.
With his first win of 2018, Marc now stands second in the World Championship Classification with 45 points, just one point down on Andrea Dovizioso. Dani sits in 11th place with 18 points.
Now the MotoGP field will transfer back to Europe for the Continental phase of the season, starting at Jerez, Spain, on 6 May.
“This weekend I really gave it my all. Today I was totally focused, as I wanted to remain perfect here at Austin. I don't think that ever in my career have I had such a race, pushing so hard from the first lap. Today I felt that this was the right way and was able to do it, in part because my bike’s setup helped me a lot, so thanks to everyone in my garage as they’ve worked really well and hard. Yesterday I was a bit ill, and even today I didn’t feel I had perfect energy, but it turned out to be a good race anyway - a lonely one, but sometimes it goes like that. Last night when I was going to sleep, I thought about the strategy, and today I followed it. Even in the warm-up, I tried to simulate the first laps of the race, going out on new tyres and with a full tank. That was in the plan. I told the team that I wanted to try to lead the race from the beginning and pull a gap. So in the first three or four laps, I pushed a bit more than usual, and then I managed the advantage. Today I had special motivation. There was a lot of pressure, but I like the pressure, as it helps to keep focused. I felt a special feeling on the last lap, when I passed in front of Nicky’s flag. So, I’m happy with the result and for recovering ground in the Championship, but now we go back to Europe, where we must be consistent, because look who’s leading the standings: Dovi, the most consistent rider! The feeling with my bike is very good, and the same has been true in Qatar and Argentina, so we’ll try and continue this way.”
“I’m more than satisfied with having been able to finish this race and get some good points, and I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me in these days, as well as all the fans for the support they gave me. Honestly, before coming here I wasn’t even sure I would be able to do the practices. It was a tough weekend, especially at this track; in some other circuits you might handle the situation a little better with a bit less effort, but this one is super-physical. I wasn't able to enjoy the race like I usually do, even though I took some painkillers that eased the pain a little. That allowed me to focus a bit more, though I don’t have much strength. I had a decent start and tried to stick with the guys in front as much as possible. In the end I struggled to control my bike, but I managed and I’m happy with the outcome. Now we have some more days to try and recover as much as possible before Jerez. It’s a track I like, so we’ll see how much better I’ll feel.”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Cruise to Second and Fourth Place at COTA
Blistering sunshine at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA), with blue sky as far as the eye could see, was an omen for a faultless race by Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi. The pair had a rather lonely ride at the Grand Prix of The Americas, securing second and fourth place respectively.
Viñales started from first place on the grid and was in third place after the first corner. He needed a couple of laps to find a good rhythm before he started chasing the man in front of him, with Rossi in his wake.
With 14 laps to go, the Spaniard put in a block pass into turn 1 on Andrea Iannone, so he had a clear track ahead of him to hunt down the race leader. He consistently dropped laps in the 2'05s, but was not able to inch closer and decided to focus on managing the gap to the riders in pursuit. He did so brilliantly, finishing the race in second place, holding a 3.560s gap to the front over the finish line.
Rossi speeded to the first corner from P5 on the grid, but with all riders squeezing through the tight left-hander, he was pushed back a position. He soon reclaimed fifth place though, as he passed Johann Zarco in the first lap in turn 12. The next lap he also picked off Cal Crutchlow, so he was directly behind Viñales.
As his teammate passed Iannone at the start of lap 6, the Doctor pressed to do the same. He was looking threatening behind his compatriot, but couldn't quite manoeuvre his bike into third position. As his tyres started to lose grip, Rossi lost touch with the fellow Italian. For the remainder of the race he clocked high 2'05s and low 2'06s laps in a lonely ride and finished taking the chequered flag in fourth place, 9.587s from first.
Today's race results see Viñales climb up to third place in the championship standings, with 41 points. Rossi also gained a place, holding seventh with a 29-point total. Yamaha is now in second place in the Constructor Championship with 56 points, while Movistar Yamaha MotoGP moved up to first position in the Team Championship, having scored 70 points.
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action in two weeks' time, when the MotoGP paddock will arrive in Jerez, Spain, for the Gran Premio de España.
Position: 2nd - Championship: 4th - Points: 41
"Starting from the front row made it much easier, and I could breathe more calmly. I was able to control the first three or four riders quite well. I'm happy overall, because the team focused on the weekend in a different way, and that was so good. I think we know how to go fast with this Yamaha and today we proved it. Our bike seems to be stronger than it was here last year, I felt good during the race. Even though it was difficult to challenge Marc, and even with the difficulties we had, we still came in second. I didn't want to make the same mistake as I made in last year's race, so I gave up on trying to chase Marc and controlled the gap to Andrea even more. I feel positive, but we have to keep pushing. Every day I'm feeling better on the bike and we're going to go up and up. The feeling with the bike has changed a lot. I feel good on the bike right now and we've got to keep it like that. I can't wait for the race in Jerez. Now we'll have four or five races where I like the tracks a lot, I really enjoy riding there. We're going to go for the win, I know we are not far away, and we're going to push for it."
Position: 4th - Championship: 7th - Points: 29
"It was a good weekend because I was already in the top-5, but in the race I expected to be a bit more competitive, to try and fight for the podium. I knew that Marquez and Maverick were a bit stronger. I hoped I was fast enough for a fight for the podium with Iannone, but Andrea was faster than I was. I wasn't able to arrive, to attack. I suffered a little bit in the hot conditions, because the front gave me more problems than in the practice. We have to work. Now we have ten days. The next round will be in Europe, where the situation will be different."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"Second and fourth are good results for our team after a difficult last GP. The weekend in Austin is never very easy for us, but after yesterday's qualifying we were quite confident that we could give a good performance. Maverick and Valentino were cutting through the field together. Maverick's race pace was fast, he rode consistent 2'05s laps, collected some very important points for the championship, and closed in considerably on the top of the championship standings. Valentino was also competitive at the start of the race and fought for a top result. He suffered a bit with his front tyre due to the heat, but this fourth place is still a good way to come back. Overall, we're satisfied because we made another step. We improved the bike and are looking to confirm the findings we made here this weekend at the next round back in Europe."
ANDREA IANNONE SECURES HIS FIRST SUZUKI PODIUM
Team Suzuki Press Office - April 23.
Andrea Iannone: 3rd (+ 6.704)
Alex Rins: DNF
• Andrea Iannone takes excellent 3rd position.
• Alex Rins unfortunate crash while recovering strong.
• Back-to-back podiums important for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR.
After mixed weather on Friday and Saturday, Austin and the Circuit of the Americas was bathed in welcome sunshine for race day. Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins were able to use the morning warm-up session to fine-tune bike settings and redefine their race setup, both riders found confidence and positivity ahead of the 20 lap race. They each opted to run the medium-front and hard-rear tyre combination.
As the lights went out, Andrea Iannone was able to get an excellent start from his front row grid position and he led into the first turn. He lost the position to Marc Marquez on the first lap but continued to stay in contention, fighting hard and keeping a high pace. This consistency paid off as he briefly regained the lead on the third lap. The Italian then held 2nd place for a further two laps before Maverick Viñales made a move. From 3rd place Andrea maintained and managed the gap and held firm - his perseverance and the hard work of all the team was richly rewarded with his first Suzuki podium. With this brilliant finish Andrea Iannone was able to gain 4 positions in the championship standings, and he is now just 15 points from the lead as MotoGP heads back to Europe.
It was a different story for Argentina podium sitter, Alex Rins. After a good start the Spaniard slotted into 9th place and kept the lead group in his sights, but he dropped to 12th position after running wide at turn 12 with 19 laps to go. Rins then began to gain ground on the group in front of him, which ran from 5th to 7th place, but unfortunately he lost the front and crashed. Rins was unable to rejoin the race, and he suffered a costly DNF. However, Alex was thankfully uninjured.
Ken Kawauchi - Technical Manager
“It was a good race again. This weekend was a bit of a pity for Alex, but Andrea was very fast and consistent during all the sessions, and finally he could get the podium. I’m very happy as both riders have now had a podium, and this is very good for Suzuki and all the team. So we hope to continue to challenge and fight for podiums with both riders as we move into the European rounds.”
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
“It’s a really good feeling to be back on the podium once again. I’m very pleased because we were able to get the podium with Andrea, who has struggled during the first two races. But this weekend he had a good feeling from Friday onwards, and when he’s able to find this good feeling, he is very fast. I hope this race will be the beginning of trend where he feels able to use his potential and the potential of the bike. To have two podiums in a row, one with each rider, is important and nice for us. Unfortunately Alex had a difficult weekend and a small crash, but we look forward to the next race and the return to Europe. We hope to continue this momentum and competitiveness. We’re happy and we aim to enjoy more races like this.”
“I’m really happy about this podium, finally we have arrived here. We’ve come back after a really difficult period for me and Suzuki, but now things are better. This year we started well, but I struggled a lot during qualifying, especially in Argentina - when you start from further back it’s really hard to recover, over-take, and use your pace. But during this weekend I’ve found a good feeling with the bike, and we have found a good balance with the braking. I had been struggling with the front-end under braking but now we understand the way to go and I’m really happy about this. We’re still working to improve some areas but I’m really happy about my work and Suzuki’s work because we have always believed in our potential, and step-by-step we are getting closer, this is important. I have learned a lot and we’ll try to stay on top.”
“We have missed our target and I did struggle during this weekend. During the race I tried to keep my mind clear and focused and tried to enjoy, things were going well until the crash. I made some small mistakes but I still felt that we improved a lot during the weekend as a whole - we’ve learned a lot of information in terms of the bike. As you can see, Andrea made a good race and this shows that the bike is working well. So the aim is to ‘reset’ and go to Jerez in two weeks’ and try to do well. From the beginning of the season I felt the bike had good potential and I’m sure we can do more good things this year. Despite missing the race in Jerez last year due to my injury, I feel that I have a lot more experience in general and I’ll try to be fast.”
Andrea Dovizioso goes back to the top of the MotoGP standings after placing fifth in the GP of The Americas. Jorge Lorenzo ends the Texan race in eleventh
Andrea Dovizioso returned to the top of the points standings in the MotoGP World Championship with a fifth-place finish in the GP of The Americas, which was held today at Austin in Texas.
The Ducati Team’s Italian rider, who started from row 3, scrapped with Zarco and Crutchlow for much of the 20-lap race, and after the latter crashed out, he attacked the Frenchman on lap 17 to take the chequered flag in fifth.
In the overall standings, Dovizioso now has 46 points, one ahead of Marc Marquez, who won today’s race in Texas.
It was a complicated race for Jorge Lorenzo, who started from row 2 after qualifying sixth on Saturday. After a difficult start, the Spanish rider moved up to eighth place by the mid-point but lost ground over the next few laps and finished the third round of the season in eleventh.
The next race on the MotoGP calendar will be the Spanish Grand Prix from 4-6 May at Jerez de la Frontera.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 5th
“Even though I struggled a lot today, I’m pleased to return to Europe leading the championship! This year I was hoping we were going to be a bit more competitive both in Argentina and here in Texas, but we struggled like in 2017. If however we look at the points standings twelve months ago, I came to Jerez a long way behind the leaders and now we are leading the championship. It’s true that the classification is very tight, but we’ve made a big step forward and even though the weekend began in a really difficult way for us, in the end we made the right choices of set-up, fairing and also tyres and we took home a good result, useful for the championship.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 11th
“For me it was a race to forget, and I’m very disappointed and sad. I was never able to lap with a competitive pace, I suffered a lot, as I feared, with used tyres and for this reason I had to slow my pace. Our bike requires a lot of physical effort on this type of circuit and opting for the hardest rear tyre didn’t help things at all. It’s a difficult moment and we have to analyze everything that has happened since the start of the championship, but I hope that starting from Jerez we will be able to reverse this negative trend.”
BEAUTIFUL COMEBACK RIDE BY ALEIX FROM THE SEVENTH ROW TO THE TOP TEN
TENTH PLACE FINISH JUST A SHOUT FROM EIGHTH
Nineteenth at the start, twelfth on the tenth lap, tenth under the chequered flag: that about sums up Aleix Espargaró's race at the Circuit of the Americas, protagonist of an extraordinary comeback, riding his Aprilia RS-GP into the battle for eighth place. It was a result that he missed by just 3 tenths of a second, when he was unable to demand any more of his tyres in the race finale, already put to a hard test.
The foundation for a good performance today was laid in the warmup session which ended with Aleix in fifth place - demonstration of the excellent analysis conducted after the complicated sessions on Friday and Saturday.
His teammate, Scott Redding, struggled to find the right feeling with the hard tyres chosen for the race, having to settle for a seventeenth place finish in the end. The tests scheduled for tomorrow on this track, where both the Aprilia riders will participate, will be useful to give Scott a chance to increase his familiarity with the RS-GP and better prepare for the arrival of the European races.
“We knew that this track would be one of the toughest for the RS-GP, plus yesterday we had difficulty with the setup, so my race started as an uphill battle. In spite of this, I was very focused and aggressive at the start. Already in the early laps I had overtaken a lot of other riders, beginning to make up positions. Today my bike truly worked well. The tenth place finish is not an exceptional result, but it was not simple starting from that far back. The only pity was not being able to get past the two riders ahead of me, but in the final laps, the tyre really deteriorated and I had very little traction. It was a solid race that makes us look toward the first European race with great confidence. Our level is high and we can be a surprise on more than one occasion.”
“Our weekend has started off well, but then I was unable to progress as much as I would have liked to. I rode the race with the hardest tyre both on the front and on the back and the situation improved in terms of the front end, but I was lacking grip at the rear. To be honest, I expected more, but I can't be disappointed: Aleix did an excellent job today and that demonstrates that the bike has good potential, I just need to keep improving and learning.”
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
“We are very happy because today we showed our true potential, among other things on a track that is traditionally tough for us, with Aleix riding a stupendous comeback race. After the complicated qualifiers yesterday, we were the only ones who went with the hardest compound tyre on the front and the decision paid off, letting Aleix push hard for the entire distance, thereby recovering several positions. We have an outstanding bike and an outstanding team. Today's performance confirms that. Scott is still at a stage where he needs to get to know the bike better in order to be able to take full advantage of it. Tomorrow we'll be back on the track for a day of testing and we'll work hard to dial it in to his comfort, trying various changes in terms of setup.”
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
"Already after doing a good warmup session, we had the feeling that we could ride a great race and with Aleix we succeeded in doing just that. The tenth place finish after starting nineteenth and battling in the finale for eighth is definitely positive. Also taking into consideration the difficulties we have always encountered on this track, I must give everyone a round of applause. There has been clear progress. It was not an easy weekend, but it is a good starting point for us in anticipation of the races in Europe."
Points & Podium for Espargaro and Oliveira at Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas
RACE 3rd Rd. MotoGP 2018, Circuit Of The Americas (USA)
The third round of nineteen in 2018 MotoGP at the quick and flowing Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas saw Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro score 13th position while Bradley Smith just missed the points in 16th. Miguel Oliveira made the podium with 3rd place in the Moto2 class while Marco Bezzecchi grabbed another Moto3 trophy.
The KTM RC16s of both Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro lined up next to each other on the fifth row of the grid for the twenty lap dash around the long, arduous and bumpy COTA layout. Smith made an excellent leap once the red light disappeared and was briefly holding a top ten spot while Espargaro had to work to make ground from fifteenth. From lap eight the KTMs had a great tussle for a mid-pack slot until Smith’s choice of a medium front tyre resulted in #38 having to slow his pace. Pol guided his #44 machine to 13th and a second points-scoring classification in a row that leaves him 14th in the young championship standings.
Espargaro: “It was hard to change direction and hold these big bikes here! Each corner is hard but I think we did a good race and had a good weekend overall. Maybe we could have improved the setting a bit more because we were quite far from the others and this means we were ‘different’ and making some mistakes; I think we paid for that front tyre in the race. Overall I think we must be happy, we can take these three points and go back to Europe with more experience. I’m happy to go to Jerez because for these three races outside of Europe we don't have that much info or data and it’s tough. We’ll go back and we’ll have Mika (Kallio) there to help us.”
Smith: “It was a good weekend and I felt like I had some pace especially in the beginning where I made up three positions and was fighting with Jorge (Lorenzo). We took a gamble: Pol went with the soft front tyre and I went with the medium and with these temperatures I thought it would work but it just went off and there was nothing I could do. I held-in there until lap twelve and then it was understeering everywhere. I knew it might happen…but was hoping it didn't! This is all part of the learning experience and figuring out what works with this motorcycle and how to improve. It is a bit frustrating to come away without any points but things were looking up this weekend so we have to be happy with that.”
Mike Leitner (Team Manager MotoGP): “To be fair this track is already difficult for other manufacturers that have been in this business for a long time and it was hard for us last year. It is a long, hard and bumpy layout. You need a very balanced bike to make a fast and stable lap-time and somehow we managed to give Pol something to take 13th position and we should be happy with these points. We’ll head back to Europe now and look to keep-on improving.”
Zarco emerges strong in Americas GP – Syahrin shows huge potential without rewards
Monster Yamaha Tech3 star Johann Zarco delivered a solid third round of 2018, fighting for the podium at the beginning of the race. A few struggles over the course of the weekend at the demanding Texan venue didn’t prevent the determined Frenchman from battling bravely to eventually cross the line as the fastest independent team rider in 6th, taking home precious points in the World Championship.
On the other side of the garage, Hafizh Syahrin overcame a scary moment this morning and started his third ever MotoGP race with high courage. The Malaysian rushed forward in an incredible way, making up four positions on the first lap, before he challenged some more experienced riders, but unfortunately did a mistake in turn one on the eighth lap to finish the race early.
While Syahrin is still the leading rookie of the MotoGP World Championship, Monster Yamaha Tech3 claims the top of the independent teams with 47 points, before settling over to Spain, where the European season is set to commence in less than a fortnight.
Position: 6th – Championship: 5th – Points: 38
“It was a difficult weekend. After a good qualifying, I didn’t start well. Before the race I was crossing my fingers for the podium, but I think the others just did a better job. I knew where my weak points were on the track, but I tried to maintain the gap and play with it, but it was too difficult. This doesn’t mean I struggled with the tyres, because the pace from the start till the end was quite constant, only not fast enough. When Dovizioso overtook me a few laps to the end, I couldn’t match his pace. I expected to fight with him, but my weak points were worse than his. So, it means finishing sixth, when I’m struggling a lot is a lot better than nothing.”
Position: DNF – Championship: 13th – Points: 9
“I felt really strong at the start of the race, but maybe I was pushing a bit too much on the brakes. I had some great sensations and a truly good pace, but honestly, I’m a bit disappointed for myself. This morning we had a huge crash and didn’t try a different setup, therefore we had to go back to the Free Practice settings and the bike was quite soft. Anyway, I was one of the strongest rookies on this difficult track, but leaving it a bit defeated to lose the points of round three. I just lost the front, which was maybe because I tried to fight with a Ducati, which is very fast on the straight, so I tried to make up for it on the brake. Yet, I’m sure to be back strong at the next race.”
“We knew this track was not the easiest one for us, plus the weather didn’t help. Overall, it’s been a tough weekend, but I think Johann as usual and as always showed great determination, worked really hard, pushed hard and got a fantastic qualifying position, that allowed us to eventually start from the front row. He had a good start, but we could see that the top 4 guys had a better pace than us. Then we concentrated on keeping our head down. He did that very well, but we also knew that Dovizioso has a strong bike, is a clever rider and to be in front for so many laps is never an advantage. We could understand that we’re going to lose the battle for fifth, but very wisely Johann took the 10 points for sixth, finishing as the first independent rider. A full factory bike has clearly an advantage on a track like this, so we are very proud. Now we arrive in Europe, where for sure Jerez and Le Mans will be more favorable for us and we can only go back to Europe happy with the job done so far this year. On the other hand, I feel really sorry for Hafizh, who did another excellent weekend. It could have been a really strong finish, but the crash in the warm up trying a new tyre brought him almost out of contention. Bravely he wanted to start the race, he did, he was fast, up to eleventh position, but he made a small mistake that caused him the crash. Anyway, he is still leading the rookie classification, which we are very proud of. He’s learning and I think will be very strong in Spain and France. Get well soon, Hafizh, look at your body and recover well! See you all in beautiful Andalusia!”
Rabat conquers eighth in a great Texas fight
MotoGP GP of the Americas – COTA
Reale Avintia Racing rider Tito Rabat conquered a fantastic eighth place the the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on Sunday. The former Moto2 world champion feels more and more comfortable on his Ducati GP17 and displayed an impeccable race today. Starting from 14th place on the grid, he recovered places steadily and,after passing Jack Miller on the last lap, finished as the second best Ducati rider behind new world championship leader Andrea Dovizioso. This result gives Rabat another moral boost. He is now ninth in the championship and will now travel to his home race at Jerez determined to score another top result.
The weekend on the Circuit of the Americas was also positive for Xavier Simeon. Rabat’s Belgian teammate in Reale Avintia Racing finished a strong race and gained more experience. With every race, he is getting closer to the point rankings, which are his goal for the next race at Jerez, where he already rode his Ducati MotoGP in winter.
Tito Rabat | P8
“I am very happy with our first three races of the season, with the great work my team is doing and with the performance of my Ducati. We had another very good weekend, despite the fact that the track conditions in practice were difficult and we only had good conditions in FP2. We took a risk with our tyre choice for the race and the gamble worked out. It was a lot of fun. At the beginning, I struggled to get past Bradley Smith und later, it was a real thrill to ride with Lorenzo, Rins and Miller. In the end, I had a grat battle with Jack and I managed to pass him in the final lap. This result gives me another boost for our home race in Jerez”.
Xavier Simeon | P20
“On one side I am happy and on the other side I’m frustrated, because we followed in line with the other Ducatis, with the hard tyre compound on the rear, that I had never tried in practice. We thought this would be a good choice, but at the beginning of the race I didn’t have a lot of confidence. Later on I managed to speed up and I had the same pace as the guys riding within the Top 15. It was a weekend to gain experience and in which we had a decent rhythm at times. veery time I go out, I enjoy riding this bike more, but I still ride with a safety margin to avoid mistakes. Now at Jerez we will try to make another step”.
#AmericasGP Race. Impressive comeback for Jack who recovers 10 positions and fights for P8. Petrux finishes 12th
On the one hand the great comeback of Jack Miller who starts from P18 position and finishes in P9 after climbing up to the eighth position three laps from the end. On the other was Petrux's difficult start, as he found himself in a big group on lap one and was unable to stay close to the Top 10.
These are the ups and downs of Alma Pramac Racing that returns to Europe with the fourth position in the standings reserved for teams.
After the difficult qualifying Jack was forced to start from the sixth row but the good feelings of the warm up (8th time) were confirmed by the race pace that allowed him to recover positions lap after lap. After climbing up to the Top 10, the Australian rider set out to hunt for Jorge Lorenzo passing him 6 laps to the end. Three laps later Jack attacked Tito Rabat and overtook him to move into eighth position. On the last lap, however, a small mistake allowed Tito to get back close to Jack and to overcome him in the third sector.
A very difficult Sunday for Danilo Petrucci. The rider from Terni started badly from 10th position and in the first lap he found himself 17th. Petrux has the merit of not giving up and after overtaking Pol Espargaro and Syahrin tries to chase the Top 10. However, the race pace wasn't enough incisive and Danilo had to settle for P12.
P12 - Danilo Petrucci
"It was a difficult weekend. We managed to improve in qualifying and this gave me a lot of confidence. I thought I could be with the Top 10 group but soon after the start I lost a lot because I couldn't get the tyre we chose to work well. It's a pity, I'm very disappointed and I hope that this disappointment helps me to go faster in Jerez".
P9 - Jack Miller
"I am very pleased especially as I was able to recover a lot of positions. It's clear that we can do much better, especially in qualifying, but this is still a good result. After overtaking Lorenzo and Rabat I was convinced that I could easily finish in eighth but I made a small mistake. It doesn't matter, we'll do better in Jerez”.
Tough day in Texas for Lüthi and Morbidelli
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Tom Lüthi and Franco Morbidelli endured a difficult day in Austin at the Grand Prix of The Americas.
Lüthi finished 18th in the 20-lap race after a determined and patient ride making up time after being pushed back to 23rd on the opening lap in heavy traffic.
Lüthi’s bid to finish in the points was slowed in the second half of the race with front turning issues.
For Morbidelli there was little joy from 17th on the grid as his confidence faded and frustration grew in search of a constant race pace on his Honda RC213V.
The third consecutive overseas race to open the championship on the demanding 5.5km COTA layout provided valuable experience for MotoGP rookies Lüthi and Morbidelli.
The MotoGP World Championship resumes in two weeks with the opening European race, the Spanish GP at Jerez.
Tom Lüthi: 18th
"It is so difficult at this track in turn one when you start back on the grid, it was a big mess there. I lost some positions and was stuck back there for many laps. By mid-race I had problems with the front and it was difficult to turn the bike. At this track we never found a really comfortable set-up although the work from the team is brilliant in helping me to learn as a rookie. We are motivated to improve."
Franco Morbidelli: 21st
"I struggled a lot during this race to ride the way I like to and now we need to understand the reasons why and work to improve. I feel I need to find my own way to set-up and ride this bike for my style. At the moment I am not there."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"This has been the most difficult race for us so far in the 2018, with both Tom and Franco complaining about how difficult it is to ride the bike here. We will work to find a solution for the next race and make the bike more comfortable. Not a perfect weekend in Texas but we will regroup for the next race in Jerez."
BAUTISTA SALVAGES A POINT IN AMERICA
Ángel Nieto Team rider ends GP of The Americas in fifteenth. Karel Abraham retires due to pain, following a crash on Saturday
For the sixth year in a row, Marc Márquez won the MotoGP race at the Circuit of The Americas. He did so after a small battle with Andrea Iannone at the beginning of the race, but soon shook off the Italian to take the victory. Second in Austin was Maverick Viñales, followed by Iannone in third position. Andrea Dovizioso, the new leader of the World Championship after a crash for Cal Crutchlow, finished in fifth place, just behind Valentino Rossi.
The Ángel Nieto Team salvaged a point at the Grand Prix of The Americas, courtesy of Álvaro Bautista, who gained six places during the contest. The Spaniard started from twenty-first on the grid and lost a couple of positions on the opening corners. However, from there he imposed a consistent pace that allowed him to pass several rivals and break into the points. Teammate Karel Abraham retired after the first third of the race, due to physical discomfort from the crash he suffered yesterday. The Czech tried to compete in Austin but the pain was too strong, and he finally pulled into the pits on the eighth lap.
15th Álvaro Bautista: "What was important today was to find the good feeling we are looking for in this first part of the season and have not been able to find. In the race we continued struggling; I was lacking rear grip and couldn’t find any. We’ve made progress with turning the bike, but I lack traction when exiting corners and we are losing a lot of time with that. We will try to study the data and compare it with last year to see why this is lacking, as theoretically the tyres are the same last year. We hope to rectify the situation in Europe and feel better with the bike."
Karel Abraham (DNF): "I had to retire from the race because of the pain I had after the crash yesterday. It's a weird feeling, because I can walk well, run and train in the gym, but at the same time I have a lot of pain in my wrist, my fingers, the palm of my hand, my arm and my back. In the warmup I had to start working with other muscles to help the muscles that had become sore, and in the race they also caused me discomfort. In the end, the team sent me a message to come back to the box. I wanted to try riding, but it was hard to change direction or slow down. Before the Jerez race I will have to do rehabilitation and I hope my muscles recover before I get back on track. I hadn’t been crashing this season, but yesterday I hit the ground when going at more than 200 km/h and it was pretty painful. I’m happy because nothing is broken, but I haven’t been able to compete in a race where I could have been up there with my teammate fighting for the points. Unfortunately, my body did not allow me to give my all today."
DISAPPOINTING DAY FOR CRUCTHLOW IN TEXAS
PRESS RELEASE: 22 April 2018| Austin Grand Prix
It proved a demanding day for LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow as he finished outside the points at the Grand Prix of the Americas on Sunday. The Briton - who was leading the riders’ championship heading into the race - claimed seventh position on the grid, but ultimately paid the price for an unfortunate fall as he finished down in 19th position.
Having made a solid start to Sunday’s showpiece in Austin, Crutchlow was amongst the pacesetters and was attempting to get involved in the battle for the podium places. But as he pushed to get past Yamaha rider Johann Zarco in fifth spot, the LCR man slid out and, despite restarting the race, subsequently lost all hope of challenging at the head of the field. Crutchlow is currently fourth in the world classification and will be back on track in Spain in two weeks time.
Cal Crutchlow – 19th
“Of course today we’re very unsatisfied with the result. Going into the race we were leading the championship and coming out we’re now fourth after I crashed on lap seven of the race. It was a disappointing end to what was a good weekend and a great pace we set, I’m sorry to the team. I made a mistake in the last corner, I didn’t have a great feeling with the brake leaver this weekend and I wanted to try and make a good run on Johann (Zarco) that lap and get past him to the podium fight”.
“I definitely had the pace, but I made a mistake in the last corner and went down. We now have to look forward as a team to the next race in Jerez, but I want to thank my crew for their hard work as we were on the pace throughout the weekend and during the race. We just look ahead and take the positives now.”
NAKAGAMI IN THE POINTS AGAIN IN AUSTIN
PRESS RELEASE: 22 April 2018 | Austin Grand Prix
LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami again finished in the points at the Grand Prix of the Americas on Sunday. Having secured 13th position in Argentina last weekend, the Japanese talent claimed 14th place in Sunday’s race to finish as the best rookie in the MotoGP class in Austin.
Starting from 13th on the grid, Nakagami harboured hopes of a top-10 finish but struggled to find a good feeling with the rear tyre on his RC213V. Despite not being able to push as he wanted, the LCR rider once again proved his reliability as he saw the chequered flag and accrued more valuable experience ahead of the next round in Jerez.
Takaaki Nakagami– 14th
“It was another points finish which I think is positive. But after our qualifying result we were thinking about the possibility of finishing in the top 10, but the race proved to be quite difficult. We had a different feeling on the rear tyre, but I tried my best during the race and I learned a lot in these 20 laps”.
“We have to take the positives from this, it’s another two points in the championship. Honestly I was hoping in a better result but finishing as the best rookie is a nice feeling. Thanks again to my Team and Honda for the great job they have done this weekend for me and and I’m looking forward to the next race.”
MICHELIN’S PERFORMANCE LEADS TO A MARQUEZ MASTERCLASS AT COTA
Michelin saw its full range of MICHELIN Power Slick compounds put to full use today during the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas at the Circuit of The Americas in Texas as Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) raced to a comprehensive MotoGP™ victory.
This weekend’s event at the 5,513m Texan circuit was a true performance and durability test for the Michelin rubber following extensive track repairs to the surface to smooth down the layout’s notorious bumps, had left it in a very dirty, dusty and abrasive condition. The range of tyres supplied for all riders more than coped with these extreme conditions and when the temperature started to rise before the start of today’s 20-lap race there was a large amount of activity on the grid, as the riders used their confidence in the MICHELIN Power Slicks to make last minute alterations to their original selections. These amendments saw the full range of compounds used for the race, again highlighting Michelin’s desire and ability to supply tyres for all riders and machines.
Marquez’s victory was a clear-cut affair as he led every lap, before taking the chequered flag by over three seconds from his nearest rival Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). This result was not without more controversy, as Marquez took pole position yesterday – his sixth successive one at CoTA – but was penalised three grid places due to riding slowly on the racing line, this penalty led to Viñales being promoted to the first position on the grid, with Marquez fourth. As the lights changed to signal go, Andrea Iannone (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) led into the first corner, but he was soon passed by Marquez, as the reigning champion tamed the CoTA layout and raced to his sixth successive victory at the track and his tenth consecutive one on American soil. Iannone never gave up the battle and was rewarded with the final podium position, meaning that today’s three-man podium – added to the first two races of the year – has seen eight different riders filling the nine places, along with four different manufacturers, and three different winners, again giving strength to Michelin’s quest to supply tyres for all and make the championship as exciting as possible.
Today’s colourful and vociferous crowd were treated to battles through the top-10, as Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) took fourth, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) following him home, a result that lifts Dovizioso to the top of the championship standings, just one point above Marquez. Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was sixth and secured the position of First Independent rider. Seventh went to Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) after a resilient ride on a very demanding circuit, less than two-weeks after having surgery to repair his broken right wrist. Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) was eighth, with Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) ninth and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) rounding out the top-ten.
Michelin and the Grand Prix paddock will now head back to Europe following three fly-away races, which were preceded by three long-haul tests, as the championship heads to Spain and the Gran Premio Red Bull de España at Jerez on Sunday 6th May, when Michelin will face the extra challenge of yet another resurfaced track.
Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team :
“Today was a good race for us, it was nearly perfect. We chose the correct tyres for our bike, with the medium front and the hard rear. All weekend we were just focussing our work on these tyres and today the temperature increased, but the tyres worked even better, which was a very important thing for us in the race. The result was a sweet one for me, I led from the beginning to the end. I was consistent and tried to understand the performance of the tyres as the race continued. I am really happy and already concentrating on the next race.”
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“We headed here with a large amount of trepidation as we didn’t know what to expect from the track changes, and although it was very dirty, the wear from the track was better than we expected and our tyres performed well all weekend. Unfortunately, the levels of grip the surface offered were not enough for outright records, but the times were competitive and in today’s race we saw all six slick compounds used. This is especially pleasing as it showed the confidence different riders had in our tyres today as the track temperature rose higher than it had done all weekend. The race times throughout the whole field were competitive and we were pleased with the wear on such a demanding surface. This has been another confidence boosting event after going to Argentina and performing so well on the new surface and then to come here and give an equalling impressive display on what was a very difficult track.”