Marc Marquez – who else? – won in dominating fashion Sunday, leading from the start and finishing Sunday’s race at the Circuit of the Americas with a gap of more than four seconds at the end.
In reality, Marquez began leading from the outset of the Texas weekend, finishing first in every practice, earning pole position and setting a new lap record in the process. Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa rode to a quiet second place and Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso continued his strong COTA showing with the final podium spot, a full 20 seconds behind the 21-year-old race winner.
But the talk of the race was the tenth-place finisher, Jorge Lorenzo. The Yamaha rider badly jumped the start from the second row, so much so that he passed the front-row riders and the start finish line before the rest of the pack set out.
Race marshals immediately forced a ride-through penalty, putting the former world champion into last place by the race's second lap.
At the front of the pack, Marquez and Pedrosa almost immediately opened a gap as Lorenzo pulled into pit lane for his penalty. The battle for third through sixth picked up with Andrea Iannone, Cal Crutchlow, Stefan Bradl, Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi all fighting for position.
Rossi, who made a slow start from the slot on the grid adjacent to Lorenzo, soon began pushing his way through the pack eventually climbing into fourth. But that was short-lived as the nine-time world champion faded at the middle of the race to finish eighth, after being passed by Dovizioso, Bradley Smith, Pol Espargaro and Bradl. Cal Crutchlow crashed out nine laps into the contest and reportedly broke his hand.
At the race’s end, it was Bradl who managed fourth, followed by Tech 3 teammates Bradley Smith (5th) and Pol Espargaro (6th). Andrea Iannone, who held third for much of the early race, finished in seventh, just in front of his countryman Rossi (8th). Aleix Espargaro also made up for a bad start to finish ninth.
And Lorenzo -- who crashed out of the lead at the first race in Qatar -- mananged to work way through the pack to finish 10th.
Marquez, with 50 points, now leads the championship by 14 points over second place Pedrosa and 22 points in front of Rossi with the next race in two weeks in Argentina.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Bike||Time / Diff.|
|9||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||Forward Yamaha||47.605|
|18||63||Mike DI MEGLIO||Avintia||+1'51.962|
|45||Scott REDDING||Honda||2 Laps|
|5||Colin EDWARDS||Forward Yamaha||4 Laps|
|35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||Ducati||9 Laps|
|19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||Honda||12 Laps|
|23||Broc PARKES||PBM||13 Laps|