Moto GP

Marquez Takes 20th MotoGP Win and COTA Hat Trick in Texas

Author: Aaryn Minerds


Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) rode to a masterful victory at the Circuit of the Americas this, leaving his closest rivals well behind.

The 22-year-old Spaniard played a perfect game of tactics at this track which is renowned for causing serious front-tyre wear problems and offered less grip than usual due to overnight rainfall. So he bided his time in the first few laps, got himself comfortable and then started his push to the front. Already three tenths behind leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) after three laps he quickly closed the gap and took the lead at the end of COTA's long back straight.

Once in front he was never troubled by his rivals, so he was able to run his own lines and look after his tyres. Lap by lap his advantage increased until he was more than four seconds ahead of Dovizioso who had got the better of Qatar GP winner Valentino Rossi (Yamaha). In the final few laps he eased his pace very slightly, finally passing the chequered flag 2.3 seconds in front.

This victory, Marquez's 20th in the premier class, was the perfect result after a tense and dramatic qualifying session during which minor technical issues left him just one lap to take pole position from his rivals. Riding one of the most astonishing laps of his life, he took pole from Dovizioso by more than three tenths of a second.

‰ÛÏI am very happy with this victory!" Marquez exclaimed. "After yesterday, things looked positive for us, but the only doubt was about the weather.

"In the end, it turned out stranger than it had seemed. When I saw that it was going to be a dry race, I started out very focused - because I knew it was important to try to win today. However, right from the first lap I saw that the track was not like it had been before the rain of last night. There was less grip and it was harder to ride comfortably.

"I decided to keep calm in the early laps to try to understand the situation well, and when I started to find a feeling similar to practice, I decided to push the pace a bit. That was when I was able to open up a gap."

Marquez first win of the year moved him into third place in the World Championship after a first-corner mistake in Qatar left him to finish the season opener in an uncharacteristic fifth place.
After second place in the opening round of the 2015 MotoGP season in Qatar, Andrea Dovizioso confirmed his current run of good form and the competitiveness of the Ducati Desmosedici GP15 in the Grand Prix of the Americas at Austin, in Texas, where he again finished runner-up.

The result leaves the Italian sitting in second place in the championship standings, just a single point behind leader Valentino Rossi.

‰ÛÏToday was a superb race and I take enormous personal satisfaction from it because here at Austin the races are always special: on this circuit you have to administer your energy, your tyres and your pace, something that does not happen in other circuits." Dovizioso commented.

"I am particularly pleased with the work of my team because on a completely different track from Losail we confirmed that the GP15 is competitive and we managed to improve during the weekend.

"This year we have already had two great races, but we must continue to work because we‰Ûªre still lacking a bit of fine-tuning in braking and traction, small improvements that will make the difference when it comes to fighting for the top positions at every circuit.‰Û
Movistar Yamaha's Rossi held on to the championship lead thanks to his second podium result to kick off the season, finishing in third.

"I'm happy about the weekend, because getting onto the podium is a good objective when coming here." Rossi stated. "On paper this track is the worst for our bike.

"I am satisfied about the weekend as a whole because we were always in the top 4-5 and we also weren‰Ûªt so bad on the wet. For it to be perfect I would have had to beat Dovizioso, but unfortunately he was a bit faster.

"I didn‰Ûªt have a chance to try, also because after six or seven laps of pushing a lot, I had to ride very smooth. For some reason our bike destroyed the front tyre. It's been like this in 2013 and last year, but this year, fortunately, Bridgestone brought a harder front. That helped me to arrive at the end of the race, but the tyre was still damaged.

"Dovi said to me that we risked a lot overtaking in turn 12. From the bike I didn't feel it and I thought we had some margin. We passed each other very closely, but there was enough space."
Jorge Lorenzo crossed the line in fourth position, three seconds behind his Yamaha team-mate.

"It was a very tough race, because physically I wasn't feeling good due to the bronchitis and the antibiotics." Lorenzo admitted. "We finished the race in the best way possible given the circumstances.

"I wasn't fit and the bike also needed some extra performance on some areas of the track, especially on the straight I lost a lot. Here and in Qatar two problems occurred that were difficult to overcome but we saved the situations the best we could.

"I will probably be fit in Argentina. Last year I rode a good race there while I wasn't in the best condition. Now that the bike is working better, I hope I will be ready physically. I have high hopes for the race in Argentina and the track is fun to race at."
Rounding out the top five was the second of the factory Ducati riders, Andrea Iannone, further confirming that the Ducati team are well and truly in the championship hunt in 2015.

‰ÛÏAll things considered it was a positive weekend, even though I am not very happy with my fifth place." Iannone said. "Today it was difficult to obtain anything more, because I lost a lot of time at the start when Redding crashed in front of me. Then I had to push hard to make up the four-second gap from the leaders and it was not very easy.

"I had to push a lot at the front and on the tyres in general, and inevitably I paid for that in the last five laps. It was a pity, but in any case I am happy to have a competitive bike that every Sunday can fight for the podium and which allows me to stay up at the front with the top riders, and I am bringing home some important results.‰Û
Race Results:
1 Marc Marquez 43'47.150 ESP HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Andrea Dovizioso 2.354 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
3 Valentino Rossi 3.120 ITA YAMAHA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
4 Jorge Lorenzo 6.682 ESP YAMAHA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
5 Andrea Iannone 7.584 ITA DUCATI Ducati Team
6 Bradley Smith 10.557 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
7 Cal Crutchlow 16.967 GBR HONDA CWM LCR Honda
8 Aleix Espargaro 19.025 ESP SUZUKI Team Suzuki MotoGP
9 Maverick Vinales 38.570 ESP SUZUKI Team Suzuki MotoGP
10 Danilo Petrucci 41.796 ITA DUCATI Pramac Racing
11 Hiroshi Aoyama 47.199 JPN HONDA Repsol Honda Team
12 Hector Barbera 47.339 ESP AVINTIA Avintia Racing
13 Nicky Hayden 56.484 USA HONDA Drive M7 Aspar
14 Jack Miller 56.731 AUS HONDA CWM LCR Honda
15 Alvaro Bautista 57.372 ESP APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
16 Eugene Laverty 58.898 HONDA Drive M7 Aspar
17 Loris Baz 1'08.787 FORWARD YAMAHA Forward Racing
18 Alex de Angelis 1'22.236 ART Octo IodaRacing Team
19 Karel Abraham DNF CZE HONDA AB Motoracing
20 Marco Melandri DNF APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini

Championship standings
1 Valentino Rossi 41 pts
2 Andrea Dovizioso 40 pts
3 Marc Marquez 36 pts
4 Andrea Iannone 27 pts
5 Jorge Lorenzo 26 pts
6 Bradley Smith 18 pts
7 Cal Crutchlow 18 pts
8 Aleix Espargaro 13 pts
9 Dani Pedrosa 10 pts
10 Danilo Petrucci 10 pts
11 Maverick Vinales 9 pts
12 Pol Espargaro 7 pts
13 Yonny Hernandez 6 pts
14 Hector Barbera 5 pts
15 Hiroshi Aoyama 5 pts
16 Nicky Hayden 3 pts
17 Scott Redding 3 pts
18 Jack Miller 2 pts
19 Alvaro Bautista 1 pts
20 Alex de Angelis 0 pts

Top Image: Marc Marquez on his way to his 20th MotoGP win

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