Austin (Texas), 23 April 2017: 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.”
Marc Marquez: First
“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.”
Valentino Rossi, second
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.
Nicolas Goubert – Deputy Director, Technical Director and Supervisor of the Michelin 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.”
eom/Michelin press release with quotes from Repsol Honda and Movistar Yamaha