Sunday, April 10, 2016

Márquez Remains Undefeated in Austin

Fresh off his victory in Argentina last week, Honda's Marc Márquez won his second consecutive race of the 2016 MotoGP season as he won his fourth Grand Prix of the Americas from Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Márquez has won all four editions of the race in the Lone Star State.

The Spaniard won from pole position and held off early challenges from Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. Rossi would drop to fifth behind the Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso and Honda of Dani Pedrosa. The Italian would lose the front end entering turn six and he would be the first retirement of the race. This is the first time Rossi has retired at Austin and his first retirement in the United States since the 2012 United States Grand Prix from Laguna Seca when he was at Ducati. Rossi's only other retirement in the United States was the 2006 United States Grand Prix, which was won by eventual world champion Nicky Hayden.

Andrea Dovizioso worked his way up to second for a couple laps before being relegated back to third by Lorenzo. While in third, the Italian was taken out by the Pedrosa's Honda after the Spaniard lost the front entering turn one. For the second consecutive race Dovizioso was taken out while in a podium position but this time the Italian was not able to pick up any points. Pedrosa was able to continue for a few laps before he pulled his bike in while running in 18th position.

Márquez won by 6.107 seconds over Lorenzo with Andrea Iannone rounding out the podium just a week after he took away a double podium for Ducati in Argentina. Maverick Viñales scored a MotoGP career best fourth position. His previous best finish was sixth on three occasions, most recently being this season's opener from Qatar. Viñales' Suzuki teammate Aleix Espargaró rounded out the top five. This was Espargaró's best finish since his second in the 2014 Aragón Grand Prix when he was riding an "Open" class Forward Yamaha.

Scott Redding finished sixth with Pol Espargaró in seventh. Michele Pirro scored points in his second race substituting for the injured Danilo Petrucci with the Italian finishing eighth. Héctor Barberá finished ninth with Aprilla's Stefan Bradl rounding out the top ten. Bradl's teammate Álvaro Bautista finished 11th with Eugene Laverty in 12th. Tito Rabat has scored points in all three of his MotoGP starts as he finished 13th. Yonny Hernández picked up his first points of 2016 with a 14th-place finish. Loris Baz also picked up his first point of the season as he came home in 15th.

Cal Crutchlow fell in turn 11 while running seventh and he missed out his first point of the season by finishing 16th. Bradley Smith had finished eighth in the first two rounds of the season but fell just seconds after Crutchlow fell in the same corner. Smith was the final finisher in 17th. Smith had scored points in the last 26 MotoGP races.

Márquez has won all eight of his MotoGP starts in the United States and he has won ten consecutive United States races going back to his days in Moto2. Márquez leads the championship with 66 points from the first three races. Lorenzo jumps up to second with 45 points. Rossi drops to third with 33 points and Pol Espargaró jumps up to fourth with 28 points. Pedrosa rounds out the top five with 27 points. Barberá is two points behind Pedrosa and two ahead of Dovizioso and Viñales. Laverty and Aleix Espargaró are tied on 21 points with Iannone, Redding and Smith tied on 16 points. Bradl has 15 points, Bautista has 14 points, Pirro has 12 points and Rabat has 11 points. Jack Miller, who missed Austin due to injury, is tied with Hernández on two points. Baz rounds out the championship with one point.

MotoGP's next race will be the Spanish Grand Prix from Jerez on April 24th.