Marquez wins in America as Viñales crashes

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez has now won all five MotoGP races ever held at the Circuit of The Americas, while Maverick Viñales lost the world championship lead after an early crash.

His Movistar Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi has instead gained the ascendancy with another second place finish, with Dani Pedrosa making it a double podium for Repsol Honda.

Pedrosa swept around the outside to lead out of the first corner, ahead of Marquez, Rossi, and Viñales.

Viñales, however, did not make it past the second lap, drifting wide of the line at Turn 18 and going down.

The top four, now rounded out by Johann Zarco, ran in close company before Zarco tried to stick his Tech 3 Yamaha down the inside of Rossi through the slalom on Lap 7.

The two touched and Rossi was forced to shortcut the circuit, to which officials responded by issuing a 0.3s penalty for gaining an advantage, to be added to the Italian’s race time.

In front, Marquez successfully passed Pedrosa on Lap 9, having tried and failed to stick the move a lap earlier.

Pedrosa ran with bike #93 for the next handful of laps before Marquez put the hammer down on Lap 14, and disappeared for the seven laps thereafter.

Rossi meanwhile began threatening to take second place, and did so at Lap 19, at which time he still had not been told of the penalty hanging over him.

It mattered not as ‘The Doctor’ quickly pulled away to finish runner-up and consolidate his status as the only man to have finished on all three podiums thus far in 2017.

For Marquez, he is still undefeated on all North American circuits in the premier class, let alone the five races held in Texas.

“It was quite difficult race,” said Marquez.

“It looks easy but it was not, especially in the beginning because I choose the hard front tyre.

“I’m really happy because after Argentina it looks really far but now again we are there, we are really close,” he observed of the championship battle.

Pedrosa noted that he had been struggling with tyre life on his medium compound front but nevertheless picked up his first podium since winning in Misano in September 2016.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) beat Zarco to fourth in a late-race duel, while Andrea Dovizioso (factory Ducati) finished sixth.

Andrea Iannone gradually climbed to seventh from 11th on the grid on his factory Suzuki, and Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati) was eighth.

Jorge Lorenzo ran as high as fourth on the opening lap but gradually faded to ninth, still his best result so far for the factory Ducati team.

Jack Miller has three top 10 finishes from three to start 2017, having run eighth for the first half of the race before being passed by Iannone and Petrucci.

Both factory KTMs and both factory-supported Aprilias finished outside the points positions, which were rounded out by Aspar Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista despite a mid-race crash for the Spaniard.

Rossi leads the championship by two points, with his six nearest rivals all having recorded a DNF already.

MotoGP returns to Europe for Round 4 at Jerez, Spain from May 5-7.

Race results: Grand Prix of The Americas

Pos Rider Nation Team Bike Time/Gap
1 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 43’58.770
2 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +3.069
3 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +5.112
4 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda Honda +7.638
5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +7.957
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati +14.058
7 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +15.491
8 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati +16.772
9 Jorge LORENZO SPA Ducati Team Ducati +17.979
10 Jack MILLER AUS EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda +18.494
11 Jonas FOLGER GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +18.903
12 Scott REDDING GBR OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati +28.735
13 Tito RABAT SPA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda +30.041
14 Hector BARBERA SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +31.364
15 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati +1’06.547
16 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +1’22.090
17 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 2 Laps
DNF Sam LOWES GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 10 Laps
DNF Pol ESPARGARO SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 12 Laps
DNF Loris BAZ FRA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 13 Laps
DNF Maverick VIÑALES SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 20 Laps
DNF Karel ABRAHAM CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 20 Laps

Championship points: After Round 3

Pos Rider Nation Points
1 Valentino ROSSI ITA 56
2 Maverick VIÑALES SPA 50
7 Johann ZARCO FRA 22
8 Jonas FOLGER GER 21
9 Scott REDDING GBR 21
10 Jack MILLER AUS 21
11 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 17
12 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA 14
13 Jorge LORENZO SPA 12
15 Andrea IANNONE ITA 9
16 Loris BAZ FRA 9
17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE 8
18 Tito RABAT SPA 8
19 Hector BARBERA SPA 8
20 Alex RINS SPA 7
22 Bradley SMITH GBR 1
23 Sam LOWES GBR 0

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