Marquez completes COTA hat-trick at the Grand Prix of the Americas
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez clinched his third successive Grand Prix of the Americas victory as the MotoGP World Champion won today in Austin ahead of Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi who finished in second and third place respectively.
Starting from pole position, Marquez assumed the race lead from Dovizioso on the fourth lap from which point, he was never headed, and he ultimately crossed the finish line 2.354 seconds ahead of Dovizioso, with Rossi a further eight-tenths of a second behind. With the Circuit of the Americas proving to be quite demanding on the front tire, both Marquez and Rossi opted for the hard compound front slick, while Dovizoso selected the medium compound front slick. All riders in the top three, and all but one of the twenty-five rider grid selected the medium compound rear slick for the race.
After an overcast and slightly damp Warm Up session, conditions for the race were dry and sunny with a peak track temperature of 40°C recorded during the race; 12°C higher than yesterday’s high. The warmer temperatures didn’t have a major effect on tire choice however, with just seven of the twenty-five riders selecting the hard compound front slick, with the remaining eighteen riders selecting the medium compound front. Only one rider, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista selected the soft compound rear slick, the other twenty-four riders selecting the medium compound rear slick. The hard compound rear slick was not used by any riders for the race.
Rossi’s second podium of the season sees him lead the championship standings on 41 points, just one point ahead of Dovizioso. Marquez’s victory sees him a further four points behind in third place in the standings after two rounds.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Congratulations to Marc on his third consecutive victory at this circuit, and also to Andrea and Valentino for their well-deserved podiums. It was also pleasing to see three different manufacturers represented on the rostrum. This circuit is a real test of man, machine and tires and given the highly variable conditions we’ve had this weekend, I am thrilled with how our tires performed at this demanding track in one of our key motorcycle tire markets. We now head to Argentina for the second of the back-to-back races in the Americas, and I look forward to seeing how our new allocation for the Argentina Grand Prix performs next weekend.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport tire Development Department
“As was the case in Qatar, today we had another close race with the top six riders crossing the finish line within ten seconds of each other, so I am pleased that our tires are working well for all riders and manufacturers. It was considerably warmer than yesterday, but the riders used the same tire combinations they used during FP4. Normally when temperatures are much warmer on race day we would expect some riders to use the hard compound rear slick at this circuit, but as the cool temperatures yesterday prevented riders testing this option, it remained unused today. Both the medium and hard compound front slick performed well, with both of these options used by riders on the podium, while the medium compound rear was the overwhelmingly popular race choice. Rider feedback suggests that the grip level today wasn’t as good as during the practice sessions, most likely due to the overnight rain, and this made effective tire management during the race even more important. We head from one demanding track in Austin to another in Argentina, where we will debut our new extra-hard compound rear slick.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race winner
“Of course I’m really happy for this victory after where I finished in Qatar. I felt really good this weekend and concentrated well in the race, but it was difficult in the beginning of the race as the overnight rain affected the grip level of the track. After a few laps I felt more comfortable and I was able to push more and could open up a gap at the front and manage the race well.”