2016 Austin MotoGP Results
For the fourth-straight year, MotoGP headed to Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, a 3.4-mile circuit containing 20 corners and a challenging layout with multiple elevation changes that drive most racers insane.
Some of these are the top names in the series, such as nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi and his teammate, five-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. But the story is much different for Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez – he has tasted nothing but victory at COTA.
The 23-year-old Spaniard has won every race at Circuit of the Americas since both he and the Texas Formula 1 track joined the premier class in 2013. There’s something about American tracks that Marquez seems to enjoy; since 2013, he has won every premier-class race on USA soil, including at the tracks that are no longer on the MotoGP Championship: Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
This streak continued this weekend when Marquez earned another dominate win at Circuit of the Americas – his second-straight this season after dominating round two last weekend at Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina.
Marquez led every practice and qualified his RC213V on pole before claiming the 2016 Austin MotoGP win by 6.107 seconds ahead of the season opener winner, reigning MotoGP Champion Lorenzo. Taking the final podium was Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone, who redeemed himself from a penalty last weekend; the Italian finished 10.947 seconds behind.
Marquez has also now won every COTA race from the pole, proven once again that his is the undisputed MotoGP champion in the United States since 2013.
2016 Austin MotoGP Recap
When the 21-lap race began, Lorenzo, who very un-Lorenzo like crashed during the warm-up, got to turn one first from his second-place start on the grid. Lorenzo, along with teammate Rossi and both factory Ducati riders, opted for medium front and rear Michelin tires. As for Marquez, he was the only rider to opt for a soft front and medium rear tire.
But Lorenzo ran wide at turn one, and this opened the door for Marquez to make his move. Marquez took the lead, followed by Lorenzo and Rossi. Dovizioso was able to use some of the GP16s amazing straight-line power to literally slide himself into second at turn one. Also charging to fourth from the back of the field was Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro.
Then the crashes began; first was Avintia Racing Ducati’s Loris Baz, who crashed at turn 1. Next, on the third lap, was Rossi, the 37-year-old Italian losing his front midway through turn two. Rossi suffered a DNF, and for the first time in 25 races didn’t finish within the top five.
As Marquez extended his lead, the battle for second began between Lorenzo, Dovizioso and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa. Behind, Espargaro’s GSX-RR began to slow as Iannone moved forward.
On lap seven, Dovi was once again at the fate of his fellow riders. But it wasn’t Iannone this time such as the last-lap crash in Argentina that occurred due to an ambitious overtaken by Iannone; this time Pedrosa tried making a pass, and crashed into Dovi, sending both to the ground.
Dovi suffered a DNF, but Pedrosa was able to rejoin, only to pull into the pits three laps later with issues due to damage from the crash. Sportsmanlike, Pedrosa then walked over to Dovi and apologized, explaining the crash was not intentional.
Next to wreck were LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith; fortunately, both were able to rejoin the grid and earn the final-two positions – 16th and 17th, respectively.
As Iannone slipped into third place, Suzuki’s Espargaro battled with teammate Maverick Vinales for second. Due to his medium-front tire over Espargaro’s softer tire, Vinales had additional braking stability. The two battled intensely to the checkered flag.
Up front, Marquez ran a smooth race, retaining his status as the undisputed King of Texas. He was joined by Lorenzo and Iannone on the podium. Behind, Vinales was able to hold off teammate Espargaro for fourth.
Rounding out the top 10 were Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati’s Scott Redding, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro, Redding’s teammate Michele Pirro. Avintia Racing Ducati’s Hector Barbera and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Stefan Bradl.
With his third-place at Qatar, and his wins in Argentina and Texas, Marquez now has 66 points, 21 ahead of Lorenzo. Rossi fell back to third, 33 points behind Marquez.
The 2016 MotoGP Championship now breaks for two weeks ahead of Jerez, round four of 18.
Photos by Ara Ashjian
2016 Austin MotoGP Results:
|1||25||93||Marc MARQUEZ||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||157.9||43’57.945|
|2||20||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||157.6||+6.107|
|3||16||29||Andrea IANNONE||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||157.3||+10.947|
|4||13||25||Maverick VIÑALES||SPA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||156.8||+18.422|
|5||11||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||156.7||+20.711|
|6||10||45||Scott REDDING||GBR||OCTO Pramac Yakhnich||Ducati||156.2||+28.961|
|7||9||44||Pol ESPARGARO||SPA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||156.0||+32.112|
|8||8||51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||OCTO Pramac Yakhnich||Ducati||156.0||+32.757|
|9||7||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Avintia Racing||Ducati||155.9||+34.592|
|10||6||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||155.6||+40.211|
|11||5||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||155.3||+45.423|
|12||4||50||Eugene LAVERTY||IRL||Aspar Team MotoGP||Ducati||155.2||+47.127|
|13||3||53||Tito RABAT||SPA||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||155.2||+47.426|
|14||2||68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Aspar Team MotoGP||Ducati||154.9||+51.190|
|15||1||76||Loris BAZ||FRA||Avintia Racing||Ducati||153.7||+1’12.929|
|16||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||LCR Honda||Honda||153.3||+1’19.252|
|17||38||Bradley SMITH||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||152.8||+1’28.036|
|26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||148.0||10 Laps|
|4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||157.8||15 Laps|
|46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||156.2||19 Laps|
MotoGP Championship Point Standings (after three of 18 rounds):