If it is Texas, it must be Marquez!
By TA News Bureau:
Marc Marquez had a rocking time at the COTA in Texas where he made the MotoGP GP race look Oh so simple…sixth straight win since the GP came to Texas in 2013. As the World Championship leaves for the European shores and his home circuit in Jerez, Spain, Marquez is only second in the line-up for the World title
At least that’s what has been happening six times in a row. Marc Marquez showed once again who the King of Texas is as MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas ended on the penultimate April Sunday. The four-time MotoGP champion made it look easy. The Spaniard has never been even tested.
For Marquez it was cool, especially when he had to start from fourth position after losing the pole for bumping into the Yamaha rider and got penalised. His Honda took the snub with a VROOM… later he said he had “this sweet feeling” back on his bike.
After Texas, five riders within eight points are in line for the world title, led by Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso (46 pts). It may only be a single point he has over 2017 title rival Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), but the Ducati Team man has been consistent as ever – and earned some good points at two tough venues for the ‘Desmosedici.’
Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 41 pts), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol – 38 pts), Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 38 pts) are all in the front league for the world title.
Marquez has won every race in Texas since it first hosted MotoGP in 2013. He started like a bolt and was in lead and made sure there was no repeat of the bumping that crashed Vinales out of the race in Argentina three weeks back, which earned him two penalties. He showed that did not dampen his spirits and won the pole in Texas in style. But the penalties dragged him back to fourth in the start.
Once the race started, Marquez made others look silly, the way he sped away. Crossing the flag, he stood on his bike, thumped his chest with both hands and took a bow toward his garage. He also grabbed an American flag for a victory lap to honor Nicky Hayden, the American 2006 MotoGP champion who died in 2017 when he was hit by a car while training on his bicycle in Italy. “I enjoyed a lot to make that lap in his memory,” Marquez said.
Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) crossed the line fourth. Reflecting on his race, Rossi was happy with the weekend as a whole, but admitted he’d hoped he could mount a greater challenge for the podium. “It was a good weekend because we were always in the top five, but in the race, I hoped and expected to be a bit stronger to fight for the podium, I know that Marquez and Maverick were a bit stronger, I hoped I’d be fast enough to fight for the podium with Iannone, but Andrea was faster than me so I was not able to arrive and attack.”
Texas a big hit
Grand Prix racing in the US has a long history at legendary tracks such as Daytona, Laguna Seca and Indianapolis. In 2013, the impressive new Hermann Tilke-designed 5.513km ‘Circuit of The Americas’ (COTA) in Austin, Texas, joined the MotoGP calendar and become an instant hit – with its cutting edge facilities and a capacity for 120,000 fans.
The US has a fantastic motorcycling heritage – with great champions such as Kenny Roberts, Freddie Spencer, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey and Kevin Schwantz being amongst the best riders to have ever competed in Grand Prix racing.
Michelin will continue to be the official supplier of tyres to the MotoGP World Championship for five additional seasons over and above the existing arrangement. The contract’s extension until 2023 was announced at the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in the presence of Michelin Motorsport Director Pascal Couasnon and Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports.
Pascal Couasnon, Director of Michelin Motorsport, said: “After two seasons that have seen tyre performance and strategy make a real contribution to the show delivered by motorcycle racing’s premier series, Dorna Sports has decided to extend its collaboration with Michelin as technical partner and exclusive tyre supplier to MotoGPTM for five additional years. We are naturally delighted to have earned the confidence of Carmelo Ezpeleta and his team. Michelin intends to use its continuing association with Dorna Sports to continue developing ever-safer and more competitive racing tyres, as well as innovations that will go on to benefit our road tyres. Michelin is also delighted to continue working with the teams and riders who gave us such a warm welcome back after our absence from the championship and also to be able to build on the sense of pride felt by our staff following our successful return to MotoGP.”