After days of palaver on the many bumps of the Circuit of the Americas, this discussion ended shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The 21 MotoGP riders gathered on the grid for 20 laps of the American circuit and would decide the course of the race. The conditions were excellent for the match, although it was warmer than the previous days. Three drivers took their places on the first posts of the grid: Francesco Bagnaia, Fabio Quartararo I Marc Marquez, the six-time winner of the COTA race.
Marquez starts strong, Zarco and Nakagami first victims of COTA
When the starting fires went out, Marquez was the best off. The former world champion took the lead in the first corner and immediately widened a small gap towards Quartararo, who dismissed the pole sitter Bagnaia in the first corner. The same was also Alex Reins In fact, the 2019 winner climbed to third place while Bagnaia had to settle for fourth place for now. The Italian clearly had to start, in the second round he was also picked up by Jorge martin. At a time Takaaki Nakagami wanted to launch the attack, the Japanese LCR pilot crashed into turn 12. This briefly relieves the pressure on Bagnaia’s shoulders.
Started a little further Jack miller impressive in the race for tenth on the grid. In the third round he won Joan mir to Brad Binder all at once, leaving the Australian, alone to opt for the hardest rear tire, in sixth place. The battle for third place was also interesting, as Jorge Martin dared to challenge his compatriot Alex Rins. After a few tries, rookie Pramac took third place from Rins. Martin set the good example that his teammate Johann zarco couldn’t keep up. The Frenchman crashed into the first corner and brought his machine into the pit a few moments later.
Martin’s lead didn’t end in third place. The Spaniard showed no mercy in a duel with World Cup leader Quartararo and took second. Quartararo, in turn, did not give up his position. Coming out of the first corner, he had Martin again. Rins, meanwhile, fell further back and he also lost his fourth place to Jack Miller, who shortly before brought his teammate Bagnaia back to sixth. Miller had to see he would go further, as race leader Marquez continued to pick up the pace. He apparently felt comfortable and was a step faster than Quartararo. The Frenchman was looking good after Martin’s repulsed attack.
Marquez extends his lead
Meanwhile, the Pramac rider had to worry about Miller, who was on a good pace. Bagnaia had also left behind the difficult initial phase, he picked up the pace and found a way to pass Rins. In the meantime, the Suzuki man could forget another COTA victory, he was sixth. Aleix Espargaro closed an already disappointing weekend on American soil with another crash, his fifth of the season. The Aprilia rider regained his Waterloo in turn 13 and was cleared to watch from the sideline for the remainder of the race.
Arriving in front of the TV screens, Espargaro saw that his compatriot Marquez had taken a bigger lead over Quartararo. Halfway through the race, the gap between the two leaders was around three seconds and things were going well for the Repsol Honda rider. And second place was also a good place for Quartararo, especially with title rival Bagnaia behind him. The ducatist had found a way to pass Miller with eight laps to go, but still had to close a considerable gap to make life difficult for the Frenchman.
Miller’s hard tire didn’t give him the endurance the Australian had relied on anyway. Miller returned fourth to Bagnaia and also fell back on Rins, who he also had to let go quite quickly. With that, the cards in the top five were mixed: Marquez had a comfortable margin over Quartararo with Martin over two seconds in the third. But that was without counting the fatigue, Martin made a big mistake in the first sector on the eighteenth lap and saw Bagnaia approaching by race stages.
Bagnaia found the connection so there was a duel for a place of honor in the final phase. Just when the game looked set to begin, Martin was assessed a long lap penalty for cutting the 4-5 turn. He had already lost a lot of time, but it was not enough. He had to complete the loop, but would secure his fourth place. Bagnaia managed to limit the damage on Quartararo, but that was not enough to keep Quartararo from match point at Misano.
Quartararo on match point with a solid second place, Mir takes on Miller
It all happened far behind Marc Marquez, who celebrated his second win of the season after 20 difficult laps at COTA and has already added the 58th MotoGP victory to his tally. Quartararo took twenty precious points with the second place, which puts him on the threshold of the world title. Bagnaia had to settle for third place, but the world title disappeared a little further.
Martin also lost his fourth place to Rins by taking the long lap, the Pramac Ducati rider finished fifth. Enea Bastianini came in the final stage dramatically ahead of Joan Mir and Jack Miller for sixth place. This was due to a collision between the latter two. Miller sat outside and was pushed aside by Mir, after which the two had a heated exchange. The stewards investigated the incident and gave Mir a seat after the game. So Miller was seventh, Mir was eighth. Brad Binder finished ninth with Pol Espargaro in tenth place.
Miguel Oliveira recovered a few points by finishing 11th ahead of Alex Marquez. MotoGP veteran Andrea Dovizioso scored his first points with Yamaha. He finished thirteenth after a long race, Luca Marini finished fourteenth, just ahead of his half-brother Valentino Rossi. In his last race on American soil, he scored a World Cup point.
The MotoGP circus now has two free weekends before the start of the last stage of the season. The next meeting will take place on the weekend of October 24 at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. The Yamaha Quartararo rider can then decide the world championship in his favor.
United States MotoGP Grand Prix Results
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