Apr 22

2>4: MotoGP, Austin Race Recap


© Red Bull Media House

History was made in spades at the inaugural MotoGP race at the amazing Circuit of The Americas in Austin, TX.  Hit the jump for our quick recap and some pictures of riders dragging their elbows on the ground at ridiculous speeds.

© Red Bull Media House

The second round of the 2013 MotoGP season took place last weekend in Austin, TX at the amazing new Circuit of The Americas(COTA).  It was the first visit to COTA for MotoGP and from the start of the weekend there was talk that a long standing record might be broken.  With top speeds touching 215mph on the back straight and a number of tight 1st gear corners COTA proved to be a very challenging track for the MotoGP field.

© Red Bull Media House

Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez is the new darling of the MotoGP paddock.  A rookie in MotoGP Marquez was a dominant rider in the Moto2 support class and a pre-season test at COTA showed that he had impressive speed, not to mention his third place finish in this first MotoGP race at the season opener in Qatar.

Practice and qualifying showed that the track heavily favored the Honda’s and Yamaha teammates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi proved that by struggling to match the Repsol Hondas’  formidable pace.  Normally, the Yamaha is a better handing bike but the 1st gear sections in Austin proved that the Honda is much better at getting the power down out of the corners.

Rossi MotoGP Austin April 20, 2013

As a result Marquez and Pedrosa qualified 1-2, well ahead of defending champion Lorenzo.  Once again Cal Crutchlow put his Tech 3 Yamaha well into the mix by qualifying 4th and the CRT bike of Aleix Espargaro embarrassed the lower ranks of the works machines qualifying 9th just .009s behind a struggling Rossi.

Once the race got underway Pedrosa and Marquez simply rode away from the field leaving Lorenzo in a comfortable third ahead of Crutchlow, Bradl, and Rossi.

Looking like a Repsol Honda promotional video, Pedrosa and Marquez lapped in formation until lap 13 when Marquez quietly slipped by Pedrosa and rode on to win.  The victory in Austin makes Marquez the youngest rider to win a race in the premier MotoGP series, a record previously held by the legendary Freddie Spencer since 1982.

We’ll see if he can continue his winning ways in two weeks time when the riders travel to Jerez for the MotoGP Gran Prix of Spain.