Marc Marquez was in a class of one as he rode to an emphatic victory in the Grand Prix of the Americas at the COTA circuit in Austin, Texas – consolidating his championship lead after a bizarre start-line mishap by Jorge Lorenzo saw the double World Champion hit with a ride-through penalty.
Lorenzo, starting from 5th on the grid, appeared to misinterpret the lights as they went red before switching to green and he leaped forward between the front row starters to lead the opening lap. Resigned to his fate, the Yamaha man served his penalty at the end of lap one and spent the duration of the race progressing through the field to an eventual 10th place.
Marquez finished the race 4.1 seconds ahead of team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who hung on valiantly but was powerless to halt his compatriot’s charge toward another victory. The result ensured a Honda one-two in the Rider’s Championship as erswhile 2nd place occupant Valentino Rossi faded from 4th to 8th on a black day for Yamaha’s factory team.
There was better news at Yamaha Tech 3 however, with Bradley Smith challenging again for a podium before ending up a career-best 5th, with Pol Espargaro running strongly to 7th. Andrea Dovizioso added similar cheer for Ducati with their first podium since Autumn 2012, at the expense of fellow Ducati-Pramac rider Andrea Iannone who dropped to 6th in the closing laps after running a strong 3rd for the majority of the Grand Prix.
Britain’s Cal Crutchlow crashed shortly after rejoining the track from a pitstop and appears to have damaged his right hand and wrist, after being stretchered away from the scene. Fellow Brit Scott Redding fared little better, disappointingly crashing out the minor points on the final lap of the race.
More to follow.