MotoGP: More From Saturday At The Red Bull Grand Prix Of The Americas

MotoGP: More From Saturday At The Red Bull Grand Prix Of The Americas

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By Michael Gougis.

Maverick Vinales showed that his speed in Friday practice was not just by chance, as he took pole, snatched the lead and rode away from the field to win the MotoGP Sprint race on Saturday. 

Vinales said that he had lost confidence in his factory Aprilia RS-GP after a crash in pre-season testing in Malaysia, but in Portugal, the team had changed the balance of the bike dramatically and, as he said, “Now I have the feeling like I did last year.” It was Vinales’ second straight Sprint race victory, and the Spaniard was in contention for the Grand Prix race victory in the Portimao race until a mechanical malfunction threw him to the ground.

Marc Marquez (93). Photo by Michael Gougis.

Marc Marquez resisted the pressure from Pedro Acosta at the beginning of the race and scored his second straight Sprint race podium. Texas has been a happy hunting ground for the eight-time World Champion, and he was pushing. Marquez had more than one hairy moment in qualifying and in the race, but in the end he was well clear of any challenge from behind.

Defending World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (1). Photo by Michael Gougis.

Two-time MotoGP World Champion Francesco Bagnaia qualified well but had a horrible start, salvaging only two points with an eighth-place finish.

Raul Fernandez (25). Photo by Michael Gougis.

Raul Fernandez took ninth for the American Trackhouse Racing team on his 2023-spec Aprilia RS-GP. That made it three Aprilias in the top nine, with Aleix Espargaro fifth.

Joe Roberts (16). Photo by Michael Gougis.

American Joe Roberts (16) recovered from a difficult Friday to put his American Racing Team Kalex in fifth place on the Moto2 grid. Roberts edged teammate Marcos Ramirez and cleanly out-qualified both riders on the Italtrans Racing Team he raced with for three years.

 

 

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