MotoGP: More From The Grand Prix Of The Americas At COTA

MotoGP: More From The Grand Prix Of The Americas At COTA

© 2023, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By LCR Honda Castrol:

ASTONISHING VICTORY FOR ALEX RINS AT THE CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS

LCR Honda CASTROL rider Alex Rins won on American soil after a masterful race.

 

Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy LCR Honda Castrol.
Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy LCR Honda Castrol.

 

Starting from the second spot of the grid and with yesterday’s Sprint podium in his pocket, Rins made a perfect start, pushed and fought unceasingly for the first position with Bagnaia, and after a Pecco’s mistake, Rins led until the chequered flag opening a gap and imposing a tremendous pace. He just did a perfect race.

Crossing the finish line as the winner, Rins has made history with LCR. The Spaniard’s victory has been the 100th podium of the squad since 1996 until today, and the last time the team won was back in 2018 (Grand Prix of Argentina, with British Cal Crutchlow). Moreover, it’s been a significant result for Honda: the last victory of the Japanese brand was in 2021 (Misano). At LCR Honda CASTROL, we are over the moon and enjoying this unique moment.

Alex Rins, 1st

“The race was amazing. I’m so happy; it’s a great achievement. We put some good lap times together, and the tyres were there. It was quite a good race, and I’m happy because the pace was faster than last year, and the bike is more or less the same, so let’s keep going. Many thanks to the team, my family, the sponsors, and everybody supporting us”.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:

DIFFICULT SUNDAY FOR TAKAAKI NAKAGAMI AT THE CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS

LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami couldn’t finish the race at the COTA due to a crash at the track’s first turn.

The Grand Prix of the Americas turned out to be quite demanding for the Japanese and the crew, as track conditions, lack of grip at race time, and a crash at turn one smashed the plans. At that moment, he occupied the 9th position—a real shame as he was doing a consistent race that could have ended with a positive result. The rider is fine and hasn’t suffered any consequences.

 

Takaaki Nakagami (30). Photo courtesy LCR Honda.
Takaaki Nakagami (30). Photo courtesy LCR Honda.

 

Takaaki Nakagami DNF

“We’ve been unlucky because I felt good and comfortable on the bike before crashing, and we could have grabbed important points. The main thing is that we’ve taken a step forward, and we’ll try again in Jerez”.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing:

TOP 9 RESULT FOR DIGGIA, ALEX TAKEN OUT BY MARTIN

A complicated weekend draws to a close for Alex Marquez at the CoTA in Austin, Tezas. The Spaniard, who had encouraging performances in both free practice and qualifying, found himself on the ground twice today, first during the warmup session (turn two) and then on the opening lap of the race as he was hit by Martin.

The third race of the season saw plenty of crashes, with only 13 riders able to cross the finish line. The ninth place secured by Fabio Di Giannantonio was surely a confidence boost for the Italian, who is now looking forward to the start of the European season. MotoGP proceedings will resume at Jerez at the end of the month.

 

Alex Marquez on the grid at COTA. Photo courtesy Gresini Racing.
Alex Marquez on the grid at COTA. Photo courtesy Gresini Racing.

DNF – ALEX MARQUEZ #73

“It’s been a weekend as positive as unlucky at the same time. We worked well and found the right confidence already from the Friday. Unfortunately, we had a bit too many crashes and today we were simply not fortunate enough. These things happen, Martin apologised to me and everything stays there in the race. It could happen the same to me on another occasion, it happens to everybody. Now we go back to Europe with plenty of confidence in our abilities.”

 

Fabio Di Giannantonio (49). Photo courtesy Gresini Racing.
Fabio Di Giannantonio (49). Photo courtesy Gresini Racing.

 

9th – FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO #49

“It was an excellent race with regards to the data gathered. We understood a lot of things on how to improve the feeling with the bike. We made a good step compared to yesterday and brought home a top ten result. These first three races were maybe the hardest for use and we came out of them with good indications. Now let’s keep working towards Jerez.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by RNF MotoGP Team:

Oliveira storms to fantastic fifth in 200th career GP

The third race of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, delivered mixed emotions inside the CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team. Amidst windy but sunny conditions that have been a lot different from yesterday, Miguel Oliveira kicked off Sunday’s proceedings with a strong performance in the Warm Up, finishing in third place and setting the stage for an exciting day of racing.

For the main race though, he had to line up on row five of the grid with a long way and a tough race ahead. A stunning start catapulted him from P15 to P9 in the first sector. During the rest of the first lap, the Portuguese made up another position and crossed the line for the first time in a strong eighth and continued with a strong pace throughout the very hard 20 laps race. By halftime, he had already moved up to sixth place and was consistently doing lap times as fast as the top. On lap 14, he passed championship leader Marco Bezzecchi for fifth position and brought it home together with 13 valuable World Championship points.

Meanwhile, Raul Fernandez who had steadily improved his feeling throughout the weekend, made a good start to the race from his P19 grid position, quickly moving up to P15 in the first sector. By the end of lap one, he was in a strong 13th position and was settling into a rhythm. However, his hopes for a top finish were dashed when his bike broke down just six laps into the race, forcing him to retire.

Now, the MotoGP World Championship circus is flying home and gears up for the return to Europe in less than a fortnight at the Spanish circuit in Jerez de la Frontera.

Miguel Oliveira (88). Photo courtesy RNF MotoGP Team.
Miguel Oliveira (88). Photo courtesy RNF MotoGP Team.

MIGUEL OLIVEIRA

“The race was a bit eventful because of the crashes and the wind. We knew since the Warm Up that the conditions today were going to be a bit more tough. It was a challenge not to crash the first couple of laps, but then we managed to get a good pace and get into a rhythm that was comfortable. The team made an incredible job today, giving me a great and fast bike that performed well. Finally, it is a small victory for us to end fifth on a track, which is normally not great to me, and at the same time, it was my first race for Aprilia, that I could finish. So, I’m happy to get my season restarted like this.”

 

Raul Fernandez (25). Photo courtesy RNF MotoGP Team.
Raul Fernandez (25). Photo courtesy RNF MotoGP Team.

RAUL FERNANDEZ

“We were unlucky today. I had a good start and was catching up to the group of Maverick (Viñales) and Miguel (Oliveira), but unfortunately, I had a mechanical issue and had to retire and end my race. Overall, both my team and Aprilia did a good job. At the end, we are racing and we may face many issues. We have to be positive, especially my feeling with the bike was improving a lot. I know that once we get a good result, we will see that we can do it. We will try again in Jerez. I am really positive and optimistic, I believe in my team and in Aprilia.”

Razlan Razali, Founder and Team Principal CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team

“Basically, it was a good weekend for the CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team, especially from Miguel. Effectively, it’s his first race for the team, his 200th Grand Prix and to come back from the injury, missing one round and to finish fifth is a fantastic effort by him and the team. We are very happy about that and we know, that there is more to come from him for the season. Regarding Raul, it was a very unfortunate situation for him facing a mechanical failure. He was very upset. We need to investigate what happened together with Aprilia and we know that he will continue to improve once we are back in Europe. So, we are looking optimistic into the future.”

Wilco Zeelenberg, Team Manager CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team

“The third round is done, we had a bit of mixed fortunes for the team this weekend with the DNF of Raul due to his technical issue. Of course, it’s disappointing, as he had a good pace and we have expected for him to grab some valuable points as he could clearly have done possibly a P10 or P9. However, on the other side of the garage, we’re very happy with the fifth position by Miguel and also seeing him finishing his first race of the season with a strong result. He had good speed and was right behind Maverick (Viñales). We are indeed looking forward to the next races. I think both boys made a bit of a step up, but of course it’s difficult to show it straight away at this challenging track in Austin.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3:

FERNANDEZ AND FOLGER BOTH IN THE POINTS IN AUSTIN AT CHAOTIC AMERICAS GRAND PRIX

It was an eventful Sunday in MotoGP™ at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, the third round of the 2023 campaign. Augusto Fernandez and Jonas Folger both finished in the points, with our rookie scoring his first Top 10 in MotoGP™ in what was only his third race in the category, while Jonas finished twelfth for his comeback. It was one of these races where you had to stay on your bike, and both GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 completed their jobs perfectly.

In the morning, both riders completed their ten minute-warm up session, a good opportunity to get some confidence for the race. Struggling with his ergo and feelings on the bike on both Friday and Saturday, it appeared that Saturday night’s work paid off for Jonas Folger who came back to the pit box with positive feelings, which was encouraging ahead of the race in the afternoon.

After finishing sixteenth at the Tissot Sprint on Saturday, rookie Augusto Fernandez was eager to test himself on the long haul at the challenging Circuit of the Americas. Starting from P20 today, he took a good start and quickly saw himself in sixteenth following a couple of early crashes. On lap 3, he rode his fastest lap of the race in 2’04.402. With the heat and a track at 41°, managing the tyres was not an easy task today, and it was no exception for the rookie who struggled with his front tyre. Amongst the chaos and the crashes, Augusto remained calm and focused on his pace, which was more competitive than it had been all weekend. He eventually passed the checkered flag in tenth, making his first Top 10 entrance in MotoGP™, and scored another six points, bringing his total to fourteen.

Jonas Folger completed his substitute mission wonderfully well on Sunday. He was starting his first MotoGP™ race in six years from the twenty-second position, with the goal to stay as close as possible to the last group, as well as working on his feelings and lap times. Feeling more confident on the GASGAS RC16 than the past two days, he rode two seconds faster than yesterday, and was able to ride with more consistency. He managed to stay on the bike, and finished twelfth, scoring four points for his return to the category.

It was a positive weekend in Austin for the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 team, who will now head home before starting the European tour in Jerez at the Gran Premio de España, in two weeks, on April 28-30, 2023.

 

Augusto Fernandez (37) leads Stefan Bradl (6) and Michele Pirro (51). Photo courtesy GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3.
Augusto Fernandez (37) leads Stefan Bradl (6) and Michele Pirro (51). Photo courtesy GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3.

 

Augusto Fernandez

Position: 10th

Championship: 15th

Points: 14

“It was a tough race but I am happy because we did a good step, again, today. We struggled quite a lot all weekend long, but we stayed on our wheels, and finished the race despite all the crashes. The feelings on the bike were better, my pace was more competitive, so I leave Austin happy and optimistic for the future.”

 

Jonas Folger (94). Photo courtesy GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3.
Jonas Folger (94). Photo courtesy GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3.

Jonas Folger

Position: 12th

Championship: 21st

Points: 4

“I expected to have a difficult race, and it was difficult, but I felt much more comfortable on the bike today. Yesterday evening, we spoke a lot with my team and we worked together to  improve my ergo, as well as trying to pick up important areas where I could improve my riding. We solved some things and I understood the bike more, so I am happy about that. We were faster than yesterday, but also more consistent, so this is very positive for me. I am very thankful to my team – they have been very attentive to me, to my comments, and we worked well together, without pressure. They understand that the situation is not easy for me, they appreciate my work, and I am pleased to be surrounded by these good people.”

Nicolas Goyon, Team Manager

“It is a strong result for the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 team here in Texas, with both riders in the points. They both managed to survive through the chaos and brought back their bikes to the garage in one piece.

Augusto Fernandez did a smart race and scored his first Top 10 in MotoGP. Like most of the riders, he struggled a lot with his front tyre but he managed to keep a good pace, and stay on his bike. He was very smart today, so I would like to congratulate him on his performance.

Regarding Jonas Folger, we remained calm following yesterday’s sprint, we analyzed the data, spoke a lot with him, and adjusted a lot of things on the bike to improve his position, and it looks like all of this paid off today. He rode two seconds faster than his fastest lap yesterday, and managed to bring points to the team with a great P12 finish.

Awesome job from both riders and the whole team, it was a good weekend for us here in Austin. We also take the opportunity to mention that another independant rider has won a Grand Prix this year, which shows the level of support the whole grid is receiving.

It is now time to pack everything and head home, before we start our European tour in Jerez in just two weeks!”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Honda wins again as Repsol Honda Team lament lost potential

Top-ten potential went unrewarded for the Repsol Honda Team as both Joan Mir and Stefan Bradl crashed out of strong positions in the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas as Honda returned to winning ways.

The tale of Texas came to a disappointing end for the Repsol Honda Team with both Mir and Bradl falling while running in prime positions. Mir had a promising start to the race and was gaining steady ground as the race settled into its rhythm. Moving to inside the top ten on lap eight, Mir was feeling comfortable but fell on lap nine when battling with Morbidelli and his race was unfortunately over.

Avoiding injury in the fall, Mir is disappointed with the end result but is determined to come back again at the next round in Jerez. Mir remains focused on the positives of the weekend – a change to the ergonomics of the bike left him feeling more comfortable in the race with scope to continue improving his performance and riding style.

Stefan Bradl was able to get to the front of the Test Rider battle relevantly early in the race, spending the following laps closing down Augusto Fernandez and a potential top ten. With just two laps to go, Bradl was the final of ten fallers in the 20-lap race and also walked away uninjured but disappointed in the final outcome.

Alex Rins put in a perfect performance to end his strong Americas GP weekend, the LCR Team rider keeping calm under the intense pressure of the race to achieve his first win aboard the Honda RC213V. This sees the Honda return to the top step of the MotoGP podium for the first time since the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix when Marc Marquez led a Honda 1-2. For LCR, they achieve their first win since Cal Crutchlow captured victory at the 2018 Argentina GP.

The Repsol Honda Team now prepare to return to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix at the iconic Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto on April 28 – 30.

Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.
Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.

Joan Mir

DNF

“Overtaking on this track is always a challenge and I crashed while trying to battle with Morbidelli. Everyone has good grip in the first laps, so it is hard to find an advantage early in the race. I was fine after the crash, it’s certainly a shame because we could have had a really good result here. The important point from this weekend is that we found something with the bike that I think can help us a lot in the future. It’s the best feeling I have had with this bike so far so we are focusing on this as we move towards Jerez.”

 

Stefan Bradl (6). Photo courtey Repsol Honda.
Stefan Bradl (6). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.

Stefan Bradl

DNF 

“Today we had a lot of potential, the top ten was right there. Of course I am disappointed not to be able to get this result because something like this gives you a big boost – especially when you are a rider like me stepping in for only a few races. It was a strange crash without much warning, but clearly the conditions on track were difficult with many falls. I was riding well and felt quite good on the bike, so this is very positive.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:

Quartararo Takes Terrific Third Place in Texas Rodeo

Austin (Texas), 16th April 2023

GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS

RACE

The Circuit of the Americas took no prisoners in this afternoon‘s MotoGP race. The 20-lap Grand Prix of The Americas saw many riders make costly mistakes, but Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo remained faultless and rallied to a superb third place. Franco Morbidelli also reaped fruits from the tricky race and took solid points thanks to an eighth-place finish.

3rd FABIO QUARTARARO +4.936 / 20 LAPS

8th FRANCO MORBIDELLI +20.399 / 20 LAPS

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo bounced back from a disappointing Sprint with a Superman performance in the Grand Prix of The Americas MotoGP Race. He raised his game to another level to take third place, his first podium of the season. Franco Morbidelli had a lonely but fruitful ride at the Circuit of The Americas, holding eighth position across the finish line.

Quartararo had another great start from seventh on the grid and was again in fourth place after the opening lap. Despite battling with Luca Marini, the Yamaha man was able to break away. He then put pressure on Jack Miller in third position.

Both Miller and Francesco Bagnaia soon crashed out of the race, moving El Diablo up to second place. But Marini was not letting the Frenchman keep it without a fight. Quartararo tried to make his M1 as wide as possible but in the end had to settle for third. He concentrated on finishing the race without mistakes and crossed the line 4.936s from first.

Morbidelli started from fourteenth and, manoeuvring skillfully in the busy midpack, ended the opening lap in 11th place. With multiple riders crashing out, some of them ahead of the Italian, Morbido found himself in eighth position by lap 11.

The race became a lonely experience for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider, but he still needed to stay 100% focused to secure the eight points in hand. He kept pushing and took the chequered flag in eighth place, 20.399s from the race leader.

Today‘s results see Quartararo climb up to 7th in the overall standings with now 34 points. Morbidelli is in 10th place with 29 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team move to 4th place in the team championship with 63 points, and Yamaha are in fifth in the constructor‘s championship with 43 points.

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will have one week off before they start Round 4, the Gran Premio MotoGP de España, held at the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto.

 

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

Team Director

We got our first podium of the season today! Fabio always gives 100%, but today he gave 10% more, if possible. He rode a smart race: aggressive at the start and clever towards the end. It’s great to see him back on the podium. It’s a well-deserved reward for him and the team after all the hard work. Franco Morbidelli also made a good step compared to yesterday. Though there are still areas to improve, he was able to recover ground in the first lap and he completed the race with solid points. All in all, we leave Austin with a morale boost, and now we are looking forward to starting the European leg of the season in two weeks‘ time.

 

Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.
Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.

FABIO QUARTARARO

It was really tough. I was struggling, but I had to fight hard on the first laps because the podium wouldn’t be possible if I lost positions in the opening stages. I did my best, and I’m really happy because I’m coming back after a few really tough races. You know, the team works so hard, and they try to keep me calm – that’s not an easy job. It feels good to be back in parc fermé, and hopefully more of these visits will be coming.

 

Franco Morbidelli (21) leads Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.
Franco Morbidelli (21) leads Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.

FRANCO MORBIDELLI

This was definitely a better race and better performance than yesterday. The starting position didn’t help at all. We lost our chances on Friday by not getting directly into Q2, and we started from too far behind. We worked a lot to climb our way up. It’s nice that we were able to have a decent performance in qualifying and in today’s Race. We need to take this eighth place, and we need to take the good improvements and the data we have gathered here. We will arrive in Jerez nice and sharp and ready to battle.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing:

BENEFITS FOUND AT USA MOTOGP™ AS RED BULL KTM FINISH PROGRESSIVE AMERICAS TRIP

MotoGP 2023 – Round 3 of 21, Circuit of the Americas – Race

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing had good reason to view the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas with strong cause for optimism considering the increased competitiveness and continued progression with the current RC16 motorcycle. Jack Miller was holding a podium position at COTA until a mid-race slip while Brad Binder was also among the fastest on track in Texas until he also had to recover from an error and still made the flag in 13th place.

Jack Miller shows podium pace and potential but falls out of the running at mid-race distance

Brad Binder suffers a slow speed tumble at Turn 15 while fighting for the top five. The South African remounts for 3 points in 13th.

Pedro Acosta wins a thrilling Moto2™ duel for his second victory of the year

Top five for Daniel Holgado in Moto3™ as the Spaniard continues to lead the championship

The stifling heat of COTA on Saturday had blown away in a stiff breeze to be replaced by sunshine and colder temperatures for the Grand Prix distances on Sunday. Jack Miller and Brad Binder throttled their KTM RC16s from the fourth row of the grid and for the 20-lap distance and it was Miller who made the sharper start around the long 20-corner layout.

Jack was holding a clear 3rd position when he lost control through the chicane and slid out of the reckoning at mid-race distance. Binder was making progress from the depths of the top ten as the group disputing positions for the top five began to close up and narrow. Brad spun out through Turn 15 only a few laps after Miller had departed the race. He was able to pick up the bike and rally to 13th for 3 valuable points.

After three of 21 rounds, Binder is 9th in the championship standings while Miller is close in 12th. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing will be able to go for trophies again at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto for the Gran Premio MotoGP Guru by Gryfyn de España in two weeks.

 

 

Brad Binder (33). Photo courtesy KTM Factory Racing.
Brad Binder (33). Photo courtesy KTM Factory Racing.

Brad Binder, 13th: “The whole weekend here in Austin has been a lot more positive than we might have expected beforehand, based-off our experiences here in the last years. I wasn’t super-happy yesterday but I managed 5th which was fantastic. Today I had high hopes but unfortunately I switched my line going into Turn 1 at the start and it was a big mistake on my part. I ended up getting caught in the chaos on the first lap. I tried my best. I struggled with the front tire up until a few laps before I crashed. At that moment I was confident and was started to push. Then it just snapped away from me on one of the little left-handers. Luckily, I was able to remount and we still got three points. As frustrating as today was we are not walking away empty-handed. For me it was also a lesson, especially from my mistake at the start. At Jerez we will go a hell-of-a-lot better.”

Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy KTM Factory Racing.
Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy KTM Factory Racing.

 

Jack Miller, DNF: “Unfortunate one. I felt really good from the get-go. I made a decent start, felt comfortable and was settled into the race. I swapped a map and then she let go of me. I was really trying to manage the tires and I felt we had a great chance of being there until the end. The positive part was the speed and how we were up there with the guys. We’ll take that from the weekend. We’ll learn from the negatives and go towards Jerez with a clean mind.”

Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “A tough Sunday. We cannot blame our riders today because many were on the limit with the front tires and we saw many crashes. The good part is that both riders felt good on the bike and we know we can do much better than this result sheet. Jack was on for the podium for half the race and then went down in a corner where he hadn’t had any warning the whole weekend. That’s racing; everybody is on the limit. Brad had good comments. He got stuck in the first corner and ran into some moments with other riders going down. At one point he was the fastest rider on track. We have some signs from this grand prix and that’s why we are looking forward to Jerez now.”

Results MotoGP

Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas

1. Alex Rins (ESP) Honda 41:14.649

2. Luca Marini (ITA) Ducati +3.498

3. Fabio Quartararo (FRA) Yamaha +4.936

13. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +1:23.012

DNF. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

 

World championship standings MotoGP

1. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Ducati, 64 points

2. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati, 53

3. Alex Rins (ESP) Honda, 47

9. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 30

12. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 26

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Mooney VR46 Racing Team:

THE AMERICAN DREAM: LUCA MARINI SECOND AT AUSTIN!

First podium in the Top class for the rider of the Mooney VR46 Racing Team. Sixth Marco Bezzecchi who holds the leadership in the championship

Austin (USA), 16 April 2023 – Another memorable Sunday for the Mooney VR46 Racing Team with Luca Marini’s podium at the Americas GP, the first in the premier class for the young Italian rider on the Ducati Desmosedici GP and the third in a row for the Team in Sunday’s race. Marco Bezzecchi also did well, sixth at the finishing line, extending his leadership in the Championship (64 points).

Starting from P3 on the grid after an excellent qualifying, Luca immediately pick up the pace of the leading group and finished with a really strong pace. Always in the podium positions, he was 2nd under the checkered flag and this means the primacy among the Teams (102 points).

A hard-fought race for Marco after an uphill Friday. Starting from the second row in P5 and fourth for most of the race. He arrives in Jerez, the next race scheduled in two weeks, leading the general standings.

Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy Mooney VR46 Racing.
Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy Mooney VR46 Racing.

LUCA MARINI – 10

What a fantastic day – I knew this day would come. I was very strong from the first free practice and the Team did a great job. We have prepared very well for today’s race, especially after the mistake in the Sprint and physically I am in perfect condition. I knew I had to manage the first laps well, not be in a hurry. Fabio and Jack overtook me, but I stayed behind to preserve the tire and be stronger in the final stages. When Pecco crashed, I believed in the win, but Alex was uncatchable. I’m really happy for the Team and for all the people who have always supported me. There’s a great atmosphere in the crew, fantastic people, I knew it could be our season. We are doing great things with Marco too and the goal is to always fight for the win and the podium.

Marco Bezzecchi (72). Photo courtesy Mooney VR46 Racing Team.
Marco Bezzecchi (72). Photo courtesy Mooney VR46 Racing Team.

MARCO BEZZECCHI – 72

I’m happy with the weekend: on Friday we had a lot of problems and my feeling wasn’t perfect. Yesterday, however, we managed to make a big step and today it was very easy to make a few mistakes and lose everything. The pace wasn’t bad, maybe I started too fast. I pushed a lot and ran out of front tire. The last 7 laps I was exhausted, I had to slow down and I have lost the fourth place. This is perhaps the only regret. I’m in P1 in the Championship, it’s really still very early, but it’s always a great feeling. Congratulations to Luca, he deserves it, and to the whole Team. This group is doing something amazing.

PABLO NIETO, TEAM MANAGER

Another Sunday to remember for the whole Team! Luca’s first podium in MotoGP is something he is particularly proud of after a long growth path from Moto2 to the Top class. He was perfect, he didn’t do anything wrong and he achieved a goal he deserved for a long time. His commitment and attention to detail is something that everyone recognises. Thanks to the whole crew, they never gave up and I’m very happy for all the guys. We are leading the teams championship, an important factor also for our partners who support us and who we try to honor every Sunday on the track. Then Marco, in P1 in the general standings and sixth at the finishing line after a weekend that didn’t start in the best way.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:

ANOTHER COMEBACK RIDE FOR MAVERICK, FOURTH ACROSS THE LINE

ALEIX CRASHES OUT ON THE FIRST LAP

In observance of the “glass half full” philosophy, Aprilia is leaving COTA with one certainty: the 2023 RS-GP and its riders have broken the curse of the Texan track. At least in terms of pace, demonstrated both in practice and in the race, decidedly superior to what they actually took home at the finish line.

After a bad start, Maverick redeemed himself with another great comeback ride after the one he did on Saturday in the 10 laps of the Sprint Race, finishing the GP at the foot of the podium. And all this was riding for the entire race without the right side of his front winglet.

Aleix was repeating the script from yesterday with a good start from the second row with sights set on the podium. However, this result went up in smoke seconds later due to a crash (harmless for the rider) on turn 12.

It was also an outstanding performance for returning rider Miguel Olivera who, with the Team RNF Aprilia RS-GP, finished fifth.

 

Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Aprilia.
Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Aprilia.

 

Aleix

“If the crash had happened on a different track, I won’t say that I would have been less angry, but it clearly would have been special for me to take a spot on the podium here that was well within our potential. After all the difficulties that we have always found at COTA, this weekend I demonstrated surprising potential. This season start has been disappointing, especially because I’m certain that I’m riding better than last year, but for one reason or another, we are not taking home the results we deserve. Hopefully, we’ll reverse this trend as early as Jerez because our potential is clear.”

 

Maverick Vinales (12) leads Miguel Oliveira (88). Photo courtesy Aprilia.
Maverick Vinales (12) leads Miguel Oliveira (88). Photo courtesy Aprilia.

 

Maverick

“I’m extremely pleased. It was a super-fast race and I lapped consistently well, recovering a lot of positions. However, we’ll need to improve the start because there is no doubt that if we’re able to stay at the front in the early stages of the race, our results would be even better! We have the speed and that is highly important. I feel very strong with this bike even when I have to battle in duels with other riders, so much that today I managed to overtake a lot and to be effective even in braking despite missing the right part of the winglet. We are faster than I expected. After three races, we are in a good position in the standings and we’re heading to Jerez with confidence.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

Bagnaia is forced to retire in the Americas GP at Austin after crashing out while in the lead. Eleventh Pirro

Luca Marini finishes second on the podium with the Desmosedici GP of the VR46 Racing Team

The GP of the Americas, the third round of the 2023 MotoGP season held this afternoon at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, had an unfortunate ending for Francesco Bagnaia, who had to retire after crashing out while in the lead.

After dominating Saturday by first taking the pole position and then winning the Sprint race, Pecco started as the big favourite for Sunday’s GP, and he was quick to confirm expectations by immediately taking the lead after the race start. Unfortunately, as happened to many of his rivals (eight in total today’s crashes), Bagnaia also suffered a tumble, which ended his race early.

Michele Pirro, Enea Bastianini’s replacement in Austin, managed not to be betrayed by the pitfalls of the Texan track and closed the race eleventh, just a few seconds from the top ten. On the podium was the Desmosedici GP of Luca Marini (VR46 Racing Team), who crossed the line in second place.

After the GP of the Americas, Bagnaia is still second in the overall standings, 11 points behind leader Bezzecchi (VR46 Racing Team), while Ducati is first in the constructors’ standings.

 

Michele Pirro (51). Photo courtesy Ducati.
Michele Pirro (51). Photo courtesy Ducati.

 

Michele Pirro (#51, Ducati Lenovo Team) – 11th

“Finishing this race was very important for both the team and me, so I tried to be cautious and not take too many risks. Compared to the Sprint race, I found myself more in trouble in the first few laps: we made a change to the bike that we didn’t have time to try in the warm-up and that, in the end, didn’t allow me to stay hooked to the top ten in the race. In any case, it went well. We finished 11th and also got some points. I am very sorry for Pecco, but I am sure he will make up for it soon in the next Grands Prix. Thanks to the whole team for the great work these days.”

 

Francesco Bagnaia (1) leading Alex Rins early in the race. Photo courtesy Ducati.
Francesco Bagnaia (1) leading Alex Rins early in the race. Photo courtesy Ducati.

 

Francesco Bagnaia (#1, Ducati Lenovo Team) – Retired

“For the second weekend in a row, I crashed: I can’t give myself an explanation, making it even harder to accept. I made a mistake, but at the moment, I don’t understand what it was. It was a very strange fall, and now I will ask my team to analyze the data well to understand what happened. I know the Championship is still very long, but we have thrown away 45 points in the last two GPs, and it is definitely not the best.”

The Ducati Lenovo Team will be back on track in Jerez de la Frontera, from 28th-30th April, for the Spanish GP, the fourth round of the season.

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