MotoGP: Previews Of The Red Bull Grand Prix Of The Americas (Updated)

MotoGP: Previews Of The Red Bull Grand Prix Of The Americas (Updated)

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Dorna:

Rodeo ready: MotoGP™ saddles up in Texas 

Marc Marquez returns to the fold with a nearly unbeaten record at the venue as an unpredictable 2022 gets ready to take on COTA

Wednesday, 06 April 2022

The wait is over and we have the answer: the King of COTA is on the way. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) will be back in action at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, ready to rodeo and recovered from his Indonesian GP crash. For the rest of the grid, that could spell a very different weekend ahead as the number 93 has only once failed to win at the venue in MotoGP™. It staged his rookie win, he was undefeated until crashing out in 2019, and he’s qualified on pole at the venue for every single event since 2013 – except last year. But then, last year he still went on to win by some margin. He remains, then, the favourite… but there’s plenty more to talk about too.

First mention has to go to Aleix Espargaro and Aprilia. There was only one factory on the grid who hadn’t won in MotoGP™ and one rider who had never taken a Grand Prix win in any class, so it was a truly historic feat for man and machine. It was also – stats and grand narratives aside – just an objectively very impressive performance. Few could go with the number 41 out front, with only Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) in the battle and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins and Joan Mir shadowing the duel. Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) also took his best result since moving to the factory by far in P7, so the question now is… what do the Noale factory have in the locker for Texas?

Suzuki, too, will be interesting – and Rins arrives not only fresh from the podium but also as the only non-MM93 winner at the track. Ever. Can he bridge that gap that kept him just outside striking distance in Termas? His teammate, 2020 MotoGP™ Champion Joan Mir, will also be looking to do the same, with the number 36 having just missed out on the rostrum. He did say, however, that he’s got that 2020 feeling back – and that a little more time may have allowed a little more attack in Argentina. Team Suzuki Ecstar also lead the teams’ Championship after another interesting race day tango, and have been one of the most consistent teams and factories on the grid, so promises of progress shouldn’t be taken lightly for their rivals.

For Ducati, meanwhile, it’s returned to somewhat of a modern classic for the moment: they lead the Constructors’ standings thanks to three different riders in the first three races. First it was Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP), then Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) and now Martin, and the obvious omission is the Ducati Lenovo Team. Argentina proved a tough weekend overall for both Pecco Bagnaia and Jack Miller, and Miller himself offered a slightly heart-breaking stat on social media after coming home in 14th – having started 14th – saying it’s the first race he can ever remember taking part in where he didn’t overtake a single rider. But he has had some very good form at COTA, and will be confident of a turnaround.

Bagnaia, meanwhile, already bounced back on Sunday, at least into the top five after a really tough first day. That was an impressive show of mettle, and the Italian also has form in the lone star state having been on the podium there last year and qualified on pole. Will more familiar and recently-tilled turf prove a key positive for the Italian?

Martin will want to keep his frontrunning form having taken a front row in every race so far and then failed to convert it into points or podiums until Termas, and Zarco will want to bounce back. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) nailed Saturday and then slipped down the order on Sunday, ultimately also beaten by the other side of the box. Marco Bezzecchi is now the leading Rookie in 2022 after taking that impressive ninth place, with the Italian having shown flashes of brilliance already but not having been able to quite put it all together on Sunday until Argentina. Can he keep it pinned at COTA?

KTM’s Argentina, meanwhile, was a mixed bag but not a bad one considering the newest factory on the grid’s level of experience at the venue – and the fact that Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) had never actually ridden it before in the premier class. He took P6 and remains second in the riders’ standings, seven points off Aleix Espargaro at the top. Teammate Miguel Oliveira had a tougher weekend that went through Q1 to P13 in the race, but there were positives – and with Yamaha and Honda continuing to have a more difficult season, the team and constructor standings remain very healthy for the Austrian factory even as Aprilia, Ducati and Suzuki pipped them in Argentina.

Over at Yamaha, the feelings will be less mixed. Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Andrea Dovizioso (WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP) both suffered issues at Termas – the former a puncture and the latter a technical problem – so there at least, there’s a could have been. And Darryn Binder (WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP) continues learning the ropes. But reigning Champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) completed the race with nothing actually going wrong, but like Qatar, did not come home with the position he wanted – and not for lack of trying. The number 20 went backwards off the line and backwards some more before eventually taking P8, explaining that rear grip was the biggest hurdle. Last year at COTA he was best of the rest behind what was essentially Marquez’ private Marquez vs Marquez challenge at the front, so it will be interesting to see what has changed – or hasn’t – as we return to Texas only a few months later…

For Honda, finally, the return of Marquez likely marks a return to high hopes following an excellent debut for the new RC213V in Qatar and then a more difficult two rounds. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) recovered well from being outside Q1 to fourth on the grid before crashing out in Argentina too, showing there is speed even if everything didn’t go to plan on Sunday. Pol Espargaro, as well as Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Castrol) and Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol), will want more from this weekend though… so will having the COTA benchmark back in the saddle help Honda as the new bike gets fettled in?

All will be revealed on Sunday as MotoGP™ takes on Texas, with another 25 points up for grabs – and plenty, plenty of headlines waiting to be made. Tune in on Sunday at 13:00 local time (GMT-7) for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas!

MotoGP™ CHAMPIONSHIP: TOP 5

1 Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) – Aprilia – 45

2 Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – KTM – 38

3 Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) – Ducati – 36

4 Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) – Suzuki – 36

5 Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) – Yamaha – 35

 

 

Will Vietti keep the advantage into the Americas?

The Italian is fast becoming the title favourite as well as the points leader – but there are plenty of fast faces looking to hit back in Texas

Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) didn’t finish pre-season as the rider on top of the timesheets or grabbing the headlines, but after the first three races the Italian has most definitely taken centre stage and made it his own. On every podium so far and on top of two of them, it’s going pretty well – an understatement on a par with the quiet confidence of the man himself. So is there reason to doubt the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas will be the same?

The main competition in the standings so far has come from Aron Canet (Flexbox HP 40), and in Argentina the Spaniard only just missed out on also boasting three podiums from three. “Just” fourth wasn’t down to a speed deficit either, it was most definitely down simply to the handiwork of Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) as the Japanese rider attacked late and well to take his first podium of the season. But for Canet, after struggling in previous seasons to be as consistent as some of his competitors, there is heart to be taken from having been fast at every track so far – and it’s hard to bet against him being so in Texas, the number 40 having also won there before in Moto3™.

There is actually another rider with a 100% podium record after Vietti though: Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia). The Thai rider missed the season opener with a hand injury and then promptly returned and won his first race, and another podium in Argentina only backs that up to make it 2/2 so far in 2022. Team manager Hiroshi Aoyama said in pre-season that both Ogura and Chantra could fight at the front and potentially launch a title bid this year, and some corners of the paddock appeared to think the latter overly optimistic. It must feel even sweeter, then, for the number 35 to have taken Thailand’s first Grand Prix win and been part of the first double podium for the team.

Argentina was also the first time two former Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup riders shared the intermediate class podium, and with Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) on the box in Moto3™, ATC alumni took a third of the available podium places on race day in Argentina. Ogura, who last year had the upper hand on Chantra, definitely shared his teammate’s joy at his recent successes, but the Japanese rider will most definitely want to turn those tables back as well. What can he do in Texas?

From one side of the world to the other, there’s also the American contingent with some big aims for COTA. There are now three home heroes on the grid in Moto2™, and although the rookie – Sean Dylan Kelly (American Racing) – did a little moonlighting in Termas thanks to his parents hailing from Argentina, this is a huge weekend for him and the two veterans: Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) and Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) as they race on home turf.

Roberts had a tougher time of it in 2021 at COTA, but this season so far there’s been concrete progress and the number 16 will want more from his home GP as we return. Beaubier, meanwhile, came out swinging last year with some serious speed – making track knowledge count for a lot and taking an impressive fifth place, so close to that first podium. What can he do this season? He’ll likely have to contend with Elf Marc VDS Racing’s Sam Lowes and Tony Arbolino – as well as Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Augusto Fernandez and Pedro Acosta, and Jake Dixon (Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team) – on his way through the top ten to the upper echelons, but last season Beaubier had the goods.

Finally, what will we see from Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors Speed Up)? The Spaniard should have been hyped since the start of last season after his performance in the Moto2™ European Championship and his first Grands Prix, and his progress in the World Championship has only validated both his and then-teammate Alonso Lopez’s 2021 form in the FIM JuniorGP™ paddock. Now, Aldeguer is beating records set by soon-to-be MotoGP™ Legend Jorge Lorenzo as he took over as the youngest ever polesitter in intermediate class history – by more than a year. Race day and that incident with Vietti will leave him wanting to prove more than a few points in Texas.

The time has come to return to the Lone Star State. In a first, Moto2™ race first this time out and the lights go out for the intermediate class at 11:20 (GMT-7) local time for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas. Don’t miss it!

Moto2™ CHAMPIONSHIP: TOP 5

1 Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) – Kalex – 70

2 Aron Canet (Flexbox HP 40) – Kalex – 49

3 Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) – Kalex – 45

4 Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) – Kalex – 36

5 Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) – Kalex – 35

 

Garcia vs Foggia vs… Guevara? The Moto3™ grid arrive in Texas

The top two in the Championship duelled it out something stunning at Termas but it’s Guevara, denied in Argentina, who won here last year…

Sergio Garcia (Solunion GASGAS Aspar Team) vs Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) was an instant classic in Argentina, with both underlining their speed in 2022 and Garcia once again sending it on Sunday, pulling off that final lunge to perfection as the number 11 tends to do. The stage could well be set for another showdown in Texas between the duo too, although there is last year’s winner who’ll likely have different ideas about the weekend ahead: Izan Guevara (Solunion GASGAS Aspar Team). As well as the rest of the pretty packed grid…

Guevara and Garcia were the breakaway early on in Argentina before the number 28 suddenly suffered a technical problem, adding a dash of bad luck to the qualifying penalty that already dampened his charge in Qatar. If it had stayed as it was in Termas before that though, the sophomore would have been leading the Championship, equal on points with his teammate but the first of them to win.

Shoulda woulda coulda is often of little use in racing, but one time it can be relevant is when the points don’t quite reflect speed – especially judging a sophomore rider like Guevara against the wealth of experience of Garcia and Foggia. The number 28 appears to have gone under the radar for some in 2021, despite having arrived in Moto3™ from winning the FIM JuniorGP World Championship as a rookie and won a Grand Prix race as a rookie, but it looks like it’s game on now.

So can anyone else keep challenging the sheer speed of Foggia, the send it masterclasses of Garcia and the elbows out of Guevara? So far, the next fastest rider – and sometimes fastest of all – has been Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max), but a mixture of bad luck and trouble has hit the Japanese rider in the first couple of rounds. In Argentina though he made it happen, despite a Long Lap for the incident with Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) in Lombok, and sliced back through from outside the points.

Speaking of Migno, the Italian has also been fast but suffered mixed fates since his awesome win in the season opener. He’ll be one to watch, as will Termas sparring partner Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo), also fast but lacking points. Kaito Toba (CIP – Green Power) and Deniz Öncu (Red Bull KTM Tech3) are lurking in the standings thanks to a little better consistency, and the likes of Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing), Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Carlos Tatay (CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP) are in their stride.

The same can also be said of some of the very impressive rookies joining the class this season. Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) was once again the top debutant with another impressive finish in the top six, but as the Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo) gets back to fitness, this time Moreira had close company. Joel Kelso (CIP – Green Power) also impressed in Argentina with provisional pole after the first runs and then a second row start, coming home tenth. What hands can they play in Texas?

Moto3™ race later in the day this time round, with Moto2™ and MotoGP™ heading out first. Tune in for more of the same stunning action at 14:430 local time – GMT-7!

Moto3™ CHAMPIONSHIP: TOP 5

1 Sergio Garcia (Solunion GASGAS Aspar Team) – GASGAS – 58

2 Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) – Honda – 53

3 Izan Guevara (Solunion GASGAS Aspar Team) – GASGAS – 28

4 Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) – KTM – 27

5 Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) – KTM – 26

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Lenovo Ducati Team:

Americas GP. The Ducati Lenovo Team returns to Texas for the fourth round of the 2022 MotoGP World Championship

Less than seven days after the Argentina GP, the Ducati Lenovo Team riders are set to return to the track this weekend for the fourth round of the 2022 MotoGP World Championship: the Americas GP.

Once again, the Circuit of The Americas in Austin (Texas) will host the event. The track has been on the calendar since 2013 and has seen Ducati score five podium finishes so far,  most recently last year with the third place of Francesco Bagnaia. The Italian rider, who made a strong comeback in Argentina, finishing fifth after starting from thirteenth on the grid, also took pole position in the 2021 edition of the Grand Prix. Thanks to the good sensations found on his Desmosedici GP in the last GP, Pecco aims to obtain an important result in Sunday’s race.

After a difficult weekend at Termas de Rio Hondo, which saw him finish the race in fourteenth place, Jack Miller returns to the United States determined to turn his season around. The Australian rider boasts a third-place finish in 2019 as his best result in Texas, and he is looking forward to returning a frontrunner at the GP of the Americas.

Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 11th (15 points)

“I’m happy to get back on track this weekend and put the Argentina race behind me. The last GP was strange: we hadn’t raced at Termas for two years, and we struggled a bit with such a tight schedule. Now we go back to Texas for the GP of the Americas at a track that I like and where, in general, I can be fast. I’m determined to do well and finally turn my season around”.

Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 14th (11 points)

“During the last GP in Argentina, I finally found the same sensations I had last year on my Desmosedici GP, and I’m very happy because it means we’re working in the right direction. I can say that my World Championship really started last week, and now I’m determined to maintain this momentum. On Sunday, we’ll race in Austin, a track where I finished third last year, starting from pole position. I hope to be as competitive this year and get some more important points for the Championship”.

The Grand Prix of the Americas will start this Friday, 10th April, from 9:50am local time (CEST -7.00am) with the first free practice session.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki Press Office:

SUZUKI ARRIVES IN AUSTIN ON A HIGH AFTER FIRST PODIUM

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders Alex Rins and Joan Mir have headed 7000km north from Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina to tackle the second race of a double-header in Texas.

The Circuit of the Americas (COTA) is a huge facility boasting a technical track layout and a capacity of 120,000. Since joining the MotoGP™ calendar back in 2013 it has become a stand-out stop thanks to its larger-than-life atmosphere and challenging races. The state capital of Austin is just a stone’s throw from the track, and the vibrant city is famed for its music festivals, cultural events, cuisine, and business technology hubs.

In 2019 Alex Rins took a memorable and mesmerising victory at COTA; his first ever win in the MotoGP™ class which helped him on his way to a campaign which left him fourth in the championship. He has also celebrated wins in Moto3™ and Moto2™ here. In 2021, after a year out of America due to the pandemic, Rins took a fourth place in Austin and he is keen to return to the podium in 2022.

Mir has less premier class experience at COTA and he will be aiming to collect data and learn more about the track before pushing his GSX-RR towards the top.

Team Suzuki Ecstar come into this fourth round of the championship leading the Teams’ standings, something which was achieved last time out following Rins’ podium in Argentina and Mir’s fourth place.

Alex Rins:

“I love the vibe in Texas and I always enjoy coming here, even more so after my debut MotoGP win in 2019. That was such a special day and it’s impossible to forget. Last year I was fourth, but I want to do more this year, especially as our GSX-RR has improved and I’m feeling good after the podium in Argentina. It’s not an easy track, but it’s really fun to ride so I’ll give my all for the fans and my team.”

Joan Mir:

“I don’t have many good memories from Texas, my best result is fourth, and I’ve only ridden here in the top class twice, but it’s an amazing circuit. It’s pretty technical and quite different from other tracks we go to. Last weekend I got some really good feelings with my bike and I can’t wait to jump back on it to try and build on that promising progress.”

Livio Suppo – Team Manager:

“Both our riders had a successful race in Argentina last week with third and fourth. That first podium of the season was important to us and of course it’s given us a boost. We come into this race in Texas leading the Teams’ Championship and we’d like to build on that. The forecast looks good for the weekend, and although COTA is a highly technical circuit, I feel confident that we can do well. Alex is especially excited to come back here, and Joan is ready to get his best finish.”

 

 

 

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

MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP ANTICIPATE COTA RACE WEEKEND

Austin, Texas (USA), 6th April 2022

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team have arrived in America ready for Round 4 on the 2022 MotoGP calendar. This will be the 500th GP of the new era of the FIM MotoGP World Championship, which began in 1992 with the FIM, IRTA, MSMA & Dorna racing together.

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team have made their way to Austin, Texas for this weekend‘s Grand Prix of The Americas. After a disappointing end to the Argentina GP last Sunday, both Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli are hungry to fight for top results at the COTA track.

Quartararo arrives at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) holding fifth place in the championship with a 10-point gap to first. The championship is still wide open, and with good memories of the COTA track, El Diablo is ready to for the challenge.

In 2015, his very first year of visiting COTA, the Frenchman immediately scored a second place in the Moto3 class. Last year he equalled this feat on a MotoGP bike in only his second premier class race in Austin, which was crucial for his championship title win later on.

Morbidelli was unlucky to suffer a tyre puncture last week, cutting his Argentina GP short. He is looking forward to making a strong comeback at another track and move up from 12th place in the overall standings.

The Italian is a fan of the tricky Austin venue and is anticipating a positive race weekend. Last year he was still contending with a leg injury that prevented him from showing his true potential. This weekend he would like to add another top result to his resume. His best performances at COTA include his win in 2017 in the Moto2 class and the fifth place he scored with Yamaha in the premier class in 2019.

Constructed in 2013, The Circuit of the Americas (COTA) is one of the newest on the calendar, having been added to the Grand Prix schedule that same year. Its length of 5513m and mixture of fast straights and tight hairpins make the track both challenging and exciting to master for teams and riders. They need to find exactly the right balance for their bike‘s set-up to suit the 11 left, 9 right turns, and the 1,200m straight in order snatch a place on the podium. The especially sharp Turn 1 will be a place where the fans can expect a lot of overtaking action, both at the start and during the race.

Those who wish to get to know the COTA track better can watch our latest MotoGP eSport video.

The Grand Prix of The Americas is held in the GMT -5 time zone. FP1 will take place on Friday afternoon from 09:55 – 10:40 local track time, followed by FP2 from 14:10 – 14:55. On Saturday, FP3 will be held from 09:55 – 10:40, FP4 from 13:30 – 14:00, and the qualifying sessions from 14:10 – 14:50. On Sunday, Warm Up is held from 09:40 – 10:00 and the race starts at 13:00.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

After a difficult weekend in Argentina, it‘s important that we start this GP off on the right foot. We always really enjoy coming to Austin. It‘s a quite technical track. On paper this shouldn‘t be one of our strongest circuits on the MotoGP calendar, but we feel that this could be a good round for us. In recent years we‘ve often scored good results here, as Fabio‘s second place from last year showed. The race conditions then are similar to what we‘re expecting this weekend, so we are optimistic. But COTA has been partly resurfaced, so only on Friday will we truly know what the track conditions will be like.

FABIO QUARTARARO

Austin played a key part in my championship win last year. That second place was like a victory because it gave me my first match point to secure the championship. This time we arrive here in a totally different situation and with a different mindset. Last year I always tried to win, but I was also trying to keep the lead in the championship. We can afford to be more on the attack now. We will do our best as always. Last year the rear grip here was pretty decent, but the bumps were tough. The track has been resurfaced since then. I‘m curious to see what we can do this time round.

FRANCO MORBIDELLI

We now arrived at COTA which is a track that I really like, so it‘s a good place to race at after a disappointing end to the Argentina GP. This track is difficult, but it’s one of my favourites. Last year I wasn‘t able to push because my leg was not 100% healed yet, and the bumps aggravated the situation. This year it should be a completely different story. I‘m fully fit and the track has been smoothed out, so I‘m looking forward to riding in Austin again.

 

 

 

 

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

STARS AND STRIPS WEEKEND FOR THE MOONEY VR46 RACING TEAM

Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi on track at COTA after a more than positive weekend in Argentina

Austin (USA)- A few hours of relaxation, then the long transfer from Argentina to the USA and it is already time to get back on track for the Mooney VR46 Racing Team busy this weekend in Texas for the GP of the Americas (race is scheduled at 01.00 pm local time, 08.00 pm CET). Fourth race of the 2022 season with Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi ready to be among the protagonists after the positive weekend at Termas de Rio Hondo.

Very fast in qualifying and once again in the points in Argentina, Luca is working on the Ducati Desmosedici GP to improve his pace on the long run and be consistent in the final stages of the race on a very demanding track as COTA.

Motivated to confirm himself after the first championship points and the Top10 of the last Sunday, also Marco who hit the podium in Austin just a few months ago in Moto2 and aims to be competitive from the first free practices.

Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas

Circuit Of The Americas

Length: 5.5 km

Turns: 11 left, 9 right

Width: 15 m

Longest straight: 1200 m

MotoGP race: 20 laps

MotoGP race distance: 110.3 km

Red Flag MotoGP race finish: 15 laps (3/4 of the total laps scheduled)

 

Luca Marini #10

We arrive in Austin after an overall positive weekend: in qualifying we made an important step forward, but we are still missing something on the pace. As in the last few races, we will continue to work on the electronic aspect to be fast, not only in entering, but also at the exit of the corners. The COTA is a very demanding track, even physically, and from the particular tarmac conditions.

Marco Bezzecchi #72

I am happy to be back on track immediately after a GP like the one raced in Argentina. It was a good race, I managed well the rear tire on the long run and I finished with a good pace. The Austin track is one of the toughest on the calendar and I’ve never raced there with the MotoGP: it will be challenging, but it’s a track where I was very fast last year in Moto2. I can’t wait to get back at work!

Pablo Nieto

Team Manager

It is always a pleasure to return to the USA for the GP: a technically difficult track, very demanding from the physical point of view but also with a series of beautiful turns. The one in Argentina was a race condensed just into two days, but where we performed well. Both riders in the points, Luca’s front row, Marco’s recovery and an interesting pace from the first free practices. We will continue like this to make another step forward towards the European season.

 

 

 

 

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

WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team duo excited to continue in the US

Darryn Binder and Andrea Dovizioso are looking for recuperation in Austin, Texas for round four of the 2022 MotoGP World Championship.

Just a few days of rest and traveling after the third round of the season in Argentina and the entire MotoGP paddock is already off to the United States, where the partly resurfaced Circuit of The Americas awaits for Grand Prix number four. The 5.5-kilometer layout close to Austin is one of the most varied in the GP calendar.

WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team’s Darryn Binder is eager to try his Yamaha YZR-M1 at this special venue, starting from scratch again. Finishing the Argentina Grand Prix in P18, the MotoGP rookie gained more experience and delivered some great battles once again. With six points on his account, he arrives as the second-best premier class newcomer so far and will look to score more.

In the meantime, Andrea Dovizioso is looking to make up some lost ground from Termas de Rio Hondo, where he had to stop in the pitlane after just one lap, but later on found a good rhythm and some improvements. He already had some decent sensations aboard his Yamaha YZR-M1 last year and aims to cement his improvements with a strong result.

The WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team gets ready for Free Practice one this Friday at 09:55 local time (16:55 CET), while the race on Sunday will get underway at 13:00 local time (20:00 CET).

DARRYN BINDER

“I’m really looking forward to getting to Austin. I really enjoy America and I think it’s definitely one of the more difficult circuits on the calendar, so I’m really excited to see how it feels on a MotoGP bike. I’m looking forward to see what the new asphalt is like in the areas they have resurfaced it. I’ll take it like every other race, start from zero, build a way up and see what we can accomplish in the race.”

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO

“I’m happy to go to Austin, because I felt quite good there last year. The asphalt will be new, so we are curious how it’s going to feel. Anyway, I look forward to go there straight away to try to make a decent result. In the end, my pace in the race in Argentina was quite good, I was able to fight and I didn’t expect that before the race. So, we have some ideas after what I tried in the race in Termas. I was riding alone and able to play a little bit with the bike. We will try something in Austin and let’s see if it will help me to get a better feeling overall.”

Razlan Razali, Founder and Team Principal WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team

“We go to Austin with some data and experience based on the last Grand Prix in Termas de Rio Hondo. I’m sure both riders and their respective crew chiefs will look over their data gathered in Argentina and understand what happened and what can be done for America. We just have to keep on working, do the best we can and try to get as many points as possible.”

Wilco Zeelenberg, Team Manager WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team

“We are up for Austin, the fourth round of the 2022 season. So far, we’ve been experiencing mixed emotions. In Argentina we expected a bit more, especially from Andrea in terms of results. He clearly made a mistake with the start device, but this can happen to anyone, even the most experienced riders. We just need to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. But Andrea really likes Austin, because he was strong there last year and for Darryn it’s the same story as in the first three rounds. He is learning fast, in the Warm Up in Argentina he was good, but in Austin he needs to start from scratch. Hopefully he can fight with the other rookies again and let’s hope Andrea can score some decent points.”

 

 

 

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

Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Travels to Austin for the Final Race Overseas Before European Tour

Only a couple of days after the Gran Premio Michelin® de la Républica Argentina, Tech3 KTM Factory Racing already has its eyes set on Round 4 of the 2022 calendar. Indeed, the crew travelled directly from Termas de Río Hondo to Austin in the United States on Monday, and is now getting ready for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, to be held at the 5,513m-long Circuit of the Americas.

With just a few days of rest to enjoy the city of Austin, Raul Fernandez will be willing to score his first points in the MotoGP class after three impressive first races this season, including the one in Argentina where he finished in P16, so close to the goal. On the other side, Remy Gardner will also look to continue his progression with the KTM RC16 and aim for a Top 15 finish on this American layout where he often had good results.

We will be back to a usual format this week after the events in Argentina that forced to re-arrange the schedule, and the action will start on Friday, April 8 with Free Practice 1 at 9:55 local time (GMT-5), followed by Free Practice 2 at 14:10. We will be back on Saturday for Qualifying day, starting with Free Practice 3 at 09:55 local time, followed by the final free session at 13:30. It will be time to make a fast lap when Qualifying starts at 14:10, with both Raul and Remy looking to improve their qualifying sessions. The Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas will take place on Sunday, April 10 2022, at 13:00 (GMT-5), for 20 laps.

Remy Gardner

Championship: 22nd

Points: 1

“I look forward to this weekend here in Austin. Last year, I was quite fast on a Moto2 bike, so we will see what I can do with a MotoGP engine. There has been some resurfacing work done in some corners since we came in October, so I am curious to see the results of the re-asphalt. Apart from this, I think that we have to find a bit more of a direction with the bike this weekend and hopefully make the step we want.”

Raul Fernandez

Championship: 23rd

Points: 0

“I am really motivated to be here in Austin, Texas. We had a good race in Argentina, the whole team did a great job, and I am feeling better day by day on the bike. I think that this track will be interesting for us, so let’s see what we can do this weekend!”

Hervé Poncharal

Team Manager

“After the exciting MotoGP round in Termas de Río Hondo in Argentina, the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing team is excited to start a new weekend in Austin, Texas. We enjoy coming to the USA because the circuit and the facilities are amazing. We are also very eager to discover how the track has been resurfaced so everyone is curious to see how much it will improve the grip, and therefore the lap-times. Last year, we had a tough race here, but following the interesting races that both Raul and Remy had in Argentina, they should be ready to make another step, with the target to score some points. It would be a great result. As it is always the case during back-to-back races, the team will be very busy, but we are happy to be back here before heading to Europe.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:

APRILIA ARRIVES IN THE UNITED STATES FOR THE GP OF THE AMERICAS
 

AFTER ALEIX ESPARGARÓ’S HISTORIC VICTORY IN ARGENTINA AND WITH MAVERICK VIÑALES IMPROVING RAPIDLY, APRILIA TACKLES THE TEXAS ROUND WITH CONFIDENCE

IT’S TIME FOR ANOTHER DEMANDING CHALLENGE FOR THE 2022 RS-GP, WHICH HAS PROVEN TO BE A WINNING BIKE

Aprilia arrives in Texas, the venue this weekend for the Grand Prix of the Americas, in unprecedented great form. Fresh from the historic victory earned by Aleix Espargaró in Argentina and with Maverick Viñales back to battling for the top spots, the Aprilia Racing team is preparing for the fourth round of the season with confidence, despite the treacheries of the Circuit of the Americas, one of the most demanding on the calendar and recently partially resurfaced.

Thanks to their outstanding performance in the first three Grand Prix races, Aprilia is also leading in the overall rider standings with Aleix Espargaró at 45 points, whereas Maverick Viñales has now moved up to 13 points.

During the MotoGP weekend in Austin, the North America Talent Cup will also be making its début. This is the single-brand series part of the “Road to MotoGP” path which races with the Aprilia RS 250 SP2 bikes. After the success enjoyed on the national level with the Italian FMI Aprilia Sport Production Championship, the “small” 250 from Noale, designed to make rider growth easy and gradual, has now embarked overseas – a testament to Aprilia Racing’s growing commitment to grooming young talent.

ALEIX ESPARGARÓ

“These past few days have been very emotional for me and I was extremely happy to receive so much affection from the fans and the entire paddock after the exciting win at Termas de Rio Hondo. But now it’s already time to think about the Austin race. We are well aware that it will be one of the most complicated ones for us, because we struggled a lot last year, but we’ll try to take full advantage of this positive moment, continuing to have fun. Up to now, we’ve been competitive on three very different tracks and even in Indonesia in the wet, a condition that I have never been particularly crazy about, the bike was truly fast. We have been consistent and this is demonstrated by the fact that we are also in the lead in the championship, but we are keeping our feet firmly planted on the ground. The important thing is to continue this trend without making mistakes.”

MAVERICK VIÑALES

“Aleix’s victory was a huge confidence booster for the entire team and for me, because I got back to battling to the top positions. We knew that the race in Argentina would be very important for us. We were seeking confirmation after the settings changes we tried in Indonesia, and we found it. Now I feel like I’ve found a good base to work on to improve even further and I can’t wait to get back in the saddle. Plus, the Circuit of the Americas is one of my favourite tracks, where I’ve always been fast. That said, we’ll keep going with the same mentality. We are aware that there is still much to learn and in Austin we simply want to make another step forward in terms of me adapting to the bike, because that is the only way we’ll be able to grow and improve further.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Michelin:

A week after the Michelin Grand Prix of Argentina, and just over six months since the previous visit to the Circuit of The Americas, the Michelin team and the rest of the MotoGP™ paddock will be once again heading to Austin, TX for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.

The Circuit of The Americas, with its 11 right- and 9 left-hand corners, runs in an anti-clockwise direction, with parts of the track inspired by famous sections of iconic racetracks, including Hockenheim, Silverstone, Interlagos and Österreichring. These corners, together with the intimidating 40m (133ft) climb to Turn 1, a 1,200m (0.74 miles) straight and a very demanding track surface, all add up to one of the biggest challenges of the year for the riders, machines, and their Michelin tyres.

Since the previous race here, there has been some work carried out on certain parts of the track to eradicate the severe bumps that were much talked about by the riders. This should hopefully improve things considerably and may lead to faster lap times in 2022.

Another difference compared to last year will be the temperatures. In late September the average is above 30° C, but now it is back in its usual April slot, the average temperatures should be down around 25° C.

The MICHELIN Power Slick tyre allocation for CoTA has been chosen to cope with the expected demands that will be faced during each lap, and also those generated by the abrasive track surface. Available in Soft, Medium and Hard compounds, the three front tyre options will all be symmetric, while the three rear options will be asymmetric, with a harder right side to cope with the extra stresses created by the right-hand corners.

Although rain is unusual here, it doesn’t mean that it can’t happen, and MICHELIN Power Rain tyres will be available to give the riders confidence to push to the limit if any rain should make an appearance. Available in Soft and Medium compounds for both the front and rear, the rears will also feature an asymmetric design, with a harder right-hand-side, just like their slick counterparts.

Speaking about the CoTA race weekend, Piero Taramasso, Michelin Two-Wheel Motorsport Manager, said: “These two consecutive races in Termas de Rio Hondo and Austin are quite a logistical challenge for our team. However, we are always happy to make the trip across the Atlantic and to contribute to some entertaining races that we know the enthusiastic fans here will appreciate very much.

“We know that following the previous visit, some work has been done to the track to try and smooth out the bumps that caused problems for the riders last time. Now we will just need to wait and see if this has worked, and to find out what difference, if any, this might have made to the grip levels. Having said that, I’m sure our CoTA 22 allocation will give the riders the tyres they need to push their limits and to go all-out for the victory.”

The action will get underway on Friday 8 April with the first two Free Practice sessions, followed on Saturday with another two further Free Practice sessions and Qualifying 1 and 2 to decide grid positions for the race. The lights will go out to signal the start of the 20-lap race at 13:00 local time on Sunday 10 April.

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