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Apr 14, 2019

MotoGP World Championship: Race Results From Circuit Of The Americas (Updated)

Circuit of The Americas.

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Circuit of The Americas

Austin, Texas, USA

April 14, 2019

Race Results (all on Michelin tires):

1. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), 20 laps, Total Race Time 41:45.499

2. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), -0.462 second

3. Jack Miller, Australia (Ducati), -8.454 seconds

4. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati), -9.420

5. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Yamaha), -18.021

6. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Ducati), -21.476

7. Fabio Quartararo, France (Yamaha), -26.111

8. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM), -29.743

9. Francesco Bagnaia, Italy (Ducati), -30.608

10. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Honda), -31.011

11. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), -34.077, jump start/ride-through penalty

12. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Aprilia), -34.779

13. Johann Zarco, France (KTM), -42.458

14. Miguel Oliveira, Portugal (KTM), -44.272

15. Tito Rabat, Spain (Ducati), -44.623

16. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Ducati), -44.740

17. Joan Mir, Spain (Suzuki), -48.063, jump start/ride-through penalty

18. Hafizh Syahrin, Malaysia (KTM), -67.683

19. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Honda), -10 laps, DNF, mechanical

20. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda), -12 laps, DNF, crash

21. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Honda), -15 laps, DNF, crash

22. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), -15 laps, DNF, crash


World Championship Point Standings (after 3 of 19 races):

1. Dovizioso, 54 points

2. Rossi, 51

3. Rins, 49

4. Marquez, 45

5. Petrucci, 30

6. Miller, 29

7. Nakagami, 22

8. Crutchlow, 19

9. Pol Espargaro, 18

10. Quartararo, 17

11. Morbidelli, 16

12. Vinales, 14

13. Aleix Espargaro, 13

14. Bagnaia, 9

15. Mir, 8

16. TIE, Oliveira/Lorenzo, 7

18. Iannone, 6

19. Zarco, 5

20. Rabat, 1



More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:

Oliveira brings home points from tough Texas - Syahrin gathers more experience

Miguel Oliveira did a brave third MotoGP race of his career today to end up inside the points, while Hafizh Syahrin managed to finish demanding 20 laps, although the Circuit of the Americas didn’t occur as an easy playground for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 duo from the very beginning.

Following a rather difficult start, finding himself only in P20 after the first lap, Oliveira found a solid rhythm in order to make up several positions. The Portuguese Youngster grit his teeth to fight through to 14th at the chequered flag. Meanwhile, Malaysian star Syahrin struggled to get into grips with one of the most challenging tracks in the MotoGP calendar, but did well to complete the Grand Prix in P18.

Miguel Oliveira

Position: 14th

Championship: 16th

Points: 7

“For sure it was a difficult race, a very disappointing start of the race. I was not expecting to start this bad, but then we picked up the pace, riding good, I mean inside of what we predicted. We need to be happy about this result, because at the end, we finished where we wanted, which is inside the points. It is definitely a very difficult track to ride and to be in the points here, is very good. Now we go to Jerez, a track, we like a lot. The bike looks like it’s performing well there, so we can’t wait. We take many positives from this race, we learned and understood the bike more. My position on the bike needs to be a bit different, so we are working in this direction to make me feel more comfortable, so it’s definitely the time to look at the good things, we achieved this weekend.”


(Above) Hafizh Syahrin (55) leading Tito Rabat (53).

Hafizh Syahrin

Position: 18th

Championship: 21st

Points: -

“I’m honestly a bit disappointed, because we tried a different choice of tyre, but it seems it was not the right selection. Right from the beginning of the race, I felt a huge drop, I couldn’t stop the bike well enough, so I was just fighting with it. It was difficult to keep the pace and this took all my energy. I don’t know why this happened, but I hope we can come back in Jerez, the first race on European ground. I wish we find something there in order to have a good pace and close the gap to the front.”

Hervé Poncharal

Team Manager

“Overall it has been a tough weekend and we were not on the same level like in Argentina. We knew coming here wouldn’t be easy, but I have to say that Miguel - as usual - put his head down, kept calm and worked really well. He qualified ok and although his start was very poor, he recovered quite a few positions and he has been finding himself right behind Johann (Zarco) and they did the race at the same pace, following each other and it was quite interesting for Miguel to see how Johann was working, so I think he learned a few things, plus got another two points. Clearly, it was an interesting weekend, but the gap at the end, was quite big. Hafizh was a big disappointment, as we know his potential. Sometimes he goes two seconds quicker than the previous lap or the previous practice, so he is very up and down and we don’t understand how you can have such a big difference of lap time. Still we were quite confident he could have a strong race but although the start was a lot better than Miguel’s he just faded lap after lap. I hate to be last, but he was last and this is not a good position. The gap was huge, at the end of the race, we could see that he had nobody in front of him and the motivation was going down. There is still some work to do for him to understand better how to ride the bike and to be more consistent because more than the speed he needs consistency. It’s still early days in the season, only round three, but we really need to see Hafizh showing some progress and improvement, plus reducing the gap to his teammate. Let’s take the positives; we have done three races, we are clearly closing the gap to the guys in front, we are in a great group, which is very competitive and very exciting. Now we go back to Europe to a track we know. We will certainly get some upgrades from KTM and have a test after the Grand Prix on Monday, which all is very promising. We need to work, we need improvements and this is what’s going to happen in Jerez. Thanks to everyone in the team, in KTM MotoGP department to support us the way they do and I would like to congratulate Pol (Espargaro) for his incredible Qualifying and his really, really strong race, because you can’t complain about the package when you see his results. This is a good sign and this is the target we have to have in mind.”



More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:

ANDREA IANNONE FINISHES IN THE POINTS IN THE GP OF THE AMERICAS

A CRASH IN THE EARLY STAGES PUTS ALEIX ESPARGARÓ OUT OF THE RACE

NOW EVERYONE WILL BE HARD AT WORK FOR A DAY OF TESTING IN AUSTIN WHILE THE TEST TEAM IS BUSY IN JEREZ

Andrea Iannone brought home points in the GP of the Americas, finishing twelfth. After starting from the seventeenth spot on the grid, Andrea moved up through the ranks, thanks in part to a couple of crashes, reaching the top ten. In that stage, around the mid-race point, it seemed that Iannone would be able to move up even farther, but tyre wear in the final seven laps kept him from defending the result he had achieved. Andrea continued pushing hard, finishing twelfth to bring home championship points.

Aleix, with a harmless crash on the second lap, compromised his chances for a good placement which, given his pace and the overall standings, would certainly have been within his potential.

Austin confirms its status as a difficult track for the Italian team which, precisely for this reason, will stay here tomorrow for a day of testing, whereas on Wednesday and Thursday, the test team with Bradley Smith will be busy on the Jerez track. The growth of the RS-GP is the primary objective and both the team and the factory in Noale are working hard to achieve this goal.

ALEIX ESPARGARO'

"Given the way the race went today, it would have been a good chance to pick up some important points, but unfortunately, already in warm-up, the bike was not as consistent as it had been in the other sessions. I didn't feel good with the traction control already in the morning and in the race it was the same. I found myself in a high side when I opened up the throttle and we need to understand why. We need to improve the bike, so the tests tomorrow are important. We especially need to improve grip. Right now this is the primary goal and I hope we are able to take some steps forward."

ANDREA IANNONE

"The final position isn't bad, but more importantly, we added another notch to our belt in terms of growth, accumulating experience. My only disappointment is that I wasn’t able to maintain the pace in the last seven laps. The bike got twitchier and more difficult to ride. Without this drop in performance, we would have been able to make a play for the top ten and, what’s more, we would have reduced the distance behind the leaders. Right now, the most important thing is not the result. More than anything, we need to improve the gap behind the leaders."



More, from a press release issued by Mission Winnow Ducati:

GP of the Americas: Andrea Dovizioso 4th and back into the championship lead, sixth place for Danilo Petrucci. Ducati 1st in the Constructors standings

Andrea Dovizioso seized 4th place in the GP of the Americas at Austin (U.S.A.), reclaiming the championship lead after three rounds with 54 points in the standings. After qualifying in fifth row in 13th position, the Mission Winnow Ducati rider got off to a strong start and immediately recovered several positions. With a strong and consistent pace, the Italian rider then progressively cut the gap from Jack Miller, finishing the race just nine tenths of a second behind the Australian, third on the finish line with the Desmosedici GP 19 of the Pramac Racing Team.

Danilo Petrucci also enjoyed a solid comeback despite a difficult start from P8 and was able to progressively climb his way back through the field to claim sixth position half-way through the race. The Italian rider then increased the gap from the riders behind him and defended the position until the checkered flag. With 30 points, Petrucci is still fifth in the Riders standings.

After three rounds, Ducati leads the Constructors standings with 57 points while the Mission Winnow Ducati team leads the Team standings with 84 points.

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 4th

"I'm happy with this result, especially considering that I was 13th on the grid, even though if I had one half lap more to ride I would have probably finished on the podium. It's been a very tough race. Early on, I was struggling with the front and I didn't have the pace to stay with the leading group, but I managed to stay calm and collected. Lap after lap, I regained confidence and my rhythm in the final stages was very competitive, so much that I almost managed to catch Miller. We've also been lucky because there were some crashes, but those things happen when you ride on the limit. We're back on top of the Riders and Constructors standings, and my feeling with the bike has improved compared with last year, but it's not enough because there are many competitive rivals so we need to keep improving."

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 6th

"Finishing sixth, given all the issues we encountered during practice, can be considered a good result for us here in Texas. Clearly I want to do better, but we still took some important points, keeping fifth place in the standings. It's been a long, grueling race. At one point I was recovering ground on Dovizioso and Morbidelli and I even thought I could catch them, but the front locked a couple of times and I preferred not to take too many risks. At any rate, I'm happy. My team really did a fantastic job. This wasn't a friendly track for us, but I think we managed to obtain the best possible result today. Now we'll head to more favorable circuits and I can't wait to be back on track at Jerez and start the European leg of the season."

The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action at Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) for the fourth round of the MotoGP World Championship, scheduled for May 3-5.



More, from a press release issued by  Repsol Honda:

Repsol Honda Team leave difficult Austin weekend ready for European return

Both Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo leave the Americas GP pointless after a double DNF while fighting at the front.

A chilly, but dry, morning Warm Up session soon gave way to 39ºC track temperature as the MotoGP World Championship lined up for the 20-lap race. Leaving his braking late, pole-setter Marc Marquez led into and through Turn 1, steadily building his lead each lap. An error into Turn 12 on Lap 9 caused Marquez to lose the front of his RC213V, unable to restart his machine he was forced to retire. Marquez was unharmed in the fall.

Starting 11th, Jorge Lorenzo did his best to maintain his position in the opening laps. Lap 5 saw Lorenzo find his rhythm and commence his march forward, quickly making up several positions. Looking comfortable on his RC213V in tenth, Lorenzo was closing in on Bagnaia in ninth when he encountered a problem and was forced to retire. The issue was unrelated to the one suffered by Lorenzo on Saturday and HRC are investigating the issue.

The Gran Premio Red Bull de España at the iconic Jerez circuit, May 3 – 5, offers the Repsol Honda Team a chance to return to fighting at the front. Marquez and Lorenzo have taken 14 premier class podiums, including five wins, between them on their previous visits to the Spanish track.


(Above) Marc Marquez (93) leading Valentino Rossi (46) and Cal Crutchlow (35) early in the race.

Marc Marquez

DNF

“We have had six amazing years here but today I made a big mistake. When I arrived in the garage I said sorry to the team and now I’d like to say sorry to the fans because it was my mistake. It’s different to make a mistake fighting for fifth and fighting for the win, the level is there. We’re only nine points off the lead. It’s true, we made a mistake but we are human and this can happen. We need to learn from it and understand and come back stronger in Jerez.”

Jorge Lorenzo

DNF

“It has been a difficult weekend with the weather and everything. I didn’t get the best start but I was able to recover and then I started to make up some positions. Sadly we had an issue with the bike and I was forced to retire from the race. It was a different issue to yesterday. The positive is that in the race I was feeling quite good at a circuit where normally I have difficulty. Now we look to Jerez, a circuit I like and where we will hopefully be able to be stronger.”



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

ROSSI RIDES TO STUNNING SECOND IN CLOSE COTA CONTEST

Austin (Texas), 14th April 2019

GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS

RACE

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi delivered a strong podium result at the Grand Prix of The Americas today. Maverick Viñales showed fighting spirit, despite adversities along the way, to finish in 11th place.

2nd VALENTINO ROSSI +0.462 / 20 LAPS

11th MAVERICK VIÑALES +34.077 / 20 LAPS

A perfectly sunny race day at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) delivered nothing short of a sensational Grand Prix of The Americas. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi put his heart and soul into today‘s race and only just missed out on the victory, taking 2nd position. Maverick Viñales had an equally competitive race pace, but a ride through penalty after a jump start cost him valuable time and places. Still the Spaniard kept going, cutting through the rider pack all the way back up to 11th place.

Rossi rushed off the line, dashing towards the tight left first corner, just like he planned. He knew that if he wanted to challenge for the win today, he would have to push 100% right from the very start. He was doing a superb job to block Cal Crutchlow, whilst chasing Marc Márquez.

With 15 laps to go, The Doctor got a bit of breathing space as Crutchlow crashed out. At the time Márquez was almost 3s ahead of him, but the Italian never gave up. He searched for the perfect balance between keeping the pressure on and managing his tyres, and it paid off. Márquez crashed out with 12 laps to go, giving Yamaha the lead in the race.

The events also spurred on the chasing Álex Rins, but Rossi managed the gap until, with five laps to go, the battle for the victory was on. Rins came through a lap later. The veteran tried to retaliate, using a block pass, but it was unsuccessful and resulted in 0.5s gap. The number 46 rider was making a great attempt to undo the damage, inching closer, but he ran wide with two laps to go, meaning he had to do the work all over again. He wasn‘t giving up, though. In the last lap Rossi managed to make up a lot of time and was looking threatening behind Rins in the final sector, but ultimately he came just 0.462s short as they crossed the finish line.

Viñales held firm at the start of Round 3, defending his P6 going into turn 1. He battled with Andrea Dovizioso and crossed the line for the first time in seventh place. With 17 laps to go, Viñales had to let Franco Morbidelli past, and more bad news was on the horizon as he was given a ride through penalty for a jump start.

A moment of confusion lost him 4s and five places, as he unnecessarily took the long-lap penalty lane. He completed the ride through penalty in pit lane on the next lap, which moved him even further back, to 19th place.

Though down the order, the Spaniard wasn‘t out for the count. He soon flashed a red sector and started to climb up the ranking again. Whilst various riders retired from the race, he passed Hafizh Syahrin and found himself in P16, nearly back into the points and lapping more than 1s quicker than a group of nine riders ahead of him. He soon gained two more places, closed an almost 4s gap, took another two positions, closed a 5s gap, and overtook yet another rider to salvage an 11th place finish, 34.077s from first.

Today's results see Rossi climb to 2nd position in the championship standings with a 3-point gap to first. Viñales is now in 12th place, with a 40-point margin to the top. Yamaha is joint second in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP is also second in the team classifications.

The team will be back in action in three weeks' time, when the MotoGP paddock embarks upon the European leg of the championship, starting with the Spanish GP, held at the Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

"Today was a very mixed experience for the team, results-wise. Valentino really did all he could to get the victory. It's a shame - also for the team, but especially for him - that he just missed out. It was so close! Still, taking a second consecutive second place is very good, so we feel encouraged to keep up the good work. As so often in MotoGP, a small mistake can have a snowball effect and create a lot more trouble. After his jump start, Maverick lost a lot of time because of the ride through and the unnecessary long-lap lane. We can tell from his pace at the end of the race that he could have been a strong contender today. So, in the end there are some learning points after this experience, but I think one major positive that we can take away from this weekend is the overall bike performance. We've made another step and are looking forward to confirm the improvements at the next round in Jerez."

VALENTINO ROSSI

"I'm very sorry for missing out on the victory, because when I saw Márquez crash I said to myself 'Maybe I can do it', but after that Rins arrived. Sincerely, I pushed to the maximum, the race was very fast, I did one good lap after another, but in the end he was better than I was. I was riding very well, and I wasn't able to overtake him. It's a shame because I haven't won for a long time, but we are strong, and we will try again next time. On a positive note, I tried everything today, I rode a very good race and stayed in front for a long time. Riding on the limit, unfortunately I made some mistakes. Maybe if had done everything perfectly I could have tried to attack on the last lap again. So, mixed feelings: on the one side, I'm sorry about the victory, and on the other side it's a great result after a great weekend. I was strong and I rode a very good last lap, but I didn't want to do anything too crazy because 20 points are very important for the championship, which is still very open. It looks like we are strong this year and that the bike has improved, and these are the most important things, because maybe we can fight at the front many times this season."

MAVERICK VIÑALES

"I misunderstood the penalty a little, but anyway, besides the mistake, it was a good race weekend for us here. We showed a really good race pace and after the ride through I could easily ride in the 2'04s. This is just the way it is. We will have to try again in Jerez and be stronger there. I made a mistake at the start. I was starting really well all weekend, this afternoon I tried to do the same, but on the grid the bike got a bit hotter and the clutch engaged and the bike started running. It's a shame, because I felt really good during the race. I already knew there was a chance that I would get a penalty, and that's just the way it is. At first, I thought I had to do a long lap, but then I saw 'ride through' and thought 'OK, I have to do this'. The good thing was that the bike was working really well. We had a good set-up for the race. We need to keep working and find the best system for the start. The start was actually good, as in that I didn't lose any positions, and I tried to overtake some riders. Let's see what happens at the next races."



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

CRASH COSTS CRUTCHLOW PODIUM CHANCE IN TEXAS

Cal Crutchlow ensured another frustrating Sunday afternoon as he suffered an early fall at the Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas. The LCR Honda CASTROL rider looked poised for an assault on the podium places in Austin having started in third position on the grid after demonstrating impressive during qualifying.

The Briton had made a strong start to the race and was ahead in a front three along with pole-sitter Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi in the early stages. However, Crutchlow lost the front end of his RC213V on lap six when stalking Rossi and slid out to bring his race to a premature and disappointing end.

Cal Crutchlow – DNF

“Obviously I’m very disappointed with today’s result here at the Circuit of the Americas. It seemed that I got a good start and managed to be on the pace with the front guys, Marc had a little bit of a lead but I felt comfortable in the position I was in. Unfortunately I started to feel some issues with the turning of the bike, the front tyre was not giving me a great feeling and when I crashed I think I made a mistake because the engine was snapping on the braking. I locked the front in turn 11 going on to the back straight and it was the end of my race. It’s my first mistake of the year and I’m disappointed to make it here because we could have capitalised on some great points (in the championship), but we have to look forward to Jerez now which is another great circuit and we hope to do a better job there. I want to thank my team who produced a great bike all weekend and we’ll look to try and improve it in Jerez in two weeks’ time.”



More, from a press release issued by Automobili Lamborghini Pramac Racing:

#AmericasGP Race. Fantastic podium for Jack: P3 after a stunning race. Pecco clinched his first TOP 10 in MotoGP

A weekend that can't be forgotten. Jack Miller conquered a sensational podium finishing in third place after having been fighting for a long time for second position and Pecco Bagnaia was the protagonist of a very consistent race clinching ninth place and the first Top 10 in his MotoGP career.

Pramac Racing celebrates a spectacular Grand Prix of the Americas with the team protagonist on and off the circuit thanks to Automobili Lamborghini - title sponsor of the American round - which allowed riders and staff to drive fantastic Lamborghini Huracan and Urus.

With this result, Jack climbs to sixth place in the World Championship (29 points) while Bagnaia takes 7 points (9 in total, 14th place) that allow him to stay close to Quartararo (-8) for the "Rookies Championship".

Despite the unfortunate double 0 in Qatar, Pramac Racing (38 points) is now only 3 points behind Lcr Honda, the first Independent Team in the MotoGP standings.

P9 – Pecco Bagnaia

“We did a great job throughout the weekend on a track that is not exactly my favorite and that's why I'm very happy. We are constantly making progress and the direction is the right one. The important thing right now is to have some good races. We have won the first Top 10 and this gives us great confidence".

P3 – Jack Miller

"I am very happy with this result. The feeling with the bike was very good all weekend. I got off to a good start and this allowed me to be in the front group right away. I thank the team because they have done a great job not only this weekend but since the beginning of the season”.



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

TAKA CLAIMS ANOTHER TOP 10 IN TEXAS

LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami claimed his third straight top-10 finish of the 2019 season at the Grand Prix of the Americas on Sunday. After taking ninth in Qatar and seventh in Argentina, the Japanese star produced another gritty rider in Austin to eventually come home in tenth place at the Circuit of the Americas.

After struggling during qualifying, Nakagami started from 15th position on the grid and endured a difficult start as he was squeezed from his line at the first corner. But the 27-year-old kept his discipline and worked his way back through the field to ensure a good points return from a challenging weekend.

Takaaki Nakagami – 10th

“The start wasn’t too bad, after that I didn’t have the best line into turn one as I followed Jorge (Lorenzo), but he suddenly changed his line and I lost my position. So after that it wasn’t the best first lap and I really struggled to find grip and dropped another position. It took me a little bit of time to find the pace and overtake (Johann) Zarco and then our pace was not fantastic, but also not too bad. I just tried to be consistent and keep the pace and in front of us there was some trouble and some riders crashed and I saw that my position was improving. In the end I could have had P8 as Pol (Espargaro) and (Francisco) Bagnaia were only a second ahead, I needed one more lap but it wasn’t possible. Overall, it was a tough weekend for us but we finished in the top 10 which is not too bad. Now we are looking forward to Jerez where we did a really fantastic job in the winter test and I can’t wait to race there.”



More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:

BRILLIANT RINS WINS HIS FIRST MOTOGP RACE IN TEXAS

Alex Rins: 1st

Joan Mir: 17th (+ 48.063)

• Alex Rins keeps cool to execute perfect debut victory.

•Joan Mir left to recover following a jump start penalty.

•Team SUZUKI ECSTAR celebrate first win since 2016.

The Circuit of the Americas witnessed a drama-filled race 20 lap race, but Alex Rins immediately slotted into a Top 5 position and began to work his way up the field. The Spaniard felt confident with his GSX-RR, and with his usual smooth riding style he was able to remain cool while others around him fell foul of mistakes. Alex had already placed himself in a podium position, but was promoted to 2nd with 11 laps to go as Marquez crashed out.

Using excellent race craft, Rins planned a victory charge for the last few laps, before executing a great pass on Rossi to lead. Alex remained calm under pressure from the 9-time champion to earn his first ever MotoGP win.

Joan Mir, meanwhile, was feeling ready for the race after a positive morning warm-up session, but the rookie unfortunately jumped the start and was forced to complete a ride-through penalty whilst running in 13th place. Joan used the remainder of the race to learn and become further acquainted with his GSX-RR, finishing the GP in 17th place.

Today’s victory marks Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s first win since Silverstone 2016, and Alex Rins’ first win since Le Mans 2016, as well as being his debut MotoGP top step.

Ken Kawauchi - Technical Manager

“It was a great race. Our bike and Alex have both grown a lot in recent months, and we were finally able to show the results of these improvements. Joan made a small mistake today but he paid a big price. We’re looking forward to the next races with him because he’s learning fast. I want to thank Alex, the whole team, and everyone who is involved with this project on site and in Japan - today is a very happy day for Suzuki.”

Davide Brivio - Team Manager

“Today we are so happy - so pleased for the factory back in Japan and for all the team staff, because everybody has worked so hard. It’s wonderful for Alex, this is further proof of the way he’s matured and improved. When he began with us he suffered a lot with injuries, and since then he has worked so hard and this achievement is something he really deserves. Now I can say that our target this season was victory, and we’ve done it at the third race. Thanks to all the Suzuki staff and Alex. Joan had amazing pace today but unfortunately he jump-started and the penalty cost him a lot, we already talked a lot about this; but finally he has made another important step this weekend. I’m happy about his improvements.”

Alex Rins

“It’s incredible! I’m very happy to win the race here! In warm-up this morning we tried a different set-up and it didn’t work in the way we expected, so we reverted to the usual settings for the race and we won, it’s super! I’m lost for words! I managed the pressure well, even though I suffered a bit in the last laps. When I crossed the line all the feelings hit me at once. I just want to say a big thank you to all my team, everyone in Japan, and all the people around me!”

Joan Mir

“I’m quite disappointed about the jump start, the footage shows that I moved a fraction before the lights, but I didn’t gain anything from it. Nevertheless the penalty is a ride-through. Without this I could have had a strong result so it’s a real shame, but anyway, I’m happy with my pace and my feeling with the bike - both were good this weekend. I want to congratulate Alex because he did an amazing job! All the team will continue working to be even more competitive.”



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

STRONG 8TH POSITION FOR ESPARGARO AT RED BULL AMERICAS GRAND PRIX
MotoGP 2019 Round 3 of 19, Circuit of The Americas (USA) - RACE
After a landmark qualification run on Saturday and a best ever slot of 5th on the grid, Pol Espargaro scored his second top ten finish of the 2019 MotoGP season by crossing the line in 8th position at the Circuit of The Americas. The third round of the FIM World Championship season also saw all four KTM RC16s classify among the group of 18 race finishers.

After the storms and high winds of qualification on Saturday the Circuit of The Americas offered crystal clear blue skies and decent 20-degree temperatures for the 20 lap Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas affair and for what was the third round of nineteen on the 2019 calendar.

Pol Espargaro continued his positive trajectory this season so far by setting off from the second row of the grid and battling for a position in the top ten. The Spaniard was able to keep consistent across a bumpy and physically demanding surface and improved his race time from 2018 by sixteen seconds to capture 8th place. #44 was the first of the Red Bull KTM riders home and has now registered results of 12th, 10th and 8th in Qatar, Argentina and the USA.

Teammate Johann Zarco used the long and challenging COTA layout to gather more feeling and information on the KTM RC16 and ahead of possible upgrades to his technical package for the fourth Grand Prix of 2019 in three weeks time. The Frenchman was 13th for his highest ranking yet. Chasing the rear slick of the #5 machine was Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira who recovered from a bad start to again post points in what was just his third outing. Hafizh Syahrin struggled to 18th after a misjudgement with tyre selection.

Espargaro is 9th in the championship table and his efforts have helped KTM to rise to 5th in the Constructors standings.

Pol Espargaro: “My crew and all the team worked really hard this weekend in a very tough place for us. We took an unexpected result here in Texas and we were sixteen seconds faster than we were last year. This is a realistic position: around the top ten. We’ll go now to Jerez and a place we have been fast in the past maybe with some small improvements on the bike. I’m excited about what the guys are trying in the factory. I’m super-proud when I look at the results from last year or two years ago and what we are able to do now and what we are achieving. It also feels like the people in the paddock are also seeing our work. I have everything I need to keep pushing.”


Johann Zarco: “I managed my energy much better. It doesn't mean that I could go faster. I could manage the gap with the guys behind me and tried to push also at the end to save the 13th position. Some guys in front had problems and crashes but this is part of racing so I just tried to finish and to take what I could. I will try to be as natural as possible in Jerez and take as much information as I can. If small things give me that good way to improve feeling then I will be able to use my quality and I’ll be the first one happy.”

Miguel Oliveira: “For sure it was a difficult race. I was not expecting to start this bad but then we picked up the pace. We need to be happy about this result because in the end we finished where we wanted, which is inside the points. It is definitely a very difficult track to ride and to be in the points here is very good. Now we go to Jerez. The bike looks like it’s performing well there so we can’t wait. We’ll take many positives from this race because we learned and understood the bike more. My position needs to be a bit different, so we are working in this direction to make me feel more comfortable.”

Hafizh Syahrin: “I’m honestly a bit disappointed because we tried a different choice of tyre and it seems it was not the right selection. Right from the beginning of the race I felt a huge drop; I couldn’t stop the bike well enough so I was just fighting with it. It was difficult to keep the pace and this took all my energy. I hope we can come back in Jerez, the first race on European ground.”

Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “From Pol’s side the weekend was great for us. Austin is a demanding track for all bikes and riders so he performed very well in qualifying and took his rhythm in the race and finished a clear 8th. We can only be happy about that. With Johann we were struggling more and he still doesn't feel confident on the bike so we will work hard on that. We had three bikes in the points with Miguel scoring also. For us the top ten is always an achievement, so now we’ll look forward to getting to Europe and making another step in positions. I think it is great for the company to see that all the pushing and hard work in the winter can translate to results and this is very good. We’ll continue and by the end of the year we’ll see where we are with our package and riders.”

Moto2 & Moto3

Moto3 wowed the fans in Austin with a five-rider charge to the final corner of the last lap. Sterilgarda Max Racing Team’s Aron Canet had pulled out valuable tenths of a second into the decisive turn to clinch his first victory (and second rostrum finish) of the season. The Spaniard – celebrating his first win since 2017 and on the KTM RC250GP - headed an all-KTM top three with Jaume Masia fractions of a second ahead of Andrea Migno. Canet and Masia now share the championship lead in the standings. Red Bull KTM’s Jorge Martin took his second point-score of the season with 15th position in Moto2 while Brad Binder was forced out of the race early-on due to a technical issue.

Aron Canet: “I was thinking about my strategy and stayed relaxed for a long time when I reached second position. With two laps to go I pushed really hard, and to take this victory for the first time in two years feels fantastic.”

The Gran Premio Red Bull de España at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain will bring the MotoGP series to Europe for the first time in three weeks on the first weekend of May.

Next race: May 5, Circuito de Jerez, Gran Premio Red Bull de España (ESP)

Results Race MotoGP Circuit of The Americas 2019

1. Alex Rins (ESP), Suzuki 41:45.499
2. Valentino Rossi (ITA), Yamaha +0.462
3. Jack Miller (AUS), Ducati +8.454
4. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), Ducati +9.420
5. Franco Morbidelli (ITA), Yamaha +18.021
8. Pol Espargaro (ESP), Red Bull KTM +29.743
13. Johann Zarco (FRA), Red Bull KTM +42.458
14. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 +44.272
18. Hafizh Syahrin (MYS), Red Bull KTM Tech3 +1:07.683

Results Race Moto2 Circuit of The Americas 2019

1. Thomas Luthi (SUI) Kalex 39:11.508
2. Marcel Schrotter (GER) Kalex +2.532
3. Jorge Navarro (ESP) Speed Up +3.836
15. Jorge Martin (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +27.482
DNF. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Ajo

Results Race Moto3 Circuit of The Americas 2019

1. Aron Canet (ESP), KTM 36:06.761
2. Jaume Masia (ESP), KTM +0.909
3. Darryn Binder (RSA), KTM +1.077
DNF. Can Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo



More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team:

Magnificent Top 5 finish for Morbidelli and PETRONAS Yamaha SRT

The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team rider takes his best MotoGP result to date at the Circuit of The Americas, with Fabio Quartararo in seventh, achieving the top rookie position once again.

FRANCO MORBIDELLI +18.021

FABIO QUARTARARO +26.111

PETRONAS Yamaha SRT enjoyed a spectacular race at the Circuit of The Americas on Sunday, with both riders placing inside the top seven. Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo both claimed their best results in MotoGP so far, with the Italian in fifth and the Frenchman in seventh.

In conditions of complete contrast to those experienced yesterday, with the sun shining at Austin, Morbidelli rode solidly from start to finish. The Italian who started from tenth on the grid, immediately gained two places off the start line and was fifth by lap six - the position that he continued to hold until the chequered flag. It is the best result of his career in the premier class so far.

Quartararo was the top rookie at the GP of The Americas, as he had been at the previous round in Argentina. The young Frenchman, who turns twenty next Saturday, didn’t get off the line well, losing three places on the opening four laps, but impressively recovered to reach seventh by the end of the race.

After this superb result for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT in the USA, Fabio Quartararo returns to Europe 10th in the overall standings with 17 points and Franco Morbidelli in 11th, with 16 points.

The MotoGP World Championship will now travel to Europe for round four, which will take place on the 5th of May at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto, in Spain.

Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager

"I'm very happy with the work that we did here at COTA, and with the fifth and seventh place finishes. Also we finally completed the race with both riders in the points, after not being able to do that in Qatar or in Argentina; It's a very good feeling. If we look at the results, the Top six is our goal for Franco [Morbidelli] and this is going to be a boost for his motivation. With Fabio [Quartararo], our goal is the rookie of the year award, and now he is leading the standings for that, so this is a very good moment for us. Hopefully we can continue to look even higher up the order and continue on this positive path at Jerez."

#21 Franco Morbidelli

"It's been a great race here in Austin and I'm very happy. Yesterday's qualifying was unfortunate for us, but I knew that the potential was there. I was able to gain positions during the race and get my first Top 5 finish in the premier class. Unfortunately, I had to slow down towards the end of the race, but I feel that we are working very well, we are improving and we are getting closer to the top positions. Thanks to the team and to everyone who has been working with me. I feel great and I can't wait to get to Jerez."

#20 Fabio Quartararo

"It was a very positive race. I managed to make a good start and put in some good opening laps, staying within the Top ten. At first, Pol Espargaro, Petrucci and I got in each other's way and we lost the group ahead of us that contained Dovizioso and Morbidelli. However, the pace was very good and although on the last five laps I had to slow down, I'm very happy with the result. We've improved on the result from Argentina and I was the best rookie again. In addition, today I learned a lot from riding behind Petrucci. Whenever I'm on track with the best riders in the world, I'm learning. That's also very positive. I'm looking forward to more!"



More, from a press release issued by Michelin:

MICHELIN MASTERS THE BUMPS OF COTA AS RINS REIGNS IN AUSTIN

2019 03 GP Americas 00366

Michelin witnessed its third different race winner of 2019 from the third different manufacturer as Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) raced to his maiden MotoGP™ victory during today’s Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas at the Circuit of The Americas in Texas.

The Austin weekend had produced a mix of weather, with warm sunshine of Friday – which led to some fast lap-times – to a huge thunderstorm and torrential downpour on Saturday morning causing the cancellation of FP3, through to cooler and windier conditions on raceday. This mix did give the opportunity for all Michelin tyres to be tested, with a small window on a drying track at the start of FP4 for the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres to be given a debut at CoTA, unfortunately it was neither wet enough, or of a long enough duration to gather much valuable data as to how the rain tyres perform around the 5,513m American circuit. All this, added to the uneven and bumpy surface, made this a challenging weekend for Michelin, which was overcome in a rewarding and satisfying style.

With the cooler temperatures and the lack of track time due to the weather on Saturday, tyre choice was a major factor before today’s 20-lap race, with many teams and riders leaving the decision of which MICHELIN Power Slick tyres to fit to their respective machines right up until the last minute. These late decisions saw four of the six available compounds used today, with riders again choosing different configurations to give them the best performance from their machines.

As the race started, pole-setter Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was aiming for his seventh successive victory in Austin and looked on course for that, before a mistake from the reigning World Champion saw him crash out unharmed on lap-nine, leaving Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) to inherit the lead. The nine-time champion held that position for the next eight-laps, before Rins used the grip of his Michelin tyres to the full and overtook Rossi on the inside of a corner. The Yamaha man tried to fight back, but Rins held on to claim his first MotoGP victory and Suzuki’s first premier class win since 2016. Joining Rins and Rossi in the top-three was Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), a result which saw the Ducati racer also claim the title of First Independent Rider and complete a podium of three different manufacturers. The winning time from Rins of 41’45.499 also secured a new race duration record, beating the previous one by almost seven seconds.

Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) came home fourth, a result which took him to the top of the championship standings, Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) took fifth, with Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) in sixth. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was the top rookie with his seventh place finish, Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) claimed eighth, with Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) ninth. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) finished tenth, a result that meant five different manufacturers were in the top-10.

Michelin now travels back home to France ahead of MotoGP moving to Europe for an 11-race summer schedule on that continent, beginning with the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez on Sunday 5th May, where Michelin and the riders will face another fresh challenge on a circuit that has been predominantly resurfaced since last season’s race.

Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR:

“I’m very happy to have won here in Austin, this is now victories here in Moto3™, Moto2™ and MotoGP. It was an unbelievable race; I made no mistakes and the tyres performed well for me all race. I suffered a bit with the bumps, but I managed well and am happy with the victory. It was an important day for me and Suzuki.”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:

“This has been an important weekend for Michelin. On Friday the tyres produced some very fast times, but losing most of Saturday due to the weather was unfortunate, although we were able to get a small bit of data about the wet tyres for the first time here in Austin. Today’s race saw four of the six compounds used, three different manufacturers on the podium and a new race record by a considerable margin. We are very pleased with the performance this weekend as this is a very difficult track, we don’t have the chance to test here and it is very bumpy, making it demanding for all. The tyres performed well in all the conditions and before the race the choice was still for all six options, as they were all usable. We will now head back home after three tough, but rewarding races and we look forward to getting to grips with some European tracks over the coming weeks.”



More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

New Sheriff in town: Rins fights off Rossi for first win as Marquez suffers shock crash at COTA

The king falls, the ‘Doctor’ gets out-duelled and the young gun makes some history

Monday, 15 April 2019

Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) is now a MotoGP™ race winner after an incredible performance under pressure at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, able to escape the clutches of nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) to secure victory by just under half a second. After a crash out the lead for six-in-a-row COTA winner Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), the race was on for a new Sheriff to take the reins in Texas and it all came down to a duel between Rins and Rossi but the young gun held firm. Another did the same for third, with Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) taking his first podium in dry conditions as he came home as top Independent Team rider as well as top Ducati.

Marquez took the holeshot from pole and immediately set about trying to pull away, but Rossi was in hot pursuit with a small gap back to Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol). Miller and Rins made for pretty close company too, but the initial big mover was a stunning start for Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) as he gained seven places from a P13 grid position. Then there was the first bout of drama as Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) were both given ride through penalties for jump starts – and Crutchlow then crashed out. That left Rossi with a bit of a gap in second, but Miller and Rins were on the chase.

Suddenly, however, that fight for second became the fight for the win as there was a number 93 Repsol Honda on the floor. The reigning Champion and only man to have previously won in Texas slid out at Turn 12, tried to get back in the race but was ultimately unable to...leaving Rossi in the lead and Rins on the chase.

The ‘Doctor’ held firm as the laps ticked on, but it seemed the Suzuki behind had something in his pocket. Closing in and closing in, with four laps to go Rins finally chose his moment and made his move – getting past well but Rossi quick to try and fight back to no avail. Then, again, the number 46 made a lunge for it on the next lap but this time headed well wide, that seeing Rins able to pull out a bit more breathing space as he settled back into the lead.

As it transpired, another move wouldn’t come but the ‘Doctor’ threw everything at it. Cutting the gap on the final lap there were bitten fingernails as the Jaws music echoed around the track and Rossi closed in, but Rins remained steadfast. With just enough margin in the final sector it all came down to holding his nerve and that he did, crossing the line just under half a second clear – becoming the first man to win in Moto3™, Moto2™ and MotoGP™ at the Circuit of the Americas where, incidentally, he took his first ever Grand Prix win in 2013.

Rossi’s hard-pushed second place makes it twice in a row on the podium for him, though, and Miller’s visit to parc ferme is his first since his stunning debut premier class win at Assen in 2016. That’s also a key number for another two stats: it’s Suzuki’s first win since Silverstone 2016 and Rins made it the first time we’ve had a first time winner since that same season.

Behind that fight for the podium Dovizioso made good on his stellar start to limit some damage and take fourth, making the Qatar winner the new Championship leader. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT), who took on the number 04 initially, crossed the line in fifth for his best ever MotoGP™ result, ahead of Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati). Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was top rookie once again as he took his best yet of a P7 – improving one position on Argentina – and he’s now well ahead in the fight for Rookie of the Year. Eighth place went to Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) from his best ever KTM qualifying in P5, with Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) taking his best result in MotoGP™ so far in P9. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) rounded out the top ten as the sole finisher for Honda after a mechanical problem for Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team).

Viñales fought back to P11 after his ride through penalty, ahead of Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing).

That’s a wrap from COTA for 2019. Some history made and a shake up in the Championship sees us heading to Jerez with Dovi in the lead – and Rossi hot on his heels. Rins is now third and Marquez drops to fourth after his crash, but the four are all within nine points as Europe beckons so tune in for Jerez in three weeks for an all-time classic carnival in Spain.

Lüthi sublime in Austin to get back on the top step

Dynavolt Intact GP rider followed home by his teammate

Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) was back on the top step of the podium in the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, with the veteran Swiss rider sublime and pulling away from the field to stamp some serious authority on the race. It's his first win since Misano 2017 and he was joined on the podium by teammate Marcel Schrötter, with Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) in third to take his first podium in the intermediate class.

It was a dramatic start to Moto2™ in the Americas as Schrötter took the holeshot but went wide, allowing Alex Marquez and Tom Lüthi through into the lead. Drama hit straight away as Fabio Di Giannantonio (Beta Tools Speed Up), Joe Roberts (American Team KTM) and soon after Championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) came together with Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) – and the points leader crashed out. Back at the front it was then Marquez leading Lüthi, but as the race settled into a rhythm and the Swiss rider bode his time, a move was planned to perfection.

With 11 laps to go Lüthi struck and made it past, and the intermediate class veteran immediately set about making a gap. That left teammate Schrötter the man trying to catch Marquez, and the German put in the leg work to pull back the gap to the Spaniard and then strike. With 8 laps to go Schrötter got ahead, but the gap to Lüthi was already two and a half seconds…

Meanwhile, the gap back from Marquez to Navarro was diminishing and with Schrötter unable to break away, it was a trio by five laps to go – but Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) was homing in. Navarro attacked with four to go and couldn’t make it stick, and then tried again but ran well wide, dropping behind the Italian. But he fought back past the Italian and was ready to attack again on the next lap when Marquez headed wide, Marini got involved as well and it became a frantic three-way battle – allowing Mattia Pasini (Flexbox HP 40) to catch them and Navarro to escape. Pasini was then able to do the same, leaving Marquez vs Marini fighting it out the fifth – and Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) another to gain from a squabble and the Brit edged closer.

At the front though, it was a serene scene for Lüthi as he crossed the line well clear of the field for his first win since Misano 2017, with teammate Schrötter taking second from pole – and cutting the gap to Baldassarri at the top of the Championship. Navarro’s great escape gave him an impressive first podium in the intermediate class, with Pasini taking fourth on his ride as an injury replacement – and proving he’s as fast as ever.

Marquez was forced to settle for fifth, ahead of Marini and Lowes, who took sixth and seventh respectively. Veteran Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) took eighth just ahead of top rookie Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team), with the ‘Bestia’ just edging teammate Andrea Locatelli, who completed the top ten.

Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) got the better of teammate Tetsuta Nagashima for 11th, with Bo Bendsneyder (NTS RW Racing GP) taking P13. On his 200th start, Dominique Aegerter (MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward) scored the first points for the new MV Agusta chassis in P14, with rookie Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completing the points scorers.

His teammate Brad Binder retired with a mechanical problem and Iker Lecuona (American Team KTM) sadly joined the list of crashers to make it a tough home round for the American Team.

Baldassarri was invincible ahead of Texas, but Schrötter has closed in and Lüthi is on the comeback. What will Jerez bring? Find out in three weeks as we return to race in Europe.

Canet conquers COTA in classic Moto3™ encounter

Spaniard takes his first win since 2017 as Texas serves up a classic tussle

Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) took victory in the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas in style, emerging victorious from a last lap scrap to take his first win since Silverstone 2017 ahead of Bester Capital Dubai duo Jaume Masia and Andrea Migno. The rostrum sees Masia take the lead in the Championship despite being equal on points with Canet, and for Migno it saw him return to the podium for the first time since Le Mans last year.

Under bright and sunny skies in Texas, rookie Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) took the holeshot from the middle of the front row, but it didn’t take long for Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) to strike back and take over. Then began the classic freight train shuffle – with a few moments thrown in for good measure – before Tatsuki Suzuki was able to emerge free of the crowd and break away.

The contest for who would try and chase him down was won by Aron Canet, as the Spaniard was able to break away from the big group and set off after the Japanese rider. It seemed he was pulling the distance back, but it remained sizeable as Andrea Migno, Alonso Lopez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) tried to get in the mix.

A lap later Migno was on the tail of Canet, Rodrigo and Lopez got caught up in a fight, and Suzuki was still clear at the head of the race. Antonelli was leading a group of five fighting to complete the top five, but drama then struck twice in fairly swift succession.

First, two-time COTA winner Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) slid out and Jakub Kornfeil (Redox Prüstel GP) got caught up in it, sadly breaking his collarbone, before a couple of laps later there was heartbreak for Suzuki. At Turn 7 and still with a sizeable lead, the Japanese rider suddenly slid out of contention – leaving Migno just ahead of Canet as the duel for the win. There would be more than one twist left in the tale, however.

As the laps ticked on they began to all bunch together again and it became a five-rider fight to decide the win and podium with Canet in the lead. Despite his advantage coming on to the final lap though, it all came down to the end of the back straight, with the Spaniard initially swamped as the slipstream effect enabled those behind to chase him down – before he hit straight back on the brakes. Emerging from there in the lead, Canet never looked back as the squabble behind saw the Sterilgarda Max Racing Team machine able to pull clear of the chaos.

Migno and Rodrigo were joined by Masia and Antonelli in that fight for the podium, with the two Bester Capital Dubai machines certainly not giving each other any quarter. Coming in to the final corner though it was Masia who had managed to muscle his way through to second, and that stayed secure as a wobble for Migno just behind made his mission one of hanging on to the podium and defending it. The Italian ultimately gathered it together, just able to stay ahead of Rodrigo, and took completed his impressive ride through from P13 on the grid.

Rodrigo was forced to settle for fourth, ahead of a solid top five for polesitter Antonelli. Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) took P6 ahead of an impressive result for top rookie Fernandez, who was P7 at the flag. Eighth went to Alonso Lopez as the Spaniard faded slightly towards the end, with second rookie Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) just beating teammate Dennis Foggia at COTA and the duo completing the top ten.

Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia), Leopard Racing duo Marcos Ramirez and Lorenzo Dalla Porta, John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and early frontrunner Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) completed the points scorers.

Masia now leads the Championship but he’s equal on points with Canet after COTA. Next time out we race on home turf for both at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto. Who will emerge victorious? Moto3™ race again on the 5th May.

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