Round 3: Circuit of the Americas
Story and Photos by Kurt Bauer/dirtbauer.com
AUSTIN, TX, APR. 10, 2016
The Circuit of the Americas is one of the most varied on the GP circuit, with a mix of fast straights and tight hairpin turns. It was designed by well-known German architect and circuit designer Hermann Tilke. The driving direction is counterclockwise, and the course has a total of 20 corners, with nine right turns and 11 left turns.
Marc Marquez is usually the man to beat in MotoGP, but even more so in the United States. He has won at the world-famous track in Speedway, Indiana – also known as “The Brickyard” – in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and he has also garnered a victory at Laguna Seca, in 2013. Marquez was the winner at the inaugural event at COTA and was looking for his fourth straight win in Texas.
The day started out overcast, with just a slight chance of rain.
The first race of the day was the Moto 3 class, for 250cc single-cylinder DOHC four-strokes with twin electronic fuel injection. Romano Fenati took the win, ahead of Sam Lowes. There were a few crashes on the tricky uphill turn one.
Moto 2 was up next, and it is always a competitive race. There would be 28 bikes competing on the 3.4-mile racetrack. It looked like it could possibly rain, but it just remained overcast.
Alex Rins led from the pole and was able to hold off a hard-charging Sam Lowes as the duo pulled away from third-place rider Johann Zarco.
The sun came back out for the start of the MotoGP race, as things started to heat up.
Off the line and up the big hill to turn one, it was close, with Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Rossi skirmishing. Marquez led the first lap, but Andrea Dovizioso was looking to take the lead after turn one. However, Marquez held on to the lead.
Rossi then crashed out in turn two with a possible mechanical.
The huge crowd favorite had the Rossi fans in disbelief. Lorenzo tried to chase down Marquez, but the Spaniard, on his Honda, was on his way to his fourth consecutive win at COTA.
Going into turn one, Dani Pedrosa came in a bit hot and ended up taking out Dovizioso. Pedrosa was able to remount and finish the race, but Dovizioso was done for the day. The mostly American crowd was not happy with Pedrosa’s actions, as they remember Pedrosa taking out his American teammate at the time, Nicky Hayden, which nearly cost Hayden the World Championship.
Andrea Iannone took the final podium spot in third, ahead of Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales.
By winning his with fourth consecutive GP race at the Circuit of the Americas, Marquez remains unbeaten in the United States. Valentino Rossi crashed out early on in turn two, leaving the huge crowd in utter disbelief; you could hear a big gasp from the huge following of Rossi fans.
Circuit of the Americas
Results: April 10, 2016 (Round 3 of 18)
MOTOGP: 1. Marc Marquez (Hon); 2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yam); 3. Andrea Iannone (Duc); 4. Maverick Vinales (Suz); 5. Aleix Espargaro (Suz); 6. Scott Redding (Duc); 7. Pol Espargaro (Yam); 8. Michele Pirro (Duc); 9. Hector Barbera (Duc); 10. Stefan Bradl (Apr).
MOTO 2: 1. Alex Rins; 2. Sam Lowes; 3. Johann Zarco; 4. Dominique Aegerter; 5. Jonas Folger; 6. Simone Corsi; 7. Thomas Luthi; 8. Xavier Simeon; 9. Julian Simon; 10. Marcel Schrotter.
MOTO 3: 1. Romano Fenati; 2. Jorge Navarro; 3. Brad Binder; 4. Phillip Oettl; 5. Andrea Locatelli.