Perfect conditions greeted riders for the much-anticipated inaugural MotoGP race at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas, where Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez made history by becoming the youngest race winner ever in the premier class. The rookie outpaced his teammate, Dani Pedrosa, by 1.5 seconds at the checkers, but the battle for lead position was heated between the two riders throughout. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo rounds out the podium in third, marking his 100th rostrum appearance in the premier class.
Marquez and Pedrosa were fast off the start, with Pedrosa claiming the early lead ahead of LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl. Marquez settled into third, but was able to find a line past Bradl within the first lap. Once in second, Marquez clung to Pedrosa’s rear tire and remained there for 12 laps as the two stretched a gap on the field, leaving Lorenzo well over three seconds behind at points during the race. Marquez made a seamless pass with nine laps remaining, taking an inside line on Pedrosa through the chicane and held the lead to the finish. Pedrosa stayed well within reach of retaliation for a number of laps, but was unable to make the move.
“After taking my first podium in Qatar I was very happy, but I am even more so today after my first win," said Marquez. "It went better than I expected and I am very grateful to the team for their efforts over the preseason; we have worked very hard and, without this, the victory would not have been possible. The race was very intense and physical, as I followed Dani for many laps and then decided to launch an attack and try to open a gap with ten laps to go. I could not pull the gap I wanted as some problems with the front emerged that we’d experienced throughout the weekend. Despite all this, we were able to take the victory."
Jorge Lorenzo (99) ran a lonely race to finish third at CoTA.
Lorenzo rode a lonely race in third, settling in early and unchallenged by either his factory Yamaha teammate or the satellite riders.
"Yesterday we were so far from Marc and Dani but this morning in the warm up we found something," said Lorenzo. "The hairpin corners we normally take in first gear we made in second so it improved a lot the feeling and the acceleration, but it was not enough. Just a little bit more, maybe two tenths quicker and I could have fought with Dani and Marc. Today third position was the best we could do. I want to congratulate Cal who didn't give up until the end and also Marc, he’s the youngest rider in history to win a Grand Prix; he is a phenomenon."
Cal Crutchlow of Monster Yamaha Tech 3, on the other hand, fought hard for his fourth-place finish, trading spots a number of times with Bradl and Lorenzo’s teammate, Valentino Rossi. Crutchlow was fifth off the start and was strong there for a number of laps. He ran wide off track at one point and fell between Rossi and Go & Fun Honda’s Alvaro Bautista, who were trading punches in the battle for sixth. The British rider pushed past in the following laps and got back to Bradl, finally making the move into fourth with 13 laps remaining in competition.
Bradl ended the day in fifth, followed by Rossi in sixth. The Doctor struggled with braking issues during practice and qualifying earlier in the weekend, but came out ahead in the drawn-out fight for sixth with Bautista. The Go & Fun rider ended in eighth, finally losing ground to Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso in the latter half of the race. Dovi’s teammate, Nicky Hayden, grabbed ninth and Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone rounded out the top-10.
Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro led the CRT category once again, taking 11th ahead of prototype riders Bradley Smith of Tech 3 Yamaha and Ben Spies of Ignite Pramac Racing in 12th and 13th respectively.
NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards had terrible luck early in the race, with a mechanical issue forcing the Texan to retire. Wild card entry, Blake Young of Attack Performance Racing kept in competition to the finish, finishing 21st.
Marquez is now tied with Lorenzo for the overall points lead at 41. Pedrosa sits third, with 33 points and Rossi holds to fourth.
MotoGP Circuit of the Americas Results 2013:
Marc Marquez is now the youngest rider to ever win a premier class race.
1. Marc Marquez (Honda)
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
3. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha)
4. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha)
5. Stefan Bradl (Honda)
6. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati)
8. Alvaro Bautista (Honda)
9. Nicky Hayden (Ducati)
10. Andrea Iannone (Ducati)
11. Aleix Espargaro (ART)
12. Bradley Smith (Yamaha)
13. Ben Spies (Ducati)
14. Randy de Puniet (ART)
15. Yonny Hernandez (ART)
16. Michael Laverty (PBM)
17. Hiroshi Aoyama (FTR)
18. Hector Barbera (FTR)
19. Claudio Corti (FTR-Kawasaki)
20. Bryan Staring (FTR-Honda)
21. Blake Young (APR)
MotoGP Championship Points 2013:
1. Marc Marquez, 41
2. Jorge Lorenzo, 41
3. Dani Pedrosa, 33
4. Valentino Rossi, 30
5. Cal Crutchlow, 24
6. Alvaro Bautista, 18
7. Andrea Dovizioso, 18
8. Nicky Hayden, 15
9. Andrea Iannone, 13
10. Stefan Bradl, 11