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What. A. Ride! 539 days later, Rins puts Honda back on top
Rins wins, Pecco crashes, Marini takes a debut podium and Quartararo returns to parc ferme after another shake up on Sunday
539 days and 24 Grands Prix have passed since Honda were last on top, and Alex Rins (LCR Honda Castrol) has brought that long wait to an end with a truly impressive ride to glory at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas. The number 42 was pressuring Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) at the front of the field until the number 1 slid out, and from there on out Rins was on a mission to just keep. that. gap. And that he did, getting the hammer down once Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) had made it past Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) and taking the flag with time in hand to celebrate. That brings Honda’s longest winless streak since they returned to the premier class in 1982 to an end, it’s the first LCR victory since 2018 and the team’s 100th podium in the Grand Prix paddock. It also means Rins has won a staggering 50% of the last six MotoGP™ races… and on two different bikes. How’s that for a one-man stat pack?
Behind Rins’ headline-grabber, Marini made his own as he held station in second once he was past Quartararo, and the Italian takes his first Grand Prix podium to follow up a first Tissot Sprint podium last weekend. For Quartararo, meanwhile, it’s a return to the rostrum for the first time since Malaysia last year as he turned the page following a tougher opening stint to 2023.
As the lights went out, it was the perfect start for Pecco as the Italian took the holeshot, with Rins in hot pursuit. There was drama on Lap 1 for others though as the Ducatis of Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) and Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) crashed out, the latter losing the front and then collecting a hapless number 73. Then more drama as Aprilia Captain Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) also fell victim to an issue, reportedly after an issue with his holeshot device.
In the meantime, Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) has come flying through the field to put himself in third place from 10th on the grid. Quartararo was hot on the tail of the Aussie too as Marini sat just inside the top five.
Bagnaia was putting on the pressure early on as he attempted to stretch out the field, but Rins wasn’t having any of it as the Spaniard latched himself onto the back of the factory Ducati. Rins, in return, piled the pressure on the number 1… and Bagnaia did, indeed, slide out of the lead. Now Rins was in a race against himself and the couple of seconds he had in hand, with some history on the line just waiting to be made.
Meanwhile, with 14 laps to go Miller had crashed out, rider ok, and that put fast-starting Quartararo up into second once Rins was the lone star in the lead. Marini was shadowing Quartararo’s every move though, and with 3.5s to the battle for 4th behind, the duo were putting the hammer down in hopes of catching the LCR Honda man out front.
With the laps ticking away and the gap not coming down, Marini decided it was time to make a move on the flying Frenchman and got past, then able to stay ahead and solely start to edge away.. With five to go, the Italian had just under a second in his back pocket and that second place was his barring any drama.
He couldn’t catch Rins, however, and the LCR rider had time to celebrate over the line as he took yet another impressive win. He doesn’t always win – although lately he has done half of the time – but when he does, it’s usually a highly notable day at the office and deserves a chapeau, this time cowboy-styled.
Marini brought home his Ducati for second and a first Grand Prix podium in the MotoGP™ class, with Quartararo snatching his first podium of 2023 in third as his focus switched to fending off fourth in the latter stages.
That fight was won by Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) as he stretched away from Miguel Oliveira (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team) despite plummeting down the order at the start, with Championship leader Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) taking sixth. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) crashed out of that fight, rider ok and rejoining but taking three points at the back.
Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing), Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) were next up, with Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) completing the top ten and taking his first rookie top ten in the process.
The Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas did not disappoint as MotoGP™ leaves the USA after another shuffle, but it remains Bezzecchi in the points lead and Bagnaia second. Now get ready for more action at the Gran Premio MotoGP™ Guru by Gryfyn de España in two weeks!
ASTONISHING VICTORY FOR ALEX RINS
AT THE CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS
LCR Honda CASTROL rider Alex Rins won on American soil after a masterful race.
Starting from the second spot of the grid and with yesterday’s Sprint podium in his pocket, Rins made a perfect start, pushed and fought unceasingly for the first position with Bagnaia, and after a Pecco’s mistake, Rins led until the chequered flag opening a gap and imposing a tremendous pace. He just did a perfect race.
Crossing the finish line as the winner, Rins has made history with LCR. The Spaniard’s victory has been the 100th podium of the squad since 1996 until today, and the last time the team won was back in 2018 (Grand Prix of Argentina, with British Cal Crutchlow). Moreover, it’s been a significant result for Honda: the last victory of the Japanese brand was in 2021 (Misano). At LCR Honda CASTROL, we are over the moon and enjoying this unique moment.
Alex Rins, 1st
“The race was amazing. I’m so happy; it’s a great achievement. We put some good lap times together, and the tyres were there. It was quite a good race, and I’m happy because the pace was faster than last year, and the bike is more or less the same, so let’s keep going. Many thanks to the team, my family, the sponsors, and everybody supporting us”.
Bagnaia is forced to retire in the Americas GP at Austin after crashing out while in the lead. Eleventh Pirro
Luca Marini finishes second on the podium with the Desmosedici GP of the VR46 Racing Team
The GP of the Americas, the third round of the 2023 MotoGP season held this afternoon at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, had an unfortunate ending for Francesco Bagnaia, who had to retire after crashing out while in the lead.
After dominating Saturday by first taking the pole position and then winning the Sprint race, Pecco started as the big favourite for Sunday’s GP, and he was quick to confirm expectations by immediately taking the lead after the race start. Unfortunately, as happened to many of his rivals (eight in total today’s crashes), Bagnaia also suffered a tumble, which ended his race early.
Michele Pirro, Enea Bastianini’s replacement in Austin, managed not to be betrayed by the pitfalls of the Texan track and closed the race eleventh, just a few seconds from the top ten. On the podium was the Desmosedici GP of Luca Marini (VR46 Racing Team), who crossed the line in second place.
After the GP of the Americas, Bagnaia is still second in the overall standings, 11 points behind leader Bezzecchi (VR46 Racing Team), while Ducati is first in the constructors’ standings.
Michele Pirro (#51, Ducati Lenovo Team) – 11th
“Finishing this race was very important for both the team and me, so I tried to be cautious and not take too many risks. Compared to the Sprint race, I found myself more in trouble in the first few laps: we made a change to the bike that we didn’t have time to try in the warm-up and that, in the end, didn’t allow me to stay hooked to the top ten in the race. In any case, it went well. We finished 11th and also got some points. I am very sorry for Pecco, but I am sure he will make up for it soon in the next Grands Prix. Thanks to the whole team for the great work these days.”
Francesco Bagnaia (#1, Ducati Lenovo Team) – Retired
“For the second weekend in a row, I crashed: I can’t give myself an explanation, making it even harder to accept. I made a mistake, but at the moment, I don’t understand what it was. It was a very strange fall, and now I will ask my team to analyze the data well to understand what happened. I know the Championship is still very long, but we have thrown away 45 points in the last two GPs, and it is definitely not the best.”
The Ducati Lenovo Team will be back on track in Jerez de la Frontera, from 28th-30th April, for the Spanish GP, the fourth round of the season.
GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS
The Circuit of the Americas took no prisoners in this afternoon‘s MotoGP race. The 20-lap Grand Prix of The Americas saw many riders make costly mistakes, but Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo remained faultless and rallied to a superb third place. Franco Morbidelli also reaped fruits from the tricky race and took solid points thanks to an eighth-place finish.
LOCAL TIME: 14:00 GMT-5
AIR TEMPERATURE: 21°C
TRACK TEMPERATURE: 41°C
WEATHER: SUNNY / HUMIDITY 32%
MORE CIRCUIT INFO
+4.936 / 20 LAPS
+20.399 / 20 LAPS
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo bounced back from a disappointing Sprint with a Superman performance in the Grand Prix of The Americas MotoGP Race. He raised his game to another level to take third place, his first podium of the season. Franco Morbidelli had a lonely but fruitful ride at the Circuit of The Americas, holding eighth position across the finish line.
Quartararo had another great start from seventh on the grid and was again in fourth place after the opening lap. Despite battling with Luca Marini, the Yamaha man was able to break away. He then put pressure on Jack Miller in third position.
Both Miller and Francesco Bagnaia soon crashed out of the race, moving El Diablo up to second place. But Marini was not letting the Frenchman keep it without a fight. Quartararo tried to make his M1 as wide as possible but in the end had to settle for third. He concentrated on finishing the race without mistakes and crossed the line 4.936s from first.
Morbidelli started from fourteenth and, manoeuvring skillfully in the busy midpack, ended the opening lap in 11th place. With multiple riders crashing out, some of them ahead of the Italian, Morbido found himself in eighth position by lap 11.
The race became a lonely experience for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider, but he still needed to stay 100% focused to secure the eight points in hand. He kept pushing and took the chequered flag in eighth place, 20.399s from the race leader.
Today‘s results see Quartararo climb up to 7th in the overall standings with now 34 points. Morbidelli is in 10th place with 29 points. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team move to 4th place in the team championship with 63 points, and Yamaha are in fifth in the constructor‘s championship with 43 points.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will have one week off before they start Round 4, the Gran Premio MotoGP de España, held at the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto.
We got our first podium of the season today! Fabio always gives 100%, but today he gave 10% more, if possible. He rode a smart race: aggressive at the start and clever towards the end. It’s great to see him back on the podium. It’s a well-deserved reward for him and the team after all the hard work. Franco Morbidelli also made a good step compared to yesterday. Though there are still areas to improve, he was able to recover ground in the first lap and he completed the race with solid points. All in all, we leave Austin with a morale boost, and now we are looking forward to starting the European leg of the season in two weeks‘ time.
It was really tough. I was struggling, but I had to fight hard on the first laps because the podium wouldn’t be possible if I lost positions in the opening stages. I did my best, and I’m really happy because I’m coming back after a few really tough races. You know, the team works so hard, and they try to keep me calm – that’s not an easy job. It feels good to be back in parc fermé, and hopefully more of these visits will be coming.
This was definitely a better race and better performance than yesterday. The starting position didn’t help at all. We lost our chances on Friday by not getting directly into Q2, and we started from too far behind. We worked a lot to climb our way up. It’s nice that we were able to have a decent performance in qualifying and in today’s Race. We need to take this eighth place, and we need to take the good improvements and the data we have gathered here. We will arrive in Jerez nice and sharp and ready to battle.
Benefits found at USA MotoGP™ as Red Bull KTM finish progressive Americas trip
MotoGP 2023 – Round 3 of 21, Circuit of the Americas – Race
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing had good reason to view the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas with strong cause for optimism considering the increased competitiveness and continued progression with the current RC16 motorcycle. Jack Miller was holding a podium position at COTA until a mid-race slip while Brad Binder was also among the fastest on track in Texas until he also had to recover from an error and still made the flag in 13th place.
Jack Miller shows podium pace and potential but falls out of the running at mid-race distance
Brad Binder suffers a slow speed tumble at Turn 15 while fighting for the top five. The South African remounts for 3 points in 13th.
Pedro Acosta wins a thrilling Moto2™ duel for his second victory of the year
Top five for Daniel Holgado in Moto3™ as the Spaniard continues to lead the championship
The stifling heat of COTA on Saturday had blown away in a stiff breeze to be replaced by sunshine and colder temperatures for the Grand Prix distances on Sunday. Jack Miller and Brad Binder throttled their KTM RC16s from the fourth row of the grid and for the 20-lap distance and it was Miller who made the sharper start around the long 20-corner layout.
Jack was holding a clear 3rd position when he lost control through the chicane and slid out of the reckoning at mid-race distance. Binder was making progress from the depths of the top ten as the group disputing positions for the top five began to close up and narrow. Brad spun out through Turn 15 only a few laps after Miller had departed the race. He was able to pick up the bike and rally to 13th for 3 valuable points.
After three of 21 rounds, Binder is 9th in the championship standings while Miller is close in 12th. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing will be able to go for trophies again at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto for the Gran Premio MotoGP Guru by Gryfyn de España in two weeks.
Brad Binder, 13th: “The whole weekend here in Austin has been a lot more positive than we might have expected beforehand, based-off our experiences here in the last years. I wasn’t super-happy yesterday but I managed 5th which was fantastic. Today I had high hopes but unfortunately I switched my line going into Turn 1 at the start and it was a big mistake on my part. I ended up getting caught in the chaos on the first lap. I tried my best. I struggled with the front tire up until a few laps before I crashed. At that moment I was confident and was started to push. Then it just snapped away from me on one of the little left-handers. Luckily, I was able to remount and we still got three points. As frustrating as today was we are not walking away empty-handed. For me it was also a lesson, especially from my mistake at the start. At Jerez we will go a hell-of-a-lot better.”
Jack Miller, DNF: “Unfortunate one. I felt really good from the get-go. I made a decent start, felt comfortable and was settled into the race. I swapped a map and then she let go of me. I was really trying to manage the tires and I felt we had a great chance of being there until the end. The positive part was the speed and how we were up there with the guys. We’ll take that from the weekend. We’ll learn from the negatives and go towards Jerez with a clean mind.”
Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “A tough Sunday. We cannot blame our riders today because many were on the limit with the front tires and we saw many crashes. The good part is that both riders felt good on the bike and we know we can do much better than this result sheet. Jack was on for the podium for half the race and then went down in a corner where he hadn’t had any warning the whole weekend. That’s racing; everybody is on the limit. Brad had good comments. He got stuck in the first corner and ran into some moments with other riders going down. At one point he was the fastest rider on track. We have some signs from this grand prix and that’s why we are looking forward to Jerez now.”
Results MotoGPRed Bull Grand Prix of the Americas
1. Alex Rins (ESP) Honda 41:14.649
2. Luca Marini (ITA) Ducati +3.498
3. Fabio Quartararo (FRA) Yamaha +4.936
13. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +1:23.012
DNF. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
World championship standings MotoGP
1. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) Ducati, 64 points
2. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) Ducati, 53
3. Alex Rins (ESP) Honda, 47
9. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 30
12. Jack Miller (AUS) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 26