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.”
“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!”
“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.”
GP of the Americas - Race Classification:
1. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 41'45.499
2. Valentino ROSSI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +0.462
3. Jack MILLER Pramac Racing +8.454
4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Mission Winnow Ducati +9.420
5. Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT +18.021
6. Danilo PETRUCCI Mission Winnow Ducati +21.476
7. Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT +26.111
8. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +29.743
9. Francesco BAGNAIA Pramac Racing +30.608
10. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU +31.011
11. Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +34.077
12. Andrea IANNONE Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +34.779
13. Johann ZARCO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +42.458
14. Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +44.272
15. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing +44.623
16. Karel ABRAHAM Reale Avintia Racing +44.740
17. Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +48.063
18. Hafizh SYAHRIN Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +1'07.683
99 Jorge LORENZO Repsol Honda Team
93 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team
35 Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL
41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
MotoGP Championship Standings:
1. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 54
2. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 51
3. Alex RINS Suzuki 49
4. Marc MARQUEZ Honda 45
5. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 30
6. Jack MILLER Ducati 29
7. Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 22
8. Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 19
9. Pol ESPARGARO KTM 18
10. Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 17
11. Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 16
12. Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 14
13. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 13
14. Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 9
15. Joan MIR Suzuki 8
16. Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 7
17. Jorge LORENZO Honda 7
18. Andrea IANNONE Aprilia 6
19. Johann ZARCO KTM 5
20. Tito RABAT Ducati 1
21. Hafizh SYAHRIN KTM
22. Karel ABRAHAM Ducati
Monday, 15 April 2019 11:25 Published in Rider and Team Releases
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.
Monday, 15 April 2019 11:22 Published in Rider and Team Releases
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.
“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.”
“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.”
Monday, 15 April 2019 11:18 Published in Rider and Team Releases
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.
Monday, 15 April 2019 11:14 Published in Rider and Team Releases