Danny Kent took one of the most dominant victories in Moto3 history at the Circuit of the Americas to take the early championship lead. The Briton was untouchable from the moment he climbed to the front of the leading group early on and eventually beat rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo by 8.5s despite cantering through the final couple of laps.
Overnight rain left damp patches around the circuit and Kent took an understandably cautious approach in the opening laps as Miguel Oliveira made the running. The Portuguese rider only led as far as the first corner on lap four though as the increasingly confident Kent eased past on the brakes into the uphill hairpin. The Leopard Racing rider didn’t break away initially but as Oliveira fell into the clutches of Jorge Navarro and several other pursuers, the tow was soon lost. By half distance, the gap was already in excess of five seconds and there was no stopping Kent from that point on as the 21 year old eased to his third career victory.
The two remaining podium positions were much less clear cut though as the traditional bunch scrap in the lightweight class became an eight-man squabble for second place. Navarro took himself out of contention with a crash at turn eleven, the Spaniard following Francesco Bagnaia off the road, while Miguel Oliveira slid out of second with eight laps remaining, losing the front end of his KTM through the esses.
Through all the mayhem, the experienced heads of Alexis Masbou and Efren Vazquez ghosted to the front of the group but the two oldest riders in the field were outshone by the youngest as Fabio Quartararo snatched second, the 15 year old outbraking the pair into turn thirteen on the last lap. Vazquez brought his Honda home in third to secure a double-rostrum for Leopard Racing but Masbou tumbled at the final corner, falling to sixteenth and surrendering the championship lead in the process.
Enea Bastianini backed up his Qatar podium with fourth in Texas while Brad Binder took fifth on the first of the KTMs. John McPhee took sixth while Andrea Locatelli edged out compatriot Romano Fenati for seventh. Isaac Vinales was ninth in the end with Karel Hanika rounding out the top ten.
Moto3 Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas: Race Result (18 Laps)
|1||52. Danny Kent||Honda||Leopard Racing||41:32.287|
|2||20. Fabio Quartararo||Honda||Estrella Galicia 0,0||+8.532|
|3||7. Efren Vazquez||Honda||Leopard Racing||+8.652|
|4||33. Enea Bastianini||Honda||Junior Team Gresini Moto3||+8.811|
|5||41. Brad Binder||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||+9.556|
|6||17. John McPhee||Honda||Saxoprint-RTG||+13.869|
|7||55. Andrea Locatelli||Honda||Junior Team Gresini Moto3||+20.442|
|8||5. Romano Fenati||KTM||Sky Racing Team VR46||+20.611|
|9||32. Isaac Vinales||Husqvarna||Husqvarna Factory Laglisse||+20.863|
|10||98. Karel Hanika||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||+20.913|
|11||84. Jakub Kornfeil||KTM||Drive M7 SIC Racing Team||+21.249|
|12||16. Andrea Migno||KTM||Sky Racing Team VR46||+23.725|
|13||65. Philipp Oettl||KTM||Schedl GP Racing||+32.218|
|14||31. Niklas Ajo||KTM||RBA Racing Team||+36.702|
|15||12. Matteo Ferrari||Mahindra||San Carlo Team Italia||+37.283|
|16||10. Alexis Masbou||Honda||Saxoprint-RTG||+47.027|
|17||6. Maria Herrera||Husqvarna||Husqvarna Factory Laglisse||+59.257|
|18||2. Remy Gardner||Mahindra||CIP||+1:03.748|
|19||91. Gabriel Rodrigo||KTM||RBA Racing Team||+1:04.611|
|20||63. Zulfahmi Khairuddin||KTM||Drive M7 SIC Racing Team||+1:16.968|
|21||19. Alessandro Tonucci||Mahindra||Outox Reset Drink Team||+1:27.397|
|22||22. Ana Carrasco||KTM||RBA Racing Team||+1:40.409|
|23||23. Niccolo Antonelli||Honda||Ongetta-Rivacold||+1:43.841|
|24||29. Stefano Manzi||Mahindra||San Carlo Team Italia||+1:46.105|
|25||11. Livio Loi||Honda||RW Racing GP||+1 Lap|
|NC||24. Tatsuki Suzuki||Mahindra||CIP||+1 Lap|
|NC||44. Miguel Oliveira||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||+8 Laps|
|NC||21. Francesco Bagnaia||Mahindra||Mapfre Mahindra Team||+9 Laps|
|NC||9. Jorge Navarro||Honda||Estrella Galicia 0,0||+9 Laps|
|NC||88. Jorge Martin||Mahindra||Mapfre Mahindra Team||+10 Laps|
|NC||76. Hiroki Ono||Honda||Leopard Racing||+12 Laps|
|NC||95. Jules Danilo||Honda||Ongetta-Rivacold||+13 Laps|
|NC||40. Darryn Binder||Mahindra||Outox Reset Drink Team||+17 Laps|
|NC||58. Juanfran Guevara||Mahindra||Mapfre Mahindra Team||+18 Laps|