Marc Marquez has increased his MotoGP championship lead to 21 points after another crushing victory at the Circuit of the Americas, his fourth in as many years in Austin. The Spaniard left the field behind early on as several big names, including Marquez’s nearest title challenger Valentino Rossi, crashed out in the first half of proceedings.
Given his dominance through practice and qualifying, Marquez’s biggest threat to potential victory looked likely to come at the start and Jorge Lorenzo was aggressive on lap one, trying late lunges on the brakes at turns one and nine. Neither proved successful as Marc edged away but Rossi was faring even worse having fallen to sixth behind Andrea Dovizioso, Dani Pedrosa and Aleix Espargaro.
Rossi appeared to be making steady progress, challenging Pedrosa for fifth, but the Italian was caught out at turn two on the third lap as the front end of his Yamaha washed away, sending him sliding into his first retirement since Aragon 2014. Pedrosa wouldn’t last much longer, losing control on the brakes for turn one on lap seven, but his accident also had ramifications for the luckless Dovizioso who was skittled out for the second weekend in succession.
A lack of grip off-line was causing chaos on two British riders came unstuck within seconds of each other on lap eight, Cal Crutchlow falling at turn nine and coming perilously close to being struck by Bradley Smith’s Tech 3 Yamaha which had also hit the deck metres behind him. Both remounted, but neither would score points, bringing Smith’s 26-race streak to an end and keeping Crutchlow off the scoreboard in 2016.
Marquez made no such mistake and stormed to victory by over six seconds despite cruising around the final lap. Lorenzo eased home in second, aided by the crash between Dovizioso and Pedrosa which took both out of contention for a podium, while Andrea Iannone benefited from the carnage to claim his first points, and podium, of the season.
Aleix Espargaro was reeled in by Maverick Vinales and ultimately had to concede fourth to his younger teammate while Scott Redding made up for his misfortune in Argentina with sixth. Pol Espargaro brought his Tech 3 Yamaha home in seventh, lifting him to fourth in the championship, with Michele Pirro, Hector Barbera and Stefan Bradl completing the top ten.
2016 Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas (Race Result)
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