Francesco Bagnaia chased down Alex Marquez before claiming victory in the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin. The Italian took his second victory in three races at the start of the season to regain the Moto2 championship lead and underline his status as the title favourite.
Marquez had taken a superb pole position on Saturday and looked intent on checking out in the early stages of the Grand Prix, immediately opening up a one-second advantage over the chasing pack. His cause was helped by the demise of second-fastest qualifier Sam Lowes who tumbled at turn sixteen on the opening lap while trying to recover from a poor start.
By one-third distance, Bagnaia had managed to bring himself on terms with Marquez and the pressure finally told six laps from the finish as the Spaniard skated wide at turn eleven. Bagnaia dived through into the lead and although the Marc VDS rider slipstreamed straight back through, ‘Pecco’ outbraked his rival into the turn twelve hairpin before escaping to a comfortable victory.
Miguel Oliveira recovered from a disappointing qualifying session to salvage third for KTM while Moto3 champion Joan Mir took a sensational fourth on the second Marc VDS Kalex. Xavi Vierge tumbled out of fifth late on, promoting the impressive Iker Lecuona who stole fifth from Brad Binder on the finish line.
Pre-race championship leader Pasini could only manage seventh, just ahead of Jorge Navarro, while Dominique Aegerter and Lorenzo Baldassarri rounded out the top ten.
Moto2 Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas: (Result)
|1||42. Francesco Bagnaia||Kalex||Sky Racing Team VR46||39:30.016|
|2||73. Alex Marquez||Kalex||EG 0.0 Marc VDS||+2.464|
|3||44. Miguel Oliveira||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||+3.704|
|4||36. Joan Mir||Kalex||EG 0.0 Marc VDS||+5.376|
|5||27. Iker Lecuona||KTM||Swiss Innovative Investors||+6.867|
|6||41. Brad Binder||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||+6.876|
|7||54. Mattia Pasini||Kalex||Italtrans Racing Team||+9.308|
|8||9. Jorge Navarro||Kalex||Federal Oil Gresini Moto2||+10.510|
|9||77. Dominique Aegerter||KTM||Kiefer Racing||+10.595|
|10||7. Lorenzo Baldassarri||Kalex||Pons HP40||+11.497|
|11||32. Isaac Vinales||Kalex||SAG Team||+12.339|
|12||24. Simone Corsi||Kalex||Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2||+13.458|
|13||10. Luca Marini||Kalex||Sky Racing Team VR46||+14.282|
|14||5. Andrea Locatelli||Kalex||Italtrans Racing Team||+14.548|
|15||20. Fabio Quartararo||Speed Up||Beta Tools - Speed Up Racing||+17.169|
|16||13. Romano Fenati||Kalex||Marinelli Snipers Team||+20.609|
|17||87. Remy Gardner||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||+20.821|
|18||40. Hector Barbera||Kalex||Pons HP40||+27.068|
|19||45. Tetsuta Nagashima||Kalex||IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia||+27.245|
|20||64. Bo Bendsneyder||Tech 3||Tech 3 Racing||+32.144|
|21||4. Steven Odendaal||NTS||NTS RW Racing GP||+38.350|
|22||51. Eric Granado||Suter||Forward Racing Team||+38.579|
|23||16. Joe Roberts||NTS||NTS RW Racing GP||+44.257|
|24||22. Sam Lowes||KTM||Swiss Innovative Investors||+45.289|
|25||89. Khairul Idham Pawi||Kalex||IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia||+46.966|
|26||95. Jules Danilo||Kalex||Nashi Argan SAG Team||+1:10.364|
|27||63. Zulfahmi Khairuddin||Kalex||SIC Racing Team||+1:27.099|
|28||21. Federico Fuligni||Kalex||Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2||+1:27.257|
|NC||97. Xavi Vierge||Kalex||Dynavolt Intact GP||+5 Laps|
|NC||62. Stefano Manzi||Suter||Forward Racing Team||+7 Laps|
|NC||23. Marcel Schrotter||Kalex||Dynavolt Intact GP||+12 Laps|
|NC||52. Danny Kent||Speed Up||Beta Tools - Speed Up Racing||+15 Laps|