Marc Marquez maintained his undefeated record at the Circuit of the Americas with an unchallenged victory on Sunday in Austin. The world champion led virtually from start to finish with Maverick Vinales finishing a distant second for Yamaha while Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso regained the championship lead.
Marquez had been stripped of pole position on Saturday for irresponsible riding during Q2, leaving him fourth on the grid, but the Spaniard wasted no time restoring order around COTA. The Repsol Honda rider leapt straight past Vinales and Johann Zarco off the start line before early leader Andrea Iannone was relegated to second at turn twelve on the opening lap. The Suzuki rider briefly threatened a counter-attack, diving up the inside of Marquez on lap three, but once that attack had been quashed, Marc disappeared into the distance, never to be seen again.
With the leader stretching away, Iannone’s attention soon switched to the two Movistar Yamahas who became an increasing threat to the Italian. Vinales would only be held back until lap seven when he eased up the inside of the Suzuki at turn one but to Iannone’s credit, he comfortably maintained an advantage over Valentino Rossi to hand Suzuki their second rostrum finish in as many races.
Cal Crutchlow was embroiled in a four-way battle for fifth with Zarco, Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa but the Briton lost his grip on the championship lead with a crash at the final corner on lap eight. In his absence, Dovizioso came through to grab fifth ahead of Zarco and Pedrosa, giving him a narrow one-point lead heading back to Europe.
Tito Rabat’s tremendous start to the season continued in eighth with Jack Miller recovering from eighteenth on the grid to finish ninth while Aleix Espargaro rounded out the top ten with Aprilia’s best result of the season so far.
2018 Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas: (Result)
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