MotoGP: Marquez continues COTA winning streak

Marc Marquez overcame a grid penalty to score his sixth straight MotoGP victory at Austin in typically dominant fashion.

Having been demoted to fourth place on the grid from pole for blocking Maverick Vinales in qualifying, Marquez leapt to second into Turn 1 as Andrea Iannone took the lead.

The Suzuki man’s time in front proved short-lived however, as Marquez got by at Turn 12 on the opening lap.

Iannone was able to stick close enough to Marquez to have a go at the Honda rider at Turn 11 on lap three, but he ran wide and was repassed by the reigning champion on the exit of the corner.

Marquez proved unstoppable from that point on, opening a two-second advantage by the end of the fifth lap and doubling that margin in the following two tours.

His lead peaked at around seven seconds, and he controlled the gap to take his first win of the 2018 season and his 12th straight triumph on American soil by 3.5 seconds.

After losing touch with Marquez, Iannone soon came under pressure from Vinales, who passed for second at Turn 1 on lap seven and enjoyed an untroubled run to the runner-up spot after that.

Iannone managed to hang on to third place for his first podium as a Suzuki rider, ahead of Valentino Rossi, who pressured Yamaha team-mate Vinales in the early laps but couldn’t find a way through.

Pre-race points leader Cal Crutchlow crashed at mid-distance during a tense scrap for fifth place, which was eventually won by Andrea Dovizioso over Tech3 Yamaha’s Johann Zarco.

It means Dovizioso retakes the lead of the championship by a single point from Marquez, with Vinales just five behind in third.

Marquez’s team-mate Dani Pedrosa salvaged seventh in a race he was unsure he would complete owing to the pain from his broken wrist.

Completing the top 10 were privateer Ducati pair Tito Rabat (Avintia) and Jack Miller (Pramac) and the leading Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro, who all crowded past a struggling Jorge Lorenzo late on.

Lorenzo had to be content with 11th, one place clear of the second Pramac machine of Danilo Petrucci.

Pol Espargaro, top rookie Takaaki Nakagami and Alvaro Bautista completed the scorers. Crutchlow remounted to finish out of the points in 19th.

Alex Rins and Hafizh Syahrin both crashed out, while Karel Abraham was forced to pull into the pits with wrist pain from his crash on Saturday.

Race result

POSRIDERTEAMLAPSGAP
1Marc MarquezHonda2041m52.002s
2Maverick VinalesYamaha203.560s
3Andrea IannoneSuzuki206.704s
4Valentino RossiYamaha209.587s
5Andrea DoviziosoDucati2013.570s
6Johann ZarcoTech3 Yamaha2014.231s
7Dani PedrosaHonda2018.201s
8Tito RabatAvintia Ducati2028.537s
9Jack MillerPramac Ducati2028.671s
10Aleix EspargaroAprilia2028.875s
11Jorge LorenzoDucati2031.355s
12Danilo PetrucciPramac Ducati2034.993s
13Pol EspargaroKTM2037.264s
14Takaaki NakagamiLCR Honda2039.335s
15Alvaro BautistaAspar Ducati2040.887s
16Bradley SmithKTM2048.475s
17Scott ReddingAprilia2049.995s
18Thomas LuthiMVDS Honda2051.115s
19Cal CrutchlowLCR Honda2059.055s
20Xavier SimeonAvintia Ducati2059.747s
21Franco MorbidelliMVDS Honda201m00.513s
Alex RinsSuzuki10Retirement
Hafizh SyahrinTech3 Yamaha8Retirement
Karel AbrahamAspar Ducati8Retirement

Riders’ standings

POSRIDERPOINTS
1Andrea Dovizioso46
2Marc Marquez45
3Maverick Vinales41
4Cal Crutchlow38
5Johann Zarco38
6Andrea Iannone31
7Valentino Rossi29
8Jack Miller26
9Tito Rabat22
10Danilo Petrucci21
11Dani Pedrosa18
12Alex Rins16
13Hafizh Syahrin9
14Pol Espargaro8
15Aleix Espargaro6
16Jorge Lorenzo6
17Franco Morbidelli6
18Takaaki Nakagami5
19Scott Redding4
20Alvaro Bautista4
21Karel Abraham1

MotoGP: Marquez continues COTA winning streak

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