Marc Marquez became the youngest MotoGP winner in history yesterday when he triumphed in the inaugural Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Texas.
A red-hot pre-race favourite after dominating a Honda and Yamaha private test last month before becoming the youngest rider to claim a MotoGP pole position on Saturday, Marquez got the better of a race long duel with teammate Dani Pedrosa in the 21-lap encounter.
His victory by 1.534s ensured he beat American legend Freddie Spencer’s 31-year-old record as the youngest MotoGP winner in history.
But perhaps more significant than any records being broken, yesterday’s majestic win was a real statement of intent that Marquez will be a potent title threat in his first season on a factory Honda RC213V.
Backing up his third place in Qatar earlier this month with a stunning first win means Marquez heads to his home race in Spain next month sharing the points lead with reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo.
Marquez’s win was not only a historic achievement but it was the first time a MotoGP race had not been won by either Lorenzo, Pedrosa or the now retired Casey Stoner since Ben Spies won the Dutch TT at Assen almost two years ago.
A jubilant Marquez said: "It is good to beat Freddie Spencer and take this record and I'm happy for that. I was behind Dani and maybe in the beginning I could be faster but I tried to follow him and when I saw lap 10 I tried to pass him and open some gap but then the problems with the front came. Every lap it was worse and many times I was close to crashing, especially on the right side and I was a little bit scared. But then I had a gap and held it for the last two laps."
Marquez admitted that to have won in only his second race and to be joint leader of the championship exceeded his expectations and he added: “I was already so happy in Qatar with a podium but here with a victory even more so. I have started better than I expected but I cannot forget that this is my first season. We are coming to some tracks where the Yamaha is strong. I will just go race by race but I cannot think about the championship and we saw today (Sunday) from Jorge that even at this track he was so close."
For more from Marquez, see the April 24 issue of MCN.