The first MotoGP from the Circuit Of The Americas [COTA] opened with 20 year old Marc Marquez attempting to be the Youngest ever premier class winner - challenging the record of Freddie Spencer set in 1981. The young Spaniard got off to a slow start however and it was his team-mate Dani Pedrosa who took the jump at the lights, entering into the first corner of this undulating, Texan track in the lead.
From the very first moments of free practice this was always looking to be an HRC Honda weekend and the performance of the factory Honda machines in qualifying only helped to reinforce this view. The only real question being asked from lap three of the race onwards then, was whether Dani Pedrosa could hold onto his slender lead or if Marquez would be capable of outperforming his more experienced stable mate.
The rest of the field battled strongly for the remaining places, with Britain’s’ Cal Crutchlow recovering from a mid-race runoff and fighting back to within 3 secs of Lorenzo to take 4th place. After a performance such as this he must surely now have the ears of those Yamaha individuals responsible for parts ordering. Lorenzo himself ran a lonely race, riding in 3rd and with clean air for the entire duration; still secure in a tidy stash of championship points despite the HRC Honda men clearing off into the relative distance from the 3rd lap onwards.
And so it became simply a question as to which Reposl Honda man would make the first move or the first mistake… A answer to which ws provided sooner than expected when the young Marquez made an audaciously early pass on Pedroso with 9 laps to go; perhaps with the knowledge of having a harder compound rear tyre than that of his teammate as the catalyst for the move.
Pedrosa hung close to the new leader for the next few laps, but with four circuits remaining his tyres finally appeared to give way and this drop in speed from the degradation effectively ended any further challenge towards his younger, compatriot. This knowledge of Pedrosa's slowing pace didn’t appear to stop Marquez and his thrilling riding style however and he crossed for the flag in emphatic fashion.
By doing so he has secured not just the record of the youngest ever MotoGP winner and the ‘Alien’ moniker that surrounds such super-human achievements. But also the pressure that such a grand entrance into a premier class of Motorsport can create.
1 - Marc MARQUEZ | Repsol Honda Team | Honda | 43'42.123
2 - Dani PEDROSA | Repsol Honda Team | Honda | +1.534
3 - Jorge LORENZO | Yamaha Factory Racing | Yamaha +3.381
4 - Cal CRUTCHLOW | Monster Yamaha Tech 3 | Yamaha +6.616
5 - Stefan BRADL | LCR Honda MotoGP Honda | +12.674
6 - Valentino ROSSI | Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +16.615
7 - Andrea DOVIZIOSO | Ducati Team Ducati | +22.374
8 - Alvaro BAUTISTA | Honda Gresini Honda | +22.854
9 - Nicky HAYDEN | Ducati Team Ducati | +33.773
10 - Andrea IANNONE | Energy T.I. Pramac Racing | Ducati | +42.112
11 - Aleix ESPARGARO | Power Electronics Aspar | ART | +48.837
12 - Bradley SMITH | Monster Yamaha Tech 3 | Yamaha | +50.705
13 - Ben SPIES | Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati | +1'14.132
14 - Randy DE PUNIET | Power Electronics Aspar | +1'15.651
15 - Yonny HERNANDEZ | Paul Bird Motorsport | ART | +1'19.591
16 - Michael LAVERTY | Paul Bird Motorsport | PBM | +1'34.391
17 - Hiroshi AOYAMA | Avintia Blusens FTR | +1'39.823
18 - Hector BARBERA | Avintia Blusens FTR | +1'39.952
19 - Claudio CORTI | NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki | +1'46.773
20 - Bryan STARING GO&FUN | Honda Gresini | FTR Honda | +1'48.084
21 - Blake YOUNG | Attack Performance Racing | APR | 1 Lap