MONTEREY, Calif. – Marc Marquez won Sunday’s MotoGP Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, becoming the youngest ever back-to-back race winner in MotoGP history.
The Repsol Honda Team rider extended his championship lead while LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl celebrated a first premier class podium finish from pole position. Valentino Rossi held off Alvaro Bautista for the final rostrum spot.
On Saturday, Bradl stormed to a maiden pole position while Marquez suffered a crash in qualifying. On Sunday, the Spaniard patiently followed the German before pulling off a clean maneuver at the end of the 19th lap. Five riders failed to make the distance at the notoriously difficult anti-clockwise circuit, the shortest on the calendar.
Marquez’s third victory of the year equals the sum of reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo. The Repsol Honda rider sank as low as fourth after a poor start, but stayed ahead of Bautista in the early stages and crucially pulled off a confident pass on Rossi at the world-famous Corkscrew corner.
He soon homed in on Bradl, overtaking the German and winning by 2.2 seconds. In doing so, Marquez wins for the second time within the space of a week and steals former double champion Freddie Spencer’s record of being the youngest MotoGP rider to triumph in consecutive Grands Prix. Furthermore, he makes history by becoming the first rookie rider to win at Laguna Seca.
Bradl’s ride to second was one of calm and composure. A clean getaway allowed the LCR Honda MotoGP rider to head the field from his first ever pole in the top class. The 2011 Moto2 World Champion was assisted by the fact that those behind him were battling early on, but by the 17th tour had the recovering Marquez only two tenths of a second behind. Once the overtake had occurred two laps later, Bradl comfortably managed a two-second gap back to Rossi to clinch his maiden premier class podium, improving on his previous best of fourth – achieved on three occasions.