AUSTIN, Texas – Rookie Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez became the youngest rider in MotoGP history to win a Grand Prix Sunday at Circuit of the Americas.
His teammate Dani Pedrosa finished second while 2012 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo of the Yamaha Factory Racing Team rounded out the podium with a third-place finish. Repsol Honda claimed the constructor’s trophy.
On Saturday, 20-year-old Marquez took over from former double title winner Freddie Spencer as the youngest ever pole-sitter in the premier class. He now becomes the youngest race winner, having held off a challenge from Pedrosa on the other Repsol Honda Team machine.
As the red lights went out at the new Circuit of the Americas – located on the outskirts of Austin, Texas – it was Pedrosa who seized the lead, while Lorenzo headed backwards courtesy of a poor getaway. A lightning start for LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl allowed the German to go second but he was soon overhauled by Marquez, Lorenzo and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow.
Following Pedrosa and waiting patiently for his moment, Marquez courageously dived up the inside of turn seven on the 13th of the 21 laps. Pedrosa would hang onto the back of his teammate, but lost ground courtesy of a small error six laps later. To the delight of his crew, Marquez would take the chequered flag by one and a half seconds, with Lorenzo just over the same margin behind Pedrosa.
Having not tested at the venue a month ago, Crutchlow was more than pleased with fourth – having hoped for a top six result this weekend – as Bradl and Rossi completed that particular group, with the multiple title winner having overhauled GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista.
The latter would also fall behind Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, who progressed to seventh on the final lap and then avoided a last-corner lunge from his rival. Leading American rider Nicky Hayden and Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone rounded out the top ten.
The new state-of-the-art circuit surpassed its original three-day crowd estimate of 100,000, with 26,235 fans coming to watch Friday’s practice sessions, 43,756 guests attending Saturday’s qualifying rounds, and an enthusiastic crowd of 61,091 turning out for Sunday’s races.