AUSTIN, Texas – As Circuit of The Americas prepares to host the MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas this weekend, some of the biggest stars on the current grid have expressed their excitement for the annual event.
Last year’s MotoGP race in Austin saw Repsol Honda’s Marc Márquez – the 2016 MotoGP world champion – secure his fourth-straight win from pole at COTA, making it his 10th victory in a row in America. This weekend, he is aiming to add to his haul of titles in the Texan capital.
“I am very motivated to race in COTA again because it’s one of my favourite circuits and we’ll see if we can fight for the victory once again,” Marquez said.
His memories of racing at the Austin circuit are overwhelmingly positive, stretching all the way back to the inaugural race in 2013.
“My best memory in the previous 4 races was in 2013, when I achieved my first win there because it was also my first victory in MotoGP, which made it a very special moment,” Marquez said.
Márquez isn’t the only rider to be excited at returning to race at COTA this weekend, with Movistar Yamaha’s Italian superstar and MotoGP legend, Valentino Rossi equally thrilled to be coming back to Austin.
“I really like Austin. This is a very difficult track and I love riding here,” Rossi said before stating his intention to continue his strong start to the season. “I have an open account with this track because last year in the warm up I was all set for a strong race but unfortunately I made a mistake. This year I want to try to have a really good race. I also really like the atmosphere of the American circuit and I come to this place always very happily”.
This sense of optimism ahead of the MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas is also shared by his teammate and current championship leader, Maverick Vinales, who expressed his desire to carry his Moto2 and Suzuki form at the Austin circuit into this weekend now that he has joined the Movistar Yamaha outfit.
“This is a circuit that I really like. I won my first race in Moto2 here and also had one of my best races here with Suzuki. I think it is an excellent circuit for my riding style, I love the ‘up and down’ circuits. Now I’m excited to see how it goes with my Yamaha on this track but I’m sure it will be fantastic as always,” Vinales said.
Another rider eager to put in a big performance in Austin is Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo, who is keen to put his recent disappointment in Argentina behind him at COTA with his new team.
“Finally we come to Austin which has been my aim ever since I crashed in Termas de Rio Hondo,” said Lorenzo. “There is no time to complain about what happened in Argentina. Although the results are not in our favour, I think we have found the way to improve, but for one reason or another we have not yet been able to demonstrate this in dry conditions.”
Indeed, he feels that COTA is the ideal venue to get back to winning ways on his Ducati.
“Austin is a beautiful circuit, where I have not yet managed to win, but where Ducati, for example, has been on the podium for the past three years,” said Lorenzo. “It is a good place to test ourselves, to continue with the evolution of the Desmosedici and to continue adapting my riding style. In the team we are positive, we are all working hard and I am convinced that soon we will change this bad stretch.”