MotoGP Austin: Marquez strolls to sixth straight win
Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez made up for his Argentina misdemeanors in the best possible way at Austin, strolling unhindered to a sixth straight win at the Texas track after despatching the challenge of Andrea Iannone on lap one.
Marquez, in his 93rd GP, got into turn one in second place from row two, stalked the Ecstar Suzuki man for ten corners before passing the Italian into turn 12. Iannone tried to fight back two laps later, passing but running wide at turn 11, before Marquez nailed a move and promptly buggered off into the distance, never to be seen again.
Iannone was left to fight off the attentions of the Movistar Yamaha duo and did 50 per cent of the job as Maverick Vinales stuck a pass on him with 14 left to go and upped his pace to go away but by then, Marquez was already four seconds up the road.
Valentino Rossi who, like his team-mate, chose the medium rear tyre couldn’t do anything about the hard rear-equipped Suzuki man and he crossed the line in a lonely fourth place.
Andrea Dovizioso picked up the championship lead by one point after slowly picking his way up to fifth place as Britain’s Cal Crutchlow failed to stay on his LCR Honda, going down at the last corner with 13 left to run. Crutchlow had run wide twice at turn 12 and then asked too much of his medium front Michelin.
Heroic Dani Pedrosa completed 400 corners with his broken wrist to finish in seventh place, one behind Johann Zarco while Jack Miller claimed ninth place after shoving his way past Jorge Lorenzo, who had another disaster.
The former champion was also passed by Tito Rabat and Aleix Espargaro, and ended his day in 11th, while Rabat went on to steal eighth from Miller. Danilo Petrucci, Pol Espargaro, Taka Nakagami and Alvaro Bautista compled the top 15.
Bradley Smith and Scott Redding were next along with Luthi finishing ahead of Crutchlow after he re-mounted – he was also given a 2.7s penalty for cutting a corner.
Franco Morbidelli ended his day behind Xavier Simeon while Alex Rins and Hafizh Syharin both crashed. Karel Abraham retired with his qualifying injuries.