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Marquez takes Texas MotoGP by storm

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IOL mot pic apr14 MotoGP Austin Marquez

AP

Marc Marquez leans his Honda into Turn 20 late in the race. Picture: Tony Gutierrez)

Austin, Texas - Polesitter Marc Marquez extended his perfect start to the MotoGP season by storming to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas on Sunday to cap another dominating week in Texas.

It was the second consecutive wire-to-wire win for the 21-year Spanish world champion, who also took the chequered flag at the season-opener in Qatar in March starting from pole.

Marquez, who claimed his first career MotoGP premier class win at the Circuit of the Americas in 2013, continued his love affair with the Austin layout, storming home 4.12 seconds in front of compatriot and factory Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.

Andrea Dovizioso on a Ducati was a distant third 20 seconds in arrears, followed by Stefan Bradl and Bradley Smith.

Marquez, who ended the race with a bit of drama with a wobble on the final corner, said afterwards: “OK, we can say the race was too quiet and then for the show I did something in the end - but anyway I am very happy.

“The start was good, looks like I improved a little bit on that point.

“But anyway the race I think was, even for me, a little bit boring but those 25 points are important.

“This is my favourite circuit, so for that reason I get that victory. The next races will be different.”

It was the 11th time in 20 career starts that Marquez had started from pole and he reached the podium all 11 times.

The Spaniard's legend continues to grow, becoming the first rider to win the first two races of the year from pole in the premier-class since Mick Doohan in 1995.

Boring or not, Marquez will head to Argentina for the third round of the championship sitting firmly atop the standings on a maximum 50 points, with Pedrosa 14 back.

REMARKABLE PERFORMANCE

His performance all the more remarkable considering that the Spaniard fractured the fibula in his right leg while dirt-bike riding in February and is still recovering from the mishap, taking painkillers to race.

After dominating every practice session and qualifying, Marquez was quick to stamp his authority on the race as he and Pedrosa steadily pulled away from the field.

By the midway mark of the 21 lap-race, the contest had boiled down to a two-way battle between Marquez and Pedrosa, the two Honda riders opening up an 11 second gap on the chasing pack.

But by the final lap, Marquez was in complete control having built a nearly six-second advantage on Pedrosa and after a little scare at the finish celebrated another win.

“Marc was just a little too fast today.”

Pedrosa said: “He had this three tenths maybe per lap and there was really no part of the track where I could pick up again. Every time I lost more.

“At the end it was hard because I had nothing to win in front, nothing to lose at the back. I just tried to keep my pace and get today a second because Marc was too fast.”

It was a surprise third place finish for Dovizioso and a big day for Ducati as they returned to the podium for the first time since September 2012.

“We didn't have the pace to make a podium but we always tried.”

Dovizioso said: “The feeling is something really special because we Ducati are struggling a lot for one year and we are still struggling but we keep pushing, we keep working.

“At the beginning I didn't have the pace to stay at the front but I was focused and I didn't make a mistake.

“I was really consistent all race and many riders have problems with the tyres. We had a problem but maybe less.

“To get the podium at the end is an amazing feeling after one really difficult year.”

RESULTS

POINTS after two rounds

MOTO2

Spain's Maverick Vinales won his first Moto2 race on Sunday with a commanding victory in the Grand Prix of the Americas.

The current Moto3 world champion, riding a Kalex, stormed from sixth on the grid under lowering skies to take victory by 4.009sec from pole sitter Esteve Rabat. Dominique Aegerter of Switzerland was third on a Suter.

Vinales finished fourth in the season-opener in Qatar where fellow Spaniard Rabat, also on a Kalex, took the win.

RESULTS

MOTO3

Australia's Jack Miller won his second consecutive Moto3 race of the season; the 19-year-old, who captured his maiden race victory in Qatar last month, had started on pole on his KTM.

He then survived a series of challenges from Romano Fenati, who was second, and Efren Vazquez, on the final two laps to secure victory.

"I felt strong on the brakes,” said Queensland native Miller. “That's always been one of my strong points, maybe too strong as it can kill the exit speed.

“But here it works really well. I'm stoked to have won, I led every lap." - Reuters, AFP

RESULTS


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