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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2014

Round 02: Americas

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
  • Photo
April 13, 2014

Marques Heads Home Honda Team-mate Pedrosa in Stunning Ride

Magnificent Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) was in a class of his own at the Circuit of the Americas this afternoon, making the race all his own, as he did a year ago, when he won his first MotoGP race at this track.

Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) was the only man who got close to his young compatriot, but even he had to give up the chase and settle for a strong second place to put him second in the World Championship points chase behind his team-mate.

Marquez would have led from start to finish, but for former World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) jumping the start and leading the way, only to ride into the pits at the end of lap one to pay his ride-through penalty. Marquez was ahead from then on, steadily opening a gap over Pedrosa until he had more than five seconds advantage. He crossed the line 4.1 seconds ahead after surviving a lurid front-end slide at the final corner, the result, he said, of a moment’s lack of concentration.

As last year, Marquez was the only rider on the grid able to use the harder compound Bridgestone, which suits his aggressive riding style. The tactic worked perfectly, giving him his second consecutive pole/win/lap record at this challenging, undulating circuit.

The 21-year-old has now won the first two races of 2014 and leads Pedrosa by 14 points with 16 races still to go.

Pedrosa nonetheless had a great weekend: second in the race, second in qualifying and riding the second fastest lap, but there was nothing he could do to match Marquez’s scintillating pace and he was man enough to admit as much after the race. For some laps he stayed close to the leader, learning many things that may help him in the future, but bit by bit the gap grew until he decided to focus on keeping second place, well ahead of a thrilling three-way scrap for the final podium place between Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) and Bradley Smith (Yamaha).

Bradl did make it into third place during the final laps, but he didn’t quite have the front grip he needed to deal with Dovizioso, so he ended the race in fourth place, two seconds down on the Italian. Upset to miss the podium after such a determined fight, he was nevertheless happy to score his first points of the year, after he had crashed out of the lead of the season-opening Qatar GP.

Nicky Hayden (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) was the top finisher on Honda’s production racer in 11th, after a frustrating scrap with several rivals. The last man to come past him at the end of the race was Lorenzo, who spent his whole race fighting his way through from last position to finish tenth.

Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive 7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) was 12th, three seconds down on his team-mate after starting further back on the grid. He steadily worked his way through once his set-up and tyre choice came into their own and enjoyed the race more with every lap.

Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R) scored his second points of the year in 14th place.

Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) struggled all weekend to get the best out of his machine and yet he still gave it his all in the race, fighting through from 12th on the grid to run with the leading pack and move into eighth place shortly before half-distance. Unfortunately he then made a small mistake and couldn’t save the crash.

MotoGP rookie Scott Redding (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RCV1000R) was having a great ride, until he ran out of front-end grip and slid off without injury.

Reigning Moto3 World Champion and Moto2 rookie Maverick Vinales (Pons HP 40, Kalex) rode like an established intermediate-class star to win today’s Honda-powered Moto2 race, comfortably ahead of Qatar winner Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex). The 19-year-old Spaniard charged through from eighth place on the first lap to overpower race leader Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert, Suter) in the closing stages. Rabat followed Vinales through into second but had no answer for the leader’s stunning end-of-race pace. Vinales finally crossed the line four seconds in front of his compatriot, with Aegerter a further 1.3 seconds down at the flag.

Vinales was in a class of his own in a race that had been delayed slightly due to a rain shower. The youngster seemed able to find room to pass where others could find none. Qatar runner-up Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team, Kalex) was in fine form, till the lingering effects of an old injury prevented him from riding at 100 per cent. At the end of the race he led the next group in fourth place, just ahead of Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing, Forward KLX).

Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock, Suter) crossed the line another seven seconds down and just ahead of Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team, Speed Up).

There were a number of crashes, including a multiple pile-up at the first corner. Significant fallers included Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham, Caterham Suter) who took out Julian Simon (Italtrans Racing Team, Kalex) in the early stages.

Honda riders Efren Vazquez (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda NSF250R) and Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) played a starring role in the thrilling Moto3 race, which was eventually won by a fraction of a second by Jack Miller (KTM).

Vazquez was in with a chance of victory all the way to the flag, while Marquez slid out of a close fourth place with just a few corners to go, having set the fastest lap of the race in the early stages. Finally Vazquez crossed the line in third pace, just 0.103 seconds behind Roman Fenati (KTM) and a further 0.069 seconds behind winner Miller.

Vazquez and Miller enjoyed most of the limelight in the 18-lap encounter, Vazquez using the impressive speed of his Honda NSF250R to take the lead on several occasions. In the end, however, he didn’t quite have what it took to grab first position from the Australian.

Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Honda NSF250RW) ran with Fenati for much of the race, but couldn’t quite go with the Italian when he zeroed in on the leaders. Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold Honda NSF250R) had a good race, battling all the way to secure sixth place after working hard with his crew to improve the race performance of his Honda.

John McPhee (SaxoPrint-RTG Honda NSF250R) rode well to take ninth place, the second top-ten result of his GP career. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Ongetta-AirAsia Honda NSF250R) was 17th, just three seconds outside of a points-scoring finish.

The next MotoGP event takes place at the brand-new Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo facility in Argentina. The following weekend the action moves to Jerez, Spain.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)zoom
Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)

Honda MotoGP Rider Quotes

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: race winner
“I'm very happy! I got a really good start, but when I saw Jorge overtake me off the line at first I was a little worried, but then I saw that he had jumped the start. It was a different race to previous ones because I led from start to finish; although it might seem easier that way, it is tough because you have to maintain concentration. It was a perfect weekend and gives us plenty of confidence, although we are aware that the coming races will be different. I know that the race was a little boring for the fans, but sometimes these types of races are good for a rider. Let's hope that the next one is more exciting!”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd
“It was a tough race as Marc was that little faster than me and although I tried to improve with every corner, it was too difficult to gain ground on him and the distance between us increased with every lap. In the end, he was too far away from me. I didn't have anyone behind me either, so I just kept up my pace as best I could. I learnt a few things in this race and we will try to apply them and make the maximum improvement possible, in order to be able to put up more of a fight next time”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 4th
“First of all this race was a bit strange because of the jump-start of Lorenzo and in the beginning I struggled a bit to find my pace. I had to battle with Rossi and Ducati riders in the first laps and it took me some time to get out of that to find my speed. After that I could go but honestly we had a big problem with the front tyre as it dropped down too fast. I had to slow down and it was impossible for me to catch Dovizioso. The tyres performance throughout the weekend was good but in the race we had a very big problem and I think it’s the same for many riders right now. I smelled the podium today and it’s difficult to accept the defeat, but we can be happy anyway because we did a very good job.”
Nicky Hayden, Drive 7 Aspar Honda: 11th
“To be honest the race went a lot better than I expected and obviously it was much better than the rest of the weekend. It hasn't been an easy Grand Prix for us, we had a few setbacks during practice and to be honest my reaction wasn't the best. It was hard for me to be so far off the pace in my home race and I have to apologise because I'm sure I wasn't easy to be around. The team worked really hard all weekend, I gave the mechanics plenty to do and they did their best to give me the best possible bike. In the end we have come away with a positive result and I had fun fighting with a strong group of riders. The positive thing is we have more experience with this new bike and we know the season is long so we have to keep going to make the most of our potential.”
Hiroshi Aoyama, Drive 7 Aspar Honda: 12th
“I think starting from 16th and finishing 12th, we have to be satisfied and it shows the progress we have made all weekend. I had a good start but with us going for the hard [medium] tyre we had to wait for the feeling to come in and as the laps went by I was able to close on the group in front and make some passes. In the end I almost caught Nicky so I am really happy and grateful to the team for giving me a great setting, the bike worked well and I felt better than in Qatar, especially with the front end. We still need to build experience with this bike but a twelfth place finish today is positive and we are on the right lines. I want to thank the team, the sponsors and everybody around me that helps us score results like this.”
Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing: 14th
“We always knew this race was going to be tough because it’s a left-handed circuit, so it’s very demanding on my injured left shoulder. Anyway, we ended the first lap near the back and we came through to finish the race, so we learned plenty about the bike, and we also scored a couple of points. Hopefully next time out the shoulder will be a bit stronger.”
Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: DNF
“We knew that it wouldn’t be an easy race: I got off the line pretty well and I found myself in the group battling for third place. I could keep a good rhythm and I was able to stay with them, so much so that I even overtook a few riders. Unfortunately, I continued to have the same problems encountered during practice and qualifying: at a certain point I lost the front and I couldn’t avoid the crash. It’s been a really difficult weekend for us, however in the race I might be able to get a top six finish. We will try to forget this weekend as soon as possible: we need to reset everything and start again from scratch, with the highest concentration ahead of the next round in Argentina, where the priority will be to finish the race.”
Scott Redding, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: DNF
“I felt comfortable for the first seven or eight laps, but then I started to lose more and more grip on the front tyre and my rhythm started to drop a lot. I tried to resist, but after losing the front several times in the end I crashed: I’m okay, nothing serious, just a small crash. After the race, we checked the front tyre and we noticed that the right side was completely ruined: it’s strange because we already had a lot of laps with this kind of tyre during practice and we haven’t had any problems, so we need to investigate more if there’s been a problem with the tyre. The bike was fine, although the battle with Hernandez, who was passing me every time on the straights, broke my rhythm, taking away the possibility to try to catch the group of riders in front of me,”

Honda Moto2 Rider Quotes

Maverick Vinales, Pons HP 40: race winner
“It’s an incredible feeling to win, especially my second Moto2 race. I’ve felt good with the bike all weekend. We spent most of our time during practice working with used tyres. The team worked very hard and when you work very hard you can win. Today we had the bike to win.”
Esteve Rabat, Marc VDS Racing Team: 2nd
“It was tough – I had to go wide to avoid a collision after the start and then Zarco touched me, so after that I tried to find a good rhythm and I passed many riders. The worst problem was we had an issue with the gearbox – so when I changed down to first it would go into neutral and suddenly back into first, almost throwing me off the bike. But I’m happy because we had some problems and we still finished second.”
Dominique Aegerter, Technomag carXpert: 3rd
“After the disappointment of my engine problem at the first race I’m very happy today. The team did a great job and I had a good set-up all weekend, so we got my first front-row start, which really helped because usually I am used to having to overtake many riders in the first laps. After the first ten or 15 laps the front-tyre performance dropped a little, so I couldn’t stay with the others braking into the corners. Overall, I’m very happy to be on the podium again.”

Honda Moto3 Rider Quotes

Efren Vazquez, SaxoPrint-RTG: 3rd
“That was a really important race for us. After qualifying and practice we had a great package with our Honda engine and the whole bike. We had a very good top speed, which really helped on the long back straight here, but in the end Jack was too strong!”
Alex Rins, Estrella Galicia 0,0: 4th
“We have improved a little from Qatar, but we found it really hard to set the bike up throughout the weekend. When I was behind Alex [Marquez] and saw that he was getting away, I tried to brake later. That was my mistake. When I saw that I couldn’t keep up the same pace, I decided to focus on the points and try not to make any errors. The result today was both good and bad.”
Alexis Masbou, Ongetta-Rivacold: 6th
“That was a big shame because we had a good day yesterday, improving the bike in general and especially the Honda engine which gives such good power. I knew it would be tough today but I thought I could fight close to the front. Unfortunately there was something strange with the rear tyre and we had a lot of chatter which didn’t allow me to ride the way I like to ride.”
Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)zoom
Alvaro BAUTISTA (GO & FUN Honda Gresini)

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix
Round 02: Americas

Rank Rider (Team) F/O
1Marc MARQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)F
2Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)F
3Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)O
4Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)F
5Bradley SMITH (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)F
6Pol ESPARGARO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)F
7Andrea IANNONE (Pramac Racing)O
8Valentino ROSSI (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)F
9Aleix ESPARGARO (NGM Forward Racing)O
10Jorge LORENZO (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)F
11Nicky HAYDEN (Drive M7 Aspar)O
12Hiroshi AOYAMA (Drive M7 Aspar)O
13Yonny HERNANDEZ (Emergy T.I. Pramac Racing)O
14Karel ABRAHAM (Cardion AB Motoracing)O
15Hector BARBERA (Avintia Racing)O

* F=Factory option, O=Open category

Rank Rider (Team)
1Maverick VIÑALES (Pons HP 40)
2Esteve RABAT (Marc VDS Racing Team)
3Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag carXpert)
4Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)
5Simone CORSI (NGM Forward Racing)
6Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten Paddock Moto2)
7Anthony WEST (QMMF Racing Team)
8Alex DE ANGELIS (Tasca Racing Moto2)
9Marcel SCHROTTER (Tech 3)
10Ricard CARDUS (Tech 3)
11Takaaki NAKAGAMI (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)
12Mattia PASINI (NGM Forward Racing)
13Randy KRUMMENACHER (IodaRacing Project)
14Sandro CORTESE (Dynavolt Intact GP)
15Hafizh SYAHRIN (Petronas Raceline Malaysia)
Rank Rider (Team)
1Jack MILLER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
2Romano FENATI (SKY Racing Team VR46)
3Efren VAZQUEZ (SaxoPrint-RTG)
4Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
5Jakub KORNFEIL (Calvo Team)
6Alexis MASBOU (Ongetta-Rivacold)
7Francesco BAGNAIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)
8Danny KENT (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo)
9John MCPHEE (SaxoPrint-RTG)
10Karel HANIKA (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
11Juanfran GUEVARA (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)
12Livio LOI (Marc VDS Racing Team)
13Enea BASTIANINI (Junior Team Go & FUN Moto3)
14Niklas AJO (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo)
15Miguel OLIVEIRA (Mahindra Racing)

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