Americas MotoGP: Marquez dominates at COTA as Quartararo extends points lead

Honda’s Marc Marquez cruised to his second win of the 2021 MotoGP season at the Grand Prix of the Americas, as Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo strengthened his championship lead.

Americas MotoGP: Marquez dominates at COTA as Quartararo extends points lead

Having ended his six-year Circuit of the Americas victory streak with a crash in 2019, Marquez made amends for this in Sunday’s 2021 edition of the Austin race and led every lap to take a commanding win.

The Honda rider leaped from third to the lead on the run up the hill into the first corner at the start, with Quartararo edging ahead of poleman Francesco Bagnaia.

In the opening laps, Marquez was kept in touch by the chasing Quartararo, while Bagnaia slid backwards to sixth as Alex Rins jumped up from seventh to third on lap one.

By lap six of 20 Marquez began to stretch ahead at the front of the field, his lead opening up to seven tenths and continuing to climb to 1.5s come the following tour.

By now Pramac rookie Jorge Martin was the one chasing Quartararo in third, with the Yamaha rider fending off the Ducati and eventually pulling away from him.

Marquez was over four seconds clear of Quartararo by the time he started his final lap and came under no threat through to the chequered flag.

Quartararo took a comfortable second to strengthen his championship lead and head to the next round at Misano with his first opportunity at wrapping up the 2021 title.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

However, his lead has only grown to 52 points after Bagnaia overturned his early struggles to fight back through to the podium places.

After Ducati team-mate Jack Miller allowed him through at Turn 6 on lap 14 for fourth, Bagnaia began to eat into Martin’s gap ahead of him for third.

When the Pramac rider made a mistake through Turn 4 and was forced to shortcut the corner, Bagnaia found himself right on the tail of the rookie.

Though Martin was given a long lap penalty for cutting the track, it proved immaterial as Bagnaia eased through into third at Turn 12 to score his third-successive podium.

Martin served his long lap penalty on the final tour, which allowed Rins to take fourth at the chequered flag ahead of the Pramac rider.

Avintia rookie Enea Bastianini continued his purple patch to snatch sixth on the final lap on his two-year-old Ducati, beating reigning world champion Joan Mir by 0.137s.

Suzuki’s Mir now officially cannot retain his crown after a difficult race at COTA, the Spaniard finished seventh on track before being demoted one position behind Miller – who couldn’t convert his gamble of being the only rider to run the hard rear tyre.

Mir made contact with Miller into Turn 15 on the final lap, which allowed Bastianini to move into sixth, as Mir’s post-race penalty dropped him to eighth and pushed the Australian rider up to seventh.

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Brad Binder on the factory KTM headed Honda’s Pol Espargaro to round out the top 10, with Miguel Oliveira recovering from 18th to finish 11th on the sister factory team KTM.

Alex Marquez was 12th on the LCR Honda after beating Petronas SRT’s Andrea Dovizioso by 0.564s, with Avintia’s Luca Marini fading from ninth on the grid to 14th at the finish ahead of half-brother Valentino Rossi (SRT).

Tech3’s Iker Lecuona leaves Austin without points in 16th, with Takaaki Nakagami 17th after an early crash on his LCR Honda.

The field was completed by Tech3’s Danilo Petrucci and Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) and Johann Zarco (Pramac) crashing out.

Americas MotoGP race results - 20 laps

Cla Rider Bike Time
1 Spain Marc Marquez Honda -
2 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 4.679
3 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 8.547
4 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 11.098
5 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 11.752
6 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 13.269
7 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 13.406
8 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 14.722
9 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 15.832
10 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 20.265
11 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 23.055
12 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 24.743
13 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 25.307
14 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 26.853
15 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 28.055
16 Spain Iker Lecuona KTM 30.989
17 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 35.251
18 Italy Danilo Petrucci KTM 42.239
19 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 49.854
  Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia  
  France Johann Zarco Ducati  
shares
comments

Related video

Mir was “scared” when Suzuki blew up in Americas MotoGP FP4
Previous article

Mir was “scared” when Suzuki blew up in Americas MotoGP FP4

Next article

Marc Marquez knew COTA could be last chance of 2021 MotoGP win

Marc Marquez knew COTA could be last chance of 2021 MotoGP win
The other Suzuki signing that could transform Honda's MotoGP form Plus

The other Suzuki signing that could transform Honda's MotoGP form

Following Suzuki's decision to quit MotoGP, both of its former riders have landed at Honda for 2023. But perhaps its biggest signing from the now-defunct team could instead be a highly-rated technical manager. Is Ken Kawauchi the right man at the right time to steer HRC back to glory?

MotoGP
Jan 26, 2023
How the MotoGP paddock has offered refuge to Suzuki's former team Plus

How the MotoGP paddock has offered refuge to Suzuki's former team

Suzuki's unexpected departure left more than 40 professionals virtually jobless for the 2023 MotoGP season. But that human drama has been successfully corrected by the paddock itself, with most former Suzuki crew-members absorbed into other operations

MotoGP
Jan 14, 2023
How one MotoGP team went from title fights to losing it all in four years Plus

How one MotoGP team went from title fights to losing it all in four years

The Petronas Sepang Racing Team came into MotoGP with a bang in 2019 as regular front-runners, with wonder rookie Fabio Quartararo mounting a title challenge in 2020. But it all went wrong for the Razlan Razali-helmed squad as the team changed hands and tumbled down the order - and RNF Racing plans to right this in 2023

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2023
Is MotoGP's comeback king ready to reclaim his throne? Plus

Is MotoGP's comeback king ready to reclaim his throne?

Marc Marquez’s sixth premier MotoGP title seems a long time ago given the injury woes he has faced in the three years since. At the end of a fraught 2022, in which he had a fourth major operation on his right arm, the Spaniard speaks exclusively to Autosport

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2022
How MotoGP’s underachiever is working to reverse its fortunes in 2023 Plus

How MotoGP’s underachiever is working to reverse its fortunes in 2023

As European manufacturers emerged as the strongest force in 2022 in a changing of the guard for MotoGP, one powerhouse couldn’t quite match the feats of Ducati and Aprilia. Its motorsport chief tells Autosport why this is and what it is doing to become a consistent frontrunner in the class of kings

MotoGP
Dec 20, 2022
How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races Plus

How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races

With the expansion of the calendar to 21 grands prix and the introduction of sprint races, the 2023 MotoGP season will take the riders to almost 1,300 kilometres of competition more than this year, a factor that forces adjustments in their physical preparations.

MotoGP
Dec 9, 2022
The Ducati rider who is much more than just the brother of a MotoGP legend Plus

The Ducati rider who is much more than just the brother of a MotoGP legend

Surname pressure is something many have had to deal with in their motorsport careers. And while Luca Marini doesn’t have that, his familial relation and the team he rides for in MotoGP have cast a brighter spotlight on his progress. But, as he has shown in 2022 – and as he reveals to Autosport – Marini is so much more than just the brother of a legend

MotoGP
Dec 6, 2022
Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022 Plus

Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers of the season

MotoGP
Nov 29, 2022