The Spanish Sheriff took his fifth win in a row at the Circuit of the Americas this weekend with his Repsol Honda working like a dream. Marquez did not have the best start and ultimately it put him in the firing line and in the midst of a battle with Dani Pedrosa, Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi. His goal was clear and that was to hold on to the tail of Pedrosa and follow his lines in order to claim the victory. We must say that Pedrosa rode a great race in clear conditions and did not make it easy for Marquez, which was a great sight for the fans that attended the event. Marquez and Pedrosa swapped the lead quite a number of times before the Spanish Sheriff decided on lap nine to make a jump for the lead. He completed the maneuverer with passion and a calculated mindset to end up with his fifth successive victory on American soil. He managed his tyres well throughout the entire race and knew that even with the right hand side of the tyre wearing down, the gap he created was enough to seal the deal. Overall, it was an intriguing race for Michelin considering the fact that Marquez used the hard compound tyre in his race set up although never actually tested this tyre in practice because of the low temperatures. Big risk and big reward!
The battle for the last two podium positions came down to Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi and Johann Zarco. The range of Michelin Power Slicks used in the race was very successful for the French manufacturer as riders throughout the entire gird used five of the six specifications. This showcases the dynamic abilities of the tyres with various bike manufacturers and allows the competitors to race hard and fast. Johann Zarco had a run in with Valentino Rossi which led to Rossi being penalised by 0.3 seconds due to gaining an advantage although both riders continued on like normal without any anger. The penalty also did not impact Rossi in the end as he managed to get ahead by more than one second after he battled with Pedrosa and then took off chasing Marquez with the grip he had left. Pedrosa on the other hand had to ease off and decided to take a well-earned third. It was a successful racing campaign for the Repsol Honda Team considering that Maverick Vinales made a big mistake and ended up crashing out early in the race. It was a tough learning curve for the Spanish rider who did not show a smile from his entry back in to his pit box to leaving the circuit. This is probably because Rossi is now the World Championship leader and Marquez is in the picture now. It is game on!
Cal Crutchlow, Jorge Lorenzo and Jack Miller also had successful race finishes in the top ten and performed under pressure. Crutchlow was the top independent team rider although of course disappointed not to get on to the podium. The LCR Honda rider admitted that he took way too long to get ahead of Zarco and this caused him to run off the track and lose a valuable amount of time. Crutchlow is aiming to carry this momentum and energy to Jerez in two weeks time. Lorenzo felt as though the race was better than expected and his ability to run with the front a good demonstration of what is to come. Lorenzo’s front tyre began to show graining and degradation that forced his hand and he managed to finish ninth rather than in the gravel. This is a positive step forward. Overall, it was a top ten finish for Australian rider Jack Miller who had impressive speed throughout the duration of the race. However, Miller found overtaking difficult and lost so much time that he was not able to recover. With that said, Miller is proving his worth in the MotoGP class and is aiming to go even bigger and better with results. The next event up is Jerez where the crowd is guaranteed to be loud and look for a battle between the various manufacturers!