MotoGP, Austin retrouve son shérif !

Posted by

Marc Márquez, qui n’aura été à aucun moment inquiété ce dimanche, décroche son septième succès au Texas.

MARC MARQUEZ, SPA, REPSOL HONDA TEAM, HONDA, P1. Pht. Michelin Motorsport

Márquez en cavalier seul

Aragón, Sachsenring ou encore Austin… Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team) a toujours eu un goût prononcé pour les tracés antihoraires et le Catalan avait justement avait revanche à prendre avec celui-ci. Souvenez-vous, c’était en 2019 : le n°93 se faisait piéger en tête de course, alors qu’une septième victoire lui tendait les bras. Mais ce dimanche, l’octuple Champion du Monde rétablissait l’ordre en s’illustrant avec une avance de plus quatre secondes.

MARC MARQUEZ, SPA, REPSOL HONDA TEAM, HONDA, P1, intouchable à Austin. Pht. Michelin Motorsport

Le natif de Cervera signait à vrai dire un parfait envol depuis la première ligne pour se porter en tête au premier virage devant Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) et mettait aussitôt les voiles, plus personne ne le reverra.

FABIO QUARTARARO, FRA, MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MotoGP, YAMAHA, P2. Pht. Michelin Motorsport

De son côté, Fabio Quatararo allait demeurer un long moment menacé par Jorge Martín (Pramac Racing), qui avait réussi à s’extraire du paquet, à la différence de Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team). Le principal adversaire de Fabio Quartararo concédait en effet un peu de terrain, au profil d’Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) et de Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team), revenu tel un boulet de canon.

Start of Race. Pht. Michelin Motorsport

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) et Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) se faisaient pendant ce temps-là piéger.

FRANCESCO BAGNAIA, ITA, DUCATI LENOVO TEAM, DUCATI, P3. Pht. Michelin Motorsport

Bagnaia sauve les meubles

Ceci étant, Francesco Bagnaia se ressaisissait et doublait Alex Rins. Jack Miller lui facilitait pour sa part la tâche en se décalant. Quant à Jorge Martín, ce dernier court-circuitait un virage et écopait d’un Long Lap Penalty, qu’il observera dans le dernier tour, au plus grand bonheur d’Alex Rins. Lequel héritait ainsi de sa quatrième place.

ALEX RINS, SPA, TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR, SUZUK, P4. Pht. Michelin Motorsport

La hiérarchie n’évoluera plus, ou du moins aux avant-postes. Marc Márquez triomphait au final devant Fabio Quartararo et Francesco Bagnaia ; tandis qu’Alex Rins échouait au pied du podium.

JORGE MARTIN, SPA, PRAMAC RACING, DUCATI, P5. Pht. Michelin Motorsport

Jorge Martín et Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) héritaient cette fois des cinquième et sixième rangs.

Johann Zarco a chuté

Joan Mir aurait dû terminer dans leur sillage mais le Majorquin se voyait dans la foulée sanctionné d’une position, en raison d’un contact avec Jack Miller. L’Australien était d’ailleurs le grand bénéficiaire de cette pénalité. Joan Mir complétait le Top 10 en compagnie de Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) et de Pol Espargaró (Repsol Honda Team).

Première balle de match pour Quartararo à Misano

Classement course ici

Les meilleurs tours ici

Championnat ici

Au Championnat, l’écart entre Fabio Quartararo et Francesco Bagnaia s’élève désormais à 52 points. Autrement dit, le Niçois pourrait être sacré dès la prochaine manche, qui aura lieu dans trois semaines.

FABIO QUARTARARO, FRA, P2 / MARC MARQUEZ, SPA, P1 / FRANCESCO BAGNAIA, ITA, P3 Podium. Pht. Michelin Motorsport

English Information

Classy Marc Marquez reclaims COTA crown with victory

The eight-time World Champion earned a seventh win in Austin as Quartararo extends Championship lead to 52 points

The King of COTA is back. A faultless display from Marc Marquez handed the Repsol Honda Team star a magnificent seventh win at the Circuit of The Americas, as the number 93 stormed to a second victory of 2021. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) extended his World Championship lead with a second place at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas, with third place finisher Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) now 52 points shy of the Frenchman with three races to go.

Captain America storms Austin once more

Plan A was executed to perfection by Marc Marquez from third on the grid, the number 93 grabbed the holeshot as Quartararo also got the better of polesitter Bagnaia. The latter then lost another place to the fast-starting Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) on the opening lap, with Pecco then getting demoted to P5 as Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) carved his way past on Lap 2.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) was the first crasher of the race, the Japanese rider was sixth when he tumbled at Turn 12 on the second lap. Further back, Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) was making good progress on the hard rear Michelin tyre from 10th on the grid, the Aussie grabbed a two-for-one deal at Turn 12 to pass Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) on Lap 3 for sixth place.

After dispatching Rins, Martin was being a nuisance for Championship leader Quartararo, as Marc Marquez stretched his lead to a second for the first time. Miller, having passed teammate Pecco, was now ahead of Rins in P4 and was the man on the move. Bagnaia, in turn, was struggling to keep up with the top five in sixth.

Lap 8 of 20 ticked by and a 2:04.368 was slammed in by Marc Marquez, his lead was now up to 1.5s over Quartararo. With 11 to go, that gap had been stretched to 2.3s, with Quartararo a second clear of Martin. Miller was half a second down on his fellow Ducati rider, and 1.3s behind was Pecco, who had started to find some rhythm – the Italian passing Rins.

Pecco then latched onto the back of teammate Miller, before the latter allowed Pecco through with every point in the title race absolutely critical at this stage, especially with Quartararo P2 with eight laps remaining. Now, the question was: could Bagnaia catch and pass Martin for third? With four laps to go, the gap was suddenly nothing, with Martin seemingly looking down at his dashboard a few times. Was Martin struggling, or were Ducati intervening? Well, it wouldn’t matter in the end, with Martin being handed a Long Lap Penalty for not losing enough time at Turns 4 and 5 when he had a front end moment. 

In the end though, Captain America returned to reign once again in Austin. Marc Marquez gave Repsol Honda Team their 450th premier class podium with a classy ride at COTA, as Quartararo takes a second place that gives him his first match point of the season next time out at Misano. Bagnaia recovered well to claim P3, but its ground lost in the Championship chase.

The points scorers in Texas

Rins was able to finish P4 after profiting from Martin’s Long Lap Penalty, the latter unlucky to finish 5th after another fantastic ride. Sixth place went the way of Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) who benefits from a clash between Mir and Miller on the final lap, with the Rookie of the Year battle close between Martin and Bastianini heading into the final three races.

Mir’s move on Miller at Turn 15 saw the reigning World Champion receive a one place penalty, contact was made with Miller coming worse off. Mir crossed the line in P7 with Miller P8, that result is switched after the penalty, as Binder and Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) completed the top 10. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) takes home a lonely P11 with Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol), Andrea Dovizioso (Petronas Yamaha SRT), Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia) and Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT), The Doctor securing a point in his final Grand Prix appearance in America.

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) crashed out unhurt on Sunday afternoon.

A dream return to COTA for Marc Marquez then, the King returns to reclaim his Austin crown. Equally as happy is Quartararo, a 52-point advantage means he can win the 2021 title next time out at Misano.