Alex Rins won in MotoGP in Austin, Bagnaia fell while leading and only 14 bikes finished the race, a real massacre. Miguel Oliveira shone and delighted fans with a fifth place finish.
With cooler temperatures, 22 degrees Celsius in the air and a clear sky, the tire options for the 20-lap race of the Grand Prix of the Americas, the third scoring round of the MotoGP World Championship, remained the same. Having secured pole position on Saturday, reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia headed the first row with Alex Rins and Luca Marini. Miguel Oliveira started from 15th position, and the main question was who would make it to turn 1 first.
As positions were starting to solidify on the second lap, Bagnaia was in the lead but unable to pull away from Rins, with Miller, Quartararo, Marini, Bezzecchi, and Zarco following closely behind. Oliveira was in 8th place, but quickly surpassed Zarco to move up to 7th.
With only two laps completed, Quartararo was in third and trying not to lose contact with the top two, while Rins began to put pressure on Bagnaia. Jack Miller was in third with the KTM, ahead of the two black and yellow Ducatis of VR46’s Marini and Bezzecchi. Nakagami, who was faster with Luccio Cecchinello’s Honda LCR, was closing in on Bagnaia, but the world champion was defending well… on the straights. Quartararo with the Yamaha was beginning to lose ground to the top two. Further back, Maverick Viñales passed Oliveira and left the Portuguese in 9th place.
Drama and turnaround in the classification
In sector 2, a yellow flag is shown due to Miller’s strange fall, losing grip on his KTM and sliding like butter on the asphalt. With the Australian’s retirement, Quartararo moves up to P3. Shortly after, with 13 laps to go, the leader changes because Bagnaia crashes in turn 3, leaving the Lenovo Ducati box devastated. Rins then leads with a 2.3 second advantage over the Frenchman Quartararo, and Miguel Oliveira climbs to P7.
There are 12 laps to go and Rins seems to be flying with his Honda… in fact, the manufacturer with the most wins in Texas, due to Marc Marquez’s successes at COTA. Another yellow flag is then seen, this time for Joan Mir’s crash. Up front, Rins seems undisturbed, Quartararo can’t reduce the gap to the Spaniard, and Miguel Oliveira climbs to sixth, leaving Zarco and Binder behind… the South African crashes and there are no more KTM’s in the race. Taka Nakagami also crashes, but his teammate Alex Rins heads for a fantastic victory, his second at COTA, after winning with Suzuki in 2019.
With 9 laps to go, Luca Marini starts to pressure and passes Fabio Quartararo, the podium story is not yet finished. Marco Bezzecchi is in P4. Marini passes Fabio on the straight without contemplation, because the Ducati is the rocket we all know! Miguel Oliveira remains behind his brand mate Viñales. Up front, Rins is 4 tenths faster than Marini, now second ahead of Fabio, Viñales and Oliveira – who climbs to fifth place after overtaking the world leader Marco Bezzecchi. With 6 laps to go, the race classification is as follows: Rins, Marini 2.5 seconds behind the Spaniard, Quartararo, Viñales, Oliveira and Bezzecchi. Asking more of Oliveira is too much, as he started 15th and climbed to fifth! Zarco, Morbidelli, Di Giannantonio, and Augusto Fernandez complete the top 10. Only 14 riders are on track, a real massacre!
Until the end, the positions were more than stabilized. It only remained for no one to make a mistake. Fabio made one, but a mild one. Rins didn’t back down and won with distinction, Marini made his first podium in the premier class for Marini. Seeing is believing, an incredible race in Texas fashion!
MotoGP Austin/USA results:
- Alex Rins (E), Honda,
- Luca Marini (I), Ducati, +3.498sec
- Fabio Quartararo (F), Yamaha, +4.936
- Maverick Viñales (E), Aprilia, +8.318
- Miguel Oliveira (P), Aprilia, +9.989
- Marco Bezzecchi (I), Ducati, +12.049
- Johann Zarco (F), Ducati, +12.242
- Franco Morbidelli (I), Yamaha, +20.399
- Fabio Di Giannantonio (I), Ducati, +27.981
- Augusto Fernández (E), KTM, +28.217
- Michele Pirro (I), Ducati, +32.370
- Jonas Folger (D), KTM, +1:08.065 min
- Brad Binder (ZA), KTM, +1:23.012
- Stefan Bradl (D), Honda, 2 laps down.