2015 Austin Sunday MotoGP Post-Race Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after Sunday's race in Austin:


Rossi Claims Hard Fought Podium at Circuit of The Americas

Circuit of the Americas (Austin, Texas - USA), 12th April 2015

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi secured a third place today at the Grand Prix of the Americas. Teammate Lorenzo also rode a strong race, despite not feeling at his hundred per cent due to illness, and finished fourth.

The weekend at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) has been full of surprises and the race day was no exception. Though the weather was bright and sunny, the race was delayed at the last minute before the warm-up lap due to water spillage at turn three. The clean up process postponed the proceedings by 37 minutes, but the race remained its original distance of 21 laps.

Starting from fourth on the grid, Rossi quickly moved up to third and got involved in a fight for the lead with rivals Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso. Putting pressure on him on lap seven, the Italians swapped places several times in a hard battle for second place before the nine-time World Champion shook off his compatriot one lap later. He then tried to hunt down race leader Marc Marquez, but was unable to close the gap and got wrapped up in a second scrap with Dovizioso, six laps from the end. Rossi dropped back to one place but kept pushing to the maximum. However, a worn out front tyre prevented him from taking his position back. He crossed the finish line in third place, +3.120s from the front, retaining his lead in the championship.

Teammate Lorenzo had a perfect launch off the line but got caught up in a cluster of riders when he arrived at the first corner and fell back to fifth place. While fighting to close down the gap to the leading group, he came under pressure by Andrea Iannone. The Spaniard was forced to let him pass, but he didn‘t give up. Riding in sixth place, he followed him to the front of the field and soon closed in on Bradley Smith. On the tenth lap he smoothly passed the Brit and continued his stride to the front. He charged up to Iannone with four laps to go and used the nimble YZR-M1 to the fullest with a smooth pass to claim fourth place one lap later. With a 2.705s gap to his teammate, he focused his attention on managing the gap to the rider behind him and held his place to the line, +6.682s behind the leader.

Today‘s results deliver Rossi 16 points, keeping him at the top of the championship standings with 41 points. Lorenzo increased his point count to 26 in total. He currently holds fifth place in the standings.

46 Valentino Rossi

3rd / +3.120 / 21 laps

“I‘m happy about the weekend, because getting onto the podium is a good objective when coming here. On paper this track is the worst for our bike. I am satisfied about the weekend as a whole because we were always in the top 4-5 and we also weren‘t so bad on the wet. For it to be perfect I would have had to beat Dovizioso, but unfortunately he was a bit faster. I didn‘t have a chance to try, also because after six or seven laps of pushing a lot, I had to ride very smooth. For some reason our bike destroyed the front tyre. It‘s been like this in 2013 and last year, but this year, fortunately, Bridgestone brought a harder front. That helped me to arrive at the end of the race, but the tyre was still damaged. Dovi said to me that we risked a lot overtaking in turn 12. From the bike I didn‘t feel it and I thought we had some margin. We passed each other very closely, but there was enough space.”

99 Jorge Lorenzo

4th / +6.682 / 21 laps

“It was a very tough race, because physically I wasn‘t feeling good due to the bronchitis and the antibiotics. We finished the race in the best way possible given the circumstances. I wasn‘t fit and the bike also needed some extra performance on some areas of the track, especially on the straight I lost a lot. Here and in Qatar two problems occurred that were difficult to overcome but we saved the situations the best we could. I will probably be fit in Argentina. Last year I rode a good race there while I wasn‘t in the best condition. Now that the bike is working better, I hope I will be ready physically. I have high hopes for the race in Argentina and the track is fun to race at.”

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

“It‘s been a kind of unusual race for us because the morning conditions of the track didn‘t allow us to check if the set up for the race would work. We started the race not exactly knowing what the tyre life was going to be like, which was a problem we had to deal with the whole weekend. The results of the race have been good, a podium is always a great result and compared to last year we made a big step forward. Today‘s race was pretty tough for Jorge as he was not in full condition and his performances were affected by the bronchitis that has been with him since Friday. We are leaving this race leading the championship and this gives us great motivation for the next race. Now we look forward to the next round in Argentina.”


Marquez continues perfect record in USA with emphatic win in Austin

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has returned to winning form in the Red Bull GP of The Americas with teammate Hiroshi Aoyama – replacing Dani Pedrosa – fighting to the last lap to take 11th place.

Pole man Marc dropped back briefly from the start to 2nd place behind Dovizioso whilst Hiroshi got caught up and found himself 20th, from 16th on the grid. By lap five, Hiro had climbed to 13th and after a brief battle with Dovizioso, Marc took first place.

With Rossi and Iannone fighting with Dovizioso, Marc never looked back and led from the front for the remainder of the race – taking his 20th victory in the MotoGP class. Hiroshi progressed further and reached 11th place, which he briefly lost on the final lap, but showed a fighting spirit and re-passed Barbera taking 11th.

Marc has won on all six occasions that he has raced in the MotoGP class in the USA, and Honda celebrate their 11th consecutive win on American soil. The last non-Honda MotoGP winner in the USA was Jorge Lorenzo, at Laguna Seca in 2010.

Now the team must pack up and head straight to Argentina for the third round of 2015.

Marc Marquez

1st Championship Standing: 3rd - 36 points

"I am very happy with this victory! After yesterday, things looked positive for us, but the only doubt was about the weather. In the end, it turned out stranger than it had seemed. When I saw that it was going to be a dry race, I started out very focused - because I knew it was important to try to win today. However, right from the first lap I saw that the track was not like it had been before the rain of last night. There was less grip and it was harder to ride comfortably. I decided to keep calm in the early laps to try to understand the situation well, and when I started to find a feeling similar to practice, I decided to push the pace a bit. That was when I was able to open up a gap."

Hiroshi Aoyama

11th Championship Standing: 14th - 5 points

“It was an exciting race! It hasn’t been an easy week with the weather so unstable and the race was the first time we’ve had 100% dry conditions. I tried my best, the bike worked well and Dani’s team really helped me. I pushed to the last lap for the best position and I have learned a lot this weekend! Now I will try to build on this experience and improve in Argentina next week.”


Superb podium for Dovizioso, who finishes the GP of the Americas at Austin in second place. Iannone fifth.

After second place in the opening round of the 2015 MotoGP season in Qatar, Andrea Dovizioso confirmed his current run of good form and the competitiveness of the Ducati Desmosedici GP15 in the Grand Prix of the Americas at Austin, in Texas, where he again finished runner-up. The Ducati Team rider rode an aggressive race, getting the holeshot from the starting grid and leading for the first four laps, before being passed by Marc Marquez who went on to win the race.

Dovizioso was then involved in an exciting battle with Rossi, who passed him on lap 8, but he remained right behind his compatriot, getting past on lap 16 and administering his advantage until the chequered flag. Thanks to this second successive runner-up slot, Dovizioso is now second in the championship, just one point behind Rossi.

Team-mate Andrea Iannone, who started from row 3, also had a good race. After starting well, the man from Vasto in Southern Italy unfortunately lost touch with the leaders on the opening lap when he had to avoid being caught up in the crash between Redding and Pol Espargarò. He then began a good recovery, passing Aleix Espargarò, Jorge Lorenzo and Bradley Smith, and reached fourth place behind Dovizioso on lap 8.

Iannone tried to attack his team-mate, but after a few laps he had to slow his pace because of front tyre wear, and he was then passed by Lorenzo on lap 19 and had to settle for fifth. The Ducati Team man now lies in fourth place overall in the Riders’ standings.

Thanks to today’s results, Ducati are second in the Constructors’ table, just one point behind Yamaha, and the Ducati Team are equal first in the special Teams’ classification.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 2nd

“Today was a superb race and I take enormous personal satisfaction from it because here at Austin the races are always special: on this circuit you have to administer your energy, your tyres and your pace, something that does not happen in other circuits. I am particularly pleased with the work of my team because on a completely different track from Losail we confirmed that the GP15 is competitive and we managed to improve during the weekend. This year we have already had two great races, but we must continue to work because we’re still lacking a bit of fine-tuning in braking and traction, small improvements that will make the difference when it comes to fighting for the top positions at every circuit.”

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 5th

“All things considered it was a positive weekend, even though I am not very happy with my fifth place. Today it was difficult to obtain anything more, because I lost a lot of time at the start when Redding crashed in front of me. Then I had to push hard to make up the four-second gap from the leaders and it was not very easy. I had to push a lot at the front and on the tyres in general, and inevitably I paid for that in the last five laps. It was a pity, but in any case I am happy to have a competitive bike that every Sunday can fight for the podium and which allows me to stay up at the front with the top riders, and I am bringing home some important results.”

Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)

“For sure today was another great race for our team, and Dovizioso’s runner-up position is even sweeter than the one in Qatar. We made a courageous decision to use a softer front tyre than almost everyone else, convinced that the problem was not due to the tyre but to riding style. Dovi was really good and he was capable of managing the race intelligently by trying to spare the front tyre. He was then incisive at the right moment and managed to bring home a great result. Iannone also ran a good race and was very quick on the track. I think that he too could have fought for the podium had he not had to push hard in the opening laps, when he had to fight to pass several riders before catching the leading group, and towards the end of the race he then had problems with the front tyre. Now we are going to Argentina where we will try and confirm the good performances of the first two rounds of the championship at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.”


SUZUKI ECSTAR RIDERS IN TOP 10 AT COTA GP

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 12th

The sun finally welcomed the MotoGP™ riders on the grid at the Circuit of The Americas today. This sunshine proved to be a good omen for the SUZUKI ECSTAR riders, as the results saw both Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales in the top 10 and both Spaniards taking home solid points in the Championship.

The race started after a short delay due to track conditions, which capped a strange weekend for the American event. On Friday, rain and a dog on the track led to a delay, then poor weather and fog hit Saturday’s schedule and finally sunshine welcomed Sunday’s race, despite a further delay thanks to water on the track due to issues with drainage. These variable conditions pushed teams and riders to the limit over the weekend, but both SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders kept their minds focused on the job at hand.

The 21-lap race saw both riders deliver consistent performances. Espargaro ended the race in eighth place, only 19 seconds from the race winner, and gaining eight points in the championship. He is now in eighth place in the overall standings with 13 points. His team-mate Viñales ended right behind him in ninth place securing seven points that gives him 11th place in the riders’ championship.

Satoru Terada – Team Director:

“This weekend has been positive for us because we have got into the top 10 with both riders and we improved the performance that we had in Qatar. This means we are progressing well, although during this weekend we have experienced some issues that need to be investigated. Our bikes lack some power, as we already know, but at the moment we are experiencing also some chatter problems, especially at the rear. We have tried several improvements but for the moment we need to investigate still further, aided by the support of the factory in Japan. I want to thank the riders who made an excellent race and the whole team which is demonstrating to be both professional and well prepared.”

Aleix Espargaro:

“I can’t say I’m totally satisfied with the final position, for sure we closed the gap to the winner and this means we did better than in Qatar, but I still believe that eighth place is not where this team and bike deserves to be. The weekend has been very variable and we experienced a lot of chattering at the rear of the bike, similar to what we had during the Qatar race. The team worked really hard to fix this problem; with both set-up, electronics and whatever could help, but we couldn’t find the proper solution. However the important thing is that we are constantly improving. I know I have support from the factory and the team and this finally led to an improvement compared to our first race, so we need to be patient and consistent and take as many points as we can in every race.”

Maverick Viñales:

“Well I’m happy that I improved our position compared to Qatar, we are moving forward very quickly and also my confidence is improving. The weekend was not easy. Variable conditions are hard to deal with because you have to continuously adapt to the weather while being out on track as much as possible so you can learn as much as possible. Unfortunately the tyre choice for the race was maybe not the perfect one: I have always had a good feeling with the hard tyre, but at the end of the race I felt I could have performed better if I maybe had chosen the soft tyre. However it is important that I got well into the top 10, closing the gap with the top riders. We only need some more time to improve things and be even more competitive.”


AT THE END OF A POSITIVE WEEKEND ALVARO BAUTISTA RIDES HIS APRILIA RS-GP TO A FIFTEENTH PLACE FINISH AND THE FIRST POINT IN MOTOGP

Austin (USA), 12 April 2015 - At the second round race the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini earned their first point of the season thanks to Alvaro Bautista who, on the spectacular Circuit of the Americas in Austin, rode his RS-GP to a fifteenth place finish.

At the wire the Spaniard came very close to the two riders ahead of him, giving the impression in the final laps that he might even have gained a position or two. This is a positive test received by the entire team with great satisfaction, as well as motivation and encouragement for everyone who has been facing this season like a long apprenticeship in the most challenging category of motorcycle racing.

Marco Melandri, who got off the line very well, was hindered and then forced to a DNF due to problems with his gearbox. In one week there will be another round in Argentina to keep improving and to confirm the progress made on the Texan track.

ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)

“This is just a small step but it is a really great result. It goes beyond the point earned, which in any case is a relevant fact. In a MotoGP that has never been so competitive it is important that Bautista easily did battle against bikes that are much further along than ours in terms of development and with top level riders. This is an important point which encourages us in this growth process which is so difficult at times, but which today began to bear first fruits.”

FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)

“A point is like a podium for us: our first goal after all was to finish the race. We succeeded, finishing in the points, a result that we thought would be difficult to achieve just a short while ago, so we are quite pleased. Obviously we know that there is still much work to be done, but today we gathered a lot of precious information and this is the right path to pursue. Too bad about Marco, who was looking good at the beginning of the race. Now we are looking forward to Argentina with confidence to get some more experience under our belts.”

ALVARO BAUTISTA

“I am really happy! I was able to put forth my best effort in the race, even bringing home our first point. I chose to use the soft compound tyre on the rear and I was able to look after it quite well, not pushing too hard at the beginning and then maintaining the most consistent pace possible. Toward the end I was at the limit, otherwise I would have been able to fight even for thirteenth place, but that's OK: bringing home points wasn't our goal. We simply wanted to finish the race, but we succeeded and we are obviously pleased about it. We finished out a truly positive weekend, gathering information and good sensations that will let me provide precious explanations to the engineers in view of the coming races. I want to thank the entire team, from the mechs to the engineers who are working hard to continuously improve the bike.”

MARCO MELANDRI

“It's a shame because I got off the line well and I had gotten ahead of several other riders. But from the very start I had problems with the gearbox and by the eleventh lap I had to stop. Fortunately we'll be racing again in a week, and I hope the weather will be good all weekend so we can improve.”


Smith stars in Texas to finish as top satellite MotoGP rider

Bradley Smith produced a memorable ride at the Circuit Of The Americas to claim the honours of being the top satellite rider by seizing 6th place in Texas. The 21 lap race start was delayed due to a spillage caused by a bridge near turn three which caused water to leak on to the track. However, once the surface conditions were resolved, the race began at 14:37 local time. The young British rider leapt off the starting grid from 10th and his impressive start saw him tenaciously cruise around the outside of the pack to jump up to 4th after the first corner, expertly overtaking six riders from the start. Smith remained resolute and set a series of highly competitive and consistent lap times as he remained right in the hunt with the leading pack in 4th place. At the mid point, the Briton was running in 6th with his determination intact and his tireless performance saw him keep the pursuing rider at bay to brilliantly cross the line as the top satellite MotoGP rider and only 10.557 behind the leader. With two rounds complete, Smith is 6th in the championship standings with 18 points as he optimistically looks ahead to the next round, confident of a further strong finish.

Meanwhile Pol Espargaro’s promising weekend where he hoped to challenge his teammate as the leading satellite bike was cruelly cut short after falling on the first lap at turn 11 due to Scott Redding crashing into him. The 23 year old started the day competitively in 5th during a wet warm up session with high hopes of riding to a top finish in the race. Nevertheless, the young Spaniard will remain focused and will look to make amends by clinching a top result in Argentina next week.

Bradley Smith

Position : 6th Championship : 6th Points : 18

"It was a great race and I am pleased with the result. It began with a strong start and to jump from 10th up to 4th was pretty awesome. The risk I took to go around the outside of the pack at turn one paid off. I have been studying previous races and saw how other riders got pinched on the inside, so I decided to gamble and go around the outside. After that, I was running comfortably with the leaders for the first five laps, but when Marc went past Andrea I was just missing that extra bit of pace. At one point in the race, I was concentrating so much on staying with the group in front that I forgot to alter the traction control map and so I overheated the tyre and as a result, I lost some pace. Anyway, I am pleased with the outcome and to finish in 6th place, as the top satellite and only 10 seconds is definitely one of my best performances in my MotoGP career. Now I look ahead to Argentina and although I struggled a bit last year, with the new M1 and Bridgestone tyres, we should be competitive. It’s a Yamaha track so we need to try and continue this positive momentum from the first two races so far. "

Pol Espargaro

Position : DNF Championship : 12th Points : 7

"Of course, I am disappointed as we definitely didn’t deserve this result. It was a tricky weekend but we were always inside the top seven and although qualifying unfortunately didn’t go to plan, I was confident of a good result. This was despite starting from the third row, which didn’t make it any easier. Regarding the incident, sadly there are still riders who think that they can win the race on the first lap even though there are 20 more to ride. It’s ridiculous but we can’t do anything about it now so we will continue working, yet we can’t hide our disappointment. Today could have been a good day but it turned out to be a disaster by something that wasn’t in our hands. I will now focus on Argentina next week where I intend to score a top finish."

Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :

"As the team manager, I can’t be completely happy about today’s result, because when you lose one of your two riders, it’s never a great feeling. Having said that, we are so happy with what Brad achieved. Yesterday he had a technical issue in qualifying which prevented him from showing his true potential. Yet, he remained confident and had an incredible start, but even though his starts are often good, I think this was one of the best of his MotoGP career. The most exciting thing is that Brad managed to stay with the factory guys and he was with Vale for more than half of the race distance which was very impressive plus he will have learnt a lot. Furthermore, it took a long time for Jorge to catch and then pass him, so our target is to always to be as close as possible to the factory riders which is our benchmark and Brad accomplished this today. We finished with the smallest gap to the leader that we have had in quite a long time and we also completed the race in front of Cal which is another one of our missions. We know that Pol would have been very fast here and it would have been brilliant to see this. Of course, he will be disappointed, but sometimes these things happen in races, however we are pleased with his progress so far and we will keep on working. He is good enough to be near the top group therefore we expect him to be back in that position at the next race. We were the best satellite bike, Brad is 6th in the championship and we are fourth in the team standings, so just like the weather today, everything is good! We hope to have two top riders next week in Argentina and we will see you there."


Redding tumbles out of top six fight in Texas

Austin, Texas – 12 April 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Scott Redding saw an unfortunate opening lap crash deny him the chance to fight for a top six finish in today’s 21-lap MotoGP race at the Circuit of the Americas.

After the race was delayed by almost 40 minutes to clear a water spillage at turn 3, Redding made a fast getaway from his best premier class starting position of sixth on the grid.

He was dicing with Spanish duo Jorge Lorenzo and Pol Espargaro for a top six position on a frantic first lap when the 22-year-old lost the front of his Honda RC213V machine in the braking zone for the tight turn 11.

Redding remounted but a damaged left handlebar and footpeg forced him to retire from the race.

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS now move immediately to South America to the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina confident of a strong showing after Redding and his crew made significant progress with the set-up of his Honda RC213V machine this weekend.

Scott Redding: DNF

“I’m really disappointed because I have been fast all weekend in wet and dry conditions. And after claiming my best ever qualifying result in MotoGP I was confident I could have been in that second group fighting for the top six. I had a good early battle with Lorenzo in the first three corners and in turn 11 he stopped mid-corner to pull it back round and I was in a little bit too hot and I think I clipped the back of him and went down. I got going again and wanted to stay out in case it rained but the left footpeg broke off, so I had no gears and had to retire. We can take a lot of positives from the weekend but it is disappointing not to get a good result at the end of it.” 

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

“It is a pity that Scott wasn’t able to capitalize on his second row start and an aggressive first few corners. He looked well placed to move into the fight for the top six, but unfortunately crashed while fighting with Lorenzo. The fact he was fighting on the first lap with a double MotoGP World Champion shows the progress we have already made since Qatar and despite the result we can take a lot of positives to the next race in Argentina.”


CRUTCHLOW HAS TO SETTLE FOR SEVENTH IN TEXAS

Just as he did in the season’s opening race in Qatar, CWM LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow finished seventh at the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas on Sunday. The Briton was hampered by a first-lap collision which cost him valuable seconds at the start of the race and was not able to recover to challenge the leaders having departed from fifth on the grid.

Crutchlow eventually finished just under 17 seconds behind race winner Marc Marquez, but acknowledged he was frustrated with his final position having performed so well over the course of the weekend. However, he insisted he was looking forward to the opportunity to challenge again in Argentina next weekend.

Cal Crutchlow #35, 7th (44'04.117)

“Today I was really disappointed with the result, we had a good pace over the race weekend. In the race itself we had some problems, I got caught up in the crash on the first lap and lost nearly five seconds in one lap and from that point it was very difficult to catch up.

“The whole CWM LCR Honda team need to regroup now and come back to the next race stronger as we were too far behind the winner today. We need to discuss a plan for Argentina which is a track I have never raced at before, but I am looking forward to it.”


Petrux celebrates his Top 10. Yonny starts fast but crashes on lap 8

The first overseas weekend of the season ends with satisfaction for the tenth place of Danilo Petrucci and regrets for the slide of Yonny Hernandez who had appeared to be in great form since the morning warm up (third laptime).

At the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, the two Pramac Racing riders both got a great start. Yonny Hernandez soon managed to make up six positions, gaining ninth place followed by Danilo Petrucci who overtook his teammate on lap 3.

Five laps later the Colombian rider crashed in the last corner before the main straight and was unable to rejoin the race.

Danilo continued to push hard fighting in a nice battle with Maverick Vignales but he had to give way to the Spaniard with two laps remaining. The rider from Terni finished the race with the satisfaction of being in the Top 10 and also in the overall standings (9th with 10 points).

Pramac Racing moves up to 16 points in the team standings (7th position)

10° Danilo Petrucci - Pramac Racing #9

"I started very well but on the first lap I struggled a little bit and the riders in front went away immediately. I had a bit of difficulty with the agility of the bike having preferred to favor stability. This made me physically exhausted and after a few laps the bike felt really heavy. But it was a choice of mine so I have no recrimination. Then I pushed to keep Vinales behind me. I felt I had more engine power but the bike was sliding a lot so I decided not to risk and bring back home a positive Top 10. I have to thank my team and Ducati. Everybody is helping me a lot, I feel I have confidence and this allows me to work quietly to try to stay with the riders in front. It would have been nice to finish ninth but we'll try to do that in Rio Hondo, a track that I like a lot, as it has different characteristics"

Yonny Hernandez - Pramac Racing #68 - Crashed on lap 8

"I started very well but with the hard tire I could never find the pace to go fast. I felt I lost grip on the front tyre and I would have to slow down a bit. In the corner before the main straight I made a mistake losing the rear wheel and I crashed. I'm very sorry but I was really at the limit in every corner and it would have been very difficult to get to the end continuing to push hard. Now I have to focus on the Grand Prix of Argentina, which I consider almost a home race. I will have much motivation. I will give my best to make a good result and leave this weekend behind me".


MILLER CLAIMS MAIDEN MOTOGP POINTS IN TEXAS

CWM LCR Honda Team rider Jack Miller secured his first-ever points in the MotoGP class as he finished 14th in the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Starting from 19th on the grid, the Australian made a superb start and climbed as high as 11th at one point during the race.

However, he was later involved in a collision that would ultimately cost him a couple of places in the final standings. Miller – who came home under a quarter of a second behind former MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden – declared himself pleased with the result and insisted he had gathered crucial experience for the season ahead.

Jack Miller #43, 14th (44'43.881)

“I was really happy with the race, I learnt a lot fighting with the guys like Nicky (Hayden) and the rest of the group. I must improve the management of my tyres over the first few laps. I need to learn not to be so aggressive on the front tyre, and especially the rear, so that I have more possibilities at the end of the race.

“Overall, I am very happy to finish the race and finally get some points. But now we have to make the next step and look to try and finish inside the top ten.”


Nicky Hayden celebrates 200th GP in style

POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider shows his class to come back from a tough weekend with a strong finish to 200th race

A weekend of peculiar delays continued today at COTA, where a water spillage moments before the MotoGP race saw it pushed back by half an hour. Once it got started there was nothing unusual about the race winner as Marc Marquez dominated to take his third straight win at this track ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi.

POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider Nicky Hayden made his 200th Grand Prix appearance today and he showed all the class and experience that has taken him to this impressive figure to bounce back from two difficult days of practice. The former World Champion started from 22nd on the grid but he soon began to make up positions once the race started, picking up three places on the first lap and continuing to advance forward whilst entertaining a valiant Jack Miller, whom he beat to secure thirteenth position at the finish. Eugene Laverty also made up ground from his qualifying position but after lapping in twelfth place early on he eventually dropped out of the points as he struggled to maintain his pace on used tyres.

13th Nicky Hayden: “Compared with the rest of the weekend we have performed well in the race. I made a pretty bad start and lost acceleration in turn one, we still don't know why. After that I pushed hard and made up quite a few positions quite quickly. I had a nice fight with a bunch of guys, which I won to take some points and that was a small victory in my 200th GP. We have taken a lot of information from the weekend and we know that we need to improve the response from the front under braking. At the end of the race we suffered a lot from tyre wear, especially on the front, and it was tough to hold my position on the last few laps. Thirteenth place is not spectacular but I am happy because we have finished the weekend moving in the right direction and hopefully we can keep it going from here. I want to say thanks for all the support from everybody in my 200 GP”

16th Eugene Laverty: “It was strange today because the bike felt different to the rest of the weekend with the change in temperature. Also the tyres really dropped off at the end of the race. With my riding style it was hard to maintain full lean angle and I was more sat up on the bike, like on a Superbike, and that made me lose touch with the guys I was lapping with. I got left behind a little and even though I tried to get back with them it was too late. This is a physical circuit and once the tyres went it was even harder. Anyway, it was an interesting race, I made a good start and I felt good in the early laps. I was able to be aggressive and I had a good fight there for a while with Jack Miller”.


Broken gear lever pushed Abraham out of the race

Karel Abraham retired from the Grand Prix of the Americas MotoGP race due to the technical issue. Abraham moved forward from 7th row to 15th fighting in the group with Alvaro Bautista, Eugene Laverty, Jack Miller and Nicky Hayden for 13th place. Six laps before checkered flag Abraham must enter pits and retired.

Karel Abraham

„It seemed to be a quite good race. I did good start and the race was going well. I was holding 15th position and closing the gap to Nicky and Jack. But then the gearbox lever broke. I can say anything about it. We are just unlucky. On the other hand I´m really curious about the front tyre, which was almost destroyed six laps before the finish. But most of riders suffered the same problem.”

Marco Grana, chief mechanic AB Motoracing

“We are really disappointed. We were riding good race after problem we had been suffering on Friday and Saturday. We were on points with a chance to get on 13th position. But then the gear lever broke and Karel must retire. The only thing we know is that it´s a mechanical issue, the lever is simply “cracked” probably because of material defect. It is really bad luck for us.”


Hard race for the Athinà Forward Racing team in Austin

It was a difficult race for the riders of the Athinà Forward Racing team today in the Grand Prix of the Americas on the track in Austin, Texas. Stefan Bradl was forced to retire after a contact with Jack Miller, while Loris Baz crossed the line in 17th position.

Bradl, who started from the fourth row, had a good start and was immediately close to the Top10. The German was fighting with Jack Miller to win the lead of the Open class when he fell after a contact with the Australian rookie. Bradl was immediately able to get up, but was unable to rejoin the race and was forced to retire.

Complicated race for his teammate Loris Baz who started from the 20th place. The Frenchman struggled at the start, but remained close to the points, before starting to lose grip on the front and crossed the line in 17th position.

Stefan Bradl

"Too bad for how the race ended. I started well, I was fast and surely I could have fought for the head of my class. Immediately after the start I overtook Miller and we were fighting for the position. I passed him on the first corner but he touched me on the rear and I was forced to retire. It's disappointing because we were really competitive. After Qatar we did a great job and an important step forward. We remain focused for the race in Argentina".

Loris Baz

"It was not the race I had imagined. I did not have a good start but I was immediately fast and I closed the gap with the group in front of me. I had a good pace and I did the whole first half of the race with them, before losing a bit of grip on the front. I struggled in the final laps, but I'm happy to have finished the race. The points-zone is close, we learned a lot this weekend and this is a good starting point in view of the race in Argentina".


One more Open class victory for Barbera and Avintia Racing

Avintia Racing MotoGP – Grand Prix of the Americas – RACE

The season could not go in a better way for Avintia Racing team, with a new victory in the Open class today at the Circuit of the Americas. At first, it looked as if it was going to be a difficult weekend. On the opening day, the feeling of Hector Barbera in the wet was not great and he also struggled in dry conditions. But once again, he turned things around when it counted on Sunday. Hector demonstrated his great talent with a determined ride and gave Avintia Racing the second victory in the second race of the season. This time, he was fighting with Hiroshi Aoyama on the factory Honda until the chequered flag came down. Barbera crossed the line more than 9 seconds ahead of Nicky Hayden’s Honda, the next Open bike.

For Mike Di Meglio, the race didn´t go quite as well. The French rider of Avintia Racing Team crashed twice during the race. He had chosen a front tyre that he didn’t try during the practice sessions. But he has learned from this experience and he will be back stronger next week at the Grand Prix of Argentina.

HECTOR BARBERA #8 / 12th (1st Open) @HectorBarbera

I’m really happy because we were the first Open bike on Saturday qualifying and on Sunday race again and we also finished closer to the front than in Qatar. During the weekend we had many issues, in wet conditions I was not fast enough, then we tried a few things in the dry, but again my feeling was not great… We were not at 100 per cent but we are still on top of the Open class, so I’m very happy. I think we have still a lot of room for improvements. If I have to highlight something from the weekend then it´s the fact that the team has been working at 110 per cent. Our target was to be the first Open bike and we achieved our goal. On the last lap, I thought of an attack on Aoyama, but I decided it was better to grab the Open victory than to risk a crash!

MIKE DI MEGLIO #63 / DNF @Mikejpp63

I’m very disappointed. I had a great start and I was behind Petrucci on the first lap, so everything looked great. But we chose a harder front tyre for the race that we had not tested during the weekend, and obviously it was the wrong choice. I crashed twice losing the front without pushing to the limit and without any warning…I feel bad for the team, because we have been working very hard during the weekend and we expected a good result today. Now we have to look forward to Argentina, because we are getting better every time I’m on the track!


Eugene Laverty Media

16th Eugene Laverty: “It was strange today because the bike felt different to the rest of the weekend with the change in temperature. Also the tyres really dropped off at the end of the race. With my riding style it was hard to maintain full lean angle and I was more sat up on the bike, like on a Superbike, and that made me lose touch with the guys I was lapping with. I got left behind a little and even though I tried to get back with them it was too late. This is a physical circuit and once the tyres went it was even harder. Anyway, it was an interesting race, I made a good start and I felt good in the early laps. I was able to be aggressive and I had a good fight there for a while with Jack Miller”.


Marquez completes COTA hat-trick with dominant Grand Prix of the Americas win

Round 2: Americas MotoGP™ - Race

Circuit of the Americas, Sunday 12 April 2015

Bridgestone slick compounds: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft & Hard (Symmetric) & Medium (Asymmetric)

Bridgestone wet tyre compounds: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)

Weather: Dry. Ambient 27-28°C; Track 38-40°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez clinched his third successive Grand Prix of the Americas victory as the MotoGP™ World Champion won today in Austin ahead of Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi who finished in second and third place respectively.

Starting from pole position, Marquez assumed the race lead from Dovizioso on the fourth lap from which point, he was never headed, and he ultimately crossed the finish line 2.354 seconds ahead of Dovizioso, with Rossi a further eight-tenths of a second behind. With the Circuit of the Americas proving to be quite demanding on the front tyre, both Marquez and Rossi opted for the hard compound front slick, while Dovizoso selected the medium compound front slick. All riders in the top three, and all but one of the twenty-five rider grid selected the medium compound rear slick for the race.

After an overcast and slightly damp Warm Up session, conditions for the race were dry and sunny with a peak track temperature of 40°C recorded during the race; 12°C higher than yesterday’s high. The warmer temperatures didn’t have a major effect on tyre choice however, with just seven of the twenty-five riders selecting the hard compound front slick, with the remaining eighteen riders selecting the medium compound front. Only one rider, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista selected the soft compound rear slick, the other twenty-four riders selecting the medium compound rear slick. The hard compound rear slick was not used by any riders for the race.

Rossi’s second podium of the season sees him lead the championship standings on 41 points, just one point ahead of Dovizioso. Marquez’s victory sees him a further four points behind in third place in the standings after two rounds.

Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department

“Congratulations to Marc on his third consecutive victory at this circuit, and also to Andrea and Valentino for their well-deserved podiums. It was also pleasing to see three different manufacturers represented on the rostrum. This circuit is a real test of man, machine and tyres and given the highly variable conditions we’ve had this weekend, I am thrilled with how our tyres performed at this demanding track in one of our key motorcycle tyre markets. We now head to Argentina for the second of the back-to-back races in the Americas, and I look forward to seeing how our new allocation for the Argentina Grand Prix performs next weekend.”

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“As was the case in Qatar, today we had another close race with the top six riders crossing the finish line within ten seconds of each other, so I am pleased that our tyres are working well for all riders and manufacturers. It was considerably warmer than yesterday, but the riders used the same tyre combinations they used during FP4. Normally when temperatures are much warmer on race day we would expect some riders to use the hard compound rear slick at this circuit, but as the cool temperatures yesterday prevented riders testing this option, it remained unused today. Both the medium and hard compound front slick performed well, with both of these options used by riders on the podium, while the medium compound rear was the overwhelmingly popular race choice. Rider feedback suggests that the grip level today wasn’t as good as during the practice sessions, most likely due to the overnight rain, and this made effective tyre management during the race even more important. We head from one demanding track in Austin to another in Argentina, where we will debut our new extra-hard compound rear slick.”

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – Race winner

“Of course I’m really happy for this victory after where I finished in Qatar. I felt really good this weekend and concentrated well in the race, but it was difficult in the beginning of the race as the overnight rain affected the grip level of the track. After a few laps I felt more comfortable and I was able to push more and could open up a gap at the front and manage the race well.”


Marquez stamps his authority on 2015 MotoGP™ season with impressive win in Austin

Marc Marquez showed just how good he is by continuing his 100% record at the Circuit of The Americas, winning in Austin by more than 2.3 seconds.

The reigning MotoGP™ World Champion Marc Marquez sent a message out to the rest of the paddock that he was back after his mishap in Qatar, as he dominated the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas, at one point leading by over 5 seconds.

After mixed weather over the course of the weekend, the sun came out and track temperatures rose to 35 degrees in time for the start of the MotoGP™ race.

Andrea Dovizioso led the field into turn 1, with Marquez happy to let the Ducati GP15 open up a 0.5s lead during the opening couple of laps. The Spaniard took the lead on lap 5, and didn't look back as he went on to leave the rest of the field behind to maintain his 100% record at CoTA, before relaxing towards the end of the race.

A brilliant battle for second then ensued between the Italians Valentino Rossi, Dovizioso, and his Ducati teammate Andrea Iannone. “The Doctor” having to use all of his skill and experience to hold off the charge of the red machines as they tried to make their power advantage count. He would eventually lose out to Dovizioso, who made it another podium for the resurgent Ducati Team, although “The Doctor” maintains his lead in the Championship standings as he finished 3rd.

Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo left it late, overtaking the Ducati GP15 of Andrea Iannone with only 3 laps to go to snatch 4th place from the Italian, with Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith rounding out the top 6 as the leading Satellite rider.

CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow recovered from a poor start that saw him down in 10th on the opening lap to finish in 7th, 6 seconds behind Smith.

Aleix Espargaro was a further 2 seconds back in 8th, as he finished 19 seconds ahead of his rookie teammate Maverick Viñales on the second Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR in 9th.

 Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci completed the top ten, ahead of the Repsol Honda of Hiroshi Aoyama and the leading Open class bike of Hector Barbera on the Avintia Ducati.

Scott Redding earlier crashed at turn 11 taking out Pol Espargaro in the process, much to the chagrin of the Spanish rider, with a number of others also having to retire throughout the race.


Round Number: 
2
2015

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