2022 Austin MotoGP Race Result: The Sheriff And The Rodeo Cowboy Steal The Show

Showtime at COTA featured more – more clouds, more wind, more dramatic anthem renditions – and practice timesheets suggested a more inclusive race than the Ducati takeover of the top five on the grid. Expectation did not equal reality but what did get confirmed was Enea Bastianini’s fantastic pace, the Gresini rider putting in a real masterclass to take his second victory of the season and retake control of the world championship. Jack Miller tried his best to keep the Gresini rider at bay but had no response to his late race pace and then came under fire from Alex Rins on the final lap. The Suzuki man was the most successful in infiltrating the Ducati contingent to claim second, while the Australian had to make do with a first podium of the year.

Miller looked like top dog early on, getting the holeshot to lead into turn 1 from poleman Jorge Martin and fellow front row starter Pecco Bagnaia, while Bastianini and Fabio Quartararo picked up Johann Zarco early on. The Suzukis kept close, without making progress on their starting positions, but all eyes were on Marc Marquez, who botched the start and dropped at the very back of the field going into turn 1. He quickly started climbing the mountain and was up to 17th position by the end of the opening lap.

Five seconds ahead, Martin didn’t even wait for one lap to launch an attack on his colleague at turn 19 but Miller retaliated straight back at turn 20 to resume the lead for the start of lap two. Bastianini, Bagnaia and Zarco kept calm behind the two feisty leaders, while Quartararo fended off the Suzukis, with the Espargaros dropping one second back by lap five. Meanwhile, Marquez was running the leaders’ pace down in 14th position and determinately (maybe overly so) chasing Maverick Viñales.

Back at the front, the Ducatis held station, with the exception of Zarco and Bagnaia trading places on occasion, while the Suzukis attacked Quartararo and dropped the world champion to 8th early on. Rins was the first to separate the Ducatis, getting ahead of Bagnaia to take fifth on lap six and quickly ditching the Italian eight tenths back. The Ducati man had Mir and Quartararo behind, while Aleix Espargaro soon started hearing the Jaws theme tune, as Marquez entered the top 10 on lap eight. With tyre conservation on everyone’s mind – bar Marquez’s – there were no significant gaps amongst the leaders, only Aleix Espargaro allowing one second to stretch to the eight men ahead. Marquez then took the rodeo ride a bit too literally at turn 10 and dropped one second off Aleix but promptly closed it back up.

The Ducati contingent continued firmly in control towards the halfway point of the race, only Rins able to challenge them, the Suzuki man getting past Zarco and challenging Bastianini for the final podium position at that stage. Zarco struggled to match the pace of the four men ahead, Miller still leading from Martin, Bastianini and Rins, so the Frenchman focused on fending off Bagnaia and Mir, while Quartararo held firm in eighth place, another second back. Marquez got the job done on Aleix Espargaro with 11 laps remaining, with the reigning world champion next in his sights but two seconds ahead.

A particularly feisty Bastianini and Rins spiced things up with nine laps remaining, attacking Martin for second, in an attempt to stop Miller from running away at the front. The Australian managed to stretch an eight-tenth gap over the Gresini rider, who in turn had the same advantage over Rins, while Martin dropped a full second back with 8 laps remaining, into the clutches of Mir and Bagnaia. Another second back Zarco was defending 7th position from Quartararo and soon had company from Marquez as well, who continued to improve on the fastest lap. The Honda man promptly claimed seventh position from the two Frenchmen and had Martin as the next target one second up the road.

As the race entered the final six laps, Bastianini reeled in Miller and was planning an attack, leaving Rins one second behind. The attack came one lap later at turn 12, The Gresini man leading proceedings with five laps remaining. The exchange allowed Rins to catch up with the leaders somewhat, but not yet within striking distance. Another second back, Mir had settled the score with Bagnaia for fourth, while Marquez demoted Martin for sixth. The COTA King’s extraordinary progression seemed destined to end with sixth place, Bagnaia over a second and a half ahead and Marquez finally being challenged by someone – namely Quartararo – for the final couple of laps.

Bastianini had no such challenger, the Italian picking up the pace to lead by over 1.5 seconds going into the final lap, while Miller had some late pressure applied by Rins to make it a battle for second. Although the Suzuki man first attacked at turn 11, the Ducati blasted straight past by turn 12, but Rins did not give up and got the job done at turn 19 to secure second position. Mir scored another solid fourth place, with Bagnaia taking a mildly underwhelming fifth. Marquez and Quartararo had a real last lap tussle for sixth place, settled by the Spaniard at the chequered flag and he even had the cheek to look disappointed after the fantastic recovery, presumably due to a case of what-could-have-been. Martin, Zarco and Viñales rounded out the top 10 positions, while Aleix Espargaro conceded the championship lead from 11th position.

Bastianini’s masterclass reclaimed him the lead in the world championship by five points from Rins, Espargaro dropping to third, 11 points back. Mir climbs into fourth, 15 points behind the leader, while Quartararo stays fifth, another two points back.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time/Diff
1 23 Enea Bastianini Ducati 41:23.1110
2 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 2.058
3 43 Jack Miller Ducati 2.312
4 36 Joan Mir Suzuki 3.975
5 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 6.045
6 93 Marc Marquez Honda 6.617
7 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 6.76
8 89 Jorge Martin Ducati 8.441
9 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 12.375
10 12 Maverick Viñales Aprilia 12.642
11 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 12.947
12 33 Brad Binder KTM 13.376
13 44 Pol Espargaro Honda 17.961
14 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 18.77
15 4 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 29.319
16 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 29.129
17 10 Luca Marini Ducati 29.63
18 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 32.002
19 25 Raul Fernandez KTM 37.062
20 87 Remy Gardner KTM 42.442
21 49 Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 42.887
22 40 Darryn Binder Yamaha 102.171
Not Classified
  72 Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 04:49.4490
  73 Alex Marquez Honda 10:29.4740
Round Number: 
4
2022
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Comments

Of course it's a joke. Not like you to think that what seems like a silly comment is serious. That was pure Motegi/Valencia classic Marquez. It shows how competitive the field is that he managed 6th only.

^ Got it, cheers!

I regularly wish for a few tone options in fonts. 

I have never been a Ducati fan. At all, anywhere. But I have to admit to enjoying this Ducati Cup battle. However that got that missile to turn is a miracle eh? Bagnaia/Martin/Bastiannini are giving us a good show. Jack too, for now. 

Enjoy

The 2021 won it though. I don't think it's turning so well at the moment. Jack rode really well but watch that front tyre through the braking to the apex. Watch Rins, Mir and Fabio killing them through turn 6. Difficult to say much. The front tyre was the limit here and maybe the Ducati is just a tad biased in that direction. Works it hard, loads it up, produces grip...more wear. Great for one lap, not so great for the race. Small differences. All the 2022 bikes eventually went backwards, Jack holding out the best....next track, different tyres, different story ?

Was it just me ? (or Marcs tyres) I thought Fabio got an boost of something as soon as he saw Marquez zip past.

^ Not just you. Noticed Quarty perk up chasing Marc too. Fun!

Jack's riding style is different on the tires than the Three Elbowteers. He grabs lots of tear brake to get it in a turn. He says Bastiannini flows more naturally and fights the bike less under him. Easier on tires. The Italian kid looks cool and smooth! He has a bit of Vale in him? He was thinking strategically too re tire conservation. Good signs.

Again, having so many different Ducatis out there this year seems a confusing shame. Harder to read the Ducati Cup. And for Red to coordinate development. A "is it the bike?" question can linger. I hate that. Martin is on a "real 2022" bike. But is he getting the engine/electronics support he would be getting in Red? No way, he can't even fully merge information sharing. The difference between the 2021 and 2022 bikes is small. But, the differences between the White bikes and Red ones is a different engine? Hmm. Complicating. 

So interesting all the dynamic factors just within this (heated) Duc race. The winner gets a Red seat. Perhaps from a preferred White bike?! Or even lovely slightly aged Lavendar. 

Go Bastiannini! 

Funny you mention Rossi. Thinking of Ducati's start to the season with the new bike they should make the watching of Rossi's 2018 races required viewing. Yamaha should too. Eighteen races (19 minus Silverstone cancellation), 5 podiums, lows of 19-18 (both spills) but mostly lingering somewhere around the top 5 to top 10. Not exactly stellar. Come season end the points say 3rd. If not for the spill in Sepang and not for a red flag in Valencia the points would probably have said 2nd. Lorenzo mentioned this about Rossi, as long as he can win a couple of races in a season, he is a threat in the points. 2016, 2 wins, 3 more DNF than Marquez, finishes 49 points behind in 2nd. 2014, Marquez wins the first 10 races, 13 race wins in the season ! Rossi takes 2 wins finishes 2nd in the points 67 points adrift. Everybody wants to win...it's a race...but it's not necessarily a bad thing to finish lower when compared to finishing even lower again because you're a bloody hero.

Martin and Peco have just had two good races. Solid races, no wins, good points. Zarco started the season with two good races. Jack has had two good races. It really is early days but nobody is standing out as being Mr Marquez 2014 or 2019. Too few points have been offered up for the championship positions to mean anything. A DNF in the first four races costs a possible 25% of points on offer...by season end it's less than 5%. Setting the world on fire is a nice thing, if you can get it. If you cannot then smouldering away will do just fine. Fabio talking about 8th not winning championships...after 4 races...sorry that was after 3 races ! Better days (and worse) will come for all of them. Bastianini 11th and 10th, yes two wins also. Unless he can keep winning every other race the 11th and 10th are more important to his title hopes than the two wins.

I dunno, I get the impression some riders are disappointed with themselves. Peco will beat those guys.

There was that one time Marc was very late on the anchors into the tight one before the long straight.

*I got this wrong, Turn 1 it was. According to the caption on the replay.

Then we cut to a shot of Puig's ear as Alberto watches a screen?

Way too fast, passed someone* on corner entry. Then straight on towards the edge of the tarmac. Eventually M. Marquez got it stopped & turned. Attempted skittle, that luckily didn't make contact with any other riders.

edit* Marc Marquez passed Maverick & Brad on the way into turn one. Way too fast but got it together again.

Thanks for the link 'shrink, not available in Oz.

MM93's bike did the warm up lap ok. But if he had swapped bikes & started from pit lane he would not have be any further behind at the start. 

* It was 4:30 in the bleeding morning. I'll watch it again. *I am watching it again.

COTA is a boring, dangerous and ever shifting circuit. Enea was superb in the race. Brilliant and inspired win.. Further adrift, you have to hand it to Marc...What a recovery from last to top 10 easy and top Honda. Suzuki did well as expected...with Suppo at the helm they will probably maintain the momentum. Yamaha? KTM?...Only Binder battling for top 10 with the Aprilia's plenty seconds ahead of the other KTM's. Ducati debacle pertaining to contracts. Miller will get dumped for sure. Bastia to factory Ducati ahead of Martin is my pick.

Not bike fit, no settled base set up, bike still developing - top 6 shows he’s learning. It wasn’t the time to test out whether there are better men than him out there. 

If he hadn't of had such a mess of start the rest would be wondering where he had gone.

Marc finished the first lap 4.4 seconds behind the leader in 18th after passing 6 riders during that lap.

He finished lap 17 at 4.6 seconds behind the leader in 6th.

Then his tyres screamed  no more.

Changing weather brings wind. Sunday was transition to thunderstorms coming in. Aero developments were important, esp Ducati. Moto2 was more drama filled, glad the big race was safe.

Marc's start -- holy crap! What was with the engine bogging down? I searched and have found nothing with details. He was blisteringly fast though. The feeling of taking bike after bike from the rear can bring confidence. It's the most fun I ever had on a bike. Marquez keeping his head together was a good thing. He DID have quite a moment or three, he nearly threw it away trying to get underneath Vinales (and not far from the rear of Brad Binder there). T10 gave him a rodeo ride off line. But Marc looked GOOD today! And stayed on. Main take? The 2022 Honda and Marc could do the business on Sunday (fluffed start aside). Watch out.

Marc says he had a warning light on the dash all race. HRC knows what went wrong, he isn't saying. After the start device turned off at T1 (again, I hate the fookin ride height gizmos) he was able to begin attacking. If you subtract the amount of time lost on lap 1 he would finish with Miller in 3rd. Whilst making 20 passes en route. 

I am focused on this: "On one hand I am disappointed because it is clear we had the speed. I was able to enjoy the race a lot, coming through from the back." Marc had fun. The bike was good. He kept his fire in check. Near the end he sees himself as physically exhausted from a really tough race effort. "We built confidence," and he had smiles.

Sorry to see Bezzecchi crash out. He is my Rookie pick. Nonplussed by Alex Marquez doing the same, his seat doesn't look so solid? Last name only gets you so far, he is being out ridden by Taka during shop window time. The Honda bike AND riders are leaving question marks. Pol was quite sick with food poisoning and looked most unhappy. He did well just to race. Still curious what is unfolding for both their bike and rider lineup.

Tea leaves reading comments/faces of Miller and Red garage, he has been told that he is out at the Factory Team. He looks unsigned and facing a "maybe" at Pramac. Very tough moment in his career. Say what you will of Duc-rider relations, but Bologna has a challenging set of decisions to make on who to put where. Good problem to have perhaps. It is very hard to choose between Martin and Bastiannini. Several really good riders face making way for the fresh crop of riders behind (Miller, Rins, Zarco, A.Espargaro, Nakagami, Alex Marquez, Dovisioso, Oliveira). I buy half off produce and day old bread all the time, but moto meat is different. More like fish. No getting around it, even when you have 8 bikes.

This Ducati has ended any question regarding its ability to change direction. Same on ability to carve sweepers. Five Red riders are all doing the business, three of them  elbows down in beautiful Moto2-esque rails. Pecco looks "back." The two Factory bikes look to be sorting out too.

I really like Bastiannini, that Lavendar jersey is a tempting buy. I would not have imagined wanting any Duc gear prior. Cool project that Gresini garage. 2022's equivalent of Aqua's first year and Quarty. Who doesn't like a good underdog story? 

The Suzuki does well in the drag race this yr. Rins notices the Ducati having some advantage in "antiwheelie stage." Aero and electronics are a Duc strength. But wow, this Suzuki can rip! Mir was strong as well. 

Aprilia did good work. Both riders very strong here, relative to all but the dominant Ducati. They followed two Suzukis, The Marc at COTA, and Quartararo. Not bad! Maverick pipped Asparagus in a good battle. Their healthy fight is good for Black. 

Quartararo was overriding to stay on the TV screen. Morbidelli and Dovisioso are rather silent of late. Poor Dovi has to unlearn and flip around his riding style inversely from the pre 2020 Ducati to this Yamaha. Tough transition, he is making inroads but expectations are not high. Tough time to be a Blue fan. It isn't always any bike's year in the Sun. More appreciation of wee Suzuki's project arises in comparison. And Aprilia! 

Was Orange involved in this racing weekend? If you watch casually you might think KTM stayed home. Who knows what to expect from them these days? Oliveira has leapt riches to rags. It must be bewildering. They should find form at some tracks soon but in the mean time it is whiplash viewing.

Everyone behind Nakagami? Rear pack. That includes all the Yamahas but Alienesque Fabio. Darren Binder? Ouch. Way off the pace. 

-----

Did anyone get beers with the Motomatters/PPP crew this weekend? How the heck did you know where to go?

David announces himself at pressers as "from Asphalt and Rubber" or "on track offroad" or something. Why not Motomatters? I bet it is being practical rather than dodgy. Then nothing in here about the team's doings. I am a tad confused. Maybe Adam makes late wee mention on Twitter? There is almost no discussion at all under Podcast articles here. David Emmett, Neil Morrison, Adam Wheeler, Steve English...wouldn't one of you be posting in here in connection with readers and listeners? All I know is that you have an email address somewhere to reach out to. Other than that I just hear you mention Twitter now and again. The website https://www.paddockpasspodcast.com/ is plain bizarre to the extent of not looking real past the front page. I am sure I am not alone in ditching social media for several good reasons. Perhaps folks like myself are going to miss out on connecting with the team? Am I missing something? Is it intentional to get a bit of separation and privacy? Or not planful? If you could advise, that would be appreciated. Particularly if we can connect as a community at an event.

Here comes Europe. 

All Jack has to do is beat Pecco, maybe win title doing so. He has talent, tools. Just do it.

From my days running a Guzzi in Pro-Twins, Ducati has been the enemy. For years on this web site I have railed against their development direction. Stop go, an abomination. Well it seems they have cracked the code. It seems the local maxima of the multi-variable optimization surface they chose has higher potential. I started to notice this last year. Y, H, K their bikes all look more like the Duc (or incorporate elements). 
 

I wonder if that little bent funnel at the fairing chin area makes em turn.

Could the funnel create low pressure along the fairing lower? Help the vent shed cooling air, but could potential air pressure difference suck the bike towards the ground and assist turning?

Intriguing stuff. 

One of the redshirts (Tardozzi?) said something like "Two Ducatis on the podium today is OK." Bastiannini is good, no particular mention of Jack, again. JM 43 could go back to Pramac or KTM. With previous team mate Francesco Guidotti. When MotoGp does the shuffle. The silly season shuffle.

It is easy to choose between Jorge Martin and Enea Bastiannini Motoshrink. Bastiannini is Italian & Jorge Martin isn't.

Congrats to Alec Rins. Good job!

What about fabulous Fabio Quartararo to Gresini racing? Beaut family atmosphere with Nadia Padovani and the crew.

Aprilia finished 10 & 11 and survive to campaign in Europe. RSGP not designed for bumpy tracks? Mav keeps his cool, celebrate!!

KTM are going to make better races ib Europe to. Miguel will be up for it at Portimão. I'm hoping MO88 will do well.

I wondered if the motomutterers had a motomeeting. I'm not on the unsocial medias either, but that's probably where stuff happens. It would be satisfying to meet some of you. Thanks to all who make this community, especially to David!

^ Agreed Jerry. You've been hanging around this virtual racing parlor for almost a decade. It's the most comfortable and familiar space outside my house. Motorcycle racing is right there with eating as favorite thing about being alive. This is the best kitchen going, steady stream of tasty plates for us to share.

First pints are on me when we do. We need MM shirts! At least vaguely gang like patches. I would put it on my leathers. 

Merch for the gang David? We can't identify each other nor intimidate the locals carrying around a calendar.

;)

Can everyone see these "Extended Higlights by Motorsports on NBC?" You may enjoy them. 12 mins, captures some stuff we may have missed. Watch how "knife fight" hard Quartararo is racing. The passes on Zarco, Martin and Marc battle? Fierce!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jLsrlwVn0Tc

Thanks Motoshrink. If we ever meet IRL I'll buy you an elbowbender!

And now we get to start the season. These fly aways don't really tell us much, just setting the stage. The best thing I learned this weekend is my favorite person in the paddock, Herve, was born same day as I was. Not same date, same day. I'm thrilled.

Let the first four races tell us something. Let the striving for consistency and damage limitation (concerning results, not the physical) continue. It's mind bending for the riders and teams, but great for the show. Marquez definitely limited damage in rodeo style yesterday, but COTA, along with the Sachsenring and Aragon, are circled on his left-handed calendar before the start of every season. Not winning a sure bet is a ding to his championship aspirations. Top Gun had the fourth fastest lap of the race. He is coming on form. Almost half the grid can win a race this year. Let unpredictability continue. 

Am I the only one that thinks MM should get a penalty for taking the start anyway, even though his dash showed a problem with the bike (he said so after the race) ? He should have raised his hand indicating he had a problem . luckily no one hit him from behind, but what if anyone did, hurting themselves badly, or hurting MM. his legg for example could easily have been broken.

MM taking the start was easily the most stupid and dangerous action of the WE; Much worse than all the waiting during qualy. Again, he only thought about himself and had no considerations at all about his colleagues on track. Boo !

Depends what his dash said ? Depends when the dash said what it said ? Depends how many spurious messages the riders get ? Only significant after the event ? Depends if he made a bad start versus a non-start ?

However, overall...please God save us from penalty madness.

It's not the first time he's done what others would be penalized for. Going backwards??? A no-no for everyone but when MM does it it's charming in it's efficiency or something. He should've immediately raised his hand, imo. When there are no penalties for violations it just lets the cheaters/unsafe riders win. Cheaters should never win, they should be penalized heavily enough to deter future cheating. In all instances.

Please quote which rule he violated but for some reason I don’t think can. 
btw, your post and others like it makes Motomatters comment section look more like Crash.net every day. 

I didn't know I was gonna hurt anyone's feelings with my opinion. I apologize for expressing it.

Marc said he considered raising his hand when the bike balked. So get off me.

Have you guys ever raced? No self-respecting racer would ever take themselves off the track while lining up on the grid because of flashing lights or messages. It would have to run like shit for an entire lap or more before that decision would be made.

Exactly, you'd have to hear it or feel it.

Also, there's no rule to break bar irresponsible riding. Once down that route the whole grid gets 'number of turns' * 'number of laps' penalties per race.

Silliness aside, I can't fathom what would make a bike not rev, then snap out of it after the 1st turn. Not a pitlane limiter. He wasn't in 2nd or 3rd gear. Must be some odd electronics glitch? 

Then oddly, this ended up being EXACTLY the experience Marc needed to have. Re-enacting those few moments where he carves through the whole field from the back way back in his early days. Expectations reset. Enjoyment ensued. Confidence came.

Whatever popped wrong on the bike popped The Marc into place on it. 

Could be anything, seemed to be related to the start regime. It was gone by the time he crossed the start line. Agreed, if you wanted to write a race that would restore confidence it was that race.

MM said he had ongoing issues with the bike throughout the race and my assumption was he was talking about the electronics.  

Reminds me of my one and only wet race. Unbeknownst to me my 500 Pantah had a blocked fuel filter and my "thinking" was that the fuel cap breather wasn't working properly so I thought it good to quickly release the catch causing the filler cap to hinge open and then I would immediately push it shut again. This would allow the tank to breathe I thought. I did this for a few laps on the front and back straightaway at our local track....until the filler cap came off in my hand just as I was meant to start braking for T1. It was raining quite nicely and I managed to go straight on the slip road, slow down and stop to replace the filler cap. I did splash around back to the pits with my heart pounding in my chest. Neither myself nor any other rider was harmed fortunately but probably not the best way to go about things. Now I can laugh about it. 

Holy crap, great story easyopencan! I can see it and feel it. Funny shite.

I adjusted my clutch too tightly once for a race. "Wow, I am breaking the rear loose on exit but have EXCELLENT control of the bike!" I thought for a lap or two. But why aren't I faster?

Ah, nope. Clutch was slipping. You could smell it. What a dope.

Another time I was ANGRY with myself that I was battling with a rider I KNEW was much slower than me. What are you DOING racing this guy?! Horrible! Unacceptable! Unbelievable!

Big self loathing, burning shame. So I just decided to not touch the brakes until way after "that slow guy" at the turn ending the long straight. Burning singular angry focus. From way back, not even close to the guy. Lucky for him I went for an outside line dive. Where I had obscenely overcooked the corner, careened off track and the bike. Boom! Big injury.

Turns out that guy had sold his bike and given his number to a fast guy from the next region over. Quite a difficult look in the mirror for me.

Humans are funny?

We are thus not much different to MM. He just has an immensely deep catalogue of skills and rides infinitely better than us...abilities we don't possess. That's why we watch them line up on Sunday's.

 

…carving through the field was immensely entertaining and demonstrates again, whether to fans or non-fans, his amazing talent and grit.

Even among the aliens there are few of them that could dice through from the back of the premier pack like that.

It's almost like Marc had to have nothing to lose to remember that he often rides like he has nothing to lose (even when in reality at times the championship was at stake). 

I honestly doubt he would have pushed himself at that pace if he'd had a better start. It's likely he wouldn't have needed to. 

Bastianini sure looked smooth though. Even compared to the other Ducs.