MotoGP 2015 - Round 2 - COTA, USA - Review

Pablo Cortes

Apr 8, 2014

Marc Marquez93 was amazing this past sunday the 12th of April in Austin, making it 3 victories out of 3 races at the Texas track. "Maybe its because in America you have left handed tracks" was his guess when asked why he has won his last 8 races in USA.

Qualifying The most exciting moment of the weekend for many, everyone expected Marc Marquez93 to take pole easily but nobody was ready for what was about to happen. On the spaniards second run in Q2 he came in for a new tyre but his bike was funky after the change, it took four attempts to start up the bike, no biggy, he did his out lap but once he came around the last corner and looked at his dash he saw an engine indicator on his screen. "My mechanics have told me that when I see this, to stop the bike immediately" he said. This is very important specially because they only have 5 engines for the season and loosing one can be an issue in the long run.

He slowed down and parked the bike at the end of the pit wall, jumped over the wall and sprinted more then 100 meters back to his garage at the beginning of the pit. His crew already had his #2 bike ready (with the wrong front tyre I might add), he rushed out of the pits and started a very on the limit out lap so he could beat the clock and get a flying lap in. By the moment he started the hot lap he was already delegated to 5th position on the grid! Marquez93 having only 1 chance at pole, he put his head down and drove like an animal! the bike moving around almost the whole lap, missing braking points, saving wobbles and still making the corners. "It was a special lap, he made so many mistakes" said Andrea Dovizioso04 after slotting in behind him trying to follow and learn his line, but he couldn't keep up. Marc took pole with 0.339 to spare, simply remarkable to achieve under that type of pressure.

Race It rained over night since the qualifying session on saturday and grip levels had changed in the Austin track. Lights went off and Dovizioso04 on his Ducati got a great start taking the lead, but the best start was for Bradley Smith38 on his satellite Yamaha Tech 3 going around the outside in turn 1 jumping from 10th to 4th position. Marquez93 slotted in 2nd position following the Ducati for the first 4 laps and once he understood the grip level of the track he made his move... passing Dovi04 with 17 to go and sailing off to never be caught again with a 2 second lead at the line, as simple as that.

There was some drama on the first lap, Scott Redding45 was battling with Jorge Lorenzo99 after finding some good feeling with his Honda Satellite RC213V but the Yamaha man was having none of it, he shut the door hard on the hairpin after the back straight and Redding45 was too close, he got spooked and folded his front tyre taking Pol Espargaro44 with him.

The real race was for 2nd place, Valentino Rossi46 made his move and passed Andrea Dovizioso04 on lap 8, but COTA is really hard on the front tyres, specially for the Yamaha's, everyone had to keep an eye on them. By lap 16 the Yamaha started to suffer and Dovi was able to retake 2nd place managing the distance perfectly and pushing hard on the last lap to prevent any attacks from Rossi who came in 3rd.

What a wonderful race by the Ducati rider, taking 2 - 2nd places in as many races, an achievement that seemed impossible at the end of last year. Andrea Iannone29 on the other Ducati had a little more trouble with his front tyre and after being in 4th for the majority of the race lost out to Lorenzo99 at the end finishing 5th. Still this means Ducati is a real menace to the dominating japanese factories, with this type of consistency, cleverness and engineering its not impossible for them to win the championship this year.

Termas del Rio Hondo in Argentina is up next! beautiful, fast, flowing, just a couple of slow corners, Marquez won last year, Yamaha track (in theory) and the new Ducati GP15 working on what seems to be every track... cant wait!