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Marquez wins 5th straight US MotoGP

2017-04-24 08:03

ANOTHER TROPHY: Marc Marquez rides to victory during the 2017 US Moto GP, earning his 30th career win and his ninth in a row on American soil dating back to 2013.Image: AFP / Juan Mabromata

Texas - Spain's Marc Marquez won his fifth consecutive MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas on Sunday and the series got a new season leader in Italy's Valentino Rossi.

Marquez earned his 30th career MotoGP win and his ninth in a row on American soil dating back to 2013.

The victory also gets the Repsol Honda rider back into the season title chase. Movistar Yamaha's Maverick Vinales, who won the first two races of the year, crashed early and didn't finish. With Vinales out, team mate Rossi took over the top spot with a second-place finish that made him the points leader as the series heads to Europe.

Marquez started from pole position. Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa grabbed the early lead through the first turn and held it until Marquez passed him with 13 laps to go in the 21-lap race.

Dominating in Texas

Marquez, a three-time series champion, has started from pole position in each of his Texas wins and has rarely faced a challenge to the checkered flag.

It looked for a while like Pedrosa would make this one difficult with his quick start off the line. But he never got any separation from Marquez and the hunt was on.

Vinales, who won in Qatar and Argentina and pushed Marquez to the limit in qualifying, got jumped by Rossi and Pedrosa at the start and never recovered. Vinales was desperately fighting from fourth until a critical mistake on the third lap cost him when he lost balance and crashed out.

Rossi nearly took a spill several laps later when his motorcycle brushed against MotoGP rookie Johann Zarco of France, but Rossi stayed upright and cut a corner through the chicane to keep position. Race officials hit Rossi with a 0.3 second penalty, but the time didn't make any difference at the finish as his gap over Pedrosa was larger.

Sois los mejores! Muchas gracias equipo!! You are the best!! Thanks a lot team! #americasgp #usa #victory

A post shared by Marc Márquez (@marcmarquez93) on

Once passed, Pedrosa kept up the fight with Marquez for several more laps before the leader started pulling away. That left Pedrosa fighting degrading tires to hang on to second ahead of Rossi, who caught him on lap 19.

Once out all by himself, Marquez simply had to bring it home without the same sort of mistakes that saw him crash out in Argentina and twice in Saturday practice. He had one nervous moment approaching the turn at the top of the first hill with about four laps to go but straightened out without major problems.

Rossi leads the season title chase with 56 points, six ahead of Vinales. The 38-year-old Rossi has seven career MotoGP championships but none since 2009.

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Read more on:    honda  |  marc marquez  |  texas  |  racing  |  motogp  |  motorsport

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