AUSTIN, Texas - Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez made an early pass and pulled away for an easy win at the 2015 MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas on Sunday (April 12), grabbing his first victory of the season on a track he has dominated for three years.
The 22-year-old Spaniard started onpole but ceded first position to Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso of Italy out of Turn 1. Marquez was back in front by Lap 4 and steadily pulled away from the field to win by more than two seconds at the Circuit of the Americas.
The two-times defending champion has won three years in a row in Austin. He needed the win to boost his bid for a third consecutive title after finishing fifth in the season opener in Qatar.
ALL THE DRAMA WAS IN QUALIFYING
Dovizioso finished second. Yamaha's Valentino Rossi of Italy was third. Rossi, who has seven titles, won in Qatar and is leading the championship standings ahead of Dovizioso and Marquez
Marquez earned his 20th career GP win in just his third season in motorcycle racing's premiere classification.
This one had none of the drama of Saturday's qualifying when Marquez parked his bike after a warning light came on, ran back to the garage, and grabbed a back-up motorcycle. Even then he turned in a tense, blistering turn of the track to grab pole position on his final lap.
On Sunday the sun came out for the first time all weekend just before the start of the race but officials still had to delay the start for 35 minutes because of a large water spill on the track just before the warm-up lap. That sent crews scrambling to dry the spill and the riders back to their garages.
Once they were racing Dovizioso grabbed the lead out of Turn 1, which comes at the top of a 30m climb and pushes the riders into a sharp left back down the hill. Dovizioso hasn't won since 2009 and didn't hold the lead for long.
26th PODIUM FOR DOVIZIOSO
Marquez stayed close behind and showed off the power of his Honda when he hauled in the leader on the track's longest straight, passing him just as the riders headed into Turn 12. It was the same spot where Formula 1's Lewis Hamilton twice made passes to win the US GP in 2012 and 2014.
Once he had the lead Marquez eased into the next 17 laps and quickly put distance on the rest of the field, leaving Dovizioso and Rossi to fight for second. Dovizioso earned his 26th career podium finish.
Marquez captured his sixth consecutive MotoGP victory in the US and his competitors will likely be glad to get him off American soil.
The series moves to Argentina next week before a six-race run in Europe. Two of those will be in Marquez' home country.
Result from the 2015 Motorcycling Grand Prix GP Americas MotoGP
1 Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda 43min47.150
2 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati 43min49.504
3 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha 43min50.270
4 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 43min53.832
5 Andrea Iannone (Italy) Ducati 43min54.734
6 Bradley Smith (Britain) Yamaha 43min57.707
7 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Honda 44min04.117
8 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Suzuki 44min06.175
9 Maverick Vinales (Spain) Suzuki 44min25.720
10 Danilo Petrucci (Italy) Ducati 44min28.946
11 Hiroshi Aoyama (Japan) Honda 44min34.349
12 Hector Barbera (Spain) Ducati 44min34.489
13 Nicky Hayden (US) Honda 44min43.634
14 Jack Miller (Australia) Honda 44min43.881
15 Alvaro Bautista (Spain) Aprilia 44min44.522
Standings after the 2015 Austin Motorcycling GP
1 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha - 41
2 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati - 40
3 Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda - 36
4 Andrea Iannone (Italy) Ducati - 27
5 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha - 26
6 Bradley Smith (Britain) Yamaha - 18
7 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Honda - 18
8 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Suzuki - 13
9 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda - 10
10 Danilo Petrucci (Italy) Ducati - 10
11 Maverick Vinales (Spain) Suzuki - 9
12 Pol Espargaro (Spain) Yamaha - 7
13 Yonny Hernandez (Colombia) Ducati - 6
14 Hiroshi Aoyama (Japan) Honda - 5
15 Hector Barbera (Spain) Ducati - 5
THE OTHER CLASSES
Britain's Sam Lowes claimed the first Moto2 victory of his career on Sunday, piloting his Speed Up machine to victory in the Grand Prix of the Americas.
Lowes shook off big crashes in practice and qualifying, overtaking Ajo Motorsport's Johann Zarco to lead with six laps remaining. As Zarco and Xavier Simeon tried to reel him back in, they made contact, with the latter crashing out.
Zarco managed to hang on and finish second, ahead of rookie Alex Rins on the Paginas Amarillas HP40 Kalex.
Moto 2 result
1 Sam Lowes (Britain) Speed up 41min45.565
2 Johann Zarco (France) Kalex 41min47.564
3 Alex Rins (Spain) Kalex 41min50.187
4 Tito Rabat (Spain) Kalex 41min54.540
5 Franco Morbidelli (Italy) Kalex 41min58.541
6 Hafizh Syahrin (Malaysia) Kalex 41min59.733
7 Anthony West (Australia) Speed up 42min02.836
8 Mika Kallio (Finland) Kalex 42min03.078
9 Julian Simon (Spain) Speed up 42min03.254
10 Takaaki Nakagami (Japan) Kalex 42min03.329
11 Simone Corsi (Italy) Kalex 42min03.547
12 Thomas Luethi (Switzerland) Kalex 42min10.389
13 Marcel Schroetter (Germany) Tech 3 42min11.581
14 Sandro Cortese (Germany) Kalex 42min13.021
15 Alex Marquez (Spain) Kalex 42min14.133
1 Alex Rins (Spain) Kalex - 29
2 Johann Zarco (France) Kalex - 28
3 Jonas Folger (Germany) Kalex - 25
4 Sam Lowes (Britain) Speed up - 25
5 Franco Morbidelli (Italy) Kalex - 22
6 Xavier Simeon (Belgium) Kalex - 20
7 Thomas Luethi (Switzerland) Kalex - 20
8 Mika Kallio (Finland) Kalex - 18
9 Hafizh Syahrin (Malaysia) Kalex - 14
10 Tito Rabat (Spain) Kalex - 13
11 Sandro Cortese (Germany) Kalex - 11
12 Julian Simon (Spain) Speed up - 10
13 Anthony West (Australia) Speed up - 9
14 Takaaki Nakagami (Japan) Kalex - 8
15 Louis Rossi (France) Tech 3 - 7
1 Danny Kent (Britain) Honda 41min32.287
2 Fabio Quartararo (France) Honda 41min40.819
3 Efren Vazquez (Spain) Honda 41min40.939
4 Enea Bastianini (Italy) Honda 41min41.098
5 Brad Binder (South Africa) KTM 41min41.843
6 John McPhee (Britain) Honda 41min46.156
7 Andrea Locatelli (Italy) Honda 41min52.729
8 Romano Fenati (Italy) KTM 41min52.898
9 Isaac Vinales (Spain) Husqvarna 41min53.150
10 Karel Hanika (Czech Republic) KTM 41min53.200
11 Jakub Kornfeil (Czech Republic) KTM 41min53.536
12 Andrea Migno (Italy) KTM 41min56.012
13 Philipp OEttl (Germany) KTM 42min04.505
14 Niklas Ajo (Finland) KTM 42min08.989
15 Matteo Ferrari (Italy) Mahindra 42min09.570
1 Danny Kent (Britain) Honda - 41
2 Enea Bastianini (Italy) Honda - 33
3 Fabio Quartararo (France) Honda - 29
4 Efren Vazquez (Spain) Honda - 29
5 Alexis Masbou (France) Honda - 25
6 John McPhee (Britain) Honda - 21
7 Brad Binder (South Africa) KTM - 17
8 Isaac Vinales (Spain) Husqvarna - 17
9 Andrea Locatelli (Italy) Honda - 14
10 Karel Hanika (Czech Republic) KTM - 9
11 Niccolo Antonelli (Italy) Honda - 8
12 Romano Fenati (Italy) KTM - 8
13 Francesco Bagnaia (Italy) Mahindra - 7
14 Jakub Kornfeil (Czech Republic) KTM - 5
15 Philipp OEttl (Germany) KTM - 5