MotoGP – USA
After achieving a perfect 1-2 in Argentina just two weeks ago, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Teams Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi will soon be back in the hot seat of their YZR-M1s as they get the action going at the Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) on Friday.
Two races into the 2017 season, Viñales remains the man to beat. With his two textbook wins at the Losail and the Termas de Río Hondo circuits in his maiden year with Yamaha, he will push to the maximum again this weekend to make it a hat-trick in Austin and give Yamaha its 500th Grand Prix win.
Watching the 22-year old in action so far this season, his riding style and the smoothness of the YZR-M1 are clearly in perfect harmony and the Spaniard cant wait to get a taste of the Yamahas speed at COTA. He is a big fan of the circuits elevated character and has a lot of good memories from this place, where he secured a strong second place in Moto3 in 2013 and won his first Moto2 race in 2014. His best MotoGP finish at the American track was a fourth place, just off the podium, last year.
Teammate Rossi also enjoyed a very strong start to the season and has shown twice that he knows how to come out swinging in the race, regardless of grid position. Together with his teammate, he is the proud owner of a 100% podium finish rate in 2017 and has a plan to keep it that way.
The Doctor aims to find a good balance for his bike early in the race weekend, so he can not only feature at the front but also put a claim on the top step of the rostrum, 13 years after his first win with Yamaha (April 18th, 2004, Welkom, Africas Grand Prix). Last year he had a difficult race at COTA, but he will use the experience as extra motivation to show the American fans what hes got in store, like he did in 2015 when he finished third.
The Circuit of the Americas was constructed in 2012 and appeared on the MotoGP calendar in 2013. The 5.5km-long track is run counter-clockwise, has 20 corners in total (11 left turns and 9 right turns), a longest straight of 1.2km and has a 41m-elevation change. Its tight hairpins, inclines, declines and a fast straight make finding a well-balanced setting vital, but the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team is up for the challenge.
After spending one week back in Europe following the Argentine GP, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa are heading to the Circuit of the Americas in Texas (USA), for round 3 of the MotoGP World Championship.
Repsol Honda Team have achieved two 1-2 finishes in Austin with Marc and Dani: in the opening race in 2013 and also in 2014. For his part, Marc has never lost at the Circuit of the Americas (which was also the scene of his first-ever Premier-class victory, in 2013), nor has he started from anywhere but Pole Position in the four times he has raced at the track.
Maverick Viñales: The next round is Austin and I’m happy because I won my first race there in Moto2, I’ve always been very strong here. I also did one of my best results in America the last year, so I think its a good track for my riding style. I love the up and down track, with lots of elevation, so I’m so excited to see how my M1 will work here and how I’m going to feel riding the Yamaha. I’m confident and I know that I can do another good race weekend.
Valentino Rossi: I’m happy to be in Texas. I really like Austin. The first two races of the season went well and I hope to improve the performance of the first days of free practice. We have much work to do, but I’m confident in my bike and in my team. Austin is a very difficult track and I love riding here. I have an account to settle with this track because last year in the warm-up I made a big step for a strong race but unfortunately I made a mistake. This year I want to try to have a good race. I also really like the atmosphere at the American circuit and I come to this place always very happily.
Marc Marquez: “After the Argentina race, I’m happy to go to a track I love as much as Austin, although of course I would have preferred to arrive there in a better position. Anyway, another race weekend is about to start and we’ll give 100% to try to get our first podium this season. I have great memories of Austin, and for me it’s one of the best venues on the race calendar. I like the layout of the track, as it has many different types of sections and corners and lots of elevation changes. I also love the “American” style, with all the fans enjoying the sport and the fun at the track, so let’s get back in action and see how it goes there.”
Dani Pedrosa: We had the chance to spend a few days back home in Europe, to rest a little and also to do some good training, and now I can’t wait to get back on my bike in Austin. It’s a pity we didn’t get points in Argentina, but we’ll put that behind us and concentrate on the positives. Now that we know more about our bike, we’ll work to improve the stability and the general setup, and hopefully we can take another step this weekend. I like the circuit and visiting Austin and the fans are really fantastic there, so let’s hope for a good weekend in Texas!’
Yamaha and Honda releases