Alex Rins beats Valentino Rossi to take maiden MotoGP win, Marc Marquez crashes
Alex Rins beat Valentino Rossi to claim a shock maiden MotoGP win in the Americas Grand Prix, after reigning World Champion Marc Marquez crashed out of a dominant lead.
Suzuki's Rins took the lead from Rossi with four laps remaining and resisted his Yamaha rival thereafter to clinch his first win in the premier class, their battle coming in the wake of Marquez falling from his Honda.
Marquez maintained pole position off the line, despite Rossi and LCR's Cal Crutchlow getting equally good starts, while Andrea Dovizioso made his way through to eighth from 13th.
Rossi ran Marquez close in the opening laps but a string of race-best times allowed Marquez to quickly open up a lead of over a second by the fifth lap.
Marquez grew that gap by a further second, and by lap seven had opened up his advantage to three seconds for the first time, while Rossi had Crutchlow hounding him for second.
Crutchlow's charge ended on lap six, though, after crashing at Turn 11 and this released Rossi into clear air as Pramac's Jack Miller – the only one of the top three running Soft front and rear rubber – began to drop back.
Now 3.8s in front, Marquez looked set to secure his seventh successive victory at the Circuit of the Americas but approaching mid-distance he fell at Turn 12 and was unable to re-join the action.
That promoted Rossi into the lead but his advantage was a slender half-second over Rins, who plotted his attack, and snuck past into Turn 7 with four of the 20 laps remaining.
Rins provided Rossi with a half-chance into Turn 11, after running wide, allowing the Italian to launch an attempt into Turn 12, but the Yamaha rider ran too deep and Rins took back the advantage.
Rossi remained within sight of Rins through the final lap but was never close enough to launch a serious move.
Rins absorbed the pressure to take his maiden premier class win and the first for Suzuki since 2016, with Rossi moving into second in the standings with his second-successive runner-up podium placement this season.
Miller completed the top three for his first MotoGP podium in dry conditions, while Dovizioso recovered to fourth; he now takes a three-point lead in the standings, with Marquez shuffled nine points back in fourth.
Franco Morbidelli passed Dovizioso early, but the Sepang Racing Yamaha rider had to settle for fifth in the end ahead of the sister works Ducati of Danilo Petrucci.
Fabio Quartararo took top rookie honours again in seventh on his SRT M1, with KTM's Pol Espargaro, Francesco Bagnaia [Pramac] and the sole remaining Honda of Takaaki Nakagami [LCR] completing the top 10.
Maverick Vinales jumped the start and was forced to serve a ride-through penalty, with his prospects further compromised by mistakenly using the penalty loop before he correctly came into the pit lane.
He finished 11th, ahead of Aprilia's Andrea Iannone and KTM's Johann Zarco. Rins' Suzuki team--mate Joan Mir also served a ride through for a jump start and was 17th.
Jorge Lorenzo dropped out of the race with a technical issue at Turn 12 just a lap after Repsol Honda team-mate Marquez crashed out, compounding a miserable day for the squad. Aleix Espargaro joined him on the sidelines after tumbling from his Aprilia early on.
USA - Race Result
|1||Alex Rins||Team Suzuki Ecstar||25|
|2||Valentino Rossi||Monster Energy Yamaha||0.462||20|
|3||Jack Miller||Alma Pramac Racing||8.454||16|
|4||Andrea Dovizioso||Mission Winnow Ducati||9.420||13|
|5||Franco Morbidelli||Petronas Yamaha SRT||18.021||11|
|6||Danilo Petrucci||Mission Winnow Ducati||21.476||10|
|7||Fabio Quartararo||Petronas Yamaha SRT||26.111||9|
|8||Pol Espargaro||Red Bull KTM Factory||29.743||8|
|9||Francesco Bagnaia||Alma Pramac Racing||30.608||7|
|10||Takaaki Nakagami||LCR Honda||31.011||6|
|11||Maverick Vinales||Monster Energy Yamaha||34.077||5|
|12||Andrea Iannone||Aprilia Racing Gresini||34.779||4|
|13||Johann Zarco||LCR Honda||42.458||3|
|14||Miguel Oliviera||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||44.272||2|
|15||Tito Rabat||Reale Avintia Racing||44.623||1|
|16||Karel Abraham||Reale Avintia Racing||44.740||0|
|17||Joan Mir||Team Suzuki Ecstar||48.063||0|
|18||Hafizh Syahrin||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||1:07.683||0|