Marc Marquez held off his Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa to take victory in the 2014 MotoGP Grand Prix of Americas by four seconds in Austin, Texas.
World Champion Marquez had been on pole position and led for the majority of the race. The win is his second of the season, having stormed to victory in the first race of the season in Qatar.
|1.||Marc Marquez||Spain||Repsol Honda Team||43'33.430|
|2.||Dani Pedrosa||Spain||Repsol Honda Team||+4.124|
|3.||Andrea Dovizioso||Italy||Ducati Team||+20.976|
|4.||Stefan Bradl||Germany||LCR Honda MotoGP||+2.790|
|5.||Bradley Smith||Great Britain||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+22.963|
|6.||Pol Espargaro||Spain||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+26.567|
|7.||Andrea Iannone||Italy||Pramac Racing||+28.257|
|8.||Valentino Rossi||Itay||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+45.519|
|9.||Aleix Espargaro||Spain||NGM Forward Racing||+47.605|
|10.||Jorge Lorenzo||Spain||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+49.111|
Speed passed along an example of Marquez's success in Austin:
It was a profitable afternoon for the Honda riders, and also for Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati who returned to the podium for the first time since September 2012.
Honda's perpetual rivals, Yamaha, struggled and their riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo could only finish eighth and tenth respectively.
Elsewhere, there were concerns for the welfare of British rider Cal Crutchlow who crashed after experiencing problems with his bike. MotoGP passed along initial information on Crutchlow's condition after the race:
#MotoGP Cal Crutchlow has been taken to the medical centre, he is conscious and has full movement of arms and legs.— MotoGP™ (@MotoGP) April 13, 2014
It soon emerged, however, that Crutchlow's injury, despite not being serious, might rule him out for the forseeable future, per BT Sport:
Marquez had a largely untroubled race, and at one stage held a 5.4 second advantage over Pedrosa. That may have caused him to lose his concentration, as the Honda rider almost lost control of his bike on the final lap. But Marquez recovered his composure to take the chequered flag.
The battle for third place was an altogether more-entertaining tussle.
Andrea Iannone of Ducati held third for much of the first half of the race, but he was soon challenged by Valentino Rossi, the enigmatic Italian.
Rossi had put in a barnstorming display to challenge for the podium, but his bike began to lose pace and his Yamaha soon drifted back down the field.
Iannone could not keep his third place for long though as Stefan Bradl first snatched the spot, before Dovizioso overtook him. The Italian held on to that third spot for the rest of the race.
The victory gives Marquez wins in the opening two races of the 2014 season, with a chance to for a third at the Argentinian Grand Prix in a fortnight's time.
By that time, Rossi and Lorenzo will be hopeful that their Yamaha engineers will have fixed some of the technical issues that have plagued their otherwise competitive racing performances. They will certainly have much to race for in the coming months, which is something that is looking unlikely for Crutchlow.
Should Marquez maintain the ruthless streak and raw pace that he has set in the opening races, the 21-year-old will be a strong favourite to retain his crown.