MotoGP Debrief – COTA
Red Bull Grand Prix of the America’s
The spotlight was back on Marc Marquez for the second MotoGP round of 2015 at the Circuit of the America’s, and rightly so as the Spaniard produced one of the most exciting qualifying laps in living memory.
The #AmericasGP lead up produced its fair share of drama including rain, standing water, race start delays, dogs running on the track and Marquez Honda flashing warning lights right when he needed it least, during the height of qualifying.
What followed was the #MM93PoleRush.
After leaping over the pit wall and sprinting down pit lane with seconds to spare, a dramatic mistake ridden qualifying lap ensued which unbelievably got the young Spaniard pole.
Marques pole was followed by Dovi and Lorenzo with Qatar winner Rossi fourth. Then two Brits, with Crutchlow in fifth and surprise man Redding showing great pace after finding a stiffer rear spring has worked wonders for his Honda to take sixth place on the grid.
It was also good timing for Nicky Hayden’s 200th start at his home GP, as the American joined an exclusive club that includes Rossi with 254, Alex Barros on 245 and Loris Capirossi’s 214.
Rossi was chasing his first USA win since Indy in 2008, but COTA is not a track that suits Yamaha’s high corner speed style with Rossi destroying his front tyre in 2014. The GOAT’s front tyre dramas continued again this year even though Bridgestone had supplied a harder compound.
The race started well with plenty of jostling on the 40m climb from the start line up to turn one.
Reddings race was short lived however as a rookie mistake, loosing the front, took him and Pol Espargaro out in the early stages.
The entertainment then turned to Rossi and Iannone fighting with Dovizioso as Marquez inevitably cleared off to take his 20th MotoGP victory.
Marquez has now won his last seven races in all classes in USA, including winning all three of the COTA MotoGP races.
It would be great to see CS27 return and maybe give the Spaniard a run for his money.
Dovi won a good Italian battle for second place but was unable to hunt down Marquez.
Rossi crossed the finish line in third place, three seconds off the winner with a badly worn front tyre but retains his lead in the championship.
Lorenzo who had been ill with Bronchitis rode well to fourth.
There had been a lot of chat about Ducati’s power, however as in QATAR, Hiroshi Aoyama and Marc Marquez showed the best maximum speed over the weekend.
COTA and QATAR are both hard on fuel consumption, and as in Qatar when electronics cut fuel near the end of Ianonne’s race, Ducati continued to have issues when both factory bikes ran out of fuel on the slow down lap.
Iannone’s bike actually ran out as he took the chequered flag, stopping at turn one, highlighting that Ducati will face further fuel consumption challenges as their fuel allowance cut from 24 to 22 liters seemed to have an impact.
The Ducati GP15 has proved a real threat so far and in all conditions and I suspect Genius Engineer Gigi’s priority will now move towards the engine mapping strategies.
At a track that suits the Honda, expect to see both Ducati and Yamaha come back strong in the next few rounds.
It was also great to see Keanu Reeves hang out in the MotoGP paddock even using the opportunity to launch his own motorcycle.
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Photos: © 2015 Scott Jones / Photo.GP – All Rights Reserved