They say everything’s bigger in Texas. For some riders, this weekend certainly is a big one…
As the MotoGP world championship moves onto Austin and the Circuit of the Americas, it’s fair to say Maverick Vinales is in dreamland.
Victories at the opening two rounds of the season have given the Spaniard the perfect start to life at Yamaha, something many predicted. However, Austin is a different animal compared to Qatar and Argentina…
The Circuit of the Americas is firmly Marc Marquez territory, and it’d be hard to look past him this weekend…
Marquez: already done and dusted?
The fickle world of Motorsport has seemingly already called an end on Marc Marquez’s title hopes at the third round of the championship. An exceptionally quick Maverick Vinales and a crash at Argentina leave Marquez 37 points off the Yamaha rider already.
But then again, we’re in the United States this weekend, Marc Marquez’s home from home. Since 2011, Marquez has won every race on American soil he’s entered in. He’s dominated at the Circuit of the Americas, and nobody has even got close to him.
So, if there’s a place for Marquez to put behind a poor start, it’s here. You’d be silly to bet on anyone else to take home the spoils, but if Maverick can beat Marc here, he really sends out a message…
“Jorge Lorenzo’s move to Ducati will be nothing like the time Rossi went there!” is what everyone said…
He’s certainly been unlucky, but you can’t hide that the transition certainly hasn’t been smooth.
But come on. This is a triple world champion. Writing him off now would be stupid. Of course he’s unhappy finishing that low, but he’s not going to be cutting his contract short after two races!
Austin is a Ducati track, If Lorenzo can’t get a decent result here I worry for him because he’s a true confidence rider. If he’s not in the right state, he goes nowhere. But if he’s focused, he’s unbeatable.
But it’ll get better.
Best of the rest… and Maverick
Although the spotlight has been firmly placed on Maverick Vinales, there have been some bright showings from some others on the grid.
The Tech 3 pairing of Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger have had an exceptional start to the season. They are doing better than the two they replaced, and are really pushing last years Yamaha to its limit. Both riders had decent showings here in Moto2 and will be looking to push forward this weekend. The winner of that race, Alex Rins, will be looking to bounce back from his injury-hit race last time out in Argentina.
Elsewhere, Ducati riders will be looking to take advantage of the Austin circuit, which has suited the Italian manufacturer. Andrea Iannone got third here last year, and various top speed records were set by all the Ducati riders.
Will the Morbidelli show roll on in Moto2?
Frankie Morbidelli has certainly had it his way so far in Moto2. The Italian has dominated both of the opening weekends and will be looking to continue said dominance in Texas.
However, the Italian has certainly got some strong competition. Miguel Oliveria gave the KTM chassis it’s first podium in only its second outing last time out, showing how much potential the project has. If he were to win here it would certainly show the rest of the field that KTM do mean business in this championship.
Tom Luthi can never be discounted in Moto2, although he has struggled in the past at the Circuit of the Americas.
Will the JM streak continue in Moto3?
Two rounds, two identical podiums all with the initials JM. Surely we’re not getting another identical one?
Joan Mir, John McPhee and Jorge Martin have all shown great pace already, and all three have shown they have the racecraft to really produce in this championship.
McPhee, on the British Talent Team Honda, has certainly shown a return to form after a difficult time last season on the Mahindra-Peugeot machine. Winning a race so early on would give him a legitimate shot of winning the world championship.
You’ll be able to catch all the action from Austin, Texas here at Read Motorsport throughout the weekend.