MotoGP Austin: Marquez dominates, Lorenzo jumps start

Lorenzo gets caught trying to nail the start, gets ride-through penalty, finishes 10th; Pedrosa second, Dovisioso third

2014/04/12 - mgp - Round02 - Austin - MotoGP - Marc Marquez - Repsol Honda - RC213V - ActionAndrew Northcott

It appeared that the only way anyone was going to stop Marc Marquez from running away with the MotoGP race at Austin on Sunday was for the threatening storm clouds in the distance to drift over and drop some rain, but the clouds stayed away, and the reigning MotoGP World Champion simply took off and held the lead from the first corner to the checkered flag. Although it's doubtful that he would've made a difference in the proceedings based on his practice times, Jorge Lorenzo made Marquez's job easier by completely jumping the start; the Movistar Yamaha rider quickly decided it would be better to try and gap the field as much as possible on the first lap before he pulled into the pitlane for his ride-through penalty, so Lorenzo continued on his way while the rest of the grid waited for the lights to start. Lorenzo ended up starting about eight seconds behind the field when he exited the pits, but the Majorcan worked his way up to 10th place at the finish, earning six points instead of zero like he did in Qatar.

Marquez's Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa tried to keep the world champion honest, but it was a futile task, and he settled for a safe second place, more than four seconds behind Marquez, and more than 20 seconds ahead of third-placed Andrea Dovisioso. Dovisioso made an impressive march up to the podium, after being mired down in sixth place on the opening laps. After getting passed by Valentino Rossi for fifth on the third lap, he followed Rossi as they caught up to Pramac Ducati's Andrea Iannone, who held third for a good number of laps before finally fading back to sixth at the finish. When Rossi swooped up the inside of Iannone, Dovisioso quickly followed in his tracks, slipping Iannone down to fifth in one corner.

Rossi looked like he might make an impressive charge onto the podium himself, as he caught and began to battle LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl for third. However, it appeared that Rossi's tires were starting to slide, as the Italian pass attempt on Bradl failed, and then he began to take wider lines. Rossi eventually dropped back to eighth at the finish. Meanwhile, Dovisioso caught and began hounding Bradl for third, eventually moving past and putting some distance between them to finish in that order. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 pair of Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro made their own impressive charge, with Smith finishing just behind Bradl and Espargaro some three seconds behind his teammate. Iannone held on for seventh, while Nicky Hayden came out on top of the RCV1000R Honda pilots by finishing 11th.

Marc Marquez was basically in a class by himself at COTA, running away to win by more than four seconds over Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa and Ducati's Andrea Dovisioso.Andrew Northcott

"It was a new experience for me in MotoGP," said Marquez. "We've never lead the race from beginning to end. It was a little bit difficult to keep the concentration over the race because this circuit for physical conditioning is quite tough. Maybe my favorite track was a little bit easier than others; we know that the next races will be different, Dani and the Yamaha riders will push hard. But we're also happy because I did my first good start in MotoGP!" Marquez put a scare into his crew when he got out of shape on the brakes heading into the final corner, and he quickly admitted that the race got a little too easy and he lost concentration for a moment. "Yeah, the race was too quiet for my team and mechanics, so I thought I'd put a little rpm into the hearts of my mechanics," he joked. "The reason was I lose a little bit of concentration, but we'll put that down to experience."

Dani Pedrosa finished a lonely second at COTA, some four seconds behind Marquez and a yawning 20 seconds ahead of Dovisioso in third.Andrew Northcott

"I tried my best to follow Marc and try to achieve his pace, but he was just a little faster," said Pedrosa. "There was no place where I was picking up time, I was just losing tenths here and there. Once he was three or four seconds ahead, I could see that there was no one behind, so I just concentrated on keeping my pace." Pedrosa was asked if he thought that maybe he had fallen asleep at the start when he saw Lorenzo go blasting past, and the Spaniard admitted that he wasn't sure for a split second. "For just a little bit you think you're wrong, but I was really focused on the lights and saw they were still red. My body couldn't move, and when I saw the light go off, maybe I didn't get the best start because one eye was looking at Jorge and the other at the lights. But once I saw him shaking his head I knew that he had made a mistake."

"We didn't have the pace to fight for the podium in practice but we weren't that far off," admitted Dovisioso. "This is how it usually is. We always try and push 100 percent to get a result to get something special for us. It's still not as fast as we'd like, it's very hard racing like this, but we'll keep pushing."

MotoGP Austin race results:

Pos. Rider Country Team Machine
1 Marc Marquez SPA Repsol Honda Team Repsol Honda
2 Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda
3 Andrea Dovisioso ITA Ducati Team Ducati
4 Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda
5 Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha
6 Andrea Iannone ITA Pramac Racing Ducati
7 Pol Espargaro SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha
8 Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
9 Aleix Espargaro SPA NGM Forward Racing Forward Yamaha
10 Jorge Lorenzo SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
11 Nicky Hayden USA Drive M7 Aspar Honda
12 Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Drive M7 Aspar Honda
13 Yonny Hernandez COL Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati
14 Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Honda
15 Hector Barbera SPA Avintia Racing FTR/Kawasaki
16 Michael Laverty IRL Paul Bird Motorsport ART/Aprilia
17 Danilo Petrucci ITA Ioda Racing Project Ioda/Aprilia
18 Mike Di Meglio FRA Avintia Racing FTR/Kawasaki
DNF Scott Redding GBR GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda
DNF Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing Forward Yamaha
DNF Cal Crutchlow GBR Ducati Team Ducati
DNF Alvaro Bautista SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda
DNF Broc Parkes AUS Paul Bird Motorsport ART/Aprilia