From pole to victory, Pecco puts in a perfect performance as the action unfolded behind

It was drama from the moment the lights went out in the Tissot Sprint at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) lined up on pole position for the first time in 2023, and it was game on as the chasing pack were eager to get the better of the number 1.

The factory Ducati man proved his worth and brought home the Tissot Sprint victory leaving the rest of the field to battle it out for the scraps. Alex Rins (LCR Honda Castrol) was in the mood as he brought home a very hard-fought 2nd place as Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) came from 12th on the grid to fend off Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) for 3rd place. 

Lights out in Texas

The Tissot Sprint at the Circuit of The Americas sprung into life as the lights went out in Austin Texas. It was Alex Rins who got the perfect launch as he took the hole shot into turn 1 before running wide and allowing Bagnaia back through.

It only took a few corners before Rins threw his LCR Honda up the inside of Bagnaia before the Italian bit back and used his Ducati power to blast past the Spaniard on the back straight. Meanwhile, Aleix Espargaro and Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‚ĄĘ) had also made incredible starts finding themselves in 3rd and 4th respectively.

One lap down and Rins was all over the rear wheel of the factory Ducati man before the Spaniard out-braked himself at turn 12, allowing Espargaro through. Quartararo then tried to take advantage and barge his way through making contact with Rins with no space for the Frenchman to get through.

Two laps down and Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) had joined the battle out the front, flying his way past Quartararo to move into P4 from 12th on the grid.

Quartararo did his best to find off the Ducati rocketships, but the Frenchman was a sitting duck on board his Yamaha YZF-M1. Trying to defend from Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP‚ĄĘ) on the brakes, the 2021 World Champion overshot turn 12 allowing the Gresini man through. Half a lap later and Quartararo was on the limit of his Yamaha machine before crashing out of the Sprint at turn 1 and re-joining in 21st place to finish in 19th.

Quartararo crashes out of Sprint after riding on the edge 

Bagnaia began to stretch out the field as he put down a lightning-fast pace on the number 1 plated Ducati, and was running away with it out the front stretching his lead to just over a second¬†with 8 laps to go. Pecco got into his groove onboard his Ducati Desmosedici, putting down a blistering pace that no one could match. The Italian went on stretch his lead to 2.545s, making it look easy as he took the flag, secured the win, and retook control of the MotoGP‚ĄĘ World Championship.

Who would be the best of the rest?

With Bagnaia checking out it left a battle for 2nd place between Espargaro and Rins. The LCR Honda rider was running all over the rear wheel of the Aprilia in front with several bike lengths in hand to the behind Ducatis of Martin and Marquez battling for 4th.

Four laps to go and Rins was determined as ever as he muscled his way past the Aprilia man. The difficult braking point at turn 12 was causing chaos all race long, and as the battle for P2 came to the end of the back straight once again, Rins barrelled into the braking zone ever so slightly over the limit of his LCR Honda. This sucked in Aleix Espargaro who followed Rins into the corner and ran wide, with Alex Marquez also caught out by the entry speed of the riders in front and crashing out of the Tissot Sprint.

The drama allowed Rins to run away and take a lonely 2nd place, leaving Martin to fend off a hungry Aleix Espargaro with a battle for the final spot on the podium underway.

Last lap time and Espargaro was riding pillion to Martin through the slalom section, desperate to find a way past. The Spaniard wanted to get through on his compatriot before the Ducati could stretch its legs on the back straight, but it wasn’t to be for the Aprilia man. The final sector arrived and Espargaro dived up the inside of Martin at the penultimate corner, only to run wide and allow the Prima Pramac Ducati back through leaving Martin to bring it home and round out the podium.

Battles all the way through the field

Whilst the riders out front scrapped it out, a battle for the top 5 was hotting up nicely. It was Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) who led the group with Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) and  Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) in hot pursuit. In the end, the South African was able to fend off the Mooney VR46 Racing riders and bring home 5th place after starting from 11th on the grid.

Miguel Oliveira (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP‚ĄĘ Team) got the better of Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) to bring his Aprilia home in P8, with Maverick Vi√Īales (Aprilia Racing) rounding out the top 10.

Following an action-packed start to the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas, we now have a chance to catch our breath before it all starts again on Sunday. If Saturday is anything to go by, you do not want to miss any of the action from the race at 14:00 local time (GMT- 5).

Top 10:

1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team)
2. Alex Rins (LCR Honda Castrol) Р+2.545
3. Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) Р+4.706
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) Р+5.052
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) Р+8.175
6.¬†Marco¬†Bezzecchi¬†(Mooney VR46 Racing Team)¬†–¬†+8.877
7. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) Р+9.453
8. Miguel Oliveira (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team) Р+10.768
9.¬†Jack¬†Miller¬†(Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)¬†–¬†+12.448
10.¬†Maverick¬†Vi√Īales¬†(Aprilia Racing)¬†– +12.739

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