The Spaniard forced a mistake out of Bagnaia to take victory with Marini and Quartararo elated with podium honours
The Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas proved that anything that can happen in MotoGP™ as Alex Rins (LCR Honda Castrol) capitalised on a crash from Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) to become the first rider to win a race on a Honda in 2023 in just his third Grand Prix for the Japanese manufacturer.
Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) continued the podium streak for the VR46 team after fending off the Yamaha frontman Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) who picked up his first podium of 2023.
Lights out on the horsepower rodeo
The lights went out and it was the perfect start for Pecco as the Italian took the hole shot with Alex Rins in hot pursuit. Drama on lap one as the Ducati men of Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™), Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing), and Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) crashed out. Martin and Marquez went down together as the Prima Pramac Racing man went down and took his Spanish compatriot with him.
The Aprilia Captain Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) also fell victim to the first lap antics going down and out of the Grand Prix.
Heartbreaking mistake denies Miller maiden KTM podium
In the meantime, Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) came flying through the field to put himself in 3rd place from 10th on the grid. Quartararo was hot on the tail of the Aussie as Marini sat just inside the top 5.
Déjà vu for the World Champion
Bagnaia blunders and crashes out of the lead!
Bagnaia was putting on the pressure early on as he attempted to stretch out the field, but Alex Rins wasn’t having any of it as the Spaniard latched himself onto the back of the factory Ducati. Rins continued to pile the pressure on the number 1, forcing the Italian into a mistake as he crashed out of the race lead.
Rins continued to push on at the front, and after an putting down an incredible pace the Spaniard controlled the race from the front to bring him his first victory for Honda, and their first of 2023.
Marini vs Quartararo
14 laps to go and the punishment didn’t fit the crime for Jack Miller as he crashed out of a podium position, the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing garage watched on as the Aussie’s hopes and dreams of a first podium in orange ended in the gravel trap. This promoted Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) to 3rd place and it was game on in the battle for the podium which became the battle for 2nd place following Bagnaia’s crash.
Marini was shadowing Quartararo’s every move, and with 3.5s to the battle for 4th behind, the duo were putting the hammer down in hopes of catching the LCR Honda man out front.
With the laps ticking away Marini decided it was time to make a move on the flying Frenchman as the Italian was eager to bag his first MotoGP™ podium. With five laps to go, Marini had just under a second in his back pocket as Quartararo struggled to hold onto the Italian’s pace.
Despite the efforts of the VR46 man, it wasn’t enough to catch the Spaniard out front and Marini brought home his Ducati in a safe 2nd place to grab his first podium in the MotoGP™ class, with Quartararo snatching his first podium of 2023.
The battle for 4th
With the top 3 out of touch, it was a fight for the best of the rest as Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing), Miguel Oliveira (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team), and Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) battled it out for 4th place.
Despite the efforts of the chasing pack, Viñales put down a blistering pace to fend off Oliveira and Bezzecchi, taking a comfortable 4th place after a miraculous recovery from the Spaniard who had dropped through the pack at the race start.
Miguel Oliveira picked up 5th place seeing the chequered flag of a Grand Prix for the first time in 2023 onboard his Aprilia. Marco Bezzecchi took 6th place with Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) and Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) taking 7th and 8th respectively.
The Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas did not disappoint as MotoGP™ leaves the USA ready to prepare for more action at the Gran Premio MotoGP™ Guru by Gryfyn de España on April 29th. Make sure to keep up to date with all of the drama as it unfolds on motogp.com!
1. Alex Rins – (LCR Honda Castrol)
2. Luca Marini – (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 3.498
3. Fabio Quartararo – (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) + 4.936
4. Maverick Viñales – (Aprilia Racing) + 8.318
5. Miguel Oliveira – (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Team) + 9.989
6. Marco Bezzecchi – (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 12.049
7. Johann Zarco – (Prima Pramac Racing) + 12.242
8. Franco Morbidelli – (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) + 20.399
9. Fabio Di Giannantonio – (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) + 27.981
10. Augusto Fernandez – (Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing) + 28.217