This weekend sees the MotoGP paddock return to the states for the third round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship in Texas at the Circuit Of The Americas, a place where 7x World Champion Marc Marquez has been unbeaten in the premier class.
Four Practice sessions, one (or two) Qualifying sessions, a warm-up session and a 20 lap race separate Marc Marquez and yet another win around the 3.43-mile long circuit.
Making its debut on the Calendar in 2013, The Circuit Of The Americas is by far one of the most physical circuits on the current MotoGP Calendar, from the blind 41m uphill hairpin to open the lap, then its fast change of direction through the first sector and the rollercoaster of a back straight and the “Mickey Mouse” section towards the end of the lap, COTA has everything to provide some great racing.
The Circuit Of The America’s was built in 2012 and designed by a well-known German architect and circuit designer Hermann Tilke. The unique and quirky circuit has 20 corners, 11 to the left and 9 to the right, it’s one of the wider circuits on the calendar, 15m’s wide and has an astonishing 41m-elevation change up towards the hairpin of turn 1.
However, despite the uniqueness of the circuit, the last 6 years has been Marc Marquez territory, who can forget when Marc Marquez broke down during Qualifying 2, parked up his RC213V and sprinted the length of the pitlane only to then put his number 2 bike on pole position.
The Honda’s go well around the Texan circuit with the slow first gear hairpins that lead onto long straights, everything in a Honda rider’s dream. But why does Marquez get on so well around COTA? The simple answer is, it’s anticlockwise. Give Marquez an anticlockwise circuit, with lots of left-hand corners you can guarantee Marquez will be at the front.
Yamaha, on paper they should go well around COTA, with its fast, flowing corners, and in previous years Yamaha has stood on the podium 5 times. However, with Maverick Vinales’ confidence knocked after a poor run of form recently it could be tricky for the Spaniard to repeat his 2018 success. Meanwhile, 9x World Champion Valentino Rossi will be aiming for another podium finish after his Second place in Argentina.
In previous years you wouldn’t have put Ducati on the podium in Argentina, last time out Andrea Dovizioso pulled of third at Termas, recently, America hasn’t been a happy hunting ground either for the Bologna Manufacturer. Ducati’s best result around the American circuit? 2nd back in 2015. Since then Andrea Iannone has been the only Ducati rider to put the Bologna Bullet on the podium. But with Luigi Dall’igna working his magic in order to make the Ducati turn better, could we see a Ducati on the podium for the first time in 3 years in the States?
The action kicks off in America on Friday 12th with Moto3’s heading out on track first at 15:00hrs (GMT) followed by MotoGP and Moto2. Moto3 FP3 starts on Saturday at the same time as the top 14 riders will aim to get themselves into Q2 for both Moto3 and Moto2. Qualifying action starts at 18:35hrs (GMT) with the final session of the day rounding out at 21:45hrs (GMT).
Sunday’s action starts with the Warm up’s but the opening race of the day starts at 17:00hrs (GMT) with Moto2 at 18:20hrs before engines roar for the premier class at 20:00hrs where we will find out whether or not Marc Marquez has been captured or whether he’s escaped the pack.
Featured Image Credit: Box Repsol