For the sixth straight year, Circuit of The Americas is hosting MotoGP, and this year there’s a bit more tension leading into round three. Yes, Marc Marquez has won on this track each and every one of the five previous years in Austin, but this year’s MotoGP season is off to a rocky start for the Spaniard, and the first two races at Qatar and Argentina have been won by Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, respectively.

The first two practice sessions Friday were topped by Repsol Honda’s Marquez and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone, but weren’t far ahead of the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team’s duo of Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi, who all clocked times in the 2:04 range around the 3.4-mile circuit.

Two more practice sessions, followed by qualifying, are lined up for Saturday, with the big race Sunday afternoon. If you happen to be in Austin, and care at all about motorsports, you should make your way to COTA for what I consider to be the most exciting race weekend at the Texas track.

If you’re not in the area, consider tuning your TV to beIN Sports this weekend, and stick around here for plenty more shots from me.

A fine tribute to the late Nicky Hayden.
Photo: Kurt Bradley

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Kurt Bradley

Sub-Par Photographer and Reasonably Quick Test Driver