This weekend, the FIM MotoGP World Championship visited the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas for the fourth round of its 2022 season. Also, eight-time world champion Marc Márquez returned after missing the last round recovering from his massive crash in the Indonesian Grand Prix warm-up session. Márquez has won seven of MotoGP’s eight visits to Austin so far. Though, today’s Grand Prix of the Americas would have a new winner.
In qualifying, Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martín beat factory Ducati rider Jack Miller to pole by three-thousands of a second. Ducati bikes would end the session securing pole through fifth positions on the grid. The reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo was the first non-Ducati rider in sixth on his Yamaha. Marc Márquez put his Honda in ninth position with the two factory Suzukis ahead of him.
Miller beat Martín for the holeshot at COTA’s hilltop first corner at the race start. The race would quickly develop into a head-to-head battle between the two riders as they were stalked by Gresini’s Enea Bastianini, another satellite Ducati. Meanwhile, Marc Márquez was the last rider around the first corner after a disastrously poor start.
Suzuki’s Álex Rins was the only rider to challenge the leading brigade of five Ducati. Rins methodically picked his way past the Italian bikes into the podium positions. He would use the corners that bookend COTA’s longest straight to negate the Ducati’s straight-line advantage and maneuver around his rivals.
Martín would sink to eighth place over the course of the race, opening the door for Bastianini to fight for the win. With five laps to go, Bastianini would strike. The Gresini rider blew past his factory counterpart down the long back straight for the lead. Enea Bastianini wouldn’t look back and won the Grand Prix of the Americas, his second win of the season. Rins finished second, and Miller finished third.
Marc Márquez had a genuinely brilliant ride, slicing through the field up to sixth place. He was riding at a pace that matched, and at some points surpassed, the race leaders. While he made quick work on the lower positions, Márquez spent the final laps fighting Quartararo to maintain his position.
Gresini’s Enea Bastianini leads the World Riders’ Championship over Álex Rins by five points. MotoGP will return in two weeks for the Portuguese Grand Prix.