• October 20, 2014

EASY RIDER Spain’s Marc Marquez goes wire-to-wire to defend Austin GP crown

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Posted: Monday, April 14, 2014 1:02 am

AUSTIN — It took less than three-quarters of an hour on Sunday for Spain’s Marc Marquez to once again prove he’s the fastest motorcyclist in the world. 

More precisely, Marquez finished the 21-lap course at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas in 43 minutes, 33 seconds — well ahead of all competitors — and took first place in the MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.

His Lap 3 time of 2:03.57 set a course record.

This was the second consecutive year the 21-year-old Marquez won at Austin. Marquez dominated the tour in 2013 and he’s won both races in 2014.

“This was different from my win in Austin last year,” Marquez said. “This time, we led start to finish. This was an easier win than some of my others and I want to give a lot of credit to my crew and team, they all did a great job.”

Marquez’s ride was nearly flawless. Having earned the pole position, he blasted out to an early lead and was never threatened.

With less than a quarter-lap to go before the finish line, Marquez’s left foot hit the ground three times, temporarily slowing down his bike — and slowing down the heartbeats of his crew.

“The race was too quiet up to that point, so I had to wake up my mechanics,” Marquez said with a laugh. “I actually did lose my concentration a little. It was a small mistake. But it is something I’ll learn from in the future.”

The future of Marquez looks very good.

Of course his past isn’t too shabby either. As a rookie in 2013, Marquez had 17 podiums and seven victories in 19 Grand Prix rides en route to winning the Premier Class World Championship.

“It’s difficult to keep up with Marc,” said teammate Dani Pedrosa, who finished second on Sunday at 43:37.54. “I was trying my best to follow Marc today but he was just a little faster. Finally, I got to a point where I was about three or four seconds back. No one was close behind us. I did enjoy racing today and I learned a few things.”

Pedrosa, also of Spain, started the race in the No. 2 spot in the front row. Italy’s Andrea Dovizioso started the race in the fourth row, at No. 10, and stunned the field with a third-place finish (43:54.40).

“I had to use all the energy I had from beginning to the end,” Dovizioso said. “It’s a challenging course and so it’s easy to make a mistake on this track. It was really fantastic for us to finish where we did. Our team had a strategy, we used it and it worked.”

Exactly what that strategy was, Dovizioso wasn’t saying.

After all, there are 14 more races on this tour in 2014, including one more stop in America, Indianapolis, on Aug. 10.

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