MotoGP: Marquez dominates to win going away at COTA (Update)

This article has been updated and photos added.

October 3, 2021 

Marc Marquez took the lead from his third starting spot on lap 1 and led the rest of the way going away to win the USA MotoGP race at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) for the 7th time in 8 tries.

Marquez crossed the line doing a wheelie the entire length of the home straight to the cheers of the packed COTA grandstands. The win, his 2nd of the season, means so much to Marquez as he recovers from surgery after surgery to repair his severely injured right arm. It was his and Honda’s second MotoGP win since last July’s Jerez crash where Marquez severely broke his arm.

Marc Marquez pops a wheelie down the entire front straight

Points leader Fabio Quartararo finished 2nd and collected another 20 points, extending his championship lead to 52 points.   With just three races to go in the season, Quartararo all but has his first MotoGP title locked up with 75 points still available over the remaining three rounds.

Polesitter Francesco Bagnaia came home third on his Ducati.

Long gone were the hints of rain that had hindered the start of the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, the sun shining as the American national anthem echoed along the main straight before the 20-lap MotoGP race.

When the lights went out, Marc Marquez and his Repsol Honda Team RC213V rocketed forward to lead the field out of Turn One.

Marquez leads into Turn 1. From there he was never seriously challenged

From here there was no looking back as the eight-time World Champion set an unmatchable pace over the following 20 laps. From lap five to lap 15, Marquez never went slower than a 2’04.9 to open up a gap of over four seconds to Fabio Quartararo. There was simply no stopping Marquez on Sunday in Austin as he claimed his seventh win at the circuit.

Marquez’s second win of 2021 also brings with it the 450th podium for the Repsol Honda Team since 1995 in the premier class. With 98 podiums in the iconic Repsol Honda Team colors, Marquez is the second most successful rider in terms of podium finishes for the team behind Dani Pedrosa with 112 top three finishes. This brings the #93’s personal win tally to 58 in the premier class and moves him to seventh in the World Championship standings with 117 points.

Marc Marquez 

“The plan was to do exactly what we did today: start well and fight into the first corner, take the first few laps a bit easy and then when the tires start to drop a little bit – that’s when I would start to push. It’s exactly what I did, and I saw the gap increasing with my lap times in in 2’04 highs, very consistent and comfortable. In the last few laps I was very tired, and it wasn’t easy to keep my concentration, but Fabio was far behind and my instincts said he would not risk anything as he’s fighting for the championship. Today is a great day, I want to say thanks to the whole of HRC and the Repsol Honda Team who have worked so well all weekend. It’s been a hard season to understand everything, I was really looking for this victory because we know we had a good chance here. It was nice to win here for Nicky Hayden and also for the Viñales family, I have known them since I was eight years old, and it’s a hard year for them and for the world of racing.”

Fabio Quartararo

“You can imagine how happy I am! I think that we managed to do a really great job. This morning I tried the soft rear, and honestly that was not really a race option for us all weekend, but I felt good. The first 12 laps of the race were the toughest, when I tried to make a gap between me and Jorge. And we did it. This is the best second place that I‘ve ever gotten in my life. It’s even better than a victory, to be honest because I‘m getting closer to my dream. It was so emotional because there are only three races left, and I have an over 50-point advantage. At least we made this long flight to leave here with a great result. I will now go back home and relax with my family for a few days. I will enjoy those moments with them a lot. I think that we are starting to think in a different way now because the championship’s end is getting closer. This is my first time really talking about it, but things are looking good.”

L to R: Quartararo (2nd), Marquez (1st) and Bagnaia (3rd)

Video: Race Highlights

Race Results

1 Marc Marquez SPA Repsol Honda (RC213V) 41m 41.435s
2 Fabio Quartararo FRA Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) +4.679s
3 Francesco Bagnaia ITA Ducati Team (GP21) +8.547s
4 Alex Rins SPA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) +11.098s
5 Jorge Martin SPA Pramac Ducati (GP21)* +11.752s
6 Enea Bastianini ITA Avintia Ducati (GP19)* +13.269s
7 Joan Mir SPA Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) +13.406s
8 Jack Miller AUS Ducati Team (GP21) +14.722s
9 Brad Binder RSA Red Bull KTM (RC16) +15.832s
10 Pol Espargaro SPA Repsol Honda (RC213V) +20.265s
11 Miguel Oliveira POR Red Bull KTM (RC16) +23.055s
12 Alex Marquez SPA LCR Honda (RC213V) +24.743s
13 Andrea Dovizioso ITA Petronas Yamaha (YZR-M1) +25.307s
14 Luca Marini ITA Sky VR46 Avintia Ducati (GP19)* +26.853s
15 Valentino Rossi ITA Petronas Yamaha (YZR-M1) +28.055s
16 Iker Lecuona SPA KTM Tech3 (RC16) +30.989s
17 Takaaki Nakagami JPN LCR Honda (RC213V) +35.251s
18 Danilo Petrucci ITA KTM Tech3 (RC16) +42.239s
19 Franco Morbidelli ITA Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1) +49.854s
20 Aleix Espargaro SPA Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) DNF
21 Johann Zarco FRA Pramac Ducati (GP21) DNF

* Rookie

MotoGP 2021 Championship Standings

  1. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 254 points
  2. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team 202 points
  3. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 175 points
  4. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team 149 points
  5. Johann Zarco – Pramac Racing 141 points
  6. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 131 points
  7. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team 117 points
  8. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 104 points
  9. Maverick Viñales – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 98 points
  10. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 92 points
  11. Jorge Martin – Pramac Racing 82 points
  12. Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 81 points
  13. Enea Bastianini – Avintia Esponsorama 71 points
  14. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU 70 points
  15. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team 70 points
  16. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL 54 points
  17. Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 40 points
  18. Iker Lecuona – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 38 points
  19. Danilo Petrucci – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 37 points
  20. Luca Marini – SKY VR46 Avintia 30 points
  21. Valentino Rossi – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 29 points
  22. Stefan Bradl – Honda HRC 13 points
  23. Michele Pirro – Ducati Lenovo Team 8 points
  24. Dani Pedrosa – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 6 points
  25. Lorenzo Savadori – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 4 points
  26. Andrea Dovizioso – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 3 points
  27. Tito Rabat – Pramac Racing 1 point
  28. Cal Crutchlow – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 0 points

29. Garrett Gerloff  – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 0 points
30. Jake Dixon – PETRONAS Yamaha SRT 0 points