MotoGP: Bastianini triumphant in Austin

Enea Bastianini  is now a two-time MotoGP race winner in 2022 by winning the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas to retake the World Championship lead heading to Europe. The Beast led home Alex Rins and Jack Miller as the Suzuki and Ducati duo scrapped it out on the last lap for P2 and P3.

Marc Marquez went from dead last on lap 1 to finish 6th, just 6.6 seconds behind the leader.

Marc Marquez. Photos courtesy of MotoGP

As the lights went out, Miller got the best start of the leading Ducati trio on the front row and grabbed the holeshot ahead of Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team). It was a nightmare start from P9 for Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) though, something went wrong off the line for the eight-time World Champion and at Turn 1, the number 93 was plumb last.

Bastianini then got the better Bagnaia for P3 on Lap 1 as Martin lunged for the lead at the penultimate corner. Miller instantly retaliated at the final corner though and it was the Australian who held the race lead baton on Lap 2. It was a Ducati 1-2-3-4-5, Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) scrapping away with Pecco for P4, with Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) and Team Suzuki Ecstar duo – Rins and Joan Mir – P6, P7 and P8 behind the Desmosedici quintet.

On Lap 5, Marc Marquez had climbed his way up to P13. Further up the road, Rins pounced on Pecco and the Ducati stranglehold had been breached on Lap 6. Lap 7 saw Marc Marquez pass teammate Pol Espargaro at Turn 12 and in doing so, Marquez was inside the top 10 – 0.6s off Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) in P8 and just five seconds off the lead.

Rins was an absolute demon on brakes into Turn 11 and the Spaniard picked off Zarco in Lap 9. Crucially, the Suzuki man held the Frenchman at bay coming out of Turn 12 as Rins latched himself onto the coattails of third place Bastianini. Rins dived up the inside of the Italian at Turn 11 on the next lap, but Bastianini was able to power back past on his GP21 rocket ship. Meanwhile, Marc Marquez had picked off Aleix Espargaro and had Quartararo next on his list, as the number 93 set the fastest lap of the race on Lap 11 of 20.

Lap 12 saw Bastianini slice past Martin at Turn 1 into P2, Rins followed Bestia through and into P3, as Miller opened up a 0.7s lead. Bagnaia and Mir got the better of Zarco, Mir then passed Bagnaia on Lap 13, as the top nine riders down to Marc Marquez were split by five seconds – and the latter, once again, set the fastest lap of the race.

Enea Bastianini

It was all happening. Lap 14 saw Quartararo push his way past countryman Zarco, Marc Marquez then passed Quartararo on the back straight as both Mir and Pecco made their way through on Martin. Bastianini, in second, set the best lap of the race as Miller’s lead was cut to 0.3s. The top two had 1.4s in hand to Rins, who in turn had 1.3s to teammate Mir.

With five laps to go, it looked like it was only a matter of time before Bastianini took the lead off Miller. Sure enough, ducking into the slipstream of Miller, Bastianini placed his GP21 up the inside of the red GP22, and Bastianini took the lead at Turn 12.

Now, how would Miller respond? Bastianini eked out about three tenths and with three laps to go, the gap was half a second. Rins was now 0.7s behind Miller, Mir was a further second down the road, Bagnaia 0.8s off Mir, as Marquez and Quartararo shoved Martin down to P8.

On Lap 18 of 20, Bastianini stretched his lead to one second and that famous late-race pace he possesses was yet again soaring to the surface. Miller’s main job now was to keep Rins at bay. Starting the final lap, Bastianini had 1.6s in his pocket but Miller had just 0.3s to Rins. Mir was 1.3s off the podium scrap, Bagnaia was a lonely P5 with Marc Marquez and Quartararo fighting tooth and nail for P6.

Turn 11, Rins’ favorite corner, saw the Suzuki man get by. But Miller got his Ducati hooked up on the straight and the Aussie was back into P2. Miller was defending well but Rins got a great run out of Turn 18, and at Turn 19, Rins was up the inside. Rins got it stopped and turned to perfection, no way back for Miller, as Bastianini rounded the final corner to win his second race of the season and claim COTA’s converted crown. Rins produced a stunner to pip Miller, the latter enjoying his first rostrum of the season.

Marquez Stole the Show

An Americas GP masterclass was put on by Marc Marquez as he carved through the field, overcoming a problem at the start to show what he and the Honda RC213V are capable of. Pol Espargaro dug deep to conquer illness and net more points.

The King of COTA may not have walked away with another crown, but a heroic recovery after problems on the start line showed that Marc Marquez has lost none of his speed or talent – especially in Texas. A technical problem at the start, which Honda HRC are investigating, saw Marquez drop back from ninth on the grid. Arriving last into Turn One, the seven-time Americas GP winner put the start behind and began his comeback through the field with unrelenting efficiency. By the end of the first lap the #93 had already made up six places and would continue with the lap times of the race leaders.

Marc Marquez on the charge

As the race entered its second half, Marquez continued to increase his pace, improving on the fastest lap of the race on multiple occasions as he reeled in the likes of Quartararo, Martin and Bagnaia. Firmly inside the top ten, the Repsol Honda Team rider spent the closing laps fending off a ferocious Fabio Quartararo who launched a late counterattack.

“On one hand I am disappointed because it is clear we had the speed today and I was able to enjoy the race a lot, coming through from the back, but 25 points were possible today. We had a technical problem at the start, but it resolved itself and the bike was working well after that – even if I was last. I recovered many positions and had a great race despite some mistakes, which is normal when you are recovering like this. We can see the speed is there and we can walk away from here with a lot of confidence which is important. At the end we had a really nice battle with Fabio but when the race finished, I was destroyed, from that first lap I was giving everything I had on track to recover and finally finish in sixth. Another exciting race in Texas.”

Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Behind Gap
1 Enea Bastianini Ducati 0.000 0.000
2 Alex Rins Suzuki 2.058 2.058
3 Jack Miller Ducati 2.312 0.254
4 Joan Mir Suzuki 3.975 1.663
5 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 6.045 2.070
6 Marc Marquez Honda 6.617 0.572
7 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 6.760 0.143
8 Jorge Martin Ducati 8.441 1.681
9 Johann Zarco Ducati 12.375 3.934
10 Maverick Viñales Aprilia 12.642 0.267
11 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 12.947 0.305
12 Brad Binder KTM 13.376 0.429
13 Pol Espargaro Honda 17.961 4.585
14 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 18.770 0.809
15 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 29.129 10.359
16 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 29.319 0.190
17 Luca Marini Ducati 29.630 0.311
18 Miguel Oliveira KTM 32.002 2.372
19 Raúl Fernández KTM 37.062 5.060
20 Remy Gardner KTM 42.442 5.380
21 Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 42.887 0.445
22 Darryn Binder Yamaha 1’42.171 59.284
23 Alex Marquez Honda
24 Marco Bezzecchi Ducati


Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor
1 BASTIANINI Enea 23 ITA 61 Team Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati
2 RINS Alex 42 SPA 56 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
3 ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA 50 Aprilia Racing Aprilia
4 MIR Joan 36 SPA 46 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
5 QUARTARARO Fabio 20 FRA 44 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
6 BINDER Brad 33 RSA 42 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
7 MILLER Jack 43 AUS 31 Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati
8 ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 31 Pramac Racing Ducati
9 MARTIN Jorge 89 SPA 28 Pramac Racing Ducati
10 OLIVEIRA Miguel 88 POR 28 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
11 BAGNAIA Francesco 62 ITA 23 Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati
12 ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA 23 Repsol Honda Team Honda
13 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 21 Repsol Honda Team Honda
14 VINALES Maverick 12 SPA 19 Aprilia Racing Aprilia
15 MORBIDELLI Franco 21 ITA 14 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
16 NAKAGAMI Takaaki 30 JPN 12 LCR Honda Honda
17 MARINI Luca 10 ITA 10 Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati
18 BEZZECCHI Marco 73 ITA 7 Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati
19 BINDER Darryn 40 RSA 6 WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha
20 MARQUEZ Alex 73 SPA 4 LCR Honda Honda
21 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 3 WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha
22 GARDNER Remy 87 AUS 1 Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM