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Grand Prix of The Americas MotoGP, RACE | Rampant Vinales fights back to complete COTA double

Gold & Goose

Maverick Vinales made it three wins in four races after producing a gritty fightback from an off-track excursion on the opening lap to complete a superb double at the Grand Prix of The Americas, Round 3 of the 2024 MotoGP World Championship.

Coming 24 hours after his dominant lights-to-flag victory in Saturday’s Sprint Race at Circuit of The Americas, Vinales was made to work hard for his Sunday spoils after contact at Turn 1 bundled him to a low of tenth place on the opening lap.

However, he’d quickly get his head down and pick his way back through the order, Vinales reclaiming the initiative with eight laps remaining before pushing on to win by almost two seconds.


His recovery would deny Pedro Acosta a sensational maiden victory in only his third MotoGP start. Though unable to resist a charging Vinales, the rookie would enjoy several stints out front en route to another podium in second place. 

Enea Bastianini got the better of Jorge Martin late on for third, while Marc Marquez saw his hopes of a first win with Ducati dashed when he crashed moments after taking the lead on lap 11.

'Top Gun' digs deep to fire off 2024 MotoGP title warning shot

After breaking his victory duck in Aprilia wares with back-to-back Sprint race wins in Portugal and during Saturday's encounter at Circuit of The Americas, Vinales came into Sunday's race keen to prove he could do it again over a full race distance, more than three years on from his last success worth 25 points.

However, a tardy getaway from pole position had already put him on the back foot on the run to Turn 1 when he was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was biffed well out wide by contact from Pecco Bagnaia, who in turn had received a shove from Jorge Martin wedging his Pramac Ducati on the inside of the left-hander.

The push scrubbed off Vinales momentum as the field took the plunge into Turn 2, the Spaniard finding himself deep in the midfield and ending the opening lap in tenth place.

With the pre-race favourite down the order, Pedro Acosta shook out from the opening turns out front, a lead he'd carry through to the line as he completed his first MotoGP lap in the lead of a race.

On his tail coming into lap two was Martin, who in turn had Jack Miller, Marc Marquez, Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini for company in completion of the top six.

After his chance of victory in the Sprint Race was scuppered by losing time early on bottled up in the chasing pack, Martin quickly set about trying to relieve Acosta of the lead. However, while the championship leader swarmed over the rear of the Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing Tech3 machine, his attempts to pass were limited to a handful of leery lunges he couldn't stick on the exit.

As Acosta puffed his chest with some robust defence moves to repel Martin, it would allow both Bagnaia and Marquez into the fray. Giving Martin the hurry up, he eventually got a move done for the lead on lap four at Turn 9, prompting a hurried response from Acosta at Turn 11 that simply enabled the close following Ducatis to out-drag him on the run to Turn 12.


Up into second place, Marquez - picking up the scent of a potential first Ducati win - got to work on trying to unseat Martin from the lead, but would get too close when he clipped the rear wheel of the GP24 in his attempts to pass at the final corner on lap five.

While it was now Bagnaia's turn to take up the chase to Martin, a strike back by Acosta on lap seven moved the youngster back into second place before Marquez did the same moments later.

With momentum on his side, Acosta was soon back on terms with Martin and muscling his way back into the lead with a confident pass into Turn 11, an overtake that forced Martin out wide enough to allow Marquez through into second coming down the back straight.

It wasn't a lead Acosta would hold for long though, Marquez pouncing as they came back round to Turn 1 on the following lap. However, the six-time World Champion's dreams of a fairytale win were to be dashed just moments later when he folded the front of the Gresini machine under braking into Turn 11.


As the action played out up front, Vinales made headway up the order, finding himself with by lap eight before his pass on Bagnaia and Marquez's retirement promoted him to third.

Tapping into the superior pace that took him to victory on Saturday, Vinales wasted no time in dispatching of Martin for second on lap 11. While Acosta would put up a stiffer defence as he continued to belie his experience relative to those around him, he was forced to give up the fight to Vinales courtesy of a slinky overtake coming onto the back straight.

Now in clear air, Vinales got the hammer down to quickly pull a gap on Acosta, building a margin of error to allow him to lower the tempo and focus on bringing his Aprilia RS-GP home.

It was a mission he'd comfortably accomplish, Vinales managing the advantage to his countryman to take the chequered flag 1.7s clear of Acosta for his first Sunday victory in MotoGP since the opening round of the 2021 MotoGP season in Qatar.

A winner with Yamaha back then, Vinales' victory in Austin with Aprilia - together with his other successes with Suzuki back in 2017 - means Vinales becomes the first rider in MotoGP history to win a full-length Grand Prix with three different manufacturers.

Second for Acosta, meanwhile, saw him better his Portimao achievement and gave Tech3 Racing its best result since 2020, while it also lifts him to third in the overall standings.

Top of the overall leaderboard, however, remains Martin, despite the Spaniard being usurped for third late on by Bastianini, who mounted a fightback in the closing stages to the position and nibble at his rival's points' lead. The margin between the two riders is now 21 points in Martin's favour.

After putting up a fight for the lead early on, Bagnaia had to make do with fifth to slip 29 points off the overall lead, while Fabio di Giannantonio made progress to make up for his Sprint retirement in sixth place.

Aleix Espargaro recovered from a poor start to take seventh place, heading off Marco Bezzecchi and Brad Binder, who was made to work hard from 17th on the grid but would eventually crack the top ten in ninth.

That was in contrast to KTM team-mate Miller, who after getting into third place on the opening lap, steadily slid down the order to 13th at the flag, behind Trackhouse Aprilia duo Raul Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira, plus top Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo in 13th.

Augusto Fernandez and Alex Marquez - who crashed shortly before his brother before remounting - took the final points' paying positions.

🇺🇸 🏁 2024 Grand Prix of The Americas MotoGP, COTA | RACE Results

Sunday | Conditions - Dry, Sunny
🇺🇸 🏁 2024 Grand Prix of The Americas MotoGP Results | Circuit of The Americas | RACE Results | Round 3 of 21
1Maverick Vinales🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP20 Laps
2Pedro Acosta🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Factory Tech3KTM RC16+1.728
3Enea Bastianini🇮🇹Ducati Lenovo TeamDucati GP24+2.703
4Jorge Martin🇪🇦Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP24+4.690
5Francesco Bagnaia🇮🇹Ducati Lenovo TeamDucati GP24+7.392
6Fabio di Giannantonio🇮🇹Pertamina Enduro VR46 RacingDucati GP23+9.980
7Aleix Espargaro🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP+12.280
8Marco Bezzecchi🇮🇹Pertamina Enduro VR46 RacingDucati GP23+13.343
9Brad Binder🇿🇦Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC16+14.931
10Raul Fernandez 🇪🇦Trackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP+16.656
11Miguel Oliveira🇵🇹Trackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP+18.542
12Fabio Quartararo🇫🇷Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M1+22.899
13Jack Miller🇦🇺Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC16+24.011
14Augusto Fernandez🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Factory Tech3KTM RC16+27.652
15Alex Marquez🇪🇦Gresini RacingDucati GP23+32.855
16Luca Marini🇮🇹Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V+33.529
DNFMarc Marquez🇪🇦Gresini RacingDucati GP23-
DNFAlex Rins🇪🇦Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M1-
DNFJoan Mir🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V-
DNFFranco Morbidelli🇮🇹Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP24-
DNFTakaaki Nakagami🇯🇵LCR HondaHonda RC213V-
DNFJohann Zarco🇫🇷LCR HondaHonda RC213V-

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