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Grand Prix of The Americas MotoGP, SPRINT RACE | Maverick Vinales leaves rivals standing at COTA

Gold & Goose

Maverick Vinales secured his second Sprint Race victory of the 2024 MotoGP World Championship season with a peerless Grand Prix of The Americas performance at COTA.

The in-form Aprilia Racing rider enjoyed an untroubled pole-to-flag afternoon around the Texan circuit to romp clear of closest rival Marc Marquez by more than two seconds as championship front-runner Jorge Martin consolidated his overall lead in third.

Marking back-to-back Saturday race victories for Vinales after his success in Portugal during Round 2 at Portimao last month, whereas he achieved that win with pressure from behind, on this occasion the Spaniard was in a league of his own.


Coming into the race as the cautious favourite after smashing the lap record en route to pole, Vinales succeeded in maintaining his advantage off the start-line, no doubt to his relief given the numerous bungled getaways that hindered several of his races last season.

Marc Marquez got the better of Pedro Acosta to nip ahead of his countryman on the climb towards Turn 1, with the pair joining Vinales in swiftly putting a margin between themselves and a chasing pack behind held up at the front by Enea Bastianini.

As such, the fight for victory quickly whittled down to a three-man battle with Marquez and Acosta keeping Vinales honest initially.

As a rider that has garnered a reputation for asking too much of his tyres on occasion, suspicions Vinales had more pace in hand were emphatically proven on lap four of ten when he turned up the wick by pumping in a new fastest lap that caught Marquez unawares to the tune of 0.7s.

With the Gresini Ducati rider wrong-footed by the sudden surge in pace ahead of him, he instead found himself playing a scrappy rear-guard action to defend from an Acosta eager to get ahead and take up the chase to Vinales.

However, despite the youngster's determined - and at times boisterous - efforts to force a gap on Marquez, the more experienced six-time World Champion stood his ground to repel the GasGas Tech3 rider.

Their squabble had the dual impact of both allowing Vinales to swell his lead to almost two seconds and allow Martin into the podium battle. After starting the race on the back foot in sixth and taking time to dispatch of Bastianini, Martin worked his way onto the tail of Acosta.

Martin's hard work paid off when he was able to force the rookie up at Turn 11 moments after Acosta's ambitious overtake on Marquez at Turn 9 sent him wide on the exit, both allowing his rival back through and losing him the momentum he needed to hold off the Pramac Ducati rider.

With Marquez regrouping to put distance between himself and Martin, it was a top three that would remain unchanged to the chequered flag, Vinales holding his nerve - despite a wide moment at Turn 12 on lap eight - to complete another Sprint success.


Marquez held on for another top three finish in second, while Martin will be satisfied with third on a day when there were smaller gains to be had for his closest rivals in the overall standings.

After being mugged for third, Acosta settled for fourth at the flag, comfortably ahead of Aleix Espargaro, who completed a strong day for Aprilia in fifth.

Further back, a large peloton of riders disputed the final points' paying positions down to ninth with Bastianini - having gradually slipped down the order from a high of fourth - claiming sixth after getting the better of Jack Miller on the final lap.

Behind Miller, double World Champion Pecco Bagnaia endured a race of two halves, the Italian suffering from a terrible start that dumped him from fourth to a tenth place he'd circulate in for much of the race.


However, after finding his rhythm in the closing stages, he'd fight back to pick up a pair of precious points for eighth. Despite being passed by the factory Ducati rider on the final lap, Raul Fernandez held on for a much vaunted points' finish for new American team, Trackhouse Racing, in ninth.

Elsewhere, Franco Morbidelli was denied his first points of the year after slipping just outside the top nine in tenth, while Brad Binder - starting down in 17th after a crash in Q1 - could only recover to 12th.

Five riders failed to finish with Fabio di Giannantonio forced out on lap one after picking up damage in contact with Alex Marquez at Turn 2, while Augusto Fernández and Takaaki Nakagami also failed to make it as far as the second lap.

Indeed, it was a desperate race for Honda who - after filling the four rearmost positions on the grid - managed to get only one of its riders, Luca Marini, to the chequered flag, albeit in last place.

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

Saturday | Conditions - Dry, Sunny
🇺🇸 🏁 2024 Grand Prix of The Americas MotoGP Results | Circuit of The Americas | SPRINT RACE Results | Round 3 of 21
Pos.NameNat.TeamMotorcycleLap Time
1Maverick Vinales🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP10 Laps
2Marc Marquez🇪🇦Gresini RacingDucati GP23+2.294
3Jorge Martin🇪🇦Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP24+4.399
4Pedro Acosta🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Factory Tech3KTM RC16+6.480
5Aleix Espargaro🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP+6.657
6Enea Bastianini🇮🇹Ducati Lenovo TeamDucati GP24+8.621
7Jack Miller🇦🇺Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC16+9.237
8Pecco Bagnaia🇮🇹Ducati Lenovo TeamDucati GP24+9.349
9Raul Fernandez 🇪🇦Trackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP+9.637
10Franco Morbidelli🇮🇹Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP24+9.894
11Miguel Oliveira🇵🇹Trackhouse RacingAprilia RS-GP+10.364
12Brad Binder🇿🇦Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC16+10.724
13Marco Bezzecchi🇮🇹Pertamina Enduro VR46 RacingDucati GP23+11.549
14Alex Marquez🇪🇦Gresini RacingDucati GP23+15.468
15Fabio Quartararo🇫🇷Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M1+15.574
16Alex Rins🇪🇦Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M1+18.146
17Luca Marini🇮🇹Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V+22.989
DNFJohann Zarco🇫🇷LCR HondaHonda RC213V-
DNFJoan Mir🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V-
DNFAugusto Fernandez🇪🇦Red Bull GasGas Factory Tech3KTM RC16-
DNFTakaaki Nakagami🇯🇵LCR HondaHonda RC213V-
DNFFabio di Giannantonio🇮🇹Pertamina Enduro VR46 RacingDucati GP23-

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