British riders will be aiming to continue their great start to the MotoGP™ world championship, as the series arrives in Texas for this weekend’s Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.
Cal Crutchlow and John McPhee both finished on the podium last time out in Argentina. Isle of Man-based Midlander Crutchlow finished third on the LCR Honda in the MotoGP™ race, behind the Movistar Yamaha pair of Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi two weeks ago. His best result in Austin is fourth in 2013. Oban-based Scotsman McPhee has hit the ground running on his debut season in the new British Talent Honda team. He’s finished second in the opening two rounds behind 19-year-old Spaniard Joan Mir and is ready to push on to his second grand prix victory in the 18 lap Moto3™ race on Sunday round the 3.426 miles Circuit of the Americas.
Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding has made an equally impressive and consistent start to his MotoGP season. Riding the Octo Pramac GP16 Ducati the former 125cc and Moto2™ grand prix winner is fourth in the Championship after finishing seventh and eighth in the opening two rounds in Qatar and Argentina. Oxfordshire’s Bradley Smith scored his first point of the season in Argentina and together with team-mate Pol Espargaro the KTM factory team’s first ever MotoGP points. Again they race into the unknown with the Austrian team at a circuit they have never competed at in a MotoGP race or test.
Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes is one of two British winners at Austin. He won the 2015 Moto2 race and needs some points on Sunday after a difficult start to his MotoGP career on the Gresini Aprilia. He was a lot happier in Argentina despite finally being side-lined with a gearbox problem. The other British winner was Danny Kent in the Moto3 race two years ago. It’s been tough start to the Moto2 season for the Wiltshire rider who crashed out a couple of weeks ago in Argentina.
Maverick Vinales leads MotoGP after winning the opening two MotoGP rounds on his Movistar Yamaha debut, and faces a head to head challenge with World Champion Marc Marquez. The Repsol Honda rider, who has yet to secure a 2017 podium finish, has never been beaten in Austin winning all four MotoGP races in Texas. Valentino Rossi, Vinales’ Yamaha team-mate, has finished third and second in the opening couple of rounds and would love to go one better at the circuit where he crashed last year. While Rossi trails his team-mate by 14 points in the championship Marquez knows that nothing short of a victory will suffice to close the massive 37 point gap between himself and his fellow Spaniard.
There are a number of top riders looking to get back to points scoring ways after disasters in Argentina. The factory Ducati duo of Andrea Dovizioso, who has a couple of Austin podiums and Jorge Lorenzo, who was second last year, both crashed out. Andrea Iannone, who was replaced by Lorenzo at Ducati and who finished second last year, has crashed on both his Ecstar Suzuki appearances. Dani Pedrosa was another faller in Argentina leaving the way open to the consistent points scores to climb the championship table. Scott Redding on the Octo Pramac Ducati is fourth, Jonas Folger an impressive sixth on his Monster Tech3 Yamaha MotoGP debut season and last year’s Assen winner, Australian Jack Millar seventh.
It should be another fantastic MotoGP race this weekend – and you can watch in all in the UK on TV:
BT SPORT 2
Friday 21 April: 15.00 – 22.00
Saturday 22 April: 15.00 – 22.15
Sunday 23 April: 15.00 – 22.00
Highlights Monday April 24 19.00
talkSport2 will also have live commentary of the race on Sunday.