Marquez flies to Austin to attempt the feat

The first back to back of the season makes MotoGP fly from Argentina to the United States, where the Grand Prix of the Americas will be held this weekend. Let’s go and see together with our Guido Sassi the news of the fourth race of the season, in MotoGP Starting Grid.

What happen

Marc Marquez will be there, at least for medical examinations. The Spaniard, who has fallen into the diplopia nightmare after the crash of Mandalika, seems to be doing better. Yesterday he tested a Honda CBR600 at the Alcarras circuit, close to home, and at the end of the test he dissolved his reservations about his participation in the Austin weekend, his almost exclusive hunting ground (7 wins in 8 participations). Tomorrow MM93 will have to receive the “fit”, that is the approval to race from the doctors of the world championship, but it is difficult to imagine obstacles to his return to the track. How you can hear Marc riding a bike with almost 300 horsepower, on the other hand, is all to be seen, even if the optimism at Marquez is tangible, as the posts of the Spaniard himself have shown: from “If you can dream it you can do it” to other manifestations of hope, the orientation for now is positive.
What will the other drivers and team managers have to say? Will there be someone who will raise doubts or feel unsafe sharing the track with a rider who can potentially have a disabling problem for his own and others’ safety? We will find out this too tomorrow.

What numbers
54 world titles, a domination in the lower classes that began in 1992 and continued until the disappearance of the two-stroke; a beautiful and substantial superbike adventure, crowned by two laurels and perhaps ended too soon: Aprilia has profoundly marked the history of the world championship and to arrive at a truly perfect fairytale, only success in MotoGP was missing. Now that Aleix Espargaro has succeeded (on the day of his 200th grand prix), in Noale they can legitimately look with pride at what has been built: after 19 world championships won between 125 and 250, the first race victory in the premier class reaches the completion of a journey that began 7 years ago, in 2015. The first years were not easy: the RS-GP was initially developed on the basis of the RSV4 superbike, a bike that is conceptually too different from the prototypes. The first glimmers of light were seen only last year, with the podium conquered by Espargaro at Silverstone, a third place of arrogance with overtaking on Miller in the final race.

Aleix is ​​at the top of the world championship at the moment, leading with 45 points: the balance that reigns in the league has undoubtedly favored the achievement of the result. You can obviously move from first place to back up positions just as easily, but Massimo Rivola can count on a well-born bike, which Romano Albesiano has shaped to work best on different circuits. Perhaps no other successes will arrive shortly, but the podium and top 5 are realistically achievable goals almost every weekend. And if Maverick Vinales manages to find the right place on the RS-GP, the satisfactions could even double.

The challenge
Aprilia and Ducati dominated the Argentine gp, with a double from Italian brands that hadn’t been seen since the 1970s at the top of motorcycling. At the same time the Japanese are at the lowest point in their history: five Grand Prix without a Japanese victory had not been seen for half a century, even if it is perhaps too early to speak of an epochal turning point.
Surely the two Italian brands, plus KTM, have given a nice refresh to the racing scene on the track, each of these brands with a different approach. Aprilia is the brand with the fewest resources in the championship, it has only two bikes on the track and has optimized a unique mix of Italian creativity and Venetian industriousness. KTM is at the opposite end of this interpretation: pharaonic investments and a strictly Teutonic approach. It is a way of operating made up of a lot of planning and a rigidity that up to now has perhaps paid less than the expenditure made, but has nevertheless paid off. Ducati seems to be in the middle, like virtue: German ownership but decidedly tricolor genius, a center of gravity that also at team level sees four different expressions of Italian spirit at the service of desmo, with 9 consecutive races on the podium.

The results for now speak of one victory each in the 2022 World Cup for the three European brandsand the Japanese forced to chase their rivals as never before, which brought a new and decidedly sparkling air to MotoGP.

This is history
Complications due to the Covid pandemic are complicit, last year the GP of the Americas was held in October, rather than in the traditional spring setting on the calendar. The move allowed Marc Marquez to participate and win, as usual, the Texan race. The Spaniard in Austin has a score of 7 wins out of 8 participations, an impressive figure and not at all affected by the arm and shoulder problems that plagued him in 2021. In the last edition MM93, although not starting from pole, he gained the first position already at the first corner, and he drove as he knows until the finish. Quartararo and Bagnaia had to share a few pieces of glorywith two solid podiums that nevertheless highlighted the difference between Marc and every other rider in Texas.

Hot spot

Austin is one of the longest tracks on the calendar: it stretches over 5.5 kilometers and features 20 curves. One of the most interesting is undoubtedly the 12, which arrives at the end of the long return straight of over 1200 meters. The braking is impressive: the bikes reach 340 kilometers per hour and enter the funnel that bends to the left at just over 60, the riders cling to the lever for more than 6 seconds, braking for over 300 meters. The point is good both for overtaking (if you have an engine, the second part of the straight is also valid), and for falling, an event that unfortunately occurs not too infrequently. Even Marquez, who was dominating the race in 2019, tasted the asphalt right at 12: on that occasion a technical problem was suspected, but beyond the episodes the curve really presents several pitfalls.

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