MotoGP | GP Americas 2022 – Preview | P300.it

For the second consecutive weekend the World Championship will race on the American continent. Very short classification in MotoGP, waiting for the return of Marc Márquez.


The fourth round of the 2022 World Championship will be the GP of the Americas and this event will be hosted by the COTA in Austin, a race that has been part of the MotoGP calendar for almost a decade and continuously (except for the 2020 parenthesis, when the race was skipped for the Covid-19 pandemic).

Over the years, the Texan track has had the burden and the honor of hosting some of the top motorsport categories such as F1, Nascar, Indycar and WEC, becoming an essential stop for many national and international series. Furthermore, it is in this setting that the 500 Grand Prix will be celebrated since, in 1992, the management of the championship passed into the hands of Dorna Sports, in collaboration with the International Motorcycling Federation, IRTA and MSMA. The atypical layout, the length of the track (5,513 meters) and the conditions of the asphalt full of depressions are all elements that make the Austin challenge very difficult for the MotoGP riders.

MotoGP

The situation from which we will start again sees an extremely balanced driver standings for the top category. The Argentine GP played last week has in fact written an important page of history for motorsport, including the Italian flag: Aleix Espargaró’s first career victory also corresponded to Aprilia’s first success in the top class and, for the first time, to lead the overall is just a driver from the Noale manufacturer.

It is difficult to say whether Aleix Espargaró’s magical moment will end soon or not, especially moving on from COTA which has represented a decent beast for # 41 in past seasons. Even Maverick Viñales, capable of fighting for positions more suited to him at Termas de Río Hondo, has no great memories of this track, apart from a victory in 2014 and a second place in 2018. Last year “Top Gun” missed this race as a sign of mourning for his cousin Dean Berta Viñales, who died a few days earlier in Jerez.

For the moment, however, the contest remains open to almost anyone. Enea Bastianini, for example, lost the championship lead after finishing tenth in Argentina, but still remains nine points behind the oldest Espargaró (the Spaniard at 45). “Bestia” remains the best placed Ducati rider, but in the last GP Jorge Martín finally collected the first points of the season with an excellent second place finish.

Small signs of recovery also arrived from Francesco Bagnaia, who after a disastrous Saturday managed to collect some useful data and conclude with an at least encouraging fifth place. The Turin-born is still very back in the general (14th with 12 points), but last year here he obtained a third place. Jack Miller is not in much better shape with only three points more, but he also won a podium in 2019.

Among the surprises seen at Termas there is certainly Marco Bezzecchi with the Mooney VR46 Ducati GP21 team. The # 72 finished ninth and he too got the first points of 2022, showing important growth margins. His partner Luca Marini amazed in qualifying by conquering the front row, but in the race he did not repeat the same performances; here in Austin the two will have to work on their respective weaknesses.

The manufacturer that, for now, seems to have the most consistent performances is Suzuki. Over three races on three different tracks with as many different asphalt and weather conditions, Hamamatsu’s bikes achieved six top six finishes, three each for both riders. At the moment, in the internal comparison, Álex Rins enjoys the podium conquered in Argentina and has a three-point advantage over former 2020 champion Joan Mir, also here in Austin the # 42 could stretch further as this track suits its characteristics; let’s not forget how Rins was the only rider to win on this track in MotoGP besides Marc Márquez.

Having named him, one cannot fail to mention the news of the week. After missing the Indonesian and Argentine Grand Prix, Marc Márquez is ready to go back on track and to compete on one of his favorite hunting grounds. With the exception of the 2019 edition, with the victory thrown to the wind due to the crash in turn 12, the “Cabroncito” conquered the other seven races with ease.

With Marc at the forefront, Honda is back among the weekend favorites and a good result could put the bad Argentine weekend on the back burner. Even Pol Espargaró, due to an error in the race, did not collect anything and now the leadership is 25 points, equal to a complete race. The LCR drivers also need a recovery, who scored points in the last race but still far from the top with Takaaki Nakagami 12th and Álex Márquez 15th.

Another Japanese brand that absolutely needs to react is Yamaha. Although the championship position of the first Iwata driver is not bad, with Fabio Quartararo fifth in the championship at -10 from Aleix Espargaró, future prospects do not bode well: in Argentina “El Diablo” could not do better by an eighth place due to the grip and power problems suffered by the M1 from Qatar, a situation that risks making it almost impossible to defend the crown over the course of an entire championship.

Following the events in Argentina, speculations have already begun of a possible passage of the Franco-Sicilian to Honda, to which Quartararo replied that they will be evaluated. It is difficult to expect a recovery even in Austin: in 2021 the # 20 finished second, but historically here the Yamahas have always been a step behind. Even Franco Morbidelli, victim of a puncture in Argentina, will have to try to at least equalize the results of his teammate.

For KTM, on the other hand, the last Grand Prix ended without infamy and without praise, with Brad Binder in sixth place and able to get important points to still remain attached to the top of the standings. His teammate Miguel Oliveira, on the other hand, is living off the income from victory in the rain in Indonesia, but Termas’ 13th place is certainly not an appropriate result for someone aiming for the title. Meanwhile, Raúl Fernández and Remy Gardner will have to aim to accumulate more experience and perhaps try to conquer the first points in MotoGP.

Moto2

The trend of the Moto2 championship is definitely more outlined. After three races, Celestino Vietti Ramus commands the general with authority with 70 points, the result of two victories and a second place. Only Áron Canet (49 points) and Somkiat Chantra (45, but absent in Doha), for now, are keeping up with him, but if this trend continues in Texas, # 13 could already arrive in Europe with more than one round of benefit.

Argentina also saw the explosion of the talent of Fermín Aldeguer, who dominated practice and qualifying but fell during the Grand Prix in an attempt to attack Vietti in the early stages of the race. Although difficult to accept, this is all experience for the just seventeen year old (who turned just two days ago by the way), but already in Austin he could give further proof of his talent. Pedro Acosta and Augusto Fernández are also expected to respond, the first who crashed several times in the sessions but seventh at the finish line and the second ended up on the ground immediately after the start following a bad start and a contact with Ai Ogura.

Moto3

MotoGP |  GP Americas 2022 - Preview

The start of the season of the lightweight class has been able, for the moment, to offer exciting races but without ever leading to the exaggeration and excesses that often led to disasters in Moto3. The Argentine GP is a prime example of this, with the fantastic duel between Sergio García and Dennis Foggia on the last lap finished in favor of the Spaniard.

The Aspar driver was thus able to take the leadership of the championship at the expense of the Roman, but the confrontation has only just begun. At the moment, as expected, they would seem to be the contenders for the crown of the category, also because of Izan Guevara’s blow to Termas. The # 28 will absolutely have to recover the 30 points of disadvantage and will be able to try to do so already in the United States, where last year he obtained his first career victory (albeit between very questionable dynamics and choices of the commissioners).

The Texan heat will be felt during the three days of the event, with temperatures that will reach 31 ° on Saturday, the hottest day. It will be necessary to pay attention to the weekend times, since the Moto3 rounds this time will be the final ones and this will also apply to qualifying and the race. However, an advantage will be given by the usability for the public, because this fourth round will be available on TV8 live.

TRACK INFO

MotoGP |  GP Americas 2022 - Preview

Track length: 5.513 m
Main straight: 1,200 m
Turns: 20 (11 left, 9 right)
Counterclockwise
Track record: 2: 02.135 (Marc Márquez, Honda, 2015)

ROLL OF GOLD

MotoGP |  GP Americas 2022 - Preview
MotoGP |  GP Americas 2022 - Preview
MotoGP |  GP Americas 2022 - Preview
MotoGP |  GP Americas 2022 - Preview

TELEVISION HOURS

Friday 8 April 2022

16:00 – FP1 Moto2 (Sky Sport MotoGP)
16:55 – FP1 MotoGP (Sky Sport MotoGP)
17:55 – FP1 Moto3 (Sky Sport MotoGP)
20:15 – FP2 Moto2 (Sky Sport MotoGP)
21:10 – FP2 MotoGP (Sky Sport MotoGP)
10:10 pm – FP2 Moto3 (Sky Sport MotoGP)

Saturday 9 April 2022

16:00 – FP3 Moto2 (Sky Sport MotoGP)
16:55 – FP3 MotoGP (Sky Sport MotoGP)
17:55 – FP3 Moto3 (Sky Sport MotoGP)
19:35 – Q1 Moto2 (Sky Sport MotoGP, TV8)
20:00 – Q2 Moto2 (Sky Sport MotoGP, TV8)
20:30 – FP4 MotoGP (Sky Sport MotoGP, TV8)
21:10 – Q1 MotoGP (Sky Sport MotoGP, TV8)
21:35 – Q2 MotoGP (Sky Sport MotoGP, TV8)
10:10 pm – Q1 Moto3 (Sky Sport MotoGP, TV8)
22:35 – Q2 Moto3 (Sky Sport MotoGP, TV8)

Sunday 10th April 2022

16:20 – WUP Moto2 (Sky Sport MotoGP)
16:40 – WUP MotoGP (Sky Sport MotoGP)
17:10 – WUP Moto3 (Sky Sport MotoGP)
18:20 – Moto2 Race (Sky Sport MotoGP, TV8)
20:00 – MotoGP Race (Sky Sport MotoGP, TV8)
21:30 – Moto3 Race (Sky Sport MotoGP, TV8)

Image sources: hondaracingcorporation.com, teamaspar.com, ajo.fi

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