Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) extended his Championship lead with a second place at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas, with third place finisher Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) now 52 points shy of the Frenchman with three races to go.
Alex Rins was able to finish P4 after profiting from Jorge Martin's Long Lap Penalty, the latter unlucky to finish 5th after another fantastic ride.
Americas GP: Bagnaia grabs pole hat-trick
Sixth place went the way of Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) who benefited from a clash between Joan Mir and Jack Miller on the final lap, with the Rookie of the Year battle close between Martin and Bastianini heading into the final three races.
Mir's move on Miller at Turn 15 saw the reigning world champion receive a one place penalty, contact was made with Miller coming worse off.
Mir crossed the line in P7 with Miller P8, that result is switched after the penalty, as Brad Binder and Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) completed the top 10.
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) took home a lonely P11 with Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol), Andrea Dovizioso (Petronas Yamaha SRT), Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia) and Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT), The Doctor securing a point in his final Grand Prix appearance in America.
Top 10 Results:
1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team)
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 4.679
3. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 8.547
4. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 11.098
5. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) + 11.752
6. Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) + 13.269
7. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 14.722
8. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 13.406*
9. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 15.832
10. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) + 20.265
Perfect Plan A
Plan A was executed to perfection by Marc Marquez from third on the grid, the number 93 grabbing the holeshot as Quartararo also got the better of polesitter Bagnaia.
The latter then lost another place to the fast-starting Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) on the opening lap, with Pecco then demoted to P5 as Martin (Pramac Racing) carved his way past on Lap 2 too.
Pecco finds rhythm
Lap 8 of 20 ticked by and Marquez slammed in a 2:04.368, his lead was now up to a second and a half over Quartararo. By 11 to go, that gap had been stretched to 2.3, with Quartararo, in turn, a second clear of Martin.
Miller was only half a second down on his fellow Ducati rider and 1.3 behind came Pecco, who had started to find some rhythm - the Italian soon passing Rins.
Championship duel rolls on
In the end though, Captain America returned to reign once again in Austin. Marquez gave Repsol Honda Team their 450th premier class podium with a classy ride at COTA, as Quartararo takes a second place that gives him his first match point of the season next time out at Misano.
Bagnaia recovered well to claim P3, but its ground lost in the Championship chase.
King of COTA is back
A dream return to COTA for Marquez sees the King reclaim his Austin crown.
And equally as happy is Quartararo, with that 52-point advantage meaning he could now win the 2021 title next time out at Misano!
(By a special arrangement with Dorna Sports)
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