News 17 Apr 2023

LCR Honda's Rins prevails in dramatic Americas MotoGP

Acosta edges Arbolino in Moto2, Ortola a 2023 Moto3 winner at COTA.

Image: Supplied.

Keeping his composure when it counted, Alex Rins prevailed in a dramatic Americas MotoGP to take a first premier-class victory with LCR Honda Castrol, as Red Bull KTM Ajo talent Pedro Acosta delivered in Moto2 and Ivan Ortola secured the win in Moto3 at Circuit of the Americas (COTA).

It was pole-setter and sprint race winner Francesco Bagnaia who held the lead for the opening laps, trailed by Rins in second. Disaster struck for the reigning world champion, however, on lap eight when he crashed out at turn two and was unable to complete the race.

Rins then managed the lead out front to take a 3.498s victory, achieving the feat in just his third race weekend onboard Honda’s premier class platform, ending a 539-day race-winning drought for the Japanese manufacturer in MotoGP.

Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) ultimately finished second, edging Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo who made a welcome return to the podium in third.

Showing great pace in the second half of the race, Aprilia Racing Team’s Maverick Vinales took the chequered flag fourth, ahead of the returning Miguel Oliveira (CryptoData RNF MotoGP Team) and Argentina winner Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team).

In seventh was Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing), as Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha), Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP) and rookie Augusto Fernandez (GasGas Factory Racing Tech3) completed the top 10.

Notably, only 13 riders completed the race, and Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing), Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) didn’t finish the first lap.

Australia’s Jack Miller was among the list of non-finishers, but prior to his fall on lap seven, he had charged his way to third position and was keeping pressure on the leading duo of Bagnaia and Rins.

In terms of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship standings, Bezzecchi still leads, now with 64 points ahead of Bagnaia (53) in second and Rins (47) who has elevated to third.

Image: Supplied.

Acosta emerged on top in what was a two-way scrap in Moto2, besting Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) by just 0.146s at race-end.

Completing the podium was Bo Bendsneyder (Petramina Mandalika SAG Team), marking the first Dutch podium in the intermediate class since 1994.

QJMotor Gresini Moto2 pairing Jeremy Alcoba and Filip Salac finished fourth and fifth respectively, as a notable faller was Jake Dixon (Asterius GasGas Aspar) who crashed out on the warm-up lap.

Three rounds into the 2023 season, Arbolino leads the Moto2 standings with 61 points, ahead of Acosta in second (54) and Pons Wegow Los40’s Aron Canet (41) – who finished eighth in Austin.

Image: Supplied.

In Moto3, Ortola  (Angeluss MTA Team) scored a breakthrough victory, standing tall in what was ultimately a leading group of five riders at the time of the chequered flag.

Honda-mounted Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) finished second, 0.457s from the win, as CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP’s Xavier Artigas completed the podium, ahead of Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) and Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) inside the top five.

Holgado and Moreira leave COTA tied on 49 points, as Artigas in third in the standings with 32 as the series now moves to Jerez, Spain, for round four between 28-30 April.

Detailed results