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Rins snaps Honda's drought in crash-filled Americas MotoGP™

Monday, 17 April 2023

In just his third MotoGP™ race for Honda, Spaniard Alex Rins took LCR Honda's first victory in five years in Texas, as spills eliminated a host of podium contenders.

Honda's Alex Rins continued his love affair with the Circuit of the Americas, the Spaniard adding to his 2013 (Moto3™), 2016 (Moto2™) and 2019 (MotoGP™) successes at the circuit with a comfortable win in Austin after race-leader Pecco Bagnaia (Ducati) crashed out on lap 8 of 20.

The Spaniard has now won three of the past six feature-length races, which includes his victory at Phillip Island last October, and the win was the first for the independent LCR Honda team since Cal Crutchlow won in Argentina in 2018, 91 races ago.


Ducati's Luca Marini recorded his maiden MotoGP™ podium in second place, while Fabio Quartararo took Yamaha's first top-three result of the season in third.

Just 13 of the 22 starters finished in an attritional race, while Ducati's Marco Bezzecchi (sixth) did enough to retain the series lead after three rounds.

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Bagnaia's regrettable Sunday came after he dominated Saturday, the reigning world champion taking pole position and winning the 10-lap Sprint Race comfortably from Rins and Ducati's Jorge Martin, who crashed out on the first lap of Sunday's Grand Prix proper.

Aussie watch

Jack Miller saw a podium position slip through his fingers at COTA, the Australian crashing out of third place on Lap 7 after making a brilliant start from 10th on the grid. The Australian blasted past a slow-starting Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) off the line and expertly arrowed his KTM down the inside into the steep uphill first corner, overtaking six rivals before soon disposing of Marini at Turn 11 just before the back straight. Miller then consolidated his third place and was edging towards Rins, who was stalking race-leader Bagnaia, before a low-side crash at Turn 7, his sixth fall of a weekend where he showed plenty of pace, but struggled with front-tyre feeling after sneaking into Q2 on Friday.

Miller qualified 10th after two crashes in Q2 and snared a world championship point after finishing ninth in the Sprint Race, but was left kicking himself after his early-race pace counted for nought on Sunday, slipping to 12th place in the world championship standings with 26 points.

Miller again flew the Australian flag solo at COTA, with Moto3™ compatriot Joel Kelso remaining out as he recovers from surgery from a broken leg suffered in the opening round in Portugal. The 19-year-old is targeting a comeback for his CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP team in the next round at Jerez in Spain in a fortnight's time.

Surprise packet

Marini achieved his best result in his 40th MotoGP™ start, the Italian ensuring the Mooney VR46 Racing Team kept its unlikely lead in the teams' championship. From third on the grid, the Italian saved his best for the back-end of the race, inheriting third when Bagnaia crashed out, and then using the superior horsepower of the Ducati to blast past Quartararo on the back straight for second on lap 13. Marini and Quartararo on the podium means we've had eight different riders visit the feature race rostrum so far this season; only Marini's teammate and championship leader Bezzecchi (first in Argentina, third in Portugal) has more than one Grand Prix podium in 2023.

Number to know

539: The days between Rins' win on Sunday and Honda's previous MotoGP™ victory, which came when Marc Marquez won at Misano – another race where Bagnaia crashed from the lead – on October 24, 2021.

Americas Motorcycle Grand Prix: Top 10

1. Alex Rins (Honda) 41mins 14.649secs
2. Luca Marini (Ducati) +3.498secs
3. Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) +4.936secs
4. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) +8.318secs
5. Miguel Oliveira (Aprilia) +9.989secs
6. Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati) +12.049secs
7. Johann Zarco (Ducati) +12.242secs
8. Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha) +20.399secs
9. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Ducati) +27.981secs
10. Augusto Fernandez (KTM) +28.217secs

Riders' Championship Standings: Top 5

1. Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati) 64 points
2. Pecco Bagnaia (Ducati) 53 points
3. Alex Rins (Honda) 47 points
4. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) 45 points
5. Johann Zarco (Ducati) 44 points

What's next?

Round 4: Spain (Jerez), Apr 30