By Jay Betsill
AUSTIN — Marc Marquez became the youngest ever rider to take a victory in the MotoGP class with the 20-year-old winning his first race at the inaugural Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas at the $350 million Circuit of Americas.
Marquez, 20 years and 63 days old, became the youngest winner with a dynamic victory over his teammate Dani Pedrosa to take over as the youngest ever from Freddie Spencer, the American who, at 20 years and 196 days, won the Belgian Grand Prix in 1982. Marquez had qualified in pole position but fell behind Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa mere seconds into the contest after turn one. They would go on to battle for the top spot the rest of the way with Marquez passing Pedrosa with nine laps to go and holding on to win in 43 minutes, 42.123 seconds. Pedrosa would finish in second place with Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo coming in third.
“After taking my first podium in Qatar I was very happy, but I am even more so today after my first win! It went better than I expected and I am very grateful to the team for their efforts over the preseason; we have worked very hard and, without this, the victory would not have been possible,” Marquez said. “I could not pull the gap I wanted as some problems emerged that we’d experienced throughout the weekend. Despite all this, we were able to take the victory. The 25 points are important, but what is more important is to have achieved a win in my second race in MotoGP. We realize that more difficult circuits lie ahead for us, but we will try to give 100% at all of them. Our battle is not the one for the championship, but rather taking it race-by-race and enjoying every moment.”
The weekend on the 3.4-mile Circuit of the Americas road course was a resounding success. The 18-race MotoGP racing series is widely considered to be the pinnacle of all motorcycle world championships with events in 13 countries on four continents and the drivers all raved about the new facility that is known to fans worldwide as the host site for the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix race in November.