The 2016 MotoGP season made its only North American stop in Austin, Texas at the Circuit of the Americas, where Marc Marquez remains undefeated in his MotoGP career. His dominant performance means the Honda can no longer be considered an underdog, as suddenly it’s the Yamaha struggling to adapt to the tires and find the dominant performance we saw in pre-season.
1. Marc Marquez | Honda | –
Who would have thought that after the last test in Qatar, that three rounds later Marc Marquez would be leading Jorge Lorenzo by 21 points. It’s an incredible turn around by Marc Marquez who solidifies his hold on the top spot.
2. Jorge Lorenzo | Yamaha | +1
After crashing in Argentina, Jorge Lorenzo needed to bounce back to avoid desperation early on in the season. He kept a solid 2nd place in Austin although nowhere near Marquez.
3. Valentino Rossi | Yamaha | -1
The Italian had a rare crash on Lap 3 at Austin and was unable to continue, losing out on 25 and 18 points to Marquez and Lorenzo. Normally a poor qualifier, Rossi started in 2nd before his crash, he remains third because he’s on a Yamaha.
4. Andrea Iannone | Ducati | +3
Iannone called his crash in Argentina the “worst moment” of his career, a podium in Austin propelled him back into the graces of Ducati. He rode brilliantly to capture a solid third, showing his potential when things go right for him.
5. Maverick Vinales | Suzuki | –
MotoGP’s rising star again outrode his more experienced teammate, avoided a crash, and finished fourth ahead of Rossi, Pedrosa, and Dovizioso to gain valuable points. He’s being tipped to replace Lorenzo at Yamaha, results like this will only validate the expectations.
6. Dani Pedrosa | Honda | –
Pedrosa’s break failure at the top of Turn 1 didn’t just take Dovi out, it took a lot of wind out of Dani’s sails as Marquez took 25 points to Pedrosa. Dani came off a red hot season ending streak of points finishes in 2015, but has been unable to convert that into a top tier performance in 2016.
7. Andrea Dovizoso | Ducati | –3
Dani Pedrosa slammed into the side of Dovi on the top of Turn 1 at COTA. Dovi who had three straight 2nd place finished in 2015 should be within 5 points of Marquez but because of crashes finds himself down more than 50. He’s had the worst luck of the season, and with a shuffle on the grid looking immiment, he needs a bit of luck if he wants to remain with Ducati.
8. Hector Barbara | Avintia Racing | –
Another top 10 finish for Hector at COTA means the Spaniard keeps his solid season going. For riders on the back end of the grid, consistency is as good as gold, if he keeps finishing races with points in his pocket, he’ll find his stock rising.
9. Aleix Espargaro | Suzuki | +1
Aleix finally showed some relative pace to his teammate by finishing 5th in Austin. Suzuki have a powerful package, he needs to close to gap to his teammate and show he deserves a place on the grid for 2017.
10. Scott Redding | Pramac | New Entry
As he did in Silverstone last year, when a handful of top riders go down, Redding finds a way to capitalize. His 6th in Austin again allowed the world to see his pace when given the chance to climb the standings.