Marquez leading as the Corkscrew awaits

Preview United States MotoGP
Wednesday, 17 July 2013

20-year-old rookie Marc Marquez has retaken the lead of the MotoGP™ World Championship. He now faces a dramatic new challenge: racing at California’s Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and tackling its infamous Corkscrew corner for the very first time.

With the German Grand Prix barely over, the grid heads across the pond to contest the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix in Laguna Seca with the championship tightly bunched and a festival of racing awaiting at the infamous track.

Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez comes fresh off the back of his second MotoGP™ win since stepping up to the premier class, which saw him take the lead in the championship from teammate Dani Pedrosa by two points. He is yet to compete at Laguna Seca professionally due to the support classes not running there, but has in the past completed laps on a road machine.

Whether his teammate will be fit after his huge highside in Germany, during which he partly fractured his left collarbone, remains to be officially confirmed but would appear likely. Participation of Yamaha Factory Racing’s injured Jorge Lorenzo has also been a closely-watched topic; the World Champion announced that he would not take part but, with his main rival Pedrosa also hurt, the Mallorcan will now travel to America and there remains the chance that he will try to salvage some points if he can, with his crew having already been confirmed as travelling to the race.

Neither rider would have it easy, though, as Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow is in the form of his life, having last weekend stepped onto the podium for the fourth time this year after a brave ride following some nasty scrapes and bruises from crashes on Friday. He managed to beat his Yamaha factory rival and nine-time title winner Valentino Rossi, who will be looking for an improvement at Laguna Seca, saying he had expected more from his outing at the Sachsenring.

LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, who led for a significant part in his home race last time out, can head to the US with a sense of optimism after matching his best result of fourth. His Honda satellite counterpart in the form of GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista is hoping for an improvement in bike setup, despite finishing a credible fifth in the last race. The Ducati Team duo of Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso unfortunately had a difficult weekend once more in Germany and, particularly local boy Hayden, will be aiming for a significantly better outing in front of his home fans.

For the Pramac Racing Team it was an equally tough weekend, with Andrea Iannone sitting out the race through injury – and he will miss this weekend’s Californian event as well. Substituting the still injured Ben Spies is NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Moto2™ rider Alex de Angelis, who has had previous stints in MotoGP™. All the Ducatis will no doubt have their hands full with the on-song Aleix Espargaro, who continues to amaze fans on his Power Electronics Aspar bike.

Aside from championship success, winning at Laguna Seca also brings a psychological advantage heading into the summer break. Following the action of this weekend, MotoGP™ will take three weekends off before travelling to Indianapolis and the curtain will have fallen on the first half of a remarkable 2013 campaign.

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