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The second setting on the 2014 Moto3™ calendar will be the spectacular Circuit of the Americas on the outskirts of Austin. Last year, Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins claimed the first ever World Championship race victory on the anti-clockwise track.
In April 2013, the MotoGP™ World Championship received a warm welcome to the Lone Star State as Texas became a brand-new venue on the schedule. Second time around, the race will be staged on the slightly earlier date of 13 April and in the aftermath of a highly dramatic curtain-opener to 2014 under floodlights in Qatar.
At Losail last month, it was Australia’s Jack Miller who became a brand-new race winner in his first event with Red Bull KTM Ajo. The popular Queensland rider claimed his first podium finish as well as a race win, with Alex Marquez having run wide to lose the lead on the final lap. This time, the Honda rider will be looking to have the last laugh but will be chased all the way by team-mate Alex Rins; last season, the eventual title contender claimed his very first win in Austin, as the race was split into two halves following a red flag for Jasper Iwema’s accident.
Mahindra will again be looking to mix it up, with the Indian manufacturer now confident about challenging for the rostrum at every Grand Prix. Not only will Mahindra Racing factory riders Miguel Oliveira and the returning Arthur Sissis (who sat out of Qatar due to a bout of tonsillitis) be attacking, but also the customer Mahindra riders such as Brad Binder with Ambrogio Racing.
It is highly possible that the Qatar top three of Miller, Marquez and Efren Vazquez (whose podium finish was his first since 2011) will not be repeated this weekend, with several riders having expected more from Round 1. Reigning World Champion outfit Calvo Team will be pushing for at least a podium, with Jakub Kornfeil plus Isaac Viñales and Eric Granado having assisted each other throughout the opening weekend by working on slipstreaming during practice sessions. The same can be said for SKY Racing Team by VR46 pilots Francesco Bagnaia and Romano Fenati. After topping all practice sessions, the latter was particularly disappointed to end the opening race 12th; in Texas he hopes not to be plagued by more chatter issues.
Moto3™ will kick off track action at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, with Friday’s Free Practice 1 starting at 9am local time (GMT -5).
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