Ahead of the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas this weekend, King of COTA Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was joined in the pre-event Press Conference by Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati), Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) and Moto2™ home favourite Joe Roberts (American Racing KTM) as all six looked ahead to Round 3 of the season.
Marquez has the chance to make it lucky number seven in Austin this weekend after taking six straight wins since the paddock first visited the Circuit of the Americas in 2013. But his dominance doesn’t automatically mean the race has already been won by the Championship leader – and Marquez knows it.
“Yeah, of course, Austin has been a really good circuit for me since 2013 so let’s see,” began the reigning World Champion, who comes into the Americas GP four points clear of Dovizioso. “It is true that this year we arrive in very good shape, in Argentina and in Qatar also, we have a solid base. It’s important I feel comfortable but let’s see here. We will start from FP1 like always and not be crazy, not to do something that isn’t in our hands, try to ride like I know and then let’s see. Let’s see the opponents and also the weather, it looks like Saturday will be so so but apart from that try to enjoy this amazing circuit.
“But we need to understand if it is possible because anything can happen in the motorbike world and this is the nice thing about this sport, if something happens we need to understand and take points for the championship.”
Aforementioned, Dovi is his closest challenger coming into Round 3 and like Termas, COTA is a track the Ducati has traditionally struggled at. But a podium in South America shows signs of progress as the Italian aims for the podium this weekend, knowing it will be a tall order to stop Marquez.
“Well, I’m really happy about the weekend in Argentina. Our speed was really good, we didn’t expect that so I’m happy because it confirms our good pace. It would be nice if it’s like this. For sure, Marc has shown in the past he is the king of this track so it will be very difficult for everybody to fight with him. But anyway, we have to bring the maximum points so we are focused on that and during the weekend anything can happen.”
“Anything can happen.” A statement that is important to remember ahead of the weekend and when pitched a question in regard to whether or not it would be impossible to beat Marquez if he doesn’t experience any issues, Dovi, Rins and Rossi all responded in similar fashion.
“I think it will be very very difficult, but nothing is impossible,” reiterated Dovi.
Rins echoed Marquez’ statement about motorcycle racing being unpredictable: “Nothing is impossible in motorcycle races. For sure he has good speed in Austin but I think everybody will go fast and at the limit to beat him.”
Meanwhile, Rossi also expressed fighting spirit: “Yes the numbers to now say that Marc is unbeatable because he wins always. But no matter, you don’t start at home thinking he’s impossible to beat. We always try to improve, try to be strong and try to arrive in front.”
Marquez is – and rightly so – a heavy pre-race favourite but as the riders say, anything can happen in motorcycle racing. The weather and track surface look like they’ll play a part this weekend and if you thought the Americas GP was over before it had even started – you’re wrong. An intriguing wait to see if Marquez’ American momentum can be halted awaits.
Find out who will hit the ground running in FP1 on Friday morning as the MotoGP™ riders head out on track at 09:55 local time (GMT-5).