Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) has a good record at most tracks on the calendar, but the Circuit of the Americas is a little bit different. From 2013 and his debut in the premier class as Austin debuted on the calendar, the number 93 has been unstoppable. All poles, all wins and a 100% success rate...and he's even won on each of the nine occasions he’s raced in the MotoGP™ class in America: the five at Austin, three times at Indianapolis and once at Laguna Seca in 2013. But it's not been the same story every season! Here's a few highlights of the rider from Cervera's rodeo record.
His second ever MotoGP™ race and first ever MotoGP™ victory. Marquez went one better than Lorenzo before him, who won his third outing at Estoril, to take his first win in his second race and kick start his rookie title campaign. A new track for everyone, COTA was debuting on the calendar – and Marquez made his mark early.
Leader in the standings, leader of the pack: Marquez led every single session in 2014 in a demolition derby. A real mark of authority in a season that saw him take ten wins in a row, the legend of Marquez at COTA had another chapter.
After a tough start to the season in fifth in Qatar, Marquez was back on the top step in Texas in 2015. The hat trick once again underlined the relationship between the rider from Cervera and the Circuit of the Americas, as the rest of the season was a bumpier ride. And in qualifying it hasn't all been easy - the reigning Champion suffered a bike problem and stopped next to the pit wall, then jumping over it and sprinting back to the garage to try and fit in one final push for pole. The result? True greatness.
In some ways, it’s a similar story to last season as the number 93 arrived needing a result, down on points. This year, after a turbulent Argentina GP in which Marquez received three penalties and was classified 18th, the number 93 is fifth in the standings and looking to get back to winning ways - something he hasn't done since Australia last season...
Fue una carrera con muchos contratiempos, ahora a pensar en Austin para seguir mejorando!— Marc Márquez (@marcmarquez93) 9 April 2018
It was a race with some setbacks. Time to think about Austin! pic.twitter.com/ljgmHMemfq
"The season is long and the most important thing is that our level is there," says Marquez ahead of the Americas GP. "Now we go to Austin, a good circuit with a good atmosphere and great memories: it was the place of my first pole and my first MotoGP victory and we’ve been able to be strong there since then, so it’s a good place to try and get a good result. That said, every season is different: the bikes, the tyres, the conditions. This year some work was done to reduce the bumps, so we’ll see how the track is. As we’ve done so far, over the weekend we’ll focus our work on the race setup, and then on Sunday we’ll see where we’re able to finish."
And although the points are currently stacked more against Marquez than in his favour, the reigning Champion's ace card is his good feeling on the bike.
"After a good start to the season in Qatar, we got no points in Argentina, but I was feeling good on the bike in both races, which is positive."
Practice starts on Friday, and the lights go out for the race on Sunday at 14:00 local time (GMT -5).