Riders and Team Managers reflect on #AmericasGP

MotoGP 2019 – Round Three
#AmericasGP Rider Quotes

Alex Rins  – P1

“It’s incredible! I’m very happy to win the race here! In warm-up this morning we tried a different set-up and it didn’t work in the way we expected, so we reverted to the usual settings for the race and we won, it’s super! I’m lost for words! I managed the pressure well, even though I suffered a bit in the last laps. When I crossed the line all the feelings hit me at once. I just want to say a big thank you to all my team, everyone in Japan, and all the people around me!”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Rossi Celebrate Rins
Rins takes his maiden win at COTA

Valentino Rossi – P2

“I’m very sorry for missing out on the victory, because when I saw Márquez crash I said to myself ‘Maybe I can do it’, but after that Rins arrived. Sincerely, I pushed to the maximum, the race was very fast, I did one good lap after another, but in the end he was better than I was. I was riding very well, and I wasn’t able to overtake him. It’s a shame because I haven’t won for a long time, but we are strong, and we will try again next time. On a positive note, I tried everything today, I rode a very good race and stayed in front for a long time. Riding on the limit, unfortunately I made some mistakes. Maybe if had done everything perfectly I could have tried to attack on the last lap again. So, mixed feelings: on the one side, I’m sorry about the victory, and on the other side it’s a great result after a great weekend. I was strong and I rode a very good last lap, but I didn’t want to do anything too crazy because 20 points are very important for the championship, which is still very open. It looks like we are strong this year and that the bike has improved, and these are the most important things, because maybe we can fight at the front many times this season.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Rossi Rins
Rossi kept Rins at bay for a long time

Jack Miller – P3

“I am very happy with this result. The feeling with the bike was very good all weekend. I got off to a good start and this allowed me to be in the front group right away. I thank the team because they have done a great job not only this weekend but since the beginning of the season”.

MotoGP Rnd COTA Podium Rins Rossi Miller
Jack Miller was back in parc ferme for the first time since 2016! – The MotoGP podium L-R: Rossi, Rins and Miller

Andrea Dovizioso – P4

“I’m happy with this result, especially considering that I was 13th on the grid, even though if I had one half lap more to ride I would have probably finished on the podium. It’s been a very tough race. Early on, I was struggling with the front and I didn’t have the pace to stay with the leading group, but I managed to stay calm and collected. Lap after lap, I regained confidence and my rhythm in the final stages was very competitive, so much that I almost managed to catch Miller. We’ve also been lucky because there were some crashes, but those things happen when you ride on the limit. We’re back on top of the Riders and Constructors standings, and my feeling with the bike has improved compared with last year, but it’s not enough because there are many competitive rivals so we need to keep improving.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Andrea Dovizioso
Dovizioso made his way through the field but never threatened the podium getters

Franco Morbidelli – P5

“It’s been a great race here in Austin and I’m very happy. Yesterday’s qualifying was unfortunate for us, but I knew that the potential was there. I was able to gain positions during the race and get my first Top 5 finish in the premier class. Unfortunately, I had to slow down towards the end of the race, but I feel that we are working very well, we are improving and we are getting closer to the top positions. Thanks to the team and to everyone who has been working with me. I feel great and I can’t wait to get to Jerez.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Morbidelli Dovizioso
Franco Morbidelli leads Dovizioso

Danilo Petrucci – P6

“Finishing sixth, given all the issues we encountered during practice, can be considered a good result for us here in Texas. Clearly I want to do better, but we still took some important points, keeping fifth place in the standings. It’s been a long, grueling race. At one point I was recovering ground on Dovizioso and Morbidelli and I even thought I could catch them, but the front locked a couple of times and I preferred not to take too many risks. At any rate, I’m happy. My team really did a fantastic job. This wasn’t a friendly track for us, but I think we managed to obtain the best possible result today. Now we’ll head to more favorable circuits and I can’t wait to be back on track at Jerez and start the European leg of the season.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Danilo Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Fabio Quartararo – P7

“It was a very positive race. I managed to make a good start and put in some good opening laps, staying within the Top ten. At first, Pol Espargaro, Petrucci and I got in each other’s way and we lost the group ahead of us that contained Dovizioso and Morbidelli. However, the pace was very good and although on the last five laps I had to slow down, I’m very happy with the result. We’ve improved on the result from Argentina and I was the best rookie again. In addition, today I learned a lot from riding behind Petrucci. Whenever I’m on track with the best riders in the world, I’m learning. That’s also very positive. I’m looking forward to more!”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Quartararo Espargaro
Fabio Quartararo leads Pol Espargaro and Takaaki Nakagami at COTA

Pol Espargaro – P8

“My crew and all the team worked really hard this weekend in a very tough place for us. We took an unexpected result here in Texas and we were sixteen seconds faster than we were last year. This is a realistic position: around the top ten. We’ll go now to Jerez and a place we have been fast in the past maybe with some small improvements on the bike. I’m excited about what the guys are trying in the factory. I’m super-proud when I look at the results from last year or two years ago and what we are able to do now and what we are achieving. It also feels like the people in the paddock are also seeing our work. I have everything I need to keep pushing.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro

Pecco Bagnaia – P9

“We did a great job throughout the weekend on a track that is not exactly my favorite and that’s why I’m very happy. We are constantly making progress and the direction is the right one. The important thing right now is to have some good races. We have won the first Top 10 and this gives us great confidence”.

MotoGP Rnd COTA Start
MotoGP 2019 – Round Three

Takaaki Nakagami – P10

“The start wasn’t too bad, after that I didn’t have the best line into turn one as I followed Jorge (Lorenzo), but he suddenly changed his line and I lost my position. So after that it wasn’t the best first lap and I really struggled to find grip and dropped another position. It took me a little bit of time to find the pace and overtake (Johann) Zarco and then our pace was not fantastic, but also not too bad. I just tried to be consistent and keep the pace and in front of us there was some trouble and some riders crashed and I saw that my position was improving. In the end I could have had P8 as Pol (Espargaro) and (Francisco) Bagnaia were only a second ahead, I needed one more lap but it wasn’t possible. Overall, it was a tough weekend for us but we finished in the top 10 which is not too bad. Now we are looking forward to Jerez where we did a really fantastic job in the winter test and I can’t wait to race there.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Nakagami Lorenzo
Takaaki Nakagami and Jorge Lorenzo

Maverick Vinales – P11

“I misunderstood the penalty a little, but anyway, besides the mistake, it was a good race weekend for us here. We showed a really good race pace and after the ride through I could easily ride in the 2’04s. This is just the way it is. We will have to try again in Jerez and be stronger there. I made a mistake at the start. I was starting really well all weekend, this afternoon I tried to do the same, but on the grid the bike got a bit hotter and the clutch engaged and the bike started running. It’s a shame, because I felt really good during the race. I already knew there was a chance that I would get a penalty, and that’s just the way it is. At first, I thought I had to do a long lap, but then I saw ‘ride through’ and thought ‘OK, I have to do this’. The good thing was that the bike was working really well. We had a good set-up for the race. We need to keep working and find the best system for the start. The start was actually good, as in that I didn’t lose any positions, and I tried to overtake some riders. Let’s see what happens at the next races.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Rossi Vinales
Maverick Vinales had a stop-go penalty

Andrea Iannone – P12

“The final position isn’t bad, but more importantly, we added another notch to our belt in terms of growth, accumulating experience. My only disappointment is that I wasn’t able to maintain the pace in the last seven laps. The bike got twitchier and more difficult to ride. Without this drop in performance, we would have been able to make a play for the top ten and, what’s more, we would have reduced the distance behind the leaders. Right now, the most important thing is not the result. More than anything, we need to improve the gap behind the leaders.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Iannone
Andrea Iannone

Johann Zarco – P13

“I managed my energy much better. It doesn’t mean that I could go faster. I could manage the gap with the guys behind me and tried to push also at the end to save the 13th position. Some guys in front had problems and crashes but this is part of racing so I just tried to finish and to take what I could. I will try to be as natural as possible in Jerez and take as much information as I can. If small things give me that good way to improve feeling then I will be able to use my quality and I’ll be the first one happy.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Johann Zarco
Johann Zarco

Miguel Oliveira – P14

“For sure it was a difficult race. I was not expecting to start this bad but then we picked up the pace. We need to be happy about this result because in the end we finished where we wanted, which is inside the points. It is definitely a very difficult track to ride and to be in the points here is very good. Now we go to Jerez. The bike looks like it’s performing well there so we can’t wait. We’ll take many positives from this race because we learned and understood the bike more. My position needs to be a bit different, so we are working in this direction to make me feel more comfortable.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Oliveira
Miguel Oliveira

Tito Rabat – P15

Karel Abraham – P16

Joan Mir – P17

“I’m quite disappointed about the jump start, the footage shows that I moved a fraction before the lights, but I didn’t gain anything from it. Nevertheless the penalty is a ride-through. Without this I could have had a strong result so it’s a real shame, but anyway, I’m happy with my pace and my feeling with the bike – both were good this weekend. I want to congratulate Alex because he did an amazing job! All the team will continue working to be even more competitive.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Mir
Joan Mir

Hafizh Syahrin – P18

“I’m honestly a bit disappointed because we tried a different choice of tyre and it seems it was not the right selection. Right from the beginning of the race I felt a huge drop; I couldn’t stop the bike well enough so I was just fighting with it. It was difficult to keep the pace and this took all my energy. I hope we can come back in Jerez, the first race on European ground.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Hafizh Syahrin
Hafizh Syahrin

Marc Marquez – DNF

“We have had six amazing years here but today I made a big mistake. When I arrived in the garage I said sorry to the team and now I’d like to say sorry to the fans because it was my mistake. It’s different to make a mistake fighting for fifth and fighting for the win, the level is there. We’re only nine points off the lead. It’s true, we made a mistake but we are human and this can happen. We need to learn from it and understand and come back stronger in Jerez.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Marquez
Marquez was leading by a country mile before throwing it away

Jorge Lorenzo – DNF

“It has been a difficult weekend with the weather and everything. I didn’t get the best start but I was able to recover and then I started to make up some positions. Sadly we had an issue with the bike and I was forced to retire from the race. It was a different issue to yesterday. The positive is that in the race I was feeling quite good at a circuit where normally I have difficulty. Now we look to Jerez, a circuit I like and where we will hopefully be able to be stronger.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo

Cal Crutchlow – DNF

“Obviously I’m very disappointed with today’s result here at the Circuit of the Americas. It seemed that I got a good start and managed to be on the pace with the front guys, Marc had a little bit of a lead but I felt comfortable in the position I was in. Unfortunately I started to feel some issues with the turning of the bike, the front tyre was not giving me a great feeling and when I crashed I think I made a mistake because the engine was snapping on the braking. I locked the front in turn 11 going on to the back straight and it was the end of my race. It’s my first mistake of the year and I’m disappointed to make it here because we could have capitalised on some great points (in the championship), but we have to look forward to Jerez now which is another great circuit and we hope to do a better job there. I want to thank my team who produced a great bike all weekend and we’ll look to try and improve it in Jerez in two weeks’ time.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Rossi Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow was in the hunt for the podium early on

Aleix Espargaro – DNF

“Given the way the race went today, it would have been a good chance to pick up some important points, but unfortunately, already in warm-up, the bike was not as consistent as it had been in the other sessions. I didn’t feel good with the traction control already in the morning and in the race it was the same. I found myself in a high side when I opened up the throttle and we need to understand why. We need to improve the bike, so the tests tomorrow are important. We especially need to improve grip. Right now this is the primary goal and I hope we are able to take some steps forward.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro

MotoGP Team Managers

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“It was a great race. Our bike and Alex have both grown a lot in recent months, and we were finally able to show the results of these improvements. Joan made a small mistake today but he paid a big price. We’re looking forward to the next races with him because he’s learning fast. I want to thank Alex, the whole team, and everyone who is involved with this project on site and in Japan – today is a very happy day for Suzuki.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Rins Suzuki
Suzuki celebrate Rins’ victory at COTA

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“Today we are so happy – so pleased for the factory back in Japan and for all the team staff, because everybody has worked so hard. It’s wonderful for Alex, this is further proof of the way he’s matured and improved. When he began with us he suffered a lot with injuries, and since then he has worked so hard and this achievement is something he really deserves. Now I can say that our target this season was victory, and we’ve done it at the third race. Thanks to all the Suzuki staff and Alex. Joan had amazing pace today but unfortunately he jump-started and the penalty cost him a lot, we already talked a lot about this; but finally he has made another important step this weekend. I’m happy about his improvements.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Rins
Alex Rins celebrates his maiden MotoGP victory

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Team Director

“Today was a very mixed experience for the team, results-wise. Valentino really did all he could to get the victory. It’s a shame – also for the team, but especially for him – that he just missed out. It was so close! Still, taking a second consecutive second place is very good, so we feel encouraged to keep up the good work. As so often in MotoGP, a small mistake can have a snowball effect and create a lot more trouble. After his jump start, Maverick lost a lot of time because of the ride through and the unnecessary long-lap lane. We can tell from his pace at the end of the race that he could have been a strong contender today. So, in the end there are some learning points after this experience, but I think one major positive that we can take away from this weekend is the overall bike performance. We’ve made another step and are looking forward to confirm the improvements at the next round in Jerez.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Podium Rins Rossi Miller
The MotoGP podium L-R: Rossi, Rins and Miller

Wilco Zeelenberg – Petronas Yamaha SRT Team Manager

“I’m very happy with the work that we did here at COTA, and with the fifth and seventh place finishes. Also we finally completed the race with both riders in the points, after not being able to do that in Qatar or in Argentina; It’s a very good feeling. If we look at the results, the Top six is our goal for Franco [Morbidelli] and this is going to be a boost for his motivation. With Fabio [Quartararo], our goal is the rookie of the year award, and now he is leading the standings for that, so this is a very good moment for us. Hopefully we can continue to look even higher up the order and continue on this positive path at Jerez.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Morbidelli Dovizioso
Franco Morbidelli leads Dovizioso

Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager

“From Pol’s side the weekend was great for us. Austin is a demanding track for all bikes and riders so he performed very well in qualifying and took his rhythm in the race and finished a clear 8th. We can only be happy about that. With Johann we were struggling more and he still doesn’t feel confident on the bike so we will work hard on that. We had three bikes in the points with Miguel scoring also. For us the top ten is always an achievement, so now we’ll look forward to getting to Europe and making another step in positions. I think it is great for the company to see that all the pushing and hard work in the winter can translate to results and this is very good. We’ll continue and by the end of the year we’ll see where we are with our package and riders.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Start
MotoGP 2019 – Round Three

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager

“This has been an important weekend for Michelin. On Friday the tyres produced some very fast times, but losing most of Saturday due to the weather was unfortunate, although we were able to get a small bit of data about the wet tyres for the first time here in Austin. Today’s race saw four of the six compounds used, three different manufacturers on the podium and a new race record by a considerable margin. We are very pleased with the performance this weekend as this is a very difficult track, we don’t have the chance to test here and it is very bumpy, making it demanding for all. The tyres performed well in all the conditions and before the race the choice was still for all six options, as they were all usable. We will now head back home after three tough, but rewarding races and we look forward to getting to grips with some European tracks over the coming weeks.”

MotoGP Rnd COTA Starts

2019 MotoGP – Round Three
COTA MotoGP Results

  1. RINS Alex SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 41’45.499
  2. ROSSI Valentino ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.462
  3. MILLER Jack AUS Pramac Racing Ducati 8.454
  4. DOVIZIOSO Andrea ITA Mission Winnow Ducati Ducati 9.420
  5. MORBIDELLI Franco ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 18.021
  6. PETRUCCI Danilo ITA Mission Winnow Ducati Ducati 21.476
  7. QUARTARARO Fabio FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 26.111
  8. ESPARGARO Pol SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 29.743
  9. BAGNAIA Francesco ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 30.608
  10. NAKAGAMI Takaaki JPN LCR Honda Honda 31.011
  11. VINALES Maverick SPA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 34.077
  12. IANNONE Andrea ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 34.779
  13. ZARCO Johann FRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 42.458
  14. OLIVEIRA Miguel POR Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 44.272
  15. RABAT Tito SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 44.623
  16. ABRAHAM Karel CZE Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 44.740
  17. MIR Joan SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 48.063
  18. SYAHRIN Hafizh MAL Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1’07.683
  19. MARQUEZ Marc SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda DNF
  20. LORENZO Jorge SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda DNF
  21. CRUTCHLOW Cal GBR LCR Honda Honda DNF
  22. ESPARGARO Aleix SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia DNF
MotoGP Rnd COTA Rossi Celebrate
Rossi congratulates Rins

2019 MotoGP – Round Three
MotoGP Championship Points Standings

  1. DOVIZIOSO Andrea ITA 54 Ducati
  2. ROSSI Valentino ITA 51 Yamaha
  3. RINS Alex SPA 49 Suzuki
  4. MARQUEZ Marc SPA 45 Honda
  5. PETRUCCI Danilo ITA 30 Ducati
  6. MILLER Jack AUS 29 Ducati
  7. NAKAGAMI Takaaki JPN 22 Honda
  8. CRUTCHLOW Cal GBR 19 Honda
  10. QUARTARARO Fabio FRA 17 PYamaha
  11. MORBIDELLI Franco ITA 16 Yamaha
  12. VINALES Maverick SPA 14 Yamaha
  13. ESPARGARO Aleix SPA 13 Aprilia
  14. BAGNAIA Francesco ITA 9 PDucati
  15. MIR Joan SPA 8 Suzuki
  16. OLIVEIRA Miguel POR 7 KTM
  17. LORENZO Jorge SPA 7 Honda
  18. IANNONE Andrea TA 6 Aprilia
  19. ZARCO Johann FRA 5 KTM
  20. RABAT Tito SPA 1 Ducati

Source: MCNews.com.au

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