Suzuki's Alex Rins Wins 2019 MotoGP Grand Prix of The Americas, Valentino Rossi Follows in Second
The blue riders of Suzuki and Yamaha were empowered by Marquez's crash, which put Sunday's podium up for grabs.
Suzuki rising star Alex Rins climbed to the top step of the podium at the 2019 MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on Sunday. Following closely behind the Frenchman was racing superstar Valentino Rossi in his Yamaha, while Pramac's Jack Miller finished in third place in his independent Ducati.
Sunday's victory was Rins' first-ever MotoGP win, having come close with pole positions and second-place finishes several times in recent years, but never quite being able to put together a big W. The first-time race winner endured tremendous pressure in the closing stages of the race from the series' most experienced rider, as Rossi closed a four-second gap in the last few laps in an attempt to knock Rins off the top step. Luckily for the Suzuki rider, Rossi's tires had already given the Italian their fair share of grip by that point in the race, meaning that he didn't have enough rubber in them to attack as hard as he wanted.
Rossi was able to shrink the gap to just over one second from Rins, and even went for it on two occasions over the course of the last two laps, but each attempt to overtake resulted in him running wide and losing more time to the leading rider. With just half a lap to go, Rossi had ruined his chances of taking the lead and simply trailed behind Rins for the last few corners.
While the nail-biting closing laps made for an exciting race at COTA, the fans were only treated to such because Honda's superstar rider and six-time winner at COTA Marc Marquez crashed while approaching Turn 12. The Spanish rider laid his bike down, slid off the track, and failed to get his bike started despite receiving help from the track marshals. Not many laps later that, his teammate Jorge Lorenzo also suffered a mechanical failure and retired, effectively marking a double-DNF for Repsol Honda in Austin.
At the end of the day, Marquez's misfortune turned into Rins' gain, and it probably made for a memorable day for the young rider and fans alike. The Doctor, meanwhile, came close to winning another race, successfully pleasing legions of American fans by coming in second. Lastly, Jack Miller's clean ride to third earned Pramac some much-needed points in the championship.
Next in the calendar is the 2019 Gran Premio de Espana at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain on May 5.