Marc Marquez goes wire-to-wire to win MotoGP at Austin

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In the land of Longhorns, Spanish rider Marc Marquez hooked ’em again at the Circuit of the Americas.

The reigning MotoGP world champion won for the second year in a row at the immaculate Texas road course, dusting Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, third-place Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso, and everybody else in today’s Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.

A last-lap bobble going into the final corner added a brief jolt of drama, but Marquez quickly got his Honda under control and went on to the checkered flag.

He beat Pedrosa to the stripe by 4.1 seconds, while Dovizioso was a very distant third at 20.9 seconds off the pace.

“I didn’t expect to lead all the laps in the race,” Marquez said after the race to Fox Sports. “I had a good start – my first good start in MotoGP [grins] – and then I started to push…I saw that I opened a gap and while I think the show for this race was not so good, that 25 points is important.”

Pedrosa on the other hand found himself losing, by his estimation, two to three-tenths a lap to his fellow Spaniard and eventually just focused on maintaining second.

“I had no other places to recover the gap,” he said. “Every lap, I lost a little, so finally, there was a point where there was nothing to win up front…I just tried to keep my pace and get on the podium.”

Honda rider Stefan Bradl duked it out late with Yamaha rider Bradley Smith for fourth position, but the German ultimately got the better of the Englishman for that spot.

As for the two American competitors, Nicky Hayden finished just outside of the Top 10 in 11th position while “Texas Tornado” Colin Edwards was forced to retire from the race before the checkered flag.

Marquez now holds a 14 point lead in the championship over Pedrosa after two races, both of which he’s won. Valentino Rossi sits third at 22 points back after an eighth-place finish this afternoon.

MotoGP will return to action in two weeks at Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina.

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.