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.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).