Marquez takes fourth straight MotoGP COTA victory

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Marc Marquez extended his lead at the top of the MotoGP riders’ championship standings by maintaining his perfect record at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on Sunday.

The Grand Prix of the Americas is the only MotoGP round scheduled to take place in the United States this year following the cancellation of the Indianapolis Grand Prix last year.

Marquez arrived at COTA defending a perfect record at the circuit, having won from pole position in 2013, 2014 and 2015 for Honda.

Fresh from his victory in Argentina seven days ago, Marquez topped all three practice sessions before sweeping to pole ahead of Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.

Marquez was beaten by Lorenzo off the line, but managed to wrestle back the lead on the first lap as the fast-starting Ducatis of Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso diced with the Yamaha riders behind.

Marquez soon began to open up a gap to the rest of the field, leaving Lorenzo to focus on Iannone behind as a number of riders crashed out.

Rossi was the first to fall at high speed when going through Turn 2, the front of the bike sliding out through the corner. Despite trying to pick his bike up, the nine-time champion was forced to retire from the race early on.

A bigger incident involving Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa eliminated both from the race soon after when the latter lost control heading into the first corner. Pedrosa fell while going uphill, leaving his bike to career into the helpless Dovizioso and resigning the Ducati rider to his second retirement in the space of a week.

British riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith also had falls at the end of the back straight midway through the race, and although both were able to continue, neither could fight back into the points.

Marquez kept his head while all about him were losing theirs, going lights-to-fly to lead Lorenzo home by six seconds, recording his fourth victory at COTA and 10th in the United States.

Iannone crossed the line third ahead of Suzuki riders Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro, both of whom continued their strong start to the season.

Scott Redding finished sixth ahead Pol Espargaro and Emmanuelle Pirro, while Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl rounded out the top 10.

The next MotoGP race takes place on April 24 at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain.