Enea Bastianini becomes third rider to win MotoGP United States Grand Prix

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Enea Bastianini took the lead from Jack Miller with five laps remaining in the United States MotoGP Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas and held on to become only the third different winner in nine editions of the event.

After failing to score a single podium in his rookie season of 2021, Bastianini got this year’s campaign off to a great start with a win in Qatar before earning minimal points in the next two rounds with an 11th-place finish in the Grand Prix of Indonesia and a10th in Argentina.

With his second win of the season, Bastianini reclaimed the points lead over Alex Rins, who finished second in the United State Grand Prix and who entered the event as the only rider other than Marc Marquez to win at COTA previous to this weekend. Bastianini regularly improves as races progress and after taking the top spot during Lap 12, he steadily built his advantage until he was two seconds ahead of the battle for second on the final lap.

“The feeling is amazing because it was a really hard race,” Bastianini said afterward. “It was important to stay soft and ride relaxed in the first part of the race to save a little bit of the body and the tire. When I saw Rins so close to me, I understood it was time to push and go to the front.”

On that last trip around the circuit, Rins slipped past Miller.

While the three podium finishers put on a great show at the front of the pack, most eyes were locked on Marquez as he returned after missing two races to injury.

A mechanical gremlin caused Marquez to stutter from the launch and he watched as riders blasted by on either side. He was the last rider in the field entering Turn 1.

Marquez completed that lap 18th and gave the leaders a five-second advantage. As he meticulously worked his way through the field, Marquez would lose only one additional second to the leaders as he passed 12 more riders and finished sixth.

Marquez felt he clearly had race-winning pace.

“I am disappointed, of course, because the speed was there,” Marquez said. “I started from the back, but 25 points today were possible. … We finished sixth, so the speed was there. I leave here with higher confidence, so that is most important.”

MotoGP awards 25 points to the race winner.

Defending champion Fabio Quartararo finished seventh.

“To be honest, I gave 100 percent all of the time, but unfortunately this was the best I could get today,” Quartararo said. “From the first races, I’m getting a little deficit of power. Today, I fought with what I had and gave it all. Even if it’s P7, I am happy – not about the result, but about the race.

“I fought like it was for the victory.”

Quartararo is currently fifth in the standings, 17 points behind Bastianini.

In Moto2, American Cameron Beaubier gave his countrymen a reason to cheer. He won the pole, but fell back to seventh by Lap 3. Beaubier was climbing back toward the front and had a podium finish in site before he crashed on Lap 17 and failed to finish.

Joe Roberts started 16th and worked his way to eighth at checkers. Roberts has earned points in all four rounds this season and sits ninth in the standings. He is 46 points behind leader Celestino Vietti.

The only other American in the field, Sean Dylan Kelly finished 17th, the last rider to compete the distance.

Tony Arbolino beat Ai Ogura to the line by 3.4 seconds, but the feel-good ride of the day belonged to Great Britain’s Jake Dixon, who earned his first career Moto2 podium in third.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III