AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez roared back to his dominant best with a commanding win from pole position in the Grand Prix of the Americas on Sunday after a start delayed by water on the track.
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso took second with Italian Valentino Rossi, winner of the Qatar season-opener for Yamaha last month, third to keep the overall lead by a single point. Spanish team mate Jorge Lorenzo was fourth.
Marquez, who has now won all three races held in Austin from pole as well as the last six MotoGP rounds in the United States, lost out to Dovizioso at the start but swept past the Italian on lap five.
The 22-year-old Honda rider then pulled away steadily to finish 2.354 seconds ahead of Dovizioso, who appeared to run out of fuel on his slowing down lap after the chequered flag.
Rossi now has 41 points to Dovizioso’s 40 with two times champion Marquez, who started the season with only a fifth place after having to climb back from last at the first corner, on 36.
The third race of the season is in Argentina next weekend.
“We recovered some points... but we need to work really hard in the next races,” said Marquez. “I felt really good at the beginning, I tried to save some tires, then I pushed some laps and managed the distance.”
The scheduled start was delayed by 35 minutes as workers dried the track after a water spillage, due to overnight rain, from an overhead footbridge at turn three.
There was immediate drama on the opening lap when Britain’s Scott Redding, who had qualified an impressive sixth, fell and took Spaniard Pol Espargaro with him.
British riders had better luck in the Moto2 and Moto3 categories, however, with wins for Sam Lowes and Danny Kent respectively.
Writing by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Gene Cherry