(Reuters) - Spanish rookie sensation Marc Marquez outdueled pole sitter Stefan Bradl to win the U.S. Grand Prix for Honda on Sunday and stretch his lead at the top of the MotoGP standings to 16 points.
It was the second consecutive win and third of the season for the 20-year-old, who becomes the youngest rider to win back-to-back races in the premier class.
The previous youngest was American ‘Fast’ Freddie Spencer, the 21-year-old winner of the opening two races of the 1983 season.
The Factory Honda rider also becomes the first rookie to win at California’s Laguna Seca circuit with its famed ‘Corkscrew’ twisting turn.
Bradl, the first German to start a premier class race on pole in the modern era of Grand Prix racing (since 1974), settled for second and his first podium in MotoGP.
Italy’s seven times world champion Valentino Rossi completed the podium places after holding off Spain’s Alvaro Bautista to take third for Yamaha.
Marquez has 163 points to compatriot and team mate Dani Pedrosa’s 147.
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, editing by Alan Baldwin