Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS cowboys land in Austin
The World Championship lands in Texas for the third Grand Prix of the year this weekend and Alex Márquez and Xavi Vierge have their sights set on conquering one of the most demanding circuits on the calendar.
- This is the seventh time that the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) has staged a MotoGP Grand Prix and the 32nd that the United States has hosted World Championship racing.
- The Austin circuit first appeared on the calendar in 2013 and it is the track with the most corners, the longest straight and at 5.513km it is the third longest on the schedule. The braking at turn 12 is also the most demanding in the World Championship.
- In the third Grand Prix of the year, the practice schedule returns to its normal format. Moto3 opens the track action on each day, followed by MotoGP and Moto2 will close the action.
- After the bittersweet sensations of Argentina, with Alex Márquez's podium and Xavi Vierge's forced retirement, Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS arrives in Texas with maximum motivation and two riders willing to give their all in a circuit where in 2018 they were very competitive.
- Alex Márquez lands in Austin with the extra motivation of the podium obtained in Argentina. The number 73 finished third in Termas de Rio Hondo and he showcased all his talent in a very hard fought race.
- After the Argentina podium, the Cervera rider occupies fourth place in the overall classification and lies 25-points away from World Championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri. The clear objective in Texas is to narrow the Italian’s early season advantage.
- Last season in Austin he climbed to the second step of the podium starting from Pole Position and he pushed eventual winner Francesco Bagnaia hard until the closing stages. The second position in 2018 is his best result in Austin.
“We are in the right line”
“Austin is not a circuit too favourable for my riding style but I enjoy it and last year I did very well. We got the Pole and I was fighting for the victory in the last few laps. We must continue with the same dynamic that we have had since the beginning of the year, working to understand the bike better. In Argentina, we took an important step in this direction. We are on the right track. If we stay on it, we will be able to fight again for the front positions. We must continue to follow the progression and above all maintain the patience that is the most important thing this year.”
- Xavi Vierge couldn't race in Argentina due to a technical failure on his bike during the warm-up lap. The number 97 was among the favourites for the win in Argentina and he wants to continue being a serious contender in Austin.
- With two front rows on the starting grid (2nd in Qatar and Pole in Argentina), Xavi is already proving to be one of the strongest over one hot lap in qualifying in Moto2. His race pace is also among the most consistent in the intermediate World Championship class.
- This will be the fourth time that he will compete in Texas. His best result in this circuit is the ninth position obtained in 2017. In 2018, he was fighting for the podium but unfortunately his top three hopes were ended by a crash
“We must be well prepared to fight”
“After Argentina, my desire to fight in Austin has only multiplied. Everything went very well in Termas except for the race when I couldn’t start. The main objective in Austin will be to maintain the level we reached in Argentina to be able to fight for the front positions in the race. COTA is a difficult circuit, long and you must be very concentrated in order not to make mistakes. We will try to find a good set-up as soon as possible and get in the maximum number of laps to understand our rhythm for the race. We must be well prepared to fight.
. Length: 5543 metres
. Width: 15 metres
. Curves: 20 (9 right; 11 left)
. Longest straight: 1200 metres
. Circuit Direction: Counter-clockwise
. Race distance: 18 laps .
. Last winner: Francesco Bagnaia
Grand Prix Schedule (local time):