Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia hunted down and passed Alex Marquez before pulling out a comfortable lead to win the Moto2 Grand Prix of the Americas at COTA in Austin, Texas.

The Sky Racing Team VR46 rider ran a smooth and clean race and immediately set about chasing down pole man Marquez after qualifying down in sixth on the grid.

Initially the Spaniard had what it took to bring the battle to Bagnaia but the wind and track conditions hindered him, while his Italian rival sped away after noticing Marquez’s tyre going away from him, all the more impressive after Bagnaia’s weekend started with a huge practice crash.

Bagnaia’s win at round three is just his second in Moto2 following on from his first victory in Qatar this year and moves him into the lead in the chamionship standings, with a total of 57- ahead of both Pasini and Marquez who are both ten points behind.

The EG0,0 Marc VDS rider was safe in second after he survived a late out-of-the-seat moment for a Kalex 1-2, though Miguel Oliveira came close to passing him as he found plenty of late pace once Marquez was in his sights, taking the KTM back to the podium in third for Red Bull KTM Ajo despite qualifying down in 12th.

Marquez's team-mate Joan Mir also had to make a huge comeback, he was clipped at turn one by Luca Marini and after qualifying fifth the incident dropped him to 20th. Undeterred, the rookie knuckled down and worked his way through the field rapidly to finish an impressive fourth, his best result so far in his first Moto2 season.

Iker Lecuona (Swiss Innovate Investors) continued to impress as he pipped the second Red Bull entry, piloted by Brad Binder, to fifth at the line, for his best result in the intermediate class.

Mattia Pasini came into the race leading the championship, but was the sole rider to risk a extra hard rear tyre, the move didn’t pay off and the Italtrans rider slowly lost places on his way to a seventh place finish.

Eighth went a solid performance from Gresini man Jorge Navarro just ahead of Dominique Aegerter at the line to put him ninth for his Kiefer team, he too needed a quick recovery after being caught up in the first lap contact between Mir and Marini.

Lorenzo Baldessarri snagged tenth on the second Gresini entry, ahead of SAG’s Isaac Vinales in eleventh and the experienced Simone Corsi who held on to twelfth for Tasca Racing.

The final points went to Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) who fought back to 13th, Italtrans second rider Andrea Locatelli in 14th and Fabio Quartararo in 15th for Speed Up.

The only American in the paddock, Joe Roberts finished 23rd on the NTS RW Racing GP bike.

British pair Sam Lowes and Danny Kent were the first to crash during the race. Lowes fell at the end of lap one and remounted for a 24th place finish, while Kent exited permanently with 15 laps to go at turn eight.

Marcel Schrotter walked away from a scary highside as he was thrown off his bike as the leaders went down and over the crest of turn one, right in front of Pasini. He was sent to the medical centre with a suspected collarbone injury.

Stefano Manzi and Xavi Vierge also did not make it to the end of the race, Vierge was in fourth when he slid into the gravel with just four laps to go.


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