Americas 2022 Preview: The sheriff of Austin is back!

Having had hardly any time to recover from the emotions of the Argentine GP, the fourth round of the calendar is already upon us. The GP of the Americas 2022 is taking place this weekend for its ninth edition at the Austin Circuit in Texas. 

The American round of MotoGP has its very own hero: Marc Márquez. The eight-time champion returns to action after missing the previous race in Termas de Río Hondo. The Spaniard had a relapse of his double vision problems (diplopia) after a terrifying accident during warm-up in Indonesia, where he also wasn’t able to compete. 

Earlier this week, however, he was given the green light to resume competing by his ophthalmologist and, after some testing with a Honda CBR600RR at the Alcarrás track in Lleida, he decided to return to action immediately. 

The #93 didn’t want to miss out on his favourite track. Not in vain, Márquez has won seven of the last eight editions held (2013-2018 and 2021) at COTA and that was only because in 2019 he crashed while he was comfortably leading the race. 

 Espargaró’s first race as leader  

Sharing the spotlight with Márquez at the GP the Americas 2022 will be Aleix Espargaró. After making history with a first MotoGP victory for both him and his team Aprilia in Argentina, the Catalan pilot is leading the standings with 45 points, seven more than Brad Binder (KTM) and nine more than Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) and Álex Rins (Suzuki). 

His RS-GP has clearly undergone a performance leap that could finally break the curse that hangs over him in Austin, where he crashed in 2019 and 2021. Statistics aside, he will have to deal with an entire grid coming out to beat him. 



Anything can happen in one of Rins favourite tracks   

Anything can happen in this crazy and unpredictable championship, which so far has produced three unexpected winners, Enea Bastianini (Qatar), Miguel Oliveira (Indonesia) and Aleix Espargaró (Argentina). And then there is Álex Rins (Suzuki) which cannot be ruled out of the victory race. 

The pilot from Barcelona has regained his confidence after his third place in Termas de Río Hondo. COTA is also one of his favourite tracks, having won there in all categories, including MotoGP. It was in Texas that he took the first of his three MotoGP victories in 2019 and on his last visit to Austin (2021) he claimed a very close fourth place. It is obvious that he feels very comfortable on this track. 

But that is not all, they will all have to keep a close eye on Rins partner, Joan Mir. Sixth in the standings with 12 points less than the leader, the 2020 champion will try and make his comeback on American soil. 


Quartararo and Bagnaia: The not so favourites anymore  

The protagonists of the 2021 title fight, crown defender Fabio Quartararo and runner-up Pecco Bagnaia are performing at a considerably lower level than expected. Following a poor start to the race in Argentina, the French pilot (Yamaha) could only manage an eighth place. He is currently fifth in the standings, ten points down from the top. 

The situation is even worse for Ducati. Bagnaia, who is yet to feel comfortable with the new Desmosedici GP22, managed to save face with a fifth place at Termas de Río Hondo, up from a thirteenth starting position. Things would have to change a lot for him to rise from his current fourteenth place in the standings. 

Whatever might happen, all of the contenders will be faced with 20, 5,513-meter laps for a total race distance of 110.3 km at the Grand Prix of the Americas 2022.  

 Images of GP of the Americas 2022: MotoGP.

Leave a Reply