Racing round-up: Austin MotoGP, Assen WSBK

Photo: Yamaha

It was an action-packed weekend for roadracing fans, with both the Austin MotoGP race and the World Superbike double-header in Assen.


To nobody’s surprise, Marc Marquez was the winner in Austin (again). He’s undefeated at that track, and managed this victory after qualifying for pole, then getting bumped down three spots as a penalty for slowing on the racing line during qualifying (he was trying to stop Andrea Iannone from getting a tow). Maverick Vinales got the pole instead, but was back down to third before the first corner of Sunday’s race.

At the end of the affair, Marquez won, Vinales got himself into second place, and Iannone (always strong at Circuit of the Americas) was third. Valentino Rossi was fourth, Andrea Dovizioso was fifth. Those points were enough to put Dovizioso into first overall, with 46 points to Marquez’s 45. Vinales is close behind, with 41 points.

Johann Zarco, Dani Pedrosa, Tito Rabat, Jack Miller and Aleix Espargaro rounded out the top 10, in that order. Cal Crutchlow, winner of the last race, crashed out. That drops him to fourth overall, with 38 points.

World Superbike

Local boy Michael Van Der Mark impressed on his Yamaha during practice and qualifying at Assen, but in Race 1, Jonathan Rea was once again victorious. Van Der Mark led the race for a few laps, but ended up in second, and Chaz Davies took his Ducati to third.

Davies definitely would have liked to get those points, as he lost out to the Kawasaki team again in Race 2, where Tom Sykes took his first win of the year.

In the past couple seasons, Sykes has been playing more of a support role to Rea, but he led Race 2 start to finish, showing the control that he displayed in years past for Team Green, before Rea showed up. Sykes showed signs of his former self in Race 1, and thanks to the reshuffling of the grid starting order that WSB does between Race 1 and Race 2, he was able to capitalize on his chance and take the win.

As a result, Rea now leads the championship with 159 points. Davies is in second, with 129. Marco Melandri really needs to make up some serious ground, as he’s only got 115 points now in third. Van Der Mark is sitting on 103 points for fourth, Sykes is in fifth with 101.

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