MotoGP: Marc Marquez remains untouchable in American races
For the third year in a row, Marc Marquez claimed victory at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix in the MotoGP class. A remarkable win streak made even more astounding when put in the context of the entire United States of America. There have been seven races held on U.S. soil since Marquez joined the MotoGP ranks – three in Austin, three in Indianapolis and one at Laguna Seca – and Marquez has won them all. He’s only started off pole once, during his first and only time at Laguna Seca in 2013.
This is an incredible record because it’s not just one track that Marquez excels at, but an entire country that he dominates. What’s more impressive is the three tracks are of dramatically different natures; Laguna Seca tight with incredible elevation changes, Indianapolis flat with sweeping corners and Austin somewhere in the middle. No other rider in recent history has as strong a record as Marquez in any other country.
Valentino Rossi has classically gone well at Misano, his home round. Since 2007, he has claimed three wins and only finished outside the top five twice – once due to a crash and the other in 2011 when on the Ducati. Rossi’s strongest track is perhaps Mugello, where he went undefeated from 2002 to 2008. Misano is technically classed as the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, and as such is treated as San Marino, not Italy like Mugello. Even still Rossi’s record doesn’t quite hold up to Marquez’s, Rossi having only a relatively small number of poles at those tracks across his 15 years in the premier class.
Perhaps the most famous domination was that of Casey Stoner around Phillip Island, the Australian legend going undefeated from 2007 once stepping up to factory machinery. Each of his six wins came from pole, Stoner able to produce magic at the island no matter the circumstances leading up to the race. In 2012 Stoner had just recently returned from the broken ankle he suffered at Indy, but still won at Phillip Island. A similar story was true in 2009 when Stoner returned from illness to dominate at home. Not only did Stoner make Phillip Island his own, he did so in spectacular fashion especially around Turn 3, leaving long sweeping black lines of rear rubber.
However, both Stoner and Rossi have dominated one track, and at best two tracks. While Marquez has made a whole country, with multiple tracks, his own. If Marquez wants to make it three MotoGP championships in a row to match his three Indianapolis wins, he will have to dominate more than just America though.
As the paddock heads to Brno, Marquez sits 56 points behind Rossi with eight rounds to go. This means the Spaniard needs to gain at least seven points at each round to match Rossi.