After visiting Qatar and Argentina, the MotoGPTM World Championship travels to the Circuit of the Americas, near Austin, Texas, USA, for round three of the 2017 season: the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.
Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) goes to the States as the championship’s clear provisional leader thanks to two wins from two to date, aided by his ability to adapt swiftly to the circumstances of the moment. In 2016, the Spaniard came fourth in Texas.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), who is ninth in the standings, has frequently dominated the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, winning four times there from pole position. The reigning champion will be looking to continue that trend as he seeks to eat into the 37-point deficit that separates him from Viñales.
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), who is currently second overall, 14 points short of his team-mate, crashed out of last year’s race at Austin where he has previously finished on the podium on two occasions.
Ducati factory riders Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo were both down on luck in Argentina. In 2016, the former crashed out of the USA race after being hit by Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and will be looking for a trouble-free run this time round. Lorenzo, who fell at Turn 1 in Argentina, had been hoping for a less chaotic start to his career with the Italian concern. The Majorcan has made a few adjustments to his riding position that might well pay off this weekend.
The third podium finisher at Austin last year was Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ectar) who will be out to put the first two rounds of the new season behind him (including a penalty for a jump start in Argentina) and recover the form that marked his pre-campaign testing on the GSX-RR.
Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech3) impressed in Qatar and Argentina where the two-time Moto2™ champion ended up fifth, ahead of team-mate Jonas Folger. Both riders can legitimately target a top-five finish next Sunday.
Soft-, medium- and hard-compound front and rear MICHELIN Power Slicks will be available in the USA. The rear will have an asymmetric construction, with harder rubber on the right-hand side to cater for the circuit’s specific characteristics. If the weather turns bad, the riders will be able to choose between the soft and medium MICHELIN Power Rain.
Free practice for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas is scheduled to start at 9:55am local time (GMT-5) on Friday, April 21.