Motorcycling-Aprilia's Vinales claims sprint win at GP of the Americas

  • Cycling
  • Sunday, 14 Apr 2024

Apr 13, 2024; Austin, TX, USA; Maverick Vinales (12) of Spain and Aprilia Racing rides during practice for the MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas at Circuit of The Americas. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Aprilia's Maverick Vinales won the sprint at the Grand Prix of the Americas on Saturday to claim his second straight sprint victory of the season ahead of Marc Marquez and MotoGP championship leader Jorge Martin in an all-Spanish podium.

The victory was redemption for pole-sitter Vinales, who also won the sprint at the Portuguese Grand Prix in the previous round but crashed on the final lap of the race in Portimao due to a technical problem when he was running in second place.

"Can I just say I'm dreaming! I want to keep going. The level was amazing... We deserve it," said a grinning Vinales, who became only the second rider to win back-to-back sprints in MotoGP.

Vinales had the perfect start as he shot off the line to take the lead while Gresini Ducati's Marquez moved up from third to second when he overtook GasGas Tech3 rookie Pedro Acosta as soon as the lights went out.

The front-row trio peeled away from the rest of the pack but behind them Pramac Racing's Martin, who crashed twice in qualifying, moved up to fourth in an attempt to reel them in.

As Vinales continued to increase his lead, Martin managed to elbow Acosta out of the way with five laps to go and set his sights on Marquez.

Marquez, who has won at the Circuit of the Americas seven times, did make a mistake when he nearly went wide but he managed to keep hold of second place for another sprint podium after Vinales took the chequered flag.

Martin ran out of laps to launch an attack but third place extended his championship lead to 24 points.

"We had two crashes (in qualifying) but I was able to make that second row," Martin said.

"It was a tough race, I suffered some issues but we finished on the podium - that's the most important thing."

Acosta finished fourth followed by the second Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro. Ducati's Enea Bastianini came sixth to move up to second in the championship standings.

Red Bull KTM's Jack Miller was seventh and defending champion Francesco Bagnaia could manage only an eighth-placed finish to sit 28 points behind Martin in the standings.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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