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Austin MotoGP: Marquez leads Vinales in warm-up

Austin MotoGP: Marquez leads Vinales in warm-up

"After what happened in Argentina, I changed my strategy and tried to lead from the start", Marquez said.

The Suzuki man's time in the lead proved short-lived however, as Marquez got by at Turn 12 on the opening lap.

Iannone will start second ahead of French Yamaha rider Johann Zarco. Marquez pulled away lap by lap until his lead reached 7 seconds, and then he coasted in for the win.

The ideal weather conditions made for a tidy race, as Maverick Viñales (Yamaha), Andrea Iannone (Suzuki), and Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) battled it out for the final podium positions. Nevertheless, Iannone was at his relentless best sitting close to the Honda rider and managed to take the lead briefly as Marquez ran wide on Lap 3, but only for the Spaniard to retake the lead. Marquez has won the Texas race five years in a row and Sunday will be the first time he doesn't start in pole position.

Now Iannone will move to the middle of row one with the outside spot taken by Zarco.

Andrea Dovizioso finished fifth for Ducati and regained the championship lead with 46 points after three races, the Italian is now one clear of Marquez with Vinales third on 41 points. "I think tomorrow we can be fighting hard for the race". With 12 laps remaining in the race, Crutchlow, who was leading the championship standing after the opening two rounds crashed out in an attempt to safeguard his sixth position.

Dani Pedrosa salvaged seventh place on the second works Honda in a race he was unsure he would complete, owing to the pain from his broken wrist. Maverick Vinales is not too far behind with 41 points, while last race victor Cal Crutchlow is fourth at 38 point - he made no improvements today and finished outside of points.

Behind him were Pol Espargaro of KTM, LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami and Alvaro Bautista of Nieto Ducati taking the last of the points.

Tito Rabat finished eighth for Real Avintia Ducati ahead of the Pramac bike of Jack Miller while Aleix Espargaro rounded out the top ten. In a miserable day for the British riders, Bradley Smith and Scott Redding also finished out of the points and, over the three Grand Prix classes, John McPhee was the only Brit who managed to score points over the weekend, down in 14in the Moto3 race.

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