AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Enea Bastianini of Italy passed Australia’s Jack Miller for the lead with five laps to go and pulled away to win the MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas on Sunday, his second victory of the season.
Bastianini and Miller dueled for the lead on their Ducatis over several laps before Bastianini pulled ahead when braking out of the end of the long straight at the Circuit of the Americas. Alex Rins of Spain passed Miller late to take second.
Bastianini won the season opener in Qatar and leads the season championship with Sunday’s victory.
Spain’s Marc Marquez, who has won the Texas race seven times since 2013 started in ninth after missing the previous two races with a concussion and double vision caused by a violent crash. A terrible start dropped him to 18th by the end of the first lap before he stormed through the field to finish sixth.
It was one of the closest finishes in the nine-year history of the race as Marquez typically was out front by the halfway mark and often cruised to victory. The only previous time he didn’t win here was 2019 when a mid-race crash opened the path for Rins to win.