Another year has come and that means the COTA season starts anew with the invasion of the highest classes of Motorcycle racing in the world. That’s right, MotoGP is back and bringing with it new rules, new heroes, and a whole load of action to get things started off with a bang in the Lone Star State. It’s the Yamaha new boy versus the only man to ever win the top class of this event, Marc Marquez. I was there the whole weekend to observe and relay all the happening both here and for The DFL Show, and boy what a treat it was to get back out here for a real race.
Friday was the start of the story, with Maverick and Marquez trading blows with each other; each taking the top spot in a free practice session. It set the tone quite well for Saturday, with the same thing happening going into my favorite part of the race weekend, which is always qualifying.
If you have read any of my previous MotoGP articles you might remember me waxing poetic about the mastery that is on display on Saturday afternoons when the series rolls into COTA. These truly are the greatest riders, some the greatest of all time, and one of the greatest circuits in the world. This is them showing the world why they’ve made it to the top class of motorcycle racing, with a no holds barred attitude, doing everything in their power to squeeze every thousandth of a second out of the pairing of rider and bike. It’s a beautiful thing to behold, and I can only scream about it at the top of my lungs so many times before you all get it, so I’m just going to say it one more time. If you ever have the chance, please go watch qualifying in person. It’s thrilling, it’s dangerous, and it’s one of the last true sights in racing that I truly believe is better in person.
And at the end of that tense qualifying session, it was once again Marquez that stood on top, looking to defend his house for the fifth time running. And he would, after over twenty thrilling laps that saw the championship leader crash out, Pedrosa and Marquez dueled in the Sunday Texas Sun, and Valentino take the championship lead from his younger teammate. It was a brilliant display of everything that makes motorcycle racing great, and if you have the means, it’s worth it alone to see Marquez on an inferior Honda bike defend his home away from home in-front of his teammate and the GOAT.
Even with the amazing race every year at COTA, I still feel like the sport is in a weird position in the United States. With coverage being limited to BeIn sports, a network so rare that I have no idea if it actually exists, and losing the two other rounds in the U.S. It seems to be dire times for the sport in terms of America. Add in the lack of any Americans in the top class and I have to wonder if it’s time to panic for American MotoGP fans.
Even that being said, it was a great weekend, and I can only give my best to Dorna and the FIM in hopes of getting a better package together for American riders and fans.