ÁNGEL NIETO TEAM HEAD STATESIDE2018-04-16 07:46
The Spanish MotoGP outfit are ready to tackle a difficult circuit in round three
The MotoGP World Championship heads to the Circuit of the Americas this week, as the Texan venue hosts the series for the sixth time. 24 riders will be aiming for glory over 20 laps of this notoriously difficult track, although past form points to Marc Márquez as favourite, the defending champion having taken victory in all five previous editions of this Grand Prix. After missing out on the points in Argentina, the Spaniard will be looking to make up ground this weekend as he now trails series leader Cal Crutchlow by 18 points and Andrea Dovizioso by 15. COTA has lots of hard braking and acceleration zones, as well as brisk changes in direction and elevation, and blind corners, that the winning rider will have to master.
The Ángel Nieto Team arrives in Texas looking to make improvements on the opening two rounds of the season. A third and fourth place in free practice was the high point of the weekend last time out in Argentina, although they were unable to turn that pace into strong grid positions after narrowly missing out on Q2. Both Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham will again be giving their maximum at the Circuit of the Americas to score a solid result before the championship returns to Europe, especially having both missed out on the points at Termas de Río Hondo.
Álvaro Bautista: “We will work hard from the first moment in Austin to improve the feeling with the bike and enjoy the best possible weekend. We know that once we fix a few small details there might not be a huge difference to the lap time but the position should improve significantly. We head to the United States feeling very motivated for the last race before we return to Europe and we want to go back there in good shape. It hasn't been the start to the season that we would have lived but we will keep working non-stop in every session to improve the bike. Termas was difficult because of the weather but we found some positive things that should prove useful in the future.”
Karel Abraham: “This is the last of a run of races outside Europe and it takes place at a difficult circuit, which features a lot of high-speed direction changes, elevation changes and blind corners. I go there feeling eager to do a good job and to keep working hard to improve on the results we have had in the first couple of races of the season. Since the race in Argentina I have stayed in America and competed in a Spartan Race last week, which was good fun and I also came away with a good result.”
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