Nine-time world champion Rossi arrives in Texas in high spirits after securing a hard-fought second place exactly 23 years after his debut in the 125cc MotoGP class. He currently holds third place in the standings and would love nothing more than to climb up the order after this weekend‘s race.??
Though the Italian doesn't list COTA as one of his favourite tracks, he has scored two podiums there since its addition to the MotoGP calendar in 2013. A hard fought third place in 2015 and a very positive second place in 2017, leaving him wanting for more celebrations on the American rostrum this weekend.
Viñales counts himself lucky to have escaped injury after an unfortunate crash in Argentina. Due to the incident he has dropped to 11th place in the rankings, but he arrives in the USA determined to put the experience behind him and get back on the podium at COTA, which he has visited frequently.
In the very first year of riding at the circuit, in 2013, the Spaniard secured second place there in the Moto3 class. The year after he topped the result with a victory in the Moto2. His best result in the MotoGP class was achieved last year, when he took second place.
Constructed in 2013, The Circuit of The Americas is one of the newer on the calendar, having been added to the Grand Prix schedule that same year. Its 5513m length and mixture of fast straights and tight hairpins make the track both challenging and exciting to master for teams and riders. They need to find exactly the right balance for the bike‘s set-up to suit the 11 left and 9 right turns, and the 1,200m longest straight in order snatch a place on the podium. The especially sharp Turn 1 will be a place where the fans can expect a lot of overtaking action, both at the start and during the race.