The sun was back on Sunday in the Lonestar State Texas. After the warm-up, which second-place finisher of Argentina, Xavi Vierge, finished in sixth place, all was ready for the Grand Prix of The Americas.
The Dynavolt Intact GP riders lined up in the third row. Xavi Vierge in seventh and Marcel Schrötter in eighth position. Both had a good start and escaped the crowd in the first left hairpin-corner and came past the start-and-finish line in fourth and fifth place after the first lap. What followed after were brilliant races by the two Kalex riders, which unfortunately both ended in a crash.
After Xavi Vierge dueled with Sam Lowes right at the start and won the upper hand, Marcel Schrötter left the Englishman behind him as well. As Xavi battled Pasini and thus grabbed the third place, Marcel did not wait long to fight against the Italian. In the breath-taking duel, Xavi meanwhile was able to extend a lead that Marcel wanted to close as the leader of the chasing group with Pasini, Oliveira and Binder in tow. Seven laps into the race, in the downhill passage following the first corner, the 25-year-old was heavily kicked out of the saddle after the gear probably jumped out. He hurt himself slightly on the left shoulder. Fortunately, after the first X-rays it was clear that only two smaller ligaments are torn.
In the meantime, Xavi Vierge struggled with clutch problems throughout the whole race. The 20-year-old had to try to control the bike differently due to the lack of engine brake, which he succeeded with on fresh tyres. But as the tyre wear dropped, mistakes crept in and the Spaniard slipped back into seventh place and eventually crashed as well with only four laps to go.
Despite the disappointment about zero points in America, the racing team from Memmingen at least takes home a trophy from Argentina and the assurance that both riders can keep up with the leading group. The MotoGP circus is now returning to Europe and will meet again in Jerez, Spain, from May 4-6, in two weeks time.
“From the beginning of the start we’ve had a problem with the clutch. In the first lap I could control it with the rear tyre but then, lap-by-lap the clutch got worse. I couldn’t break like I normally do and so I started making mistakes. I lost time and the connection with the front group and the riders behind started to catch me. I tried to push hard to stay behind of Oliveira but it got worse in each lap. The mistakes added up and finally, I crashed. I am very disappointed with the outcome, because I think we did a great job all weekend and I am sure that without the problems of the clutch, we could have made a very good race. Still, it was a positive weekend, even though it was hard but we worked so well and at the end of the weekend we had a good pace to fight in the race and that’s the most positive thing. We will surely take this with us to Jerez.”
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