All eyes were on Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) as the MotoGP™ World Championship lined up at the head of the grid for the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas.
The Spaniard went into the race with a perfect record on America soil; winning every MotoGP™ race he had started in the United States. While Marquez was quietly confident, there were a number of riders who were looking to return to the front once more.
Amongst them was Jorge Lorenzo, the 2015 MotoGP™ World Champion who suffered an uncharacteristic crash during warm up. Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) was another ready to make an impact, having qualified fourth; he started in seventh after his penalty from the Argentina GP.
All of the factory Yamaha and Ducati riders opted for medium tyres front and rear while pole-man Marquez chose the soft front with medium rear.
The Circuit of the Americas has always been a challenging circuit for tyres and all who lined up knew that their choice on the grid would make a significant difference.
Roaring off the line, Lorenzo grabbed the lead into Turn 1 but ran wide on exit, allowing Marquez to move ahead. The field all made it through the opening corners safe, Lorenzo in second with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) hot on his tail. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) also made a good start and used the power of the Ducati to slide into second down the back straight.
As Dovizioso came through, so too did Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar), the Spaniard finding himself in fourth at the start of the second lap after starting in ninth. Espargaro had gone against the norm and opted for soft front and rear, the extra grip giving him a clear advantage in the opening laps.
For the third race in a row, Loris Baz (Avintia Racing) would crash at Turn 1.
The third lap began with Rossi crashing out of the race at Turn 2, losing the front mid corner. All the while Marquez and Dovizioso ran away at the front, Lorenzo defending his third place position. For the first time in 25 races, Rossi failed to finish in the top five.
Marquez continued to hammer home his advantage, leading Dovizioso by a second midway through the fourth lap of the race. Action intensified further down the field as Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) attempted to make up for a poor start to the race, battling hard with Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yakhnich).