Table of contents:
The MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas aims to be the decisive race of the 2021 season. The return of the premier class of motorcycles to America is the last call for it to emerge. a serious rival who can still snatch the title from Fabio Quartararo. Johann Zarco and Joan Mir have already failed in their attempt, but one last bullet remains.
Pecco Bagnaia is on a roll. Has won consecutively the last two Grand Prix, which has placed him at a reasonable distance from Quartararo that still makes him dream of the title: there are 48 points, that is, less than two races. If the Yamaha is ahead in Austin, folder closed. But if there is a good cut it will still be global.
Bagnaia is one mistake from Quartararo to revive the MotoGP World Championship
For Quartararo everything is in favor. Austin should be a circuit more favorable to the Yamaha than to the Ducati, although so was Misano and Bagnaia prevailed there. Truth be told, neither brand has ever won in the Americas. Only Honda and Suzuki have done it, and that competition helps Quartararo too.
The Frenchman's accounts are clear: he must continue with the same regularity that he has maintained all season. Quartararo's worst result is Jerez's thirteenth place, due to his forearm ailments, but the next worst is already a seventh place. He has been on the podium in nine races out of thirteen.
If you yield less than 22 points you will have mathematical options of being champion already in Misano. A match ball, one of those that rarely go back. But the scene in Austin is conspiring for the World Cup to have excitement practically until the last race. Bagnaia is going to have a chance.
The weather forecast predicts a busy weekend in Austin. The rain could make an appearance in the three days, even with strong storms, and we already know that in those conditions the Ducati fly while Quartararo's hand shrinks from the gas. It is the great option of Bagnaia.
It also remains to be seen whether Ducati will do teamwork in favor of its last title hope. Jack Miller already said in Misano that he was willing to work to maximize Bagnaia's options, although with Zarco and Jorge Martín, who belong to another team, it will be more difficult for there to be consensus. But they are Ducati riders.
The accounts of the Ducatist milkmaid are very clear in Austin. They need the rain to facilitate a victory, or at least a podium, for Bagnaia, and for Quartararo to dissolve like a sugar, something that happened a lot in 2020 and less in 2021. If the distance drops around 30, and coming back to Misano, where Bagnaia has already won, there will be a World Cup.
The big problem for Ducati is another. This duel between sheriffs is going to take place on Marc Márquez's ranch. The circuit in which the champion is more precise and thorough than in any other. Marquez is the big favorite for victory in Austin and, at the same time, the great ally of Quartararo.
The Frenchman already said it when he left Misano. "I hope Márquez gives me a hand by winning in Austin". Of the seven MotoGP races that have been held in Austin, victory has been for Marc Márquez in six of them. In the other he fell when he was going first and the one who won was Álex Rins, another luxury guest to the battle.
Since Quartararo won solidly in the first races of the year it seemed that the title was not going to escape him. He was able to dissuade the candidacies of Zarco and Mir without much trouble. But he has the last obstacle to conquer the title, and the ghosts of the past could appear on Bagnaia's motorcycle.
If we talk about experience in these races, Bagnaia is Moto2 world champion, while Quartararo has never been in the fight for a World Cup. Last year he was also champion after the first two races, but the crash came. Now everything seems tied and well tied, but in 20 laps of the Austin circuit a whole world championship can change.