Red Bull Motorsports
The first drama happened on lap five, when Crutchlow, who had been challenging Rossi for second place, crashed out, compounding his misery following a jump-start penalty last time out in Argentina.
With 12 laps remaining, at Turn 12, Márquez threw away his 2.4 second lead, sliding off the circuit under braking and handing the lead to Rossi. The Italian found himself ahead of an impressive Rins, who'd sliced through the field to hold second ahead of Miller's Ducati.
The latter stages of the Grand Prix was all about the battle for the lead between Rossi's Yamaha and Rins's Suzuki, and with just over three laps to go Rins pounced. He passed Rossi and didn't look back, powering on to win his first MotoGP™ race, with Miller rounding out the podium in third.
Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas results
First MotoGP™victory for Suzuki’s Álex Rins
Spanish Suzuki rider Álex Rins can finally call himself a winner in MotoGP™. Rins rode superbly to keep pace with the leading quartet in the opening laps, before profiting from the retirements of Crutchlow and Márquez to take up the second place spot behind Rossi's Yamaha.
With a handful of laps remaining, it was only going to be Rossi or Rins for the win, and it was the Suzuki rider who drove a more measured final to keep the pressure on the seven-time MotoGP™ champion, and eventually make his move with three laps remaining. In doing so, he's also placed himself in the mix for the championship battle.
Zero points for Honda
Just as the five-time MotoGP™ champion Marc Márquez looked to be heading towards a huge and winning margin again in Texas, the unthinkable happened. Under braking for Turn 12, and with a comfortable, increasing lead over Rossi, Márquez slid agonisingly off the circuit after losing the front end under braking from 285kph, coming to rest in the dust.
After a despairing (and slightly comical) attempt to get back on the bike, the reigning champion was forced to give up and head back to the pits, where he would soon be joined by team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.
The injury stricken Lorenzo's machine suffered a mechanical failure at the same point on the track that Márquez left the proceedings, topping off a tough day for Honda, and another in testing season so far for the triple MotoGP™ champ.
Jump-start misery for Viñales and Mir
The curse of the jump-start made another appearance at the Circuit of the Americas.
Following Cal Crutchlow's ride-through penalty following his jump-start at the last round in Argentina, Joan Mir and Maverick Viñales both had the eagle eye of the MotoGP™ officials on their case in Texas, and were found to have gained an unfair advantage at the start of the race.
Vital points for Dovizioso's title challenge
After a disastrous qualifying for Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, in which the Italian found himself 13th on the grid, it all came together pretty well for the Italian by the time the chequered flag flew in Texas. Following a good start, Dovi managed to take advantage of Crutchlow and Márquez exiting the race, and ended up only a second off the podium.
The 13 points for fourth place, combined with his victory in Qatar and third place in Argentina means the 13-time Grand Prix winner leads the 2019 championship standings now from Rossi and Rins, with Márquez demoted to fourth in the standings as the teams and riders head to Europe next for the Spanish Grand Prix.
Top 10 for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Pol Espargaró
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaró was already pretty pleased before the racing action got underway at the Circuit of the Americas. The Spanish rider notched up his best career qualifying result by starting fifth on the grid, and he rode a rapid and mature race to end up eighth at the flag.
This result caps a steady progress and a solid start for rider and team in 2019, following a 12th place finish at the season opening Grand Prix in Qatar and 10th last time out in Argentina.