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Red Wedding at COTA

Posted By Chase Hinderstein, Monday, April 11, 2016

The weekend in Austin was really a bloodbath. I can make light of it because there were no serious injuries, but there were many unforced errors in both practice and the race that defined the weekend, it what was otherwise a very dull race.

Lorenzo lost his front end in practice. I couldn't confirm if he was forced onto the backup ride for the race, but his pace suggested that he was. 

Rossi lost his front end in an unremarkable corner and was forced to retire.

Most terribly, Dani Pedrossa lost control of his Honda and it careened into the side of Andrea Dovizioso just at the apex of a turn. Dovi seems to have escaped without serious injury in what could have been a terrible incident. 

These incidents, along with others this weekend, make me question if the Circuit of the Americas has a fit surface for racing at this level. Kevin Schwantz was a driving force in the creation of COTA as a track with motorcycles in mind, but it didn't offer much grip or lead to much action this weekend.

Marc Marquez got off to an early lead and wasn't challenged through the day, continuing to build on his gap through the end.

The event itself appears to be successful, bringing in over 130k attendees over the weekend. It may have received some boost from the cancellation of annual MotoGP event in Indianapolis. The IndyGP brought in about 75k for raceday on their last event. Meanwhile Dorna, the organization behind both MotoGP and WSBK, continue to host 4 races in Spain, some which bring in fewer than 30k in attendance. Dorna is bent on supporting Spanish events and Spanish riders. They see Europe as their focus today, and Asia as the future. North America is clearly an afterthought. 

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