Despite only joining the calendar six years ago, the Americas GP has become one of the most iconic races of the MotoGP season. From exciting racing to the energetic and eccentric world of nearby Austin, it’s a race weekend that delivers both on and off the track. Here are five facts about COTA’s motorcycle history for you to take into the weekend.
Three Two One
COTA joined the calendar in 2013 as the third American round on the calendar alongside well-loved circuits Laguna Seca and Indianapolis. It became the standalone American round in 2015 after Laguna Seca lost its place on the calendar in 2014 and Indianapolis soon followed in 2015.
King of COTA
Marc Marquez has won every race to take place at COTA and has also taken every pole position for the last 6 years, earning him the nickname the ‘King of COTA’. Alex Rins and Romano Fenati are the only other two multiple winners at the circuit. Rins took his first victory in 2013 during his Moto3 career and his second in 2016 whilst in the Moto2 class whilst Fenati claimed both his American victories in the Moto3 class in 2016 and 2017.
Ride on, Kentucky Kid
Nicky Hayden’s iconic number ‘69’ will be retired from grand prix racing in a fitting tribute to the MotoGP legend at this year’s GP. Hayden, who was affectionately known as the ‘Kentucky Kid’, was tragically killed in a cycling accident back in 2017 and, since his death, the circuit has renamed turn 18 to ‘Hayden Hill’ in his honour.
The average margin of victory in the MotoGP class is 3.458s from Marc Marquez to the second-place finisher with the largest gap of 6.107s coming in 2016 between Marquez and then Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo. The smallest winning margin came in 2013 during the circuit’s inaugural year as Marquez beat his Repsol teammate Dani Pedrosa by 1.534s.
Diversity is key
Since its first race back in 2013, 10 different nationalities have stood on the podium. From Spanish to South African and even Swiss, COTA has delivered a very diverse selection of top finishers. There has also been at least one non-finisher in each class every year with 9 being the highest number of DNFs recorded in the Moto3 class in 2015.
Away from the track, Austin is bursting at the seams with excellent live music venues and more amazing food than you could manage in just the one weekend. The city deserves its moniker of the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’ so why not immerse yourself in the true Austin lifestyle and pop into the city to enjoy some of the brilliant live music on offer nightly? The bars and clubs are teaming with fresh music that will leave you swaying along or even up on your feet.
If you’re after a bite to eat though, you will be spoilt for choice. From fast food, food trucks and hundreds of restaurants to pick from, there is something for everyone, no matter how you’re feeling, it’s just the actual choosing that could be a problem when there are so many delicious options available. Check out this post on F1 Destinations for more ideas on what to do in Austin.