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Spain's Marc Marquez rides to MotoGP win at CoTA (now with photos)

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Circuit of The Americas™ welcomes 118,918 guests for spectacular MotoGP™ weekend

AUSTIN, Texas (April 13, 2014) – Circuit of The Americas (COTA) welcomed 118,918 members, guests and participants for three days of spectacular racing and entertainment during the 2014 Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas MotoGP event, April 11-13. While rain clouds threatened most of race day, April 13, weather conditions were overshadowed by scintillating on-track action in the MotoGP, Moto2™ and Moto3™ divisions and the engaging fan activities and live entertainment scheduled throughout the weekend.


Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez is jubilant celebrating his second win at Circuit of The Americas. Courtesy of CoTA PR

Race fans cheered enthusiastically as reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez stormed to another commanding victory for his Repsol Honda Team. The 21-year-old Spaniard (No. 93) is now two-for-two on the year after his season-opening victory in Qatar. The always competitive Moto2 division was full of surprises, as Maverick Viñales (No. 40) of the Pons HP 40 team survived the accident-plagued start of the race to claim the winner’s trophy and improve on his fourth-place finish at Losail. The outcome of an exciting Moto3 contest came down to the final lap, with current series leader Jack Miller (AUS) riding his No. 8 bike to victory for the Red Bull KTM Ajo Team.

“We want to congratulate the world-class riders and teams who once again put on a fantastic show,” COTA President and Chief Executive Officer Jason Dial said. “We also want to thank our members and guests from around the world who again came to Austin to experience the thrill of MotoGP racing. Our three-day turnout was very strong, despite a weather forecast that likely kept some fans at home on race day. Overall, it was another tremendous weekend of racing and entertainment at Circuit of The Americas.”


MotoGP race winner Marc Marquez leans while whipping by COTA's signature Tower. Courtesy of CoTA PR

In addition to the great racing, spectators enjoyed a variety of special events and entertainment, compliments of the circuit and race sponsor Red Bull. The weekend line-up featured stunt riders, skydivers, aerial displays, motorcycle jumping, rider autograph and Q&A sessions, a post-race concert featuring Austin “Musician of the Year” Bob Schneider, and a massive fan track “invasion” following the MotoGP contest. Additionally, fans had the chance to spend time in the MotoGP Paddock and ride their own motorcycles around the track. The famous Ducati Island fan zone made its only U.S. stop in COTA’s Grand Plaza, while motorcycle manufacturers Honda and Yamaha staged elaborate product and merchandise displays, allowing race fans to totally immerse themselves in the two-wheeled universe.

MotoGP racing will return to Circuit of The Americas next year. Race dates and event information for the 2015 MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 races will be released later this year.

License-free, high-resolution images of the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas, including photos of racing and entertainment activities, can be downloaded at http://media.circuitoftheamericas.com.

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Sorry I've been absent for a week or two. Things have been pretty busy around here. I did make it out to Haywood's Hill for Sunday's Moto GP & Moto2 action though. Haywood's Hill is a neighboring property to COTA, situated adjacent to the track along between T10 and T11. From there you can see about the northern 1/3 of the track.


I shot a bunch of pics...
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Oh, and the announced attendance was yet again pure fantasy. The place was a ghost town on Friday. Saturday there were maybe 10-15K people there (if I'm being generous). And 57K on Sunday? No way. The T1, T15, and Main GSs hold about 25K people combined. They didn't look even half full to me, but let's say they were. That's 12-13K people. Where were the other 44K people? In 2012 the USGP supposedly drew 40K General Admission fans, and the GA areas were pretty crowded when that happened. Other than decent crowds at T1 & T18 (nothing like during F1 though), & maybe a few hundred in the T12 GS, the GA areas were pretty much empty. So where were they, COTA? If I'm being VERY generous, the Sunday crowd was more like 25-30K people. Probably less than 50K for the whole weekend.


It continually amazes me the way the local news media just laps up whatever BS numbers COTA throws out there. I'd understand it if COTA weren't getting tens of millions of $$ based on the numbers. Venues exaggerate attendance all the time, throwing out ticket sales and giveaway numbers as "attendance", and that's fine because it usually does not matter...but the ACTUAL numbers really do matter in COTA's case.


These pics were all shot during the peak of the weekend's action, during the MotoGP race on Sunday. Most are my own, but I‘ve also added some from the live telecast on Fox Sports 1.


T15W GS:
T15E GS:
T9 GA:
T12GS (which was used as a GA area for this race):
T1 GS & GA:
Main GS, about 2 minutes before the start:
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