Marquez’s early exit from the Circuit of the Americas race – which marked his first-ever defeat at the Texan venue – opened the door for Alex Rins to win his first MotoGP race and Andrea Dovizioso, who finished fourth, to retake the lead in the standings.
Ducati rider Dovizioso has a three-point lead over Rossi, who was on course to assume the head of the points table until being passed for the win late on by Rins. Suzuki man Rins is third, a further two points back from Rossi and four ahead of Marquez.
Points standings after Austin:
But Rossi was eager to underline that, had Marquez taken a second win of the season at Austin, the Honda rider would already be some way ahead of the field.
“There are four riders with four different bikes in the first four places in the world championship, so it’s very even,” said Rossi. “The rules have made weekends very lively and sometimes it can be the case that one of the fastest riders is outside Q2, like what happened to Dovizioso [last weekend].
“This is good, but we must say that the situation is only so balanced because Marquez crashed. Otherwise Marquez would be out on his own in front.
“Marquez remains the favourite, because in Qatar he was second, in Argentina he dominated, and here [in Austin] he would have won if he did not crash. So yes, he remains the favourite.”
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing