It’s the power of three for Marc Márquez …
The 20-year-old rookie Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle rider, who’d already broken a record at Indianapolis Grand Prix a day earlier, took the lead on Sunday with a smart inside pass midway through the race, saved his wobbly bike two turns later and then pulled away from the pack for a 3.495-second victory over Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa.
In the process, Márquez became only the third rider in MotoGP history, and the first rookie, to win three races in one country in the same season. Marquez’s fourth win of the season also tied Kenny Roberts‘ single-season rookie record, set in 1978, and gave Marquez his fifth straight win on U.S. soil.
“It will be my second country,” he said after dousing himself with the traditional champagne. “We had the perfect weekend.”
For the Spanish star with the increasingly impressive resume, Sunday’s victory was another major milestone.
Marquez has now won three straight races, the longest overall streak by a rookie since Roberts. He joined two-time world champions Jorge Lorenzo, of Spain, and Casey Stoner, of Australia, as the only riders in series history to pull off a three-race season sweep in one nation.
Marquez extended his lead to 21 points over Pedrosa, who is still trying to recover from a broken collarbone he sustained earlier this season.
Marquez came into the race a heavy favorite after posting the fastest times in both practice rounds Friday and Saturday and becoming the first MotoGP rider to break the 1 minute, 38-second barrier with his record pole-winning run Saturday.
“I feel good in the USA, I won the three races here,” he said. “Now we go back to Europe and try to do the same thing.”