Michael Laverty finishes 16th in MotoGP round in Austin

Michael Laverty of the Paul Bird Motorsport team

Michael Laverty fought back from a poor start to finish 16th in Sunday's Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin.

The Toomebridge rider started from 17th place on the MotoGP grid on his Paul Bird CRT machine, but he slipped to 24th in the opening laps.

Laverty worked his way through the field to 16th position, just outside the points in his second MotoGP race.

Marc Marquez became the youngest rider to win a MotoGP race with Dani Pedrosa second and Jorge Lorenzo third.

Spanish rider Marquez, 20, started on pole and was involved in a thrilling tussle with Pedrosa throughout the inaugural Texas race.

Pedrosa held off a late challenge from Lorenzo to take second with the latter completing the podium places.

Britain's Cal Crutchlow claimed fourth.

At the age of 20 years and 63 days, Marquez takes the record as the youngest rider to win a premier-class grand prix from Freddie Spencer, who was 20 years and 196 days when he won the Belgium 500cc GP in 1982.

"It is unbelievable. A first victory in MotoGP is a dream come true," Marquez told BBC Sport.

"I have to say thanks to all the people who helped me, especially the team because I could not do this without them."

Laverty finished 17th in his MotoGP debut in Qatar.

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