MotoGP: Modified race schedule pushed back at Texas Motor Speedway after troubles with the bikes

MotoGP riders will get a shortened afternoon on Saturday after a bout of mechanical problems dumped the motorcycles and forced the postponement of the third-round MotoGP race in Austin, Texas.

The race will now start at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The test of both the motorcycle and the 26,000-seat Texas Motor Speedway marked the MotoGP debut of American Alexander Rossi. The 24-year-old from Calabasas, Calif., finished 5th in the Moto2 race last season and was backed by a robust crowd that turned out to see him make a second MotoGP appearance.

“I just think that this is a chance for me to really step up as a rider and prove to the world that I can get up here and compete with these guys and try to improve,” Rossi said. “I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was 12, so I know that I’ve got a lot of potential.”

MotoGP motorcycle riders discovered they would have to start the Texas MotoGP at 2 p.m. Saturday after issues with their bikes forced race officials to postpone the race. The race had been scheduled to start at 5 p.m.

Rossi finished 1 lap off the pace in a practice run on Friday and appeared to have a chance to surpass his closest rival. Rossi’s closest rival was Brazil’s Leonardo Fioravanti, who held an 18-second lead on Rossi before Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi fell out of the race early with a broken wheel.

“I had a fair chance of winning, but I think it’s just going to be a different race because the bike is just not prepared well,” Rossi said. “There are various things we have to work on between now and tomorrow to get a new bike on the track, so it might be much better for the race tomorrow.”

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