Tag: MotoGP

MotoGP: Rossi wins in Argentina after clashing with Marquez

Valentino Rossi takes a sensational victory after a masterful ride at the Gran Premio Red Bull de la República Argentina.

The sun had come out and track temperatures had risen to 37 degrees for the start of the MotoGP™ race at the Termas de Rio Hondo. The reigning MotoGP™ World Champion Marc Marquez, along with CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, decided to switch to the hard rear tyre on the grid, unlike Rossi and Lorenzo who both decided to use the extra hard compound rear.

Aleix Espargaro led into the first corner, but Marquez passed the Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR almost immediately and used his hard tyre to create a four-second gap at the front. At about mid-race distance Marquez’s tyres appeared to start to lose performance meaning that the chasing pack, led at this point by Valentino Rossi, started to close in on the leader. “The Doctor” had worked his way through the pack from 8th on the grid and could sense victory, as he was lapping almost a second quicker than Marquez.

The nine-time World Champion eventually caught Marquez with just 2 laps to go with the two riders touching, before Marquez clipped the back of Rossi’s bike and crashed out of the race. Rossi went on to take the race win by over 5 seconds ahead of Andrea Dovizioso in 2nd, with Cal Crutchlow stealing the final podium spot from Andrea Iannone on the very last corner.

Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo finished in 5th ahead of Bradley Smith on the Satellite Monster Yamaha Tech 3 bike. Aleix Espargaro ended the race in 7th, ahead of his brother Pol, with Scott Redding and Maverick Viñales completing the top ten.

CWW LCR Honda’s Jack Miller took the Open class victory as he finished in 12th, just 0.075s ahead of Hector Barbera on the Avintia Ducati.

Rossi now has a six-point lead over Dovizioso in the MotoGP™ World Championship standings, and is 30 points ahead of Marquez.

Read more at MotoGP

MotoGP: Marc Marquez cruises to impressive victory in Austin

Marc Marquez stamped his authority on the MotoGP World Championship by winning in Austin by more than 2.3 seconds.

The reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez sent a message out to the rest of the paddock that he was back after his mishap in Qatar, as he dominated the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, at one point leading by over 5 seconds.

Marquez took the lead on lap 5, and didn’t look back as he went on to leave the rest of the field behind to maintain his 100% record at CoTA, before relaxing towards the end of the race.

Andrea Dovizioso made it another podium for the resurgent Ducati Team, as he won the fight for 2nd ahead of the Movistar Yamaha of Valentino Rossi, who leads the Championship standings.

Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo left it late, overtaking the Ducati GP15 of Andrea Iannone with only 3 laps to go to snatch 4th place from the Italian, with Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith rounding out the top 6.

Read more at MotoGP

MotoGP: Marquez takes pole at CoTA after dramatic Q2

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez claimed his 23rd MotoGP pole position in Austin, after stopping on track with just 3 minutes to go on Austin.

The reigning MotoGP World Champion had to run down the pit lane to retrieve his second bike with only seconds to spare as the clock ticked down on Q2.  Not even this could stop the Spaniard as he went on to set the fastest ever time on two-wheels around CoTA, a 2’02.135, over sixth-tenths quicker than his previous lap record set in Qualifying last year.

Marquez finished ahead of Andrea Dovizioso (+0.339s ) on the Ducati Team GP15, and Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo (+0.405s) who completed the front row.

Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi (+0.428s) will start from the front of the second row, with the Brits Cal Crutchlow (+0.478s) and Scott Redding (+0.539s) on their Factory spec Honda’s in 5th and 6th respectively.

The second factory Ducati of Andrea Iannone will start from 7th, with the Team Suzuki Ecstar of Aleix Espargaro (8th) finishing ahead of his brother Pol (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha) in 9th.

Bradley Smith, Danilo Petrucci and Maverick Viñales will form the 4th row of the grid for Sundays race.

Earlier on, it was the Factory Ducati GP15 of Andrea Iannone and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Viñales who made it through from Q1.

Sunday’s MotoGP™ race is due to start at 14:00 local time in Austin.

Read more at MotoGP

MotoGP: Marc Marquez shows he is still the man to beat in Austin

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez finishes the first day of practice on top, as rain plays its part at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.

The MotoGP™ Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas was already going to be exciting with the field closer than ever this year, but add to that the chance of rain and things could get really unpredictable this weekend in Austin.

Today’s first two MotoGP™ practice sessions took on an extra importance as rain is predicted to play a major part over the weekend at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas. This meant that riders not only had an opportunity to collect vital data in the wet conditions for their teams, but also had one eye on making it through to Q2.

In FP1 it was the Ducati Team GP15 of Dovizioso who had set the fastest time, just beating Marc Marquez into second as the session ended, with the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Racing Honda of Scott Redding finishing in an impressive 3rd.

It was all change for FP2, with the track drying and the rain holding off it gave riders a chance to head out and attempt to set what could be their fastest lap of the two days of practice. The time’s from FP2 might be very important, as with more rain forecast for tomorrow they could decide who makes it through to the second qualifying session on Saturday.

Read more at MotoGP

MotoGP: Valentino Rossi wins season opener in Qatar

Italian legend Valentino Rossi won the opening race of the 2015 MotoGP season in a thrilling finish in Qatar.

Yamaha’s Rossi, a seven-time MotoGP champion, claimed his 109th Grand Prix victory after the 36-year-old held off Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso.

Andrea Iannone on the Ducati made it an all-Italian podium, with Spain’s two-time defending champion Marc Marquez back in fifth place.

Britons Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith came seventh and eighth respectively.

Marquez won the opening 10 races in 2014 but made a dreadful start to the new season as he was forced off the track and slipped to the back of the field.

The 22-year-old fought his way back up to fifth but could not challenge Rossi, who began the race eighth on the grid but charged to the front.

Rossi, who won the last of his seven titles in 2009, and compatriot Dovizioso enjoyed a dramatic duel in the closing stages, with the former champion defending a small lead over the final two laps.

“This was one of the best victories for me,” said Rossi. “The bike was fantastic, I never gave up but it was a real fight with the Ducatis and the Hondas who were really strong.

“I’m so happy for me, for the team and for Yamaha. The second part of the race was really good and I’m very happy because we had difficulties in testing and practice but my experience helped today.

“This is a great, great victory but I had a good feeling this morning.”

Qatar MotoGP result:
1. Valentino Rossi (Ita) Yamaha
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ita) Ducati
3. Andrea Iannone (Ita) Ducati
4. Jorge Lorenzo (Spa) Yamaha
5. Marc Marquez (Spa) Honda
6. Dani Pedrosa (Spa) Honda
7. Cal Crutchlow (GB) Honda
8. Bradley Smith (GB) Yamaha
9. Pol Espargaro (Spa) Yamaha
10. Yonny Hernandez (Col) Ducati
11. Aleix Espargaro (Spa) Suzuki
12. Danilo Petrucci (Ita) Ducati
13. Scott Redding (GB) Honda
14. Maverick Vinales (Spa) Suzuki
15. Hector Barbera (Spa) Ducati

Read more at BBC Sport

MotoGP: Andrea Dovizioso claimed a sensational pole position in Qatar

Ducati fill 3 of the top 5 positions on the grid for Sunday’s race in Qatar.

Andrea Dovizioso blitzed his way to pole in spectacular fashion as he took advantage of the softer tyre option to set a time two-tenths quicker than the rest of the field, and funnily enough, seemed quite pleased: “I am very happy because the pole today is the result of a group effort: after two years in which we have suffered, we finally managed to achieve a competitive motorbike, and I honestly did not think we would have been so fast right away with the GP15.”

One of the surprises of QP2 was the pace of Dani Pedrosa as he out-qualified his teammate Marc Marquez to finish in 2nd. The Spaniard was delighted to get onto the front row: “It was fantastic, because I think that it was one of my fastest laps at this track. It was vital to set a good lap time today, without making any mistakes, due to the fact that at this track all the times are very close together.”

Andrea Iannone was disappointed to miss out on a front row start on the second Ducati Team GP15, as he finished in 4th.

It was another disappointing day for the Movistar Yamaha’s of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, who will start tomorrow’s race in 6th and 8th place respectively

Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith, who only just made it through from Q1 with last lap of the session will start from 7th, admits he didn’t make it easy for himself

Cal Crutchlow, who ended the practice sessions 2nd fastest overall, crashed out at turn 14 and will have to start the race from the back of the fourth row: “Thankfully it’s just my pride that is hurt today, but obviously I’m not happy. I made a stupid mistake. The positive is that we were very fast and we had a great chance to get on the front row and my ideal time would have put us there. But hey, that’s racing! The other guys did a better qualifying and we were 12th.”

Read more at MotoGP

MotoGP: Crutchlow pulls off shock to finish 2nd behind Marquez

Marc Marquez finished on top of the combined timesheets after FP3 in Qatar, but it was Cal Crutchlow that caught everyone off guard.

The top ten riders in the combined standings make it through automatically to Qualifying 2, with the rest having to take part in Q1, with only the top two making it through to the second qualifying sesson. Therefore there was a lot to play for under the lights in the desert on Friday, as riders look to get their season off to a good start at the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of  Qatar.

If the timesheets are anything to go by we should be in for one hell of a race on Sunday, as less than a second separated the top 18 riders. It was a frantic end to the two days of Free Practice as riders left it until the last five minutes of FP3 before putting on fresh rubber to begin their flying laps.

Reigning World Champion Marquez finished on top of the combined timesheets, improving his time from the earlier in the evening in the final practice session, and finishing with a 1’54.822, beating Casey Stoner’s 2008 Circuit Record (1’55.153) by over three-tenths in the process. Marquez stating: “Today has been a very good day because we have improved our pace, which is the most important thing, and tried out a few things that have allowed us to progress.”

The big surprise of the day came from CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow as the British rider put was the proverbial satellite cat amongst the factory pigeons. He managed to finish within 0.096s of Marquez in 2nd place overall, setting a incredible flying lap after admitting he had struggled early on during the final session. Crutchlow is not sure whether he will be battling for the race win on Sunday though, as he said: “I’m not sure today’s speed and lap-times are relative to where we will finish the race, but I hope it is!”

The Ducati Team used “winglets” on both of its riders bikes for the first time, after having previously only tried them on Andrea Dovizioso’s machine. Andrea Iannone set a time good enough for 3rd early on in FP3 before losing the front at turn 2 late on, ending his chances of improving further. Dovizioso could not match the pace of his teammate and had to settle for 6th place behind the Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR of Aleix Espargaro (4th) and Dani Pedrosa’s Repsol Honda (5th). It wasn’t just the factory Ducati’s that improved from yesterday with Yonny Hernandez setting a time good enough for 7th place on his satellite Pramac Racing GP14.2.

A big shock from the final day of practice was the lack of pace of the Movistar Yamaha’s as Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi only just scraped through to Q2, finishing in 8th & 9th respectively. Lorenzo believes he will struggle in qualifying unless they make some changes: “It will be a hard fight for the front row tomorrow, because many riders have the extra soft tyre, that gives them four-tenths of a second. They are also stronger than last year, so it will even be difficult to get a position on the second row, but you never know what will happen. Maybe we can find something that will give us half a second and even let us fight for pole position.”

Read more at MotoGP

MotoGP: Qatar Test, Day 2: Dovizioso edges out Marquez

Reigning MotoGP champion splits factory Ducati riders Dovizioso and Iannone

Ducati’s dominance over the final MotoGP test of the year at the Losail International Circuit continued today with factory rider Andrea Dovizioso ending the day on top of the timing sheets while Marc Marquez was a close second and the Repsol Honda rider was followed closely into third place by the second factory Ducati in the hands of Andrea Iannone.

The second session got off to a similar start with Dovizioso and Iannone consistently in the top three but today it was Marquez who was at the front for the majority of the day but he was moved off the top with Dovizioso setting a fastest lap time of 1m 54.907s on his 33rdof 38 laps. Marquez’s best time of 1m 55.091s was just .013s ahead of Iannone in third.

Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo made small improvements today although the Spaniard’s best lap of 1m 55.500s came in just his 15th of 51 laps, this was in stark contrast to teammate Valentino Rossi who left it until his 50th lap to set the 5ht best time of 1m 55.581s while Dani Pedrosa sits in 6th today on the second of the Repsol Honda machines.

Cal Crutchlow once again showed good pace on board the CWM LCR Honda with the British rider continuing to grow in confidence on the factory machinery while his teammate Jack Miller ended his second day in 21st in the Open Class. Crutchlow’s best time of 1m 55.624s was enough to see him ahead of his fellow countryman Bradley Smith on the Tech 3 YZR-M1 whose best lap of 1m 55.648s was .010s ahead of his teammate Pol Espargaro in 9th and closing out the top ten today was AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham with a best time of 1m 55.765s.

Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez was just outside the top ten with his best effort of 1m 55.772s while his teammate Danilo Petrucci didn’t fair so well with the Italian in 22nd. Team Suzuki Ecstar’s second day sees teammates Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales in 12th and 14th respectively with just .015s separating them and in between is the Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS rider Scott Redding with his best lap of 1m 55.803s.

The Open Class this year is gearing up to be one of the closest and the Avintia Racing and Drive M7 Aspar teams were locked in battle today with Hector Barbera and Mike Di Meglio in 15th and 17th respectively while Nicky Hayden and rookie Eugene Laverty sit in 16th and 18thpositions. Michele Pirro set the 19th best lap today for the Ducati Test Team while Stefan Bradl and the Athina Forward Racing team rounds off the top 20following a crash early on for the German rider.

Bradl’s teammate Loris Baz ended day two in 23rd position with his best time of 1m 56.936s enough to finish ahead of Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista while Octo Ioda Racing Team’s Alex e Angelis finished ahead of Marco Melandri and the second of the Aprilia machines in 26th place.

Read more at motorsport.com

MotoGP: Suzuki team to be known as Suzuki Ecstar

The factory racing team will officially be known as Suzuki Ecstar for their return to MotoGP when the season starts in Qatar.

Suzuki announced the partnership with Ecstar, the Japanese manufacturers own brand of  engine oil, at the official team launch this morning along with unveiling their new livery. Aleix Espargaro, who finished seventh overall in the premier class last year, will be joined by 2013 Moto3™ Champion Maverick Viñales onboard the newly developed GSX-RR as Suzuki make their return to the top tier of motorcycle racing.

Suzuki’s Executive General Manager Eiji Mochizuki:

“Finally, Suzuki will make a comeback to the MotoGP, the world’s top motorcycle racing series. Through high-level competition, we will sharpen up our technologies, and aggressively feed them back to our production models and interact with Suzuki customers all over the world. Suzuki will challenge to improve satisfaction of customers all over the world to a higher level, through racing and our products. We ask our fans to support the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR.”

Read more at motogp.com

MotoGP: Aprilia makes return with Factory team launch

Officially known as the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, they have formed a partnership with legendary team manager Fausto Gresini as they line up on the  grid one year earlier than originally planned.

The reason for their premature return to the premier class was to allow them to use this season exclusively to develop their RS-GP bike before they unleash their “full factory” prototype machine next year. The two riders who will spearhead this ambitious development program are 2002 250cc World Champion Marco Melandri, and 2006 125cc World Champion Alvaro Bautista.

Romano Albesiano: (Aprilia Racing Manager)

“We have already been on the track for the first testing sessions of this new adventure that officially starts today. We chose to move up our start date, getting into the mix in the 2015 MotoGP World Championship because we believe that this is the solution which is certainly the most risky but also the best one to become competitive as quickly as possible. We certainly could have avoided the pressure and waited until next year, but that’s not what Aprilia wanted. In terms of development we are starting on a solid foundation which is the result of our winning experience in Superbike and the ART project, the only CRT that was able to show potential close to “real” MotoGP bikes. For us this will be a year of testing, development and in some ways even sacrifice, to be taken full advantage of as we look toward to 2016 when we will be able to ride a real Aprilia prototype bike onto the track.”

Alvaro Bautista:

“I like this new challenge. It gives me new stimulation and great motivation. We are well aware that we have a lot of work to do and we are also aware that this will be a season marked by development, so we aren’t setting any goals for ourselves except to improve race by race, working hard. I was very pleased with the first two test sessions in Malaysia. It was nice to see a lot of people working hard to improve and listening to my requests. All of our mechanics are top notch and they all have a drive that makes for an excellent atmosphere in the garage.”

Marco Melandri:

“Following Aprilia in its ambitious return to MotoGP is a brave choice, especially after the decision to move the plans up. I am very motivated. I am confident and I know what this racing department is capable of, although that doesn’t change the difficulties that we will inevitably have to face. There are also some advantages, like being able to “tailor” myself to a bike, something that I have never been able to do until now in my career, helping the guys in the development process and giving them my indications. For now it is just a matter of acquiring a feeling with the bike-tyre package, much different than the one I used last year. We have a long road ahead of us, but I believe that with patience and determination we’ll be able to achieve a good level, realistically in the second half of the season.”

Read more at motogp.com