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Quartararo bounces back at Catalunya MotoGP

Marini wins again in Moto2 – Binder takes out Moto3.

Image: Supplied

Fabio Quartararo and the Petronas Yamaha SRT team have triumphed in Barcelona at the Gran Premio de Catalunya and surged to the top of the MotoGP championship standings on what was also an excellent day for Team Suzuki Ecstar, with Joan Mir and Alex Rins completing the podium.

There was drama from the outset, however, as championship leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was wiped out in the opening corner after being struck by the fallen Johan Zarco (Esponsorama Racing). Danilo Petrucci had made a strong move and almost went down himself to get past Zarco, touching Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) on the way through. Zarco applied his front brake, causing him to fall. “If I do not touch the brake I think I will anyway touch Danilo, so it could have been the same end,” Zarco commented after the race. The outcome: zero points for Zarco and a raging Dovizioso.

During the drama, Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) had dropped back to 15th place while up front, Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was setting the pace with Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) hot on his tail.
Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Quartararo were left in pursuit, with both getting the better of Miller by the end of the opening lap. By lap eight Quartararo was showing his intention, applying pressure on Morbidelli with Rossi and Miller close behind. Mir was next, waiting for an opportunity. Quartararo assumed the lead from Morbidelli, with the latter having a big moment into turn one with fourteen laps to go, running wide and allowing Rossi through.
Behind them, Miller was struggling to keep Mir at bay but on lap sixteen, just as ‘The Doctor’ looked certain for that elusive 200th podium in his 350th premier class race start, Rossi fell.

Up front Quartararo was now three seconds clear of Morbidelli and then a mistake from Miller let Mir through for the final podium slot. With seven laps to run, Mir wanted more and was only half a second off Morbidelli. The situation only got worse for Miller, as the second Suzuki of Rins loomed behind him. With five laps to go, Rins made his move, putting the Suzuki’s into third and fourth.

With four laps remaining, Quartararo was managing the situation out front with an almost three second gap, but Mir was 0.7s quicker per lap and right on the tail of Moridelli. Hungry for second, Mir made his move on the penultimate lap, cutting past Morbidelli while Rins joined the action, also making his move to put both Suzuki’s on the podium.
This was the first time both Suzuki’s were on the box since Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi at Misano in 2007.

Quartararo held on for an emotional victory, one which sees him take an eight point advantage in the championship from Mir while an ecstatic Rins celebrated a brilliant podium after having qualified in 13th position.
Morbidelli and Miller were fourth and fifth respectively with Pecco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) in sixth.
Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Indemitsu) was the first Honda home in seventh while Petrucci recovered to eighth. The shock was Maverick Viñales, struggling through the race to ninth and now sitting third in the championship, 28 points behind Quartararo. A gallant Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) rounded out the top ten after suffering ligament damage in his ankle during the week, to go with his already mangled arm.

In Moto2 Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) was able to outlast the challenge from Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), taking a pivotal victory at the half way point in the season to boost his championship lead to twenty points. Fabio Di Giannantonio (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) took third, scoring his maiden podium for the year.

After an excellent start from Marini, Lowes attacked to take the lead with seven laps remaining. Marini kept the pressure on, wearing down his opponent, pouncing on the penultimate lap at turn one.

Australian Remy Gardner (OneXOX TKKR SAG Team) endure a torrid weekend of penalties to finish a disappointing 16th. Gardner had to take a long lap penalty for exceeding track limits, as well as the six grid spot penalty for the yellow flag crash on Friday. After the race Gardner explained tyres were also an issue, saying, “It was like riding on ice and it sucks when you give it one hundred percent all weekend and a tyre company lets you down when it matters. It was something out of our control and we have to just focus on the next one. I think we could have been in the top ten, the only consolation is that we leave the weekend with no further injury. I am sore but we dug deep, and I will rest now to be in even better shape for France.”

Moto3 saw Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) become a first time Grand Prix winner, getting the better of Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) and Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) on the final lap. There was drama further back as John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) crashed out and collided with Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Tea, Moto3). This means Arenas loses his championship lead with Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) now out in front with a P11 result.

Detailed results

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Morbidelli leads all Yamaha front row in Catalunya

Luca Marini grabs pole and a lap record in Moto2 – Gardner starts from 16th.

Image: Supplied

Franco Morbidelli and the Petronas Yamaha SRT team have led a Yamaha dominated front row at the Gran Premio de Catalunya in Barcelona while the championship leader, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, will start from P17. Morbidelli took his maiden premier class pole position ahead of teammate Fabio Quartararo with future teammate and current Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider, Valentino Rossi completing the front row.

Morbidelli was upbeat about the race, saying, “It’s always difficult to beat Fabio on a hot lap, so I’m very happy about qualifying today. I was feeling great on the bike and I felt that I could push a lot, on both tyres as well.” He went on to comment about Rossi becoming his teammate for next season, adding, “I also want to congratulate Valentino on one more year in MotoGP and tell him that he is moving to a great team. It will be nice to have him as a team-mate.”

Australian Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) made the most of Q1, setting the fastest time in that session before going on to qualify fourth ahead of Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Johan Zarco (Esponsorama Racing).

Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) heads up the third row and looks to have strong race pace, as does Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) who lines up beside him. The third row is completed by the Ducati Team’s Danilo Petrucci, the fastest of the factory Ducati’s on the grid.

The second Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machine of Brad Binder lines up at the head of row four, with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Indemitsu) the second rider to make it through from Q1.

Dovizioso has the most to lose from this race starting from P17, the championship leader having trouble under brakes and not able to run at the front.

Image: Supplied

In Moto2 it was Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) back on pole position with a new lap record of 1m 43.355s, saying afterwards he expects a strong challenge from Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS). “I’m very happy to start from pole because it will be important tomorrow, but I think Speed Up and Sam are strong here so it won’t be an easy race.”
Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) broke the Kalex stranglehold for one lap pace to take second, with Misano podium finisher Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completing the front row. Crucially, Marini’s teammate Marco Bezzechi (Sky Racing Team VR46) starts back in sixth while Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) is starting from tenth.
Australian Remy Gardner (OneXOX TKKR SAG Team) qualified in tenth but will cop a six spot penalty after his crash in practice under yellow flags was penalised.

Moto3 featured another lap record for pole as Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) put in a 1m 47.762s lap for top spot. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) completed the front row and remarkably had identical lap times. The second fastest lap of Fernandez means that he took second spot.

Detailed results

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Official: Valentino Rossi to Petronas Yamaha SRT

‘The Doctor’ will leave the Yamaha factory team to partner Franco Morbidelli

It was the news the MotoGP world has been waiting for: Valentino Rossi will shift sideways at the end of the 2020 season, leaving the Yamaha factory outfit to see out his riding career at the satellite Petronas Yamaha SRT team.

The move will see seven-time premier class champion Rossi racing at the pinnacle of motorcycle racing at the age of 42, although it has been confirmed his long time mechanic crew of Alex Briggs and Brent Stephens will not be following the Italian legend to the independent team garage.

Rossi will partner his former protégé Franco Morbidelli and be riding a 2021 specification Yamaha M1 in the satellite team that was formed after Hervé Poncharal’s Tech 3 team signed with KTM. This year the Petronas team leads the teams championship courtesy of four podiums and three race wins. Former Moto2 World Champion Morbidelli, having claimed his maiden MotoGP win in the premier class at Misano several weeks ago, is a graduate of the VR46 Academy.

The move becomes a basic swap and will see Fabio Quartararo move into the factory Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team alongside Maverick Vinales.

This was the official response from the Yamaha Petronas team:

Razlan Razali, Petronas Yamaha SRT Principal: “On behalf of PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team and all its partners, it is an absolute honour to welcome Valentino Rossi – an iconic rider and legend into the team next year. His experience will be a great asset to the team as we move into our third season in MotoGP and we are sure we will be able to learn a lot from Valentino.
“At the same time, we will do our absolute best to assist him to be competitive to reward him for the trust he has in us as a team. We are humbled by this opportunity and ready to take on the challenge. We believe that the combination of Valentino and Franco will provide a truly formidable force on track to help us in our goal of being as competitive as possible together next year. We can’t wait!”

Johan Stigefelt – Petronas Yamaha SRT Director: “To be able to sign a rider like Valentino Rossi, for what will be only our third year in the MotoGP championship, is amazing. We have evolved from a Moto3 team to a Moto2 team to a MotoGP team in a short time frame and now to be leading the MotoGP teams’ championship and signing one of the greatest riders the sport has ever known is incredible.
“It has been a long time since Valentino was in a satellite team and we will try our best to help him feel like new again. We want to make sure that he feels comfortable in our team, which we trust in and believe in so much. Our target is to get even better as a team, help Rossi deliver the best results possible and make 2021 a memorable year.”

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Morbidelli fastest on Friday at Catalunya

News 26 Sep 2020

Morbidelli fastest on Friday at Catalunya

Lowes heads up Moto2, Gardner penalised

Image: Supplied

Petronas Yamaha SRT rider Franco Morbidelli has topped Friday free practice for the Gran Premio de Catalunya setting his quickest time in the afternoon session.

Morbidelli’s time of 1m 39.789s was enough to best the Ducati of Johan Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) by 0.109s in second. His hot lap came after a crash at turn ten, with the Italian admitting that his time was set on a soft tyre and he was not able to concentrate on a good setting for the full race distance. “I wanted to get the bike back to the pitbox to keep working with the used tyres, but unfortunately I was not able to. I changed my focus to the flying lap with soft tyres and was able to put in a quick lap,” commented Morbidelli.

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) finished third on the timesheets, making it three different manufacturers in the top three. Winner of last weeks event Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was solid in fourth while Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) was the fastest Honda, completing the top five.

Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) wasn’t able to go faster in the afternoon, setting the sixth fastest time of the day overall, which was also the fastest time of the morning session. Joan Mir (Team Ecstar Suzuki) was seventh quickest after crashing in the morning session, with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) in eighth. Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) showed more signs of improvement in ninth with Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) rounding out the top ten.

Once again, a swag of top riders face the pressure in FP3 to make the cut for Q2, including the Ducati’s of Jack Miller (Pramac Racing – 12th) and championship leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team – 15th)

Image: Supplied

In Moto 2, Great Britain’s Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) topped the timesheets ahead of Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46), who was two tenths behind. Both riders set their fastest lap in the morning with German Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) being fastest in the afternoon and third overall.
Australian Remy Gardner (OneXOX TKKR SAG Team), making his comeback after crashing at Misano, will be demoted six spots on the grid after being penalised by stewards for crashing under yellow flag conditions.

Spaniard Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) went fastest in the Moto3 class, 0.281s quicker than Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing). Last week’s winner Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) showed renewed confidence with the third best time, just over one tenth of a second behind Masia.

Detailed results

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

O’Halloran and Brookes in BSB title contention

News 23 Sep 2020

O’Halloran and Brookes in BSB title contention

Aussies sitting two and three in the standings with two rounds left to run.

The British Superbike Championship has two rounds left to run and we have two Australians in the hunt for the Superbike title. So far, the series has completed four of the six scheduled rounds, with the most recent being at Oulton Park. Only Donington Park and Brands Hatch remain, both on the Grand Prix circuit layouts. 
As we approach the pinnacle of the season, there a number of Australians well in title contention across multiple classes. Cycleonline gives you a run down on who to watch.

Image: Supplied

Superbike
No one rider has dominated the Superbike class this year with wins spread through the field. With no ‘Showdown’ format in this year’s COVID adjusted season, consistency is key. The season is made up of six rounds, all ‘triple-headers’, spanning 18 races.
Of the twelve races completed so far, there have been eight different winners. Early breakaway Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) has now come back to the field with only a two point gap to Jason O’Halloran with Josh Brookes in striking distance only a further eight points back. The 2020 Honda Fireblade is an all new machine for Irwin and the Honda team to develop – whereas his rivals O’Halloran and Brooks already have a season on the R1 and V4 R respectively.

BSB Superbike Championship Standing
1. 178      Glenn Irwin
2. 176      Jason O’Halloran
3. 168     Josh Brookes
4. 166     Christian Iddon

Jason O’Halloran – McAMS Yamaha – Championship position: 2nd
O’Halloran, from Wollongong, is in his second year on the McAMS Yamaha R1. Prior to 2019, the thirty-two year-old spent four seasons with the factory Honda squad. During that period he picked up fifteen podiums and a race victory, switching to the Yamaha in 2019 (the seat vacated by Josh Brookes as he moved to the PBM VisionTrack Ducati V4 R).  After an injury hit 2019 (which included a fractured humerus and a broken shoulder), this season has been consistent, finishing every race in the points and standing on the podium five times. After a double victory at Oulton Park last round, O’Halloran finds himself in the best position of his career to claim the BSB title.

Image: Supplied

Josh Brookes – VisionTrack Ducati – Championship position: 3rd
Having clinched the title in 2015 on the Milwaukee Yamaha, Brookes knows exactly what it takes to win the British Superbike Championship. Runner up in the title chase no less than four times makes him one of the most seasoned competitors on the grid, and he has often been cast as the villain in front of British fans. The Paul Bird Motorsport team is also one of the most experienced in the paddock, with the title being a two horse race between Brookes and teammate Scott Redding last year. This season, Brookes is as strong as ever having tasted victory at Snetterton and Oulton Park. Brookes’ teammate for 2020, Christian Iddon, looms as the other main title challenger.

Junior Supersport
Seth Crump – MSS Performance – Championship position: 2nd
Crump currently sits second in the Junior Supersport category, 36 points behind leader Owen Jenner. Having moved to England this year as dad Jason resumed his racing career in Europe, Seth has scored five podiums in his maiden BSB Junior Supersport season riding a Kawasaki Ninja 400 for the MSS Performance team. The category only has two races left to run at the Donington Park round so his title chance is slim, but either way it has been a great season so far.

Ducati TriOptions Cup
Levi Day – BPS Racing – Championship position: 2nd
Day scored a double victory at Oulton Park to take his 2020 win tally to three – but still sits in second spot in the standings, 26 points behind Josh Day. The TriOptions Cup is a one make series revolving around Ducati’s middleweight sportsbike, with both the V2 and Panigale 959 eligible for competition. Like Junior Supersport, there are only two races left in this category, to be held  at the Donington Park round, so it will be a big ask for Day to overhaul his namesake.

Other Australians in action in BSB
Ben Currie – Currie has endured a tough season to date and sits ninth in the standings, well out of title contention. As told to Cycleonline in a previous Conversation, Currie has been running a Kawasaki ZX-6R with a 636 engine, causing setup and reliability issues all year.
Tom Toparis – Toparis, racing a Yamaha R6 for Benro Racing, had his BSB campaign cut short after a massive highside at Donington Park National Circuit in August where he broke his wrist and has not been able to race since.
Billy McConnell – McConnell sits in fifth place in the Superstock 1000 class, riding a BMW S1000RR for the OMG Racing outfit. He has scored two podiums this year but a DNF at Silverstone and a 7-7 result at Oulton Park severely limit his title aspirations.
Brayden Elliot – Elliot is an experienced campaigner in the ultra-competitive Superstock 1000 class and posted his most successful BSB results to date at Oulton Park – picking up a well-deserved podium. He currently sits in 11th spot in the standings.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Davies scores first win of 2020 in Catalunya

News 21 Sep 2020

Davies scores first win of 2020 in Catalunya

Locatelli seals Supersport title with two rounds remaining.

Image: Supplied

Chaz Davies delivered for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team and claimed his first win of the 2020 season in race two at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya World Superbike round.

Davies became the seventh different rider to win a race this year, taking the chequered flag by 2.460s to Michael Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) while American rookie Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) claimed his maiden World Superbike podium.

“After yesterday and the Superpole Race a little bit, I was just constantly chasing something, and it was traction yesterday and it was zero,” commented Davies after the race. “First win as a dad, so I think it’s only right to dedicate this to my beautiful baby daughter and my wife.”

Van Der Mark had won the Tissot Superpole Race earlier in the day, which was also his first victory of season 2020. For Garrett Gerloff, his first ever podium was also the first time an American had stood on the World Superbike podium since Nicky Hayden in 2016. Gerloff very nearly made it a second placing after he passed Van Der Mark on the final lap, however a mistake let the Dutchman back through.

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) finished the race in fourth position and still managed to extend his championship lead to 51 points. Rea finished ahead of Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and crucially, main championship rival Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).

Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) recorded his best result of the season, finishing in seventh place ahead of Redding and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). Leon Haslam (Team HRC) was the only factory Honda on the grid after Alvaro Bautista had a technical issue on the sighting lap. Haslam went on to finish ninth with Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) rounding out the top ten. Jonas Folger (Bonovo Action by MGM Racing) continued his adjustment to World Superbike coming in at 11th.

Championship leader Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) extended his lead at the top of the standings with fourth place, finishing five seconds clear of Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team). Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) finished in sixth place after being passed by Sykes with just a couple of laps to go. Rea had lost ground at the start, but was able to regroup to finish in fourth place and take a 51 point lead into the next round at Magny-Cours.

Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) secured his best result of the season with seventh place as he showed more impressive pace, ahead of Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in eighth. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) was the sole Honda rider in Race 2 and finished in ninth, with Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) in tenth after losing lots of ground at Turn 1 at the start.

Image: Supplied

The World Supersport Champion has been crowned for 2020, with Andrea Locatelli bouncing back in race two to seal the title and take the race win. “It’s a dream! Until then you know it’s alive but it’s an incredible day. We work everywhere, every time very well and this is our objective. This is an incredible day and I don’t have any words but I’m very excited. Thanks to my guys because they work very hard every time and this is the result.”

Locatelli had started from pole position but found himself down in fifth place after the opening laps. It wasn’t until lap five that Locatelli began his charge, first passing Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) into turn one before he passed Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) a lap later.

Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished the race in second place and was joined by teammate Phillip Oettl on the podium, with Mahias getting past Oettl with a handful of laps to go but unable to close the gap to Locatelli.

In Supersport 300, Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki Motoport) claimed his and Japan’s first victory in WorldSSP300, taking the win from teammates Scott Deroue and Jeffrey Buis as MTM Kawasaki Motoport locked out the podium in race two.
A nasty collision between Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing), Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300) and race one winner Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) caused a brief distraction, ultimately allowing a run to the flag for Okaya. Australian riders Tom Bramich (Carl Cox-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) and Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGo Team) both failed to make it to the main event, with Bramich finishing seventh in the Last Chance Race and Edwards crashing out.

Detailed results

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Vinales holds steady for victory during Misano mayhem

News 21 Sep 2020

Vinales holds steady for victory during Misano mayhem

Bastianini takes out 10-lap restart in rain affected Moto2 race.

Image: Supplied

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider Maverick Viñales persevered through the mayhem of Misano to record a gritty victory in the Gran Premio dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini, the second race of the MotoGP double header held at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

The victory propels the Spaniard to equal second in the championship standings with 83 points, just one point shy of leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team). Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) took another podium in second place after starting from P11, with that result making him the other rider also on 83 points. Completing the podium was Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), who managed to turn around the fortunes of the Austrian manufacturer for week two – albeit with some help with attrition from the rest of the field.

When the lights went out it was Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) who took the hole shot, but his lead was short lived, moving back in the field until an unusual incident where a visor tear off blocked his air filter. This caused a lack of power to his Ducati and he had no choice but to retire from the race.

Out front, Viñales took the initiative, only to be overtaken by Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) on lap five. Bagnaia set a strong pace out front and looked to be on track for his maiden MotoGP victory, even though Viñales was slowly bridging the gap.
Bagnaia lost the front end with five laps remaining, blowing his chances of an almost certain victory.
“I managed the tyres for the last laps because I know that Maverick is very fast in the last part of the race. At the corner six I crashed and I didn’t know why. We studied the data and we saw that I didn’t do anything wrong, the lines were the same and the inclination too,” Bagnaia commented after the race.

Behind them, last weeks winner Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was working his way through the field as Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) tucked the front and collided with the Italian, with Morbidelli dead last but still able to continue.

Whilst Viñales was pushing at the front,  teammate Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was the next one down, crashing out of his 250th Grand Prix with Yamaha. Rossi remounted but eventually retired from the race.

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was another one to crash out of contention, all the while Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was edging his way forward. After the demise of Bagnaia, Viñales had a solid lead back to Espargaro and Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT). The fight for the podium was the focus, with Quartararo was showing a wheel to Espargaro but not able to find a way past, even incurring a warning for exceeding track limits. When Mir appeared within range, he struck first, cutting underneath Quartararo and making the move stick. Next he showed Quartararo how to dispatch of Espargaro at turn three, with El Diablo using the lesson to also get by Espargaro.

The final twist would come with one lap remaining as Quartararo was handed a Long Lap Penalty for exceeding track limits. He was well clear of Espargaro but didn’t take the penalty, meaning an extra seconds was added to his overall time, forfeiting the podium finish to Espargaro.

Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3) was a little further back, not able to take advantage of the Frenchman’s misfortune, and finished fifth. Three seconds behind him was Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Indemitsu), who was once again the best placed Honda in sixth. Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was just behind, taking his best result in the premier class so far and beating out the current championship leader, Andrea Dovizioso.

Morbidelli recovered from his early collision to finish ninth with the second factory Ducati of Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) routing out the top ten.

Ultimately, the weekend had somehow gone the way of Viñales, who becomes the sixth rider so far to win a race in the premier class during 2020.

Image: Supplied

Italtrans Racing Team’s Enea Bastianini has cut Luca Marini’s (Sky Racing Team VR46) title lead down to just five points after taking victory in the rain affected Moto2 race. Bastianini, who was leading before the rain stoppage, started well in the ten lap dash but Marini had the hole shot. The pair ran wide at turn four allowing Petronas Sprinta Racing’s Xavi Vierge through. Marini was back to fifth but Bastianini had retaken the lead by the end of the first lap. By two laps to go it was seven tenths separating Bastianini and Sky Racing Team VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi. Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was close behind, but Bastianini held his nerve and that’s the way they finished over the line. Marini took fourth, holding onto the championship lead with Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) in fifth.

Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) took victory in the Moto3 race from Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) by a slim margin of 0,036s. It was the first victory for Husqvarna and Fenati now becomes the most successful Moto3 rider, with a higher win count than Joan Mir. “The final lap was really crazy, in the last part of the track I thought immediately on the last lap that I didn’t know where they’d overtake me, it was a bit scary,” explained Fenati. “But the feeling with the bike was really good, we were really strong on braking, I’m really happy and now it’s important to be consistent and to always be strong.”
Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) completed and now moves to within two points of Albert Arenas’ (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3) championship lead.

In race two of the MotoE World Cup, Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) and the Italian has now won four of the five races in th category held at the venue.  The podium was filled by Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40). Just 15 points covers Ferrari, Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP), Torres and Casadei heading into the final round at Le Mans. Australian Josh Hook (Octo Pramac MotoE) crashed out of seventh, staying with the leading group with only two laps left to run.

Detailed results

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Vinales doubles up for pole and lap record at Misano part two

News 20 Sep 2020

Vinales doubles up for pole and lap record at Misano part two

Luca Marini on top in Moto2.

Image: Supplied.

Maverick Viñales and the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team have done it again, stealing pole position and a new lap record at the Gran Premio dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini – part two of the Misano MotoGP double header.

It was the third pole position of the season and three in a row at Misano for Viñales, who said he could feel the improvement from last weekend. “I struggled a lot on Friday and in FP3 especially in the first laps, but I was trying to work on race setup,” he commented. “I worked hard on race conditions and I hope it pays off tomorrow.”

Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) came within 0.076s of the factory Yamaha after having to fight his way into Q2 through Q1, with Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) taking third for the second week running.

Viñales slotted into top spot at the start of Q2, with Pecco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) close behind. Bagnaia eventually went faster  and held provisional pole until Viñales once again broke the record, with Bagnaia having one last shot only to be penalised for exceeding track limits. Had it of been legal, that lap would have beaten Viñales for pole. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) improved this week to fourth, up from eleventh the week before. Bagnaia ultimately took fifth, one spot ahead of Brad Binder on the second KTM Factory machine.

Heading row three is Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) with last weeks winner Franco Morbidelli just behind him. Danillo Petrucci (Ducati Team) was the first of the factory Ducati machines, ahead of teammate Andrea Dovizioso who had also had to battle through Q1. Both Suzuki’s are out of the top ten with Joan Mir in 11th and Alex Rins back in 18th.

Image: Supplied.

In Moto2 it was last weeks race winner and ultimate pole sitter Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) who got the job done again, clinching pole and also setting a new lap record of 1m35.271s in the process. His teammate Marco Bezzecchi was 0.036s behind with Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) rounding out the front row. Last weeks top qualifier Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), this week without penalty, will head the second row. Australian Remy Gardner (OneXOX TKKR SAG Team) is sitting out this race as he is recovering from surgery on his broken thumb, sustained in Sunday morning warm up last weekend.

In Moto3 Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez clinched his third pole position of the seaso, stealing the top spot with just 30 seconds remaining from local Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team). Italian Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) put in a late charge to complete the front row.

In MotoE World Cup action, Dominque Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP) survived a last lap battle to take the victory in race one from Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) and Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE), with all three covered by a tenth at the flag. Ferrari had crossed the line second, but was demoted one position to P3 for exceeding track limits on the final lap.

Australian Josh Hook (Octo Pramac MotoE) finished a credible eighth while frontrunner Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing), having made his way past Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadracorse) crashed out, taking out Xavier Simeon (LCR E-Team) with him at the tight turn four right-hander. With race one results determining the grid for race two, both will be starting from the back of the grid for tomorrow.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Rea extends points lead after Catalunya race one victory

Verdoïa takes shock WorldSSP victory in red flagged race.

Image: Supplied.

Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK rider Jonathan Rea has won the opening race of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to extend his championship lead to 41 points.

Starting from pole position and full of confidence from going quickest in the morning Tissot Superpole session, Rea took the lead as the lights went out, building a gap on the rest of the field. “It was super-good to win here. I had a lot of motivation in this race. It is my team’s home race and Ana Carrasco could not be here in the WorldSSP300 class, so this win was for her – and also for my Grandfather, as it is the 27th anniversary of his death today,” explained an elated Rea. “I was using this to give me power in the race, to never rest and never give up. I am super-happy for my team and me, because, literally, our workshops are located just behind the main grandstand. It is a happy day and I just wish the fans and families could be here to celebrate with us. We also have a lot of information for tomorrow, and I am looking forward to that one because in the last lap today the front was moving quite a lot. In this temperature at this grip level we just need a little bit more for tomorrow.”

Importantly for the championship, Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) finished in second place with teammate Chaz Davies completed the podium. Both were made to work hard starting from seventh and eleventh respectively, with Redding taking advantage of an ambitious move between Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team) and teammate Michael van der Mark at turn one. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GoEleven) and Redding battled in the early stages of the race but they were unable to catch Rea, who eventually won by 2.6s. Redding now holds second in the championship, saying, “During the race, the feeling with the bike was pretty good compared to what happened in qualifying. I got off to a good start and this allowed me to stay in the front group right away. In the first laps, I fought with Rinaldi who had the soft tyre and I lost some contact with Rea. I tried to recover but it was not possible. It was still a good race, a good result also for the team. Unfortunately, Jonny arrived in front of me but I still want to congratulate him for the race he did.”

Chaz Davies battled his way through the field to finish in third, ahead of van der Mark in fourth. After qualifying in third, Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) finished in fifth place with Razgatlioglu in sixth after the incident with Van Der Mark at turn one.

After earlier battling with Redding, Rinaldi finished in seventh after being passed by Davies, van der Mark and Bautista in the final laps. He finished ahead of Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)  with Leon Haslam (Team HRC) completing the top ten. Wildcard Jonas Folger (Bonovo Action by MGM Racing) battled his way through the field after not setting a time in qualifying, moving up from 21st to finish 12th.

In World Supersport Andy Verdoïa (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing) has become the first race winner from WorldSSP300 and also the youngest ever rider to win in World Supersport after taking out a red flagged race one due to a massive thunderstorm. As the rain pelted down, riders entered the pits but Verdoïa did not stop. He was the leader at the timing point the results were taken from and with more than two thirds race distance completed, full points were awarded. “It was incredible but I said keep calm, try to finish and maybe next lap there will be a Red Flag,” explained Verdoïa. “So, I continued, and I thought maybe I was in top ten but at the end it is a first place, I cannot believe it. It’s incredible.”

Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Kyle Smith (GMT94 Yamaha) completed the podium while Andrea Locatelli (Bardahl Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) finished in fourth after leading in dry conditions.

The track was still drying for the World Supersport 300 race but that didn’t stop Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) from claiming a dominant maiden victory by more than six seconds after starting from pole. In second was Frenchman Samuel di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) with 2017 champion Marc Garcia (2R Racing) in third.
Australian duo Tom Bramich (Carl Cox-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) and Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGo Team) both failed to advance from the Last Chance Race. With the top six making the main race, Bramich came home in a close seventh while Edwards failed to finish.

Detailed results

Image: WorldSBK

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Razgatlioglu fastest at Catalunya WorldSBK on Friday

News 19 Sep 2020

Razgatlioglu fastest at Catalunya WorldSBK on Friday

Rea tops wet second session.

Image: Supplied.

Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team rider Toprak Razgatlioglu ended day one fastest at a rain affected Acerbis Catalunya Round for the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship, with Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea the quickest in the wet afternoon session.

After placing tenth position in the wet session Razgatlioglu admitted he was becoming more comfortable, saying, “Maybe 10th position is not ‘good’, but I feel like I am riding better in these conditions! We are happy with today, everything is working really well in the team and I am enjoying my R1 very much here in Barcelona – maybe too much after FP1, as I made a big ‘stoppie’ for fun but Race Control were not so impressed, so I had to say sorry to them!”

Yamaha were able to capture the top three spots on the order courtesy of Pata Yamaha teammate Michael Van Der Mark and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team).

Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) was close behind in fourth and confident in the feedback he was getting from the Fireblade. “This afternoon I used the rain tyres for only the second time,” Bautista commented. At first the feedback on the wet track wasn’t great, but we made some changes to improve my feeling and pace during that session and to be honest, by the end, I was feeling quite confident also in the wet.”

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) completed the top five and was also fastest in the afternoon wet session.  Aragon race winner Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GoEleven) finished sixth with Rea’s teammate Alex Lowes putting the second factory Kawasaki in the top ten. Tom Sykes BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) finished in eighth with Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) left with some work to do as Loris Baz (Team Kate Racing Yamaha) rounded out the top ten.

MotoGP exile Jonas Folger (Bonovo Action by MGM Racing), who is currently also competing in the German IDM Championship, finished 15th after starting well early.

Image: Supplied.

World Supersport competitors were greeted with a dry morning track and damp in the afternoon, with Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) topping the combined timesheets after setting his fastest lap in the morning session.

Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) went second and also topped the second practice session ahead of Mahias. Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was third in the standings after the two practice sessions.

Andrea Locatelli (Bardahl Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) finished in fourth place overall and can mathematically clinch the title this weekend.
South African rider Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) finished in fifth place while Corentin Perolari (GMT94) completed the top six.

World Supersport 300 was also disrupted by rain in the afternoon with Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) topping the times after going fastest in the morning session in dry conditions. Group B riders were the first to venture on track this morning but riders from Group A made up the first three positions in the combined standings, with Ieraci leading Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki Motoport) and Championship leader Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki Motoport).

Inigo Iglesias Bravo (Scuderia Maranga Racing) was in fourth place overall for the day, almost matching both Meuffels and Buis on pace during the session and finished as the lead Group B rider for the day. Tom Bramich (Carl Cox – RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) posted a time of 1m 58.193s  and finished 19th in Group A, spending the morning learning the track layout. Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGo Team) was 17th in Group B with a time of 1m 58.423s.

Detailed results

Source: CycleOnline.com.au