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Bradley Smith fastest overall, Hector Garzo takes first E-Pole in FIM Enel MotoE World Cup testing

Bradley Smith fastest overall, Hector Garzo takes first E-Pole in FIM Enel MotoE World Cup testing

19/06/2019, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 29068283

Bradley Smith (One Energy Racing) may have missed Day 1 of the official FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup test in Valencia but the Brit made his presence felt on his return as he topped the timesheets with a 1:40.290 on Tuesday – just under a tenth faster than Hector Garzo (Tech 3 E-Racing). Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama) completed the top three on the combined timesheets, but it’s Garzo who will start from pole in Wednesday’s race simulation.

On Day 2 there were three sessions: one practice in the morning, one in the afternoon and an E-Pole qualifying session simulation in which riders do one fast lap each. That was held around mid-way through the action and Garzo took the honour of the first, simulated E-Pole, although Granado was close as he ended the session just 0.025 in arrears. That session alone decides the starting grid for the race, and it’s Niki Tuuli (Ajo MotoE) who will complete the front row.

Smith, although fastest overall, was fourth quickest in qualifying, ahead of Xavier Simeon (Avintia Esponsorama) and Nico Terol (Openbank Angel Nieto Team), but the Brit won’t be present for the race. Nevertheless, after a first ever run through of a race start on Tuesday – each taking grid positions and then blasting away to test the procedure – Wednesday’s simulation should be a thriller.

Overall, the last session was the one that decided the majority of the top ten on the combined timesheets. Both Smith and Garzo set their best efforts in that session, with Granado the only man in the top five who didn’t. The Brazilian’s fastest lap was his E-Pole lap, putting him ahead of late improvers Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse) and consistent frontrunner Tuuli. The three were covered by just 0.065.

Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was sixth fastest overall with his time from the morning, ahead of Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) and Maria Herrera (Openbank Angel Nieto Team), who both set their best efforts in the afternoon.

Simeon was ninth overall from his E-Pole lap, with Alex De Angelis (Octo Pramac MotoE) completing the top ten just 0.003 off the Belgian rider’s laptime. The gaps were tiny from ninth to 13th: Terol was 0.018 off De Angelis, Niccolo Canepa (LCR E-Team) was next up and only 0.004 down, with Randy De Puniet (LCR E-Team) in P13 only 0.007 off his teammate.

De Puniet, who crashed on Day 1, also went down on Tuesday. Josh Hook (Octo Pramac MotoE) missed the day’s action due to illness.

There remains another day of testing for the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup on Wednesday, including the race simulation.

The post Bradley Smith fastest overall, Hector Garzo takes first E-Pole in FIM Enel MotoE World Cup testing appeared first on MotoGP Brits.



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Tom Booth-Amos strong in Catalunya

Tom Booth-Amos strong in Catalunya

18/06/2019, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 29064259

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosted the seventh round of the MotoGP World Championship this weekend. Darryn Binder and Tom Booth-Amos had a great race with some pretty strong fights and points for the two CIP-GREEN POWER riders.

Tom Booth-Amos, who was discovering the Catalan track, struggled during the practices. Even if the British rider starts from 26th position, he makes a strong and consistent race. He gradually moves up, and avoid many incidents. He improved his lap times and made his best four tenths off the fastest lap of the race. He finished ahead of his teammate with a great 14th place, scoring his first points.

These performances have plenty to thrill Alain Bronec, owner of the team, for the next races in the Netherlands and then in Germany.

Tom Booth-Amos (14th):

“Overall, it was a very good weekend and positive. I injured my collarbone on Wednesday, so I was not expecting to be in that group. I started off strong in FP1. I’ve never been in this track, so I learned a lot, following some guys. The FP2 was good, but with the rain at the end, I missed the last run. In qualifying, I made a mistake and I had to start from P26. During the race, I learned a lot from the others. I’m happy as I was with the lead group. But in the last four laps, I struggled a lot with my collarbone. Hopefully we can carry this on to Assen. I’ve there before so we’ll try again.”

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Bradley Smith crashes out of Catalunya GP

Bradley Smith crashes out of Catalunya GP

17/06/2019, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 29060692

In a race conditioned by numerous crashes, a contact in a braking section took both Aleix Espargaró and Bradley Smith out of the action in the early stages.

Bradley Smith:

“I’m sorry about what happened today, even more so because Aleix was involved. Unfortunately, in that braking section the situation was a bit chaotic, as often happens during the first laps. I hope he will have a quick recovery. Right now, we need to work with our full potential to develop the RS-GP”.

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Jake Dixon DNF in Catalunya

Jake Dixon DNF in Catalunya

17/06/2019, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 29060693

Lorenzo Baldassarri lost his grip on the Moto2 World Championship lead today for the first time since his opening-round victory in Qatar, a crash in the Grand Prix of Catalunya combined with a third straight win for Álex Márquez allowing the home rider to take over. Márquez was joined on the podium at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya by Thomas Luthi and Jorge Navarro, with the same three riders now in the same order at the top of the championship. Augusto Fernández finished fourth after starting from pole for the first time, ahead of Enea Bastianini and Luca Marini.

Jake Dixon was left frustrated after a strong performance saw him battle in the middle group, only to be taken out by another rider in the final corner of the final lap. The Brit was on course for 20th position when he was wiped out with just metres to run until the line.

Jake Dixon (DNF):

“I’m really sore, with a lot of pain in my elbows. To be cleaned out by another rider in the last corner of the last lap, when we’re not even battling for the lead, is idiotic. It’s a joke. Too many people are riding dangerously out there. Apart from that, the bike was better today and the team are doing a great job. We’re all just frustrated now because of the actions of another rider.”

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#CatalanGP raceday roundup: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3

#CatalanGP raceday roundup: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3

17/06/2019, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 29060011

MotoGP

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took an impressive win in the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya on an expensive day for his key Championship rivals, with a dramatic multiple-rider crash near the start of the race creating some serious chaos. Marquez escaped that and in the aftermath it was Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) who emerged as his closest challenger, with the polesitter and French rookie cutting down the gap in the latter laps as he seared away from those on the chase. His second place makes him the second-youngest podium finisher in the MotoGP™ era, behind only Marquez, and he managed to pull two seconds clear of Mugello winner Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) to do it.

It was Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) who took the holeshot with another stunning start, this time from the second row, with Marquez pushed back into second and Quartararo then trying to send it around the outside of the reigning Champion. But he couldn’t quite make that stick and Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) capitalised to sweep through soon after. The number 12 then attacked Marquez to take over in second, with Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) making some serious ground up into fourth to fight for the podium.

Marquez hit back against Viñales on Lap 2 and it was shaping up to be a serious fight at the front, but that’s when the drama hit. Lorenzo went to attack Viñales just as Marquez attacked Dovizioso, and the number 99 then lost the front as the space ahead diminished. That set off a huge incident as the number 99 took down Dovizioso, then Viñales, and then Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) got caught too – with all four out the race. Marquez was clear of it, with Petrucci the man left in second, escaping the drama after having been passed by Rossi at the best time for one of them and the worst for the other.

Marquez was then able to pull the pin and extend the gap but the fight behind was on fire: Petrucci vs Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) vs Quartararo. First it was a duel behind the Italian before Rins then started looking for a way past Petrucci, attacking into Turn 1 and the Ducati defending to perfection in Turn 2. A couple of laps later it was a Rins and repeat, but the Suzuki man couldn’t make it stick.

He kept trying, but the next attempt was more costly. Running on and left heading over the Long Lap Penalty after dropping anchor to avoid Petrucci in Turn 1, the number 42 lost out and rejoined in sixth, behind his rookie teammate Joan Mir. That left him fighting to try and get back through, and left Quartararo with only one man in between himself and Marquez’ trail.

It didn’t take long; the Frenchman sliding up the inside of the Ducati to take over in second soon after. And then, he was in the same position as his fateful race in Jerez and wishing for more luck. Barcelona brought just that, with the number 20 then able to unleash his pace and push on after Marquez, immediately starting to cut the gap.

In the end, there weren’t enough laps left for a charge at the win, but the Frenchman made a little history regardless and a first rostrum finish is good payback for his incredible pace so far. Petrucci was around two seconds behind him but scored big for Ducati once again, with Rins taking fourth after managing to pass first Mir and then Jack Miller (Pramac Racing).

Miller was only two tenths behind him over the line, however, and the Australian’s P5 puts him back in the lead of the Independent Team standings. Behind them? Another small gap back to Joan Mir, who took sixth and his best rookie result yet, two better than his season opening P8 in Qatar.

Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) continues his consistency in seventh and took more solid points, ahead of Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu). Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) took P9 and his best of 2019 so far, as Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) did the same and completed the top ten.

Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and Suzuki test rider Sylvain Guintoli (Team Suzuki Ecstar) were the remaining finishers in a serious race of attrition, with fallers outside the huge incident near the start including Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT), Francesco Bagnaia) and Bradley Smith (Aprilia Racing Team), who made contact with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) on Lap 1 and both crashed out.

Moto2

Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) took a third magnificent win in a row in the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, moving through from sixth on the grid to unleash his pace at the front and pull clear in another dominant performance. It’s the first time the number 73 has ever taken three successive victories and after a crash in Barcelona for former points leader Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) as well, Marquez now heads the standings by seven points. The man trailing him is Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP), who took another podium and valuable 20 points to move back into second in the Championship, with Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) back on the podium in third.

Lüthi took the holeshot as the veteran screamed away from the line, with Marquez almost running into trouble in the early stages and remaining sixth. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team), Fabio Di Giannanontio (HDR Heidrun Speed Up), Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), polesitter Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40) and Lüthi were the men in between him and the lead, and in the first few laps at least, Lüthi and Fernandez were pushing hard to make a gap at the front.

First the number 73 took Bastianini, then Di Giannantonio, and then Lowes as ‘Diggia’ followed him through as well. Next up was the task of cutting down the gap to the front, and the 2014 Moto3™ Champion set about doing that. Fernandez then attacked Lüthi for the lead, and that brought Marquez right into play in the front trio.

Lüthi took it back soon as he attacked into Turn 1 and the three stayed close, but it wasn’t long after that that drama hit further back as Baldassarri binned it at Turn 10, making the fight for the win the fight for the Championship lead. Lüthi tried to pull away, but Marquez then saw the Swiss rider struggling and made his move.

Once past, the Spaniard wasn’t able to immediately pull away but little by little he was able to extend the gap and make it his race to lose. Pitch perfect from then on, Marquez made zero mistakes and heads home with a seven point lead. Lüthi was his trademark consistent self to take 20 more points and move back into second overall, staying out the clutches of Navarro.

After a tougher round at Mugello, Speed Up rider Navarro was back on top form in Catalunya, unleashing more of his now-trademark late race pace as he was able to get past Fernandez. But the polesitter nevertheless impressed with his P4, making a good dent in the frontrunners once again.

Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) was top rookie once again in P5, another race to remember for the Italian. Compatriot Di Giannantonio, after his early pace, crashed out. Behind Bastianini’s rather lonely ride, Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) won a battle royal to take P6, ahead of Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Intact GP), Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Sam Lowes in P9. Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) had a top finish a little further back in P10.

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) beat Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team) to the line by hundredths, with Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46), Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) and Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completing the points.

Moto3

Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) made sure more history was made in the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, with the Spaniard escaping from a dramatic and chaotic fight to win his first race and make it 12 different winners in a row. It’s also therefore seven different winners in a row this season, and the first time that’s ever happened in the first seven races of the lightweight class. Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) took a valuable second place to extend his Championship lead, with impressive rookie Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) taking some tips from the boss to secure third with a stunning, Rossi-esque final corner move.

Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) took the holeshot from third on the grid, but fast-starting Canet shot through from fifth on the grid to attack quickly for the lead – and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) soon followed suit. Polesitter Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) dropped to seventh as the field shuffled through the first lap, and the first man to lose out in what would go on to be a race of attrition was Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) as the Japanese rider went down early.

The race was a classic Moto3™ melee, but in the early stages it was Dalla Porta in charge at the front of the big group. The Italian looked like a serious threat until heartbreak suddenly hit with 18 laps to go as the number 48 suffered a mechanical problem around Turn 13, forced to pull off and losing some serious ground in the Championship.

Marcos Ramirez was the new man in the lead, but there was more drama just around the corner. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) triggered a multiple-rider incident at Turn 4, with Albert Arenas (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team), teammate Raul Fernandez, Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Vicente Perez (Reale Avintia Arizona 77) and Filip Salac (Redox Pruestel GP) all caught up in it and out of the race.

There had been a group of seven riders in the lead group with 15 laps to go, but the group got bigger over the next few laps until the top 15 were back in a freight train. And it soon lost another member, with Arbolino, incredibly, also suffering a mechanical problem and the Mugello winner dropping back and then heading back into pitlane. The top 18 were within an awesome 2.7 seconds as the last laps appeared on the horizon, but there was more drama to come. Next it was Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) crashing out with eight laps to go, and then it was polesitter Rodrigo a few laps later – with Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) going down with him.

That left Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) leading the battle for supremacy, with the Qatar GP winner having put in a stunner to slice through the chaos from P24 on the grid. He managed to stay there too, and was the man with the target on his back heading onto the last lap. Canet and Lopez made for close company however, and as Canet then went for a move to attack at Turn 10, Toba suddenly slid out in another bout of heartbreaking drama.

Canet went a little wide, Lopez did the same, and Ramirez took his opportunity almost immediately. Cutting past into the lead, the Spaniard just had a few corners to go to win his first ever Grand Prix. Into the final corner though it looked like Canet was going to try and recreate the famous Valentino Rossi move from a decade ago, but he thought better of it and slotted back in behind Ramirez. Just behind them, however, Vietti went for it.

As Ramirez blasted clear of Canet towards his first win, the Sky Racing Team VR46 rider just behind them kept it pinned on the inside and managed to pull it off with serious style, taking his third podium and second of the season…from 21st on the grid!

Behind Lopez, Dennis Foggia (Sky Racing Team VR46) completed the top five, ahead of Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) taking his best ever finish in P6 after his stellar qualifying. Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) finished seventh, with Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) heading compatriot Ryusei Yamanaka (Estrella Galicia 0,0) just behind. Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PruestelGP) completed the top ten.

Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) scored some valuable points in P11 after starting near the back following a penalty, and the Italian had even fought for the lead before running wide with a few laps to go. Wildcard Carlos Tatay (Fundacion Andreas Perez 77) took points in P12, just ahead of John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing).

The Scot fought at the front throughout and in the podium battle until Turn 10 on the final lap, when he suffered a highside…and then a miracle save. Somehow staying on, it was an incredible sight and feat. Tom Booth-Amos (CIP – Green Power) scored his first points in P14, ahead of teammate Darryn Binder after the South African rejoined.

A true melee in stunning Moto3™ style, the chaos of the Catalan GP leaves Canet a valuable 23 points clear at the top of the standings heading into Assen. Will the Spaniard pull off more top tactics there? Find out in two weeks.

The post #CatalanGP raceday roundup: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 appeared first on MotoGP Brits.



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Cal Crutchlow slides out for contention for Barcelona podium

Cal Crutchlow slides out for contention for Barcelona podium

17/06/2019, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 29059759

The MotoGP Grand Prix of Catalunya in Barcelona saw just 13 finishers from 24 starters, with track temperatures soaring in the afternoon sun, and grip levels at a premium. Despite the treacherous conditions, LCR Honda CASTROL man Cal Crutchlow stoically fought his way back from a difficult start to the race, to find himself in fifth with six laps to go, within one second of second place and in with a serious shot at the podium.

Attacking his former team-mate Jack Miller in front of him, the British star unfortunately lost control of his factory Honda RC213V, sliding out of the attritional battle unharmed. At the time of his crash Crutchlow was one of the fastest men on track, and had managed his tyre life to perfection.

Crutchlow and his LCR Honda CASTROL Team stay at Barcelona for a one-day test on Monday, ahead of the Dutch TT at Assen in two weeks’ time.

Cal Crutchlow – DNF
“The crash was completely my own fault. I was trying to pass Jack (Miller) and I locked the rear with the rear brake, one of the problems we have had this weekend on corner entry. There was always a possibility of it doing it if I went in hard on Jack, but I had to try to pass him because there was a chance of a podium, so I went down fighting for it at least. I’m disappointed about that, but we are at least pleased with the pace in the race, because at the point I crashed I was one of the fastest out on track, which hasn’t been the case of late. I found a better feeling and found that I am able to push the bike in certain ways, so we are pleased with what happened up to that point. What I take from the race is we had a great pace today and I hope we can take that to Assen in a couple of weeks’ time.”

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John McPhee on fine fighting form in eventful Catalan GP

John McPhee on fine fighting form in eventful Catalan GP

17/06/2019, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 29059439

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Moto3 rider John McPhee had an eventful race at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit.

Following a great race start, John was in contention for the victory and led the way for several laps, but on the final time around the track – when in fifth place – he took action to avoid a massive highside. Remarkably keeping upright, he crossed the line in 13th place. After the first seven races of the season, McPhee is 9th in the Moto3 World Championship, with a total of 47 points.

The next race for the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing team will be the Dutch GP at Assen, on June 28th-30th.

#17 John McPhee
“I’m a little frustrated with the final result, because during the whole race I gave my all. I felt very comfortable and the team did a fantastic job this weekend, so I have to thank them. I felt very good throughout the race, and was managing my pace well. When two or three riders passed me, I was able to quickly recover those positions. In a race you usually want to lead and be at the front, but you have to be careful on the brakes when there are so many riders in the front group.
What happened on the last lap was my mistake; it was frustrating, but I have to take away the fact that I was able to make the save and that I was consistent all weekend – especially today. I honestly don’t know how I managed to save that highside, but the important thing is that I did, and that I was able to finish the race in the points. I’m not happy with the result but I’m pleased about my pace. I’m looking forward to Assen.”

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Jake Dixon continues to improve in Catalunya

Jake Dixon continues to improve in Catalunya

16/06/2019, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 29056216

Augusto Fernández continues to impress in the Moto2 World Championship, after securing a maiden front row start in Spain he was back on home soil to set his first pole position today in Barcelona. Fernández will be joined on the front row by Thomas Luthi and Sam Lowes, with Spanish pair Jorge Navarro and Álex Márquez looking to take down series leader Lorenzo Baldassarri – seventh fastest today – from the second row in fourth and sixth respectively.

Jake Dixon and Xavi Cardelús continued with their recent improvements, qualifying on the ninth and tenth rows of the grid respectively at the Grand Prix of Catalunya. The British rider finished just over half a second off factory KTM rider Brad Binder on just his second day riding at the Circuit de Barcelona – Cataluña, and he is hoping to gather more useful data to improve from with a strong race tomorrow.

26th Jake Dixon 1:45.505:

“We are improving the bike and my feeling with it. We have found a good way forward from the first session this weekend and we are moving step by step. The team found a good set-up for qualifying and that helped me on track. We are closer to the factory riders so I am happy because we are improving with every day we spend on the bike. I am adapting my style to help the situation too. Hopefully tomorrow we can have a good race and gather some more important data.”

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Sam Lowes back on the front row in Catalunya

Sam Lowes back on the front row in Catalunya

16/06/2019, International, Motorcycling, Moto GP, Article # 29056183

There is a smile back on Sam Lowes’s face as today at Montmeló, the venue hosting the seventh round of the 2019 Moto2 World Championship, as the Briton is back within the Parc Fermé at the end of qualifying. This is Lowes’s third first-row qualifying of the year after the ones claimed in Argentina and USA.

Despite the good feelings in the morning – he was third in the combined FP results after the third session – the man from Lincoln only managed to snatch a front-row start at the very last moment after a session that saw him struggling especially in the last sector.

With 15 riders within 7 tenths every millisecond counted, so Lowes will line up on the front row of the #CatalanGP grid courtesy of a 1’44.199secs time – which was only 29 thousandths of a second shy of pole position.

Sam Lowes:

“We have a good pace and I know we can put up a fight tomorrow. Things weren’t easy today in qualifying as in the early laps I wasn’t feeling fully comfortable, but then little by little I managed to improve. We’ve been working very well together this weekend so this front row is very important ahead of tomorrow. It will be a big group of riders at the front, but still it was crucial to be there, too. We still have something to fix tomorrow morning in the warm up in order to be quicker in the last sector, but we’re eager and ready to do well.”

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