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Archive for October, 2016

2nd Career MotoGP win for Cal Crutchlow @ Phillip Island

23 Oct

Photos: MotoGP.com and MM93.com

Team LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow has taken a stunning second GP win at Phillip Island, as the Brit kept calm and kept his gap at the front ahead of P2 finisher Valentino Rossi, with Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Viñales completing the podium.

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There were no miracle starts for those frontrunners starting further back for the Australian GP, with Jorge Lorenzo getting the best from P12 to move up to P9, and teammate Valentino Rossi gaining two places to P13 – with Maverick Viñales moving up only one. It was Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) who got the holeshot P3 on the front row, with polesitter Marquez the biggest loser off the line – before the 2016 MotoGP World Champion swept back around the outside of Doohan Corner to take back P2 and then fight off Espargaro through Lukey Heights and down into T10. Once at the front, the Motegi and Aragon winner set off in his rhythm – soon seconds clear.

The fight for P2 between Crutchlow and Aleix Espargaro saw the Brit emerge on top, as Rossi was charging through the field – picking off Pol Espargaro and Andrea Dovizioso as the rider from Tavullia entered podium contention, then setting his sights on Aleix Espargaro and soon getting past.

Nearly three seconds clear at the front, there was suddenly a Repsol Honda sliding through the gravel at Turn 4 – and Marc Marquez was out of the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Crutchlow then found himself in the lead, hoping the 2014 flashback for Marquez wouldn’t touch him after a last lap crash two years ago – as Rossi began his hunt for the LCR machine, over two seconds back but on an amazing roll from P15 on the grid. As the British rider continued pulling away, Rossi than got a warning shot at Turn 4 that saw him run deep and lose ground, as the new fight for the final podium spot saw Aleix Espargaro locked in battle with Dovizioso – and Viñales soon getting involved.

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After swapping positions in a three-way fight, Turn 4 then claimed another victim as Aleix Espargaro lost his Suzuki machine with 5 laps to go, and teammate Viñales broke the resolve of Dovizioso to take the final place on the podium and head the Italian home.

After his storming start, Pol Espargaro took a solid result as he crossed the line in P5, ahead of a struggling Jorge Lorenzo – who was unable to make up big ground after his good start.

Further back saw Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci leading a seven rider fight for P7 of home hero Jack Miller, Hector Barbera, Stefan Bradl, Bradley Smith and Nicky Hayden.

‘Kentucky Kid’ Hayden, standing in for injured Dani Pedrosa at Repsol Honda, put in an impressive one-off return to his 2006 championship winning colours as he battled well within the points, before Miller took Turn 4 a little overenthusiastically and Hayden was the casualty, sliding out.

Hector Barbera was another crasher, leaving Redding to lead compatriot Bradley Smith over the line for P7, with the top ten completed by Petrucci and Miller. As well as the solid result for Miller, fellow Australian Mike Jones scored a point on his Avintia Racing machine as he replaced Hector Barbera, impressing once again.

Another Independent Team win in 2016, another win for Cal Crutchlow, and a little glimpse of the old Marquez. A fight back from outside the top ten to make the podium – for both the bikes who crossed the line behind the Brit – and some spectacular racing at Phillip Island once again. Next up is Sepang International Circuit – and another chapter of an incredible 2016.

 
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Historic 65th pole for Marc Marquez @ Phillip Island

22 Oct

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Marc Marquez delivered another incredible performance in this afternoon’s qualifying session at Phillip Island, taking his 37th pole in MotoGP and the 65th in his career, which is also the new historical record, at just 23 years of age. It’s also Marc’s seventh pole of 2016, meaning that the Spaniard has already won the BMW M Award for the best-qualifying MotoGP rider of the season, as he has done every year since entering the premier class.

Nicky Hayden took an impressive seventh position after displaying a very competitive pace in all conditions and during all of the sessions, including a P1 in FP4.

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The day started with Marc topping FP3, which was held in mixed conditions, while Hayden finished the session with the eighth-best lap time, which put him directly into Q2. FP4 began in dry conditions, which unfortunately didn’t last long, and the session was red-flagged due to heavy rain with 19 minutes remaining, with Hayden leading the way. The session resumed 25 minutes later on a wet track, meaning that nobody was able to improve and the American remained on top, with Marquez in second (though quickest on rain tyres).

When QP2 started at 16:05, weather forecasts were threatening heavy rain in the next few minutes, but it stayed away for the entire session. Marc’s perfect tyre strategy saw him starting the session on an intermediate/intermediate tyre combination and immediately entering the pit to change to full slicks. He was the first one to take the gamble in the changeable conditions, a tactic that allowed him to put in a series of fast laps that nobody else was even able to approach.

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Considering the limited amount of dry track time that the riders experienced during the weekend, Race Direction decided to extend the length of Sunday’s morning warm-up session to 30 minutes.

 
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Next Bike Sdn Bhd Launches 2016 Editions of Ducati Motorcycles

21 Oct

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BETTER LATE THAN NEVER… for Ducati motorcycles in Malaysia as the franchise holder in the country, Next Bike Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Naza Group, is very late in making the 2016 editions of the Italian marquee available for Malaysian riders, having launched the 5 models today.

These bikes were announced almost a year ago by Ducati Bologna during the 2015 EICMA Show held in Milan, Italy, and the 2016 version of the event will be held at the same venue just 2 weeks away.

The 5 motorcycles launched are the 959 Panigale, Monster 1200 R, Multistrada 1200 Enduro, XDiavel and Multistrada 939.

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Marc Marquez wins race and 2016 MotoGP World Championship in Japan

16 Oct

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Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez took his first-ever MotoGP win at Twin Ring Motegi on Honda’s home asphalt, securing the 2016 MotoGP title. At 23-years old, Marquez is now the youngest ever rider to win three premier-class World Championship titles and five World Championships over all classes during a period of only nine years of World Championship racing. Marquez has now equalled Mick Doohan, Jorge Lorenzo and Toni Mang’s tally of 5 World Titles in his career.

Marc got off to a brilliant start and immediately engaged in a fight for the lead with Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. On the second lap he overtook the Italian at turn eight and began to pursue Lorenzo, taking over the lead on lap four.

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He immediately showed that he had the rhythm and speed to make a breakaway, putting in a series of laps in the 1’45 range and pulling a half-second gap on his countryman. Lap six brought the first major turn of events, as Rossi fell at turn seven and was forced to retire. Marc continued stretching his lead until Lorenzo also slid off, with five laps remaining.

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With his fifth win of 2016 and the 55th in his career (across all classes), Marc became the youngest rider in the history of the sport to earn five World Championships (125cc in 2010, Moto2 in 2012 and MotoGP in 2013, 2014 and 2016).

Marc is also the only rider in any class to score points at every race so far this year. Today’s victory also extended Honda’s lead in the Constructors World Championship to 28 points, and it is the sixth Honda victory in the last eight races.

Hiroshi Aoyama stepped in to replace Dani Pedrosa (who broke a collarbone in a fall on Friday and underwent successful surgery the following day) just on Saturday morning, and today he scored a single final point for his 15th-place finish.

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Marc Marquez 2016 World Championship facts so far:

– Marquez is the youngest-ever rider to win three premier-class World Championship titles, at the age of 23 years 242 days, taking the record from Mike Hailwood who was 24 years 108 days when he won his third successive 500cc title in 1964.

– Marquez is also the youngest rider of all-time to reach the milestone of five world championship titles, taking the record from Valentino Rossi who was 24 years 238 days old when he won his fifth title – the 2003 MotoGP championship.

– Marquez won all his three MotoGP Titles riding for Honda, equalling the number of premier-class title achieved by Valentino Rossi when riding for Honda (1 x500cc + 2 x MotoGP). The only rider who has won more premier-class world title riding for Honda is Mick Doohan who won the 500cc title on five occasions.

– There is only another Spanish rider with more World Titles than Marquez and Lorenzo: Angel Nieto with thirteen world championship titles (7 x 125cc, 6 x 50cc).

– With his win in Japan Marquez has won a Grand Prix at least five times per season for the last seven years (across the various GP classes), something achieved previously by only two riders in the 68-year history of motorcycle grand prix racing: Giacomo Agostini and Mike Hailwood.

– During 2016 Marquez has had more wins than any other rider in the MotoGP class (five), most podiums (eleven) and most pole positions (six).

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