Category Archives: Teams

The Alpine Elf Europa Cup heads towards 2019!

Following its successful two-year renaissance, the Alpine Elf Europa Cup is planning a promising 2020 season with a revitalised calendar and new incentives to offer drivers unique opportunities to move up the motor racing pyramid.

A month after the season-finale at Circuit Paul Ricard, preparations have already begun for the 2020 Alpine Elf Europa Cup.

More than a dozen drivers have expressed their intention to return to take their revenge, like Marc Guillot and Junior category winner Mattéo Herrero. Gentleman drivers like Pierre Macchi and Marc Sevestre have also stated their desire to show the progress they’ve made in this ever-competitive field set to be reinforced with new French and foreign teams who want join the action.

One week before the prize-giving ceremony last Friday in Paris, some returned to the track at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours for two days of testing, joined by new faces at the wheel of the Alpine A110 Cups like the promising Lilou Wadoux.

At the same time, Alpine and Signatech, the organizers of the Alpine Elf Europa Cup have revealed the key points for the 2020 season.

THE 2020 CALENDAR REVEALED

An FIA sanctioned international series, the Alpine Elf Europa Cup has been a big hit with motorsport fans in its first two seasons supporting the renaissance of the Alpine brand.

The 2020 season will make the most of this asset with a 12-race, six-round calendar featuring on the same bill with major professional championships.

The season will, once again, kick-off at Circuit Paul-Armagnac de Nogaro (France) followed by Circuit Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), before heading to the first of two new stops on the calendar: Misano (Italy).

After the summer break, the action will resume in Barcelona (Spain), then at Circuit Paul Ricard (France) before an all-new season-finale for the Alpine A110 Cups at Portimao (Portugal).

The weekend format will also return with an extremely advantageous total track time of three hours while two drivers can still share the same Alpine A110 Cup at the same meeting.

A MORE COMPLETE ALPINE A110 CUP

For 2020, Signatech will next year introduce two technical updates designed to increase customer and owner satisfaction to the highest level.

As with the GT4 version, the Alpine A110 Cup will feature a major gearbox improvement to increase reliability and offer the possibility to compete in endurance races outside the Alpine Elf Europa Cup. In addition, updated engine wiring will be deployed to include “military” quality elements.

The price of a new Alpine A110 Cup will remain at 115,000€ +vat, to which 5,000€ will be deducted if it enters the 2020 season.

ATTRACTIVE PRIZE PACKAGE

Once again, next year, 160,000€ will be up for grabs throughout the season across the three categories: General, Junior and Gentleman.

The 2020 Alpine Elf Europa Cup title winner will receive an Alpine A110 road car or a prize valued at 50,000€ +vat if he wants to defend his crown or move up the racing ladder behind the wheel of an Alpine A110 GT4.

The highest placed driver in the Junior category will have the choice between a test with the Signatech Alpine Elf LMP2 team and the Alpine A470 or a prize of 20,000€ to fight for the overall title in 2021. The Gentleman category laureate will receive a test in the Alpine A110 GT4 and a 10,000€ bonus.

Furthermore, entered drivers will receive a package of products and services included in their entry: driver suit and Alpine apparel, access to the Alpine Elf Europa Cup hospitality area, communication, technical support from Signatech (chassis), Oreca (engine) and Michelin (tyres), the presence of a spare parts shop at the events…

With more than 100 days to go before the start of the 2020 season, everything has come together to propose a more competitive campaign with the emergence of specialists and the arrival of new competitors determined to win with Alpine!

2020 Calendar

April 11-13: Nogaro (France) – FFSA GT
June 5-7: Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) – GT Open
July 3-5: Misano (Italy) – GT World Challenge Europe
September 4-5: Barcelona-Catalunya (Spain) – 24 Hours of Barcelona
October 2-4: Le Castellet (France) – FFSA GT
October 16-18: Portimao (Portugal) – ELMS

Schedule

Free practices: 2×40 minutes per meeting
Qualifying sessions: 2×20 minutes per meeting
Races: 2×25 minutes + 1 lap per meeting
Total track time: 3 hours per race weekend

In numbers

Alpine A110 Cup : 115,000 € +vat 1
2020 season entry fee: 20,000€ +vat 2
Entry per event: 4,000€ +vat
Bonuses and awards: 160,000€

1 A 5,000€ spare parts package offered with the 2020 season entry.
2 2,000€ deducted if three rounds minimum have been contested in 2019.

Alpine A110 Cup

Weight: 1,050 kg
Chassis: Aluminium monocoque
Engine: 4 cylinders 1.8L 16v with 270hp
Gearbox: 3MO Sequential 6-speed
Differential: Self-locking limited slip
Wheels: Aluminium, 9×18’’ (Front) and 10×18’’ (Rear)
Tyres: Michelin 25-64×18 (Front) and 27-65×18 (Rear)
Brakes: 6 Brembo calipers (Front) and 4 calipers (Rear), ABS Bosch
Safety: Custom seat with Sabelt six-point roll cage
Steering wheel: XAP with integrated paddle shifter
Tank: FIA FT3 homologated, 95 litres
Other: Adjustable traction control

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS agrees new two-year partnership with Total

The successful partnership between Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS and French energy giant Total will continue in 2020 and 2021 after a new two-year deal was agreed for both the Moto2 World Championship and MotoE World Cup.

Total has worked closely with Marc VDS since it first entered Grand Prix racing back in 2010 in Moto2 but this new agreement extends to the MotoE World Cup, which is the exciting new zero emission series contested for the first time this year.

The support of Total has been a key ingredient in helping the Belgium-based team win three world titles in the Moto2 class with Tito Rabat in 2014, Franco Morbidelli in 2017 and most recently with Alex Márquez in 2019.

The partnership between Total and Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS has not only been a success because of their shared values and professional excellence, but they have collaborated closely together in research and development of fuels to keep them at the forefront of competition in Moto2.

The long-standing relationship with Total extends far beyond a typical sponsor agreement, with experience and passion breeding success that everyone will be working immensely hard to replicate in Moto2 and MotoE.

MARC VAN DER STRATEN, Team Owner:

“This new agreement is undoubtedly great news and confirmation that our union with Total is the result of a long and solid relationship between two parties who have learned to know and appreciate each other. The unconditional support for each other over ten years is proof of this. Total has trusted us over the years and we have responded to this trust with three World Championships. It is undoubtedly a pleasure to continue this fruitful relationship with which we hope to continue to add good results.”

PIERRE GAUTIER CALONI, Vice President Total Sponsoring & Motorsport:

“We are delighted to renew our relationship and trust with Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS after ten years of a successful partnership that has resulted in winning three world titles. We share the values of Marc VDS, especially in terms of loyalty and ambition and they are undoubtedly the perfect companion for us in Moto2. In addition, we are doubly pleased as our commitment to Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS is extended to the MotoE category as Total goes beyond the current framework of fuel and lubricant supplier and becomes involved in other areas related to mobility, especially in the electrical sector, prodiving fluids dedicated to hybrid and electric vehicles.”

GREAT PACE DESPITE CHALLENGES FOR DS TECHEETAH IN DIRIYAH

DS TECHEETAH had another tough day in Diriyah, with a podium in sight for Antonio Felix Da Costa before a drive through penalty saw him finish in P10. Team-mate Jean-Éric Vergne had to change his battery following a crash earlier in the morning, forcing him to start at the back of the grid, he eventually finished P8.

The second race of Season Six saw a thrilling first half of the day with Antonio topping the qualifying group. Sending his DS E-TENSE FE20 flying in the super pole session, he slightly overshot it and started in P5 to show off some suave moves up to P2 before his penalty.

Mark Preston, DS TECHEETAH Team Principal:

“Today looked really bright for Antonio after qualifying so it’s a real shame that he couldn’t repeat his win here from last year. Both drivers have proven what we can do and that we have pace, Jean-Éric even overtook two cars in one go, twice, during the last couple of laps so on this front we’re not worried.

Once we knew that Jean-Éric was going to start from the back, the engineers came up with an all-ornothing strategy and it panned out in the end. Although it would have been nice to have more points leaving here, all points count for something and it’s good to have some on our roaster. We know how long this season is and there is plenty of opportunity to recover in the championship standings.”

Xavier Mestelan Pinon, DS Performance Director:

“This result today is certainly far from our goal. It’s even one of the toughest scenarios we could imagine. Nevertheless, there are two things to take from the start of this championship, our drivers showed that we have a very good car in qualifying as well as in the race, which will allow us to target victories. But for that, we will have to avoid making any further mistakes – this will be our top priority in Santiago.”

Jean-Éric Vergne, #8

“The race was always going to extremely difficult today as I had a huge penalty placing me at the back of the grid plus a 10-seconds stop and go. Due to the safety car, I managed to join the pack and head up to eleventh place in the end. It was a lot of fun overtaking those guys and I had a great moment when I overtook two cars in one corner two laps in a row, so I had my fun but it’s not the positive I wanted to take from a weekend like this. We’re going go back home and re-group, work really hard and come out of this difficult moment together.”

Antonio Felix Da Costa, #10

“Even though we didn’t end where we wanted, there are a lot of positives from today. Being quickest in free practice, qualifying and working our way up the pack up to second and fighting for the race win is a really good sign that we have good pace and an efficient powertrain. It also shows that we have a very good weapon to fight with this season. Unfortunately, I had a drive through penalty for an incident early in the race that in my opinion it was impossible to avoid. Nevertheless, I’m feeling really confident and look forward to the next race.”

DENIZ ÖNCÜ TO JOIN RED BULL KTM TECH3 IN 2020

The young Turkish rider Deniz Öncü is set to give his full-time Moto3 debut in the upcoming season lining up alongside Ayumu Sasaki in Red Bull KTM Tech3’s new Moto3 project. The 16-year old talent is already looking back to some strong results in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, fighting for the title in 2018. The same year and in 2019, he competed in the FIM CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship and gathered first experiences in the Moto3 World Championship.

Deniz Öncü

“I’m very happy to step up to the Moto3 World Championship with Red Bull KTM Tech3. It’s a dream coming true, as I was always wishing to ride here full time. I want to improve in each race next year and I will do my very best to make this happen. Plus, I target to reach the points scoring positions and ride consistently. A huge thank you to Hervé Poncharal for giving me this chance!”

Hervé Poncharal Team Manager

“Finally, we can announce the complete line-up of our Red Bull KTM Tech3 Moto3 team and we are very proud to say that Deniz Öncü will be teammate to Ayumu Sasaki. This is going to be a very exciting season for all of us in Moto3, as these two riders are very young, have a very high potential and are promising future Champions. But it’s also going to be interesting for us, because for the first time ever, Tech3 will be entering the Moto3 class. We know this is a very crucial category for KTM, as I know they are working very hard on the new bike and it will be another very exciting and hopefully successful project for Red Bull KTM Tech3.”

Moto GP World Championship – Valencia Grand Prix

Endgame in Spain

Two weeks after winning the Moto2 World Championship in Malaysia, Álex Márquez rode the last race of the season in front of his fans. He shone, but he also fell.

Crowned in Sepang, Álex Márquez had only one goal for the last event of the season: to have fun and offer his supporters a final podium. Mission half-accomplished for the new Moto2 world champion. Qualified for the fifth row of the starting grid after difficult free practice sessions, Márquez had climbed back to fifth position when he lost control of the front of his bike on one of the slowest corners of the circuit. “I gave it everything, as I promised I would, but it was not enough,” said the team Marc VDS rider, after starting off again and finishing the race in thirtieth position. “I’m sorry for the team because I made a mistake, but let’s not forget that we are world champions and we have just finished a magnificent season.” Fourth in Sepang, Vierge rode to a well-earned seventh place in front of his home crowd. “I’m happy to end the year with two good results,” said the Catalan. “It’s good for the team and for me because the season has not been easy.” Riding for Tech 3, Marco Bezzecchi crossed the finish line in nineteenth position while Philipp Oettl ranked twenty-sixth. In MotoGP, Iker Lecuona made his debut with the KTM of the French team to replace Miguel Oliveira, injured since the overseas leg of the season and withdrawn for the last race of the season. Nineteenth during the practice test sessions, Lecuona was in twelfth position when he fell just before the halfway mark. Hafyzh Syahrin completed his last race in MotoGP, crossing the finish line in fifteenth place, marking one last point.

The Championship


Although he did not score any points in Valencia, Álex Márquez finished the Moto2 2019 season as world champion, just three points ahead of Brad Binder. Xavi Vierge moved up two more spots to finish the year in thirteenth place with 81 points. Marco Bezzecchi finished twenty-third with 17 points. Philipp Oettl never managed to make it to the top fifteen. In MotoGP, Miguel Oliveira finished seventeenth with 33 points while Hafizh Syahrin finished twenty-third with nine points.

TIMMY HANSEN AND TEAM HANSEN MJP SCORE THRILLING WORLD RX CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLE

Cape Town, 10 November 2019 – Timmy Hansen and Team HANSEN MJP scored the FIA World Rallycross Championship Drivers and Teams titles respectively in a heart-stopping season finale in South Africa, with Timmy’s title won on a tiebreaker and team-mate Kevin Hansen also finishing third in the world championship.

Let’s watch the best of this glorious week-end!

Timmy extended his championship leader over closest rival Andreas Bakkerud from one point to two heading to the Semi Finals with second place in qualifying, winning Q1 and Q3. A straightforward Semi Final win then put him on the front row alongside Bakkerud for what would transpire to be greatest championship showdown in rallycross history.

Timmy was immediately on the offensive after being beaten to turn one by Bakkerud at the start of the Final, and a mistake by the blue-and-black car at the hairpin opened the door for Timmy to try and pass. An out-of-control Bakkerud then clattered into Timmy and spun him around, with all hope of the title appearing lost.

But as he had done several times earlier this year when the odds had been against him, Timmy regrouped and threw everything he had at getting the result he needed.

CHAMPION

Timmy Hansen
Qualifying 1 : 1st
Qualifying 2 : 9th
Qualifying 3 : 1st
Qualifying 4 : 2nd
Semi-Final 2 : 1st
Final : 4th

3rd

Kevin Hansen
Qualifying 1 : 4th
Qualifying 2 : 6th
Qualifying 3 : 3rd
Qualifying 4 : 4th
Semi-Final 2 : 2nd
Final : 5th

TALKING POINTS

This year’s season finale will go down in history as the greatest season finale in any top-level rallycross championship to date. Title deciders had gone to the last round of the season in FIA World RX before, but for the drivers championship to be decided in the final race of the season – and in a tiebreak scenario, no less – was unprecedented.

For pure excitement alone, the World RX of South Africa Final will struggle to ever be matched. It had everything condensed into six laps – drama, controversy, a title contender in the barrier facing the wrong way and multiple switches of who would go home with the drivers title mid-race. Our heart rates are still through the roof just thinking about it!

Timmy may have ended the year level on points and won on a tiebreaker, but that tiebreaker showed how much he deserved the title. He scored four wins in 2019, double that of the next-best driver Niclas Grönholm, who won the South African season finale.

The big number

1
The number that matters. 1st in the FIA World RX Drivers Championship. 1st in the FIA World RX Teams Championship. 1st in TitansRX. 1st in Nitro RX. Team HANSEN MJP has finished first in every rallycross championship it has entered in 2019.

21 TIMMY HANSEN

“What would happen after the Final was not on my mind. I’m in shock! I was so focused all weekend; I think I put in the performance of my life. The whole weekend I was focused on going race by race. So many times this year we struggled in the beginning, so I just focused on each session at a time, knowing I needed to do the maximum every time to have a chance to become champion. When we won Q1, I knew we were in a good position to do well, but the focus was always on taking everything one step at a time.

“What a season it’s been. We are world champions! I don’t know what to feel – I wasn’t prepared for what comes after the driving part! I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life since I was a kid. It feels amazing. It’s everything that I wished for.”

71 KEVIN HANSEN

“I’m happy with my season and to come third in the championship is a great feeling. I gave it everything I had to try and be Top Qualifier but after qualifying, I knew that my focus had to be on helping Timmy win the championship. I was just a bit too far back in the points after then. I’m so happy for Timmy; after every bad event like Abu Dhabi or Trois-Rivières, he came back stronger and won. We have driven each other to succeed and that’s a big part of the reason why we were so strong in the teams’ championship.

“Overall this has been an amazing year for me, my best yet. Third in World RX and winning TitansRX and Nitro RX, I couldn’t have asked for much more! I learned so many things this year: I’m sure someday it will be my turn to win the world title. But for now, I will join Timmy in celebrating his championship success!”

THE BOSS KENNETH HANSEN

“To come from where we were at the end of last season to the end of this season is hard to believe. We overcame each hurdle one at a time: first, finding a way to get to the first race with two cars – one of which needed a total rebuild almost straight after! – then making sure we did all the races, all while developing the car to try and make it faster. Everyone in our team had two or three jobs: Timmy and Kevin were doing more than just driving the cars! We constantly worked to be better, to make the car better, and we could see the progress as the year went on.

“I’m so proud of Timmy and Kevin, of course not just as team principal but as a dad. They were brilliant, very focused on the task they needed to do, very respectful and mindful of what the team as a whole needed in how they raced each other. The first title is always very special, it’s a memory Timmy will keep forever, and someday I’m sure it will be Kevin’s turn to have that too.

“After crossing all over the world for World RX, TitansRX and Nitro RX we can finally have some rest! Not too much rest, of course, because we want to be back next year to defend our titles and that will require plenty of work in the off-season, but for now we will enjoy this moment. Everyone in the team worked hard for it and they deserve it!”

MotoGP World Championship – Malaysian Grand Prix

World Champion Márquez 

Five years after winning the Moto3 world championship, Álex Márquez took the Moto2 class title by making it to the second step of the Malaysian Grand Prix podium.

After three races that prevented him from being among the front-runners, Álex Márquez made it back to the podium in Malaysia, on a day when he could not afford to lose more than eight points to Brad Binder or three to Tom Lüthi if he wanted to secure the world championship title. And he wanted. By finishing second in the wake of the South African, and ahead of the Swiss rider who could also have taken the title, the Marc VDS rider snatched the crown. Leader for four laps, he did not insist when Binder overtook him, happy simply to manage his lead over Lüthi. “I am very, very happy,” commented the Spaniard. “Everyone has done an incredible job to help me feel confident all season long, especially this weekend. We arrived here after a series of complicated races. This one was difficult today, but I handled it as best I could.” Teammate Xavi Vierge posted his best result of the season, finishing fourth. “We found a good base of settings in Australia and when we arrived here everything worked well in the first practice session,” he said. “I was able to change my style of riding, I had a good pace in the race and I didn’t finish very far from the podium.” On the team Tech 3 side, Philipp Oettl finished 21st but Marco Bezzecchi didn’t cross the finish line. The Italian fell six laps from the finish as he struggled to get into the top ten. In MotoGP, Miguel Oliveira had to throw in the towel on the first day of free practice sessions. Still suffering from his shoulder since his heavy fall at Phillip Island, the Portuguese rider returned to Europe to consult his doctors. “I’m going to see if I have to have surgery as soon as possible to be one hundred percent for the first tests in February,” he said. Despite being on home ground, Hafizh Syahrin failed to score any points. The Malaysian took the chequered flag in sixteenth position behind Mika Kallio.

The Championship

For his fifth season with the Marc VDS team, Álex Márquez completed his assignment to win the Moto2 World Championship title. The Spaniard will return to the intermediate class next year and try to double the ante, as did Johann Zarco in 2017. In finishing fourth, Xavi Vierge climbed up to fifteenth place in the overall standings and is just four points behind Remy Gardner. Marco Bezzecchi retains his twenty-second place. In MotoGP, despite his withdrawal Oliveira stays in seventeenth place while Hafizh Syahrin is twenty-third.

CITROËN ALREADY FOCUSED ON 2020

After Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia’s hopes of a strong points finish were dashed by a hydraulics issue on SS2, the Citroën Total World Rally Team – whilst its C3 WRC undoubtedly showed significant progress on tarmac – was unable to prevent the drivers’ and co-drivers’ world titles being claimed by their rivals this weekend.

Following a very good start to Friday’s opening leg on gravel, winning the first stage, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia then saw their chances of victory dealt a fatal blow by a hydraulics issue on the next stage. They then focused on making it to the end of the rally in the best possible position. Having moved up to eighth overall yesterday, confirming the progress of the C3 WRC on tarmac with several strong times, they continued to run in-competition tests today aimed at future outings on this surface.

Their efforts were unfortunately not enough to prevent Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja from winning the drivers’ and co-drivers’ world titles. The Citroën Total World Rally Team will now turn its attention to 2020, determined to enable Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia to take back their number 1. It will approach the final round of the season in Australia (14-17 November) with the same fighting spirit as usual and the clear intention to finish the 2019 season – in which it has already claimed eleven podiums and three overall wins – in style.

Showing confidence in the C3 WRC, Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm had gradually improved their pace on the opening day on gravel, lying just 4s off the podium at the start of the second loop. Unfortunately, they were hit by an engine failure, leaving them with no choice but to retire altogether from the rally.

Citroën Racing was also pleased to see the C3 R5s win both RC2 support categories this weekend. Mads Østberg and Torstein Eriksen finished first and won the WRC2Pro class (ninth overall), whilst Eric Camilli and Benjamin Veillas were runners-up in the category and topped the WRC2 standings (tenth overall).

REACTIONS FROM…

Sébastien Ogier, Citroën Total WRT driver

“Clearly, this wasn’t the result that we were hoping for coming into this round. We were determined to fight right to the end but unfortunately, it was all over for us early in the weekend. After the issue on Friday, inevitably our adrenaline and motivation levels were never quite the same, but we did what we could to be as professional as possible, to work on the car’s tarmac set-up and still try to push hard. Congratulations to Ott and Martin for deservedly winning the titles. They have done it in style.”

Esapekka Lappi, Citroën Total WRT driver

“I’m disappointed that my rally came to a premature end, especially as I had enjoyed a pretty solid and consistent opening leg up to that point, in terms of pace. The gaps were small and we were up for the fight, because I felt comfortable in my C3 WRC. I was looking forward to seeing how much progress we made on tarmac and the times set by Sébastien and Julien suggest that we have definitely moved in the right direction. I will now look forward to Australia and finishing the season on a high with the best possible result.”

TWO QUESTIONS FOR PIERRE BUDAR, CITROËN RACING TEAM PRINCIPAL

What is your analysis of this weekend, which has inevitably been disappointing, and of the season as a whole?

We simply didn’t perform well enough as a team this weekend. We’ll need to work even harder to improve our performance if we want to have a chance of challenging for a title next year. The challenge we set ourselves at the start of 2019, with two new crews and a significantly overhauled technical team, was always going to be difficult to accomplish up against settled teams with drivers who already had experience in their cars. That’s also why the project has been a long-term exercise since the outset. We got off to a flying start in Monte-Carlo where Sébastien and Julien are always formidable and then followed up with victory in Mexico, where Citroën has always managed to cope very well with the heat and altitude. Perhaps after that, the team’s relative inexperience in working together hampered our progress a little bit. Everyone needed to settle in properly and agree on the direction of travel. We probably didn’t manage to get the absolute maximum from the team’s experience on tarmac, where we clearly lacked pace in Corsica and Germany.

Does the 2020 season start for you in Australia?

In many ways, it has already started for us as we are already working in several areas to improve the car for next year, beginning at the first rally of the season. All our development teams are ready for action so that we are capable of being at our best at the opening round. We have a packed test programme scheduled, which we may even expand if necessary. I hope that 2020 will enable us to reap the rewards of the all the hard work that we have put in this year. We’ll certainly be doing everything we can to do just that. We’re all bitterly disappointed this weekend, suffering even, especially as everyone has worked incredible hard throughout these last few intense weeks. But we remain united and will learn from this disappointment. Together, we’ll keep growing and will come back stronger than ever.

FINAL PROVISIONAL STANDINGS

1.Neuville / Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC) 3:07:39.6
2.Tänak / Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +17.2
3.Sordo / Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 WRC) +17.6
4.Loeb / Elena (Hyundai i20 WRC) +53.9
5.Latvala / Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1:00.2
6.Evans / Martin (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1:14.2
7.Suninen / Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1:47.6
8.Ogier / Ingrassia (Citroën C3 WRC) +4:20.5
9.Ostberg / Eriksen (Citroën C3 R5) +8:24.6 (1st RC2 & WRC2Pro)
10.Camilli / Veillas (Citroën C3 R5) +8:47.2 (2nd RC2 & 1st WRC2)

DRIVERS’ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

1.Ott Tänak – 263 points
2.Thierry Neuville – 227 points
3.Sébastien Ogier – 217 points
4.Andreas Mikkelsen & Elfyn Evans – 102 points
5.Kris Meeke – 98 points
6.Jari-Matti Latvala – 94 points
7.Teemu Suninen & Dani Sordo – 89 points
8.Esapekka Lappi – 83 points

* Subject to publication of the official standings by the FIA

MANUFACTURERS’ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

1.Hyundai WRT – 380 points
2.Toyota Gazoo Racing – 362 points
3.Citroën Total WRT – 284 points
4.M-Sport Ford WRT – 218 points

* Subject to publication of the official standings by the FIA

Superbike World Championship – Qatar

Three wins to finish the season

Five-time world champion since the event at Magny-Cours, Jonathan Rea ended his season in Qatar with a new hat-trick.

Insatiable, Jonathan Rea completed his triumphal season by winning in the last three championship races held on the Losail circuit in Qatar. The hat-trick, the second this year after Donington, allows the Kawasaki rider to make his stats even better. The five-time Superbike World Champion now has 88 victories on his track record. “I’m really happy to finish the season with a hat-trick,” said Rea. “This year has been very special. I didn’t expect to suffer so much at the start of the season; I had to wait for the fifth event to win my first race. But we never let anything go. We worked to make the bike better and demonstrated on the last races that top speed is not everything. I am proud of what we achieved this year.” For his last appearance with Team Kawasaki, Leon Haslam tied for fifth place before finishing ninth in his last race with the ZX-RR. “I was hoping to do a little better,” he explained. “The season was harder than expected, I had difficulty all year in stopping the bike during the braking phases. I wasn’t able to make the progress I should have. But I had some good races, such as in Australia, Aragon and Misano. I’m also happy to have won the Suzuka Eight Hours with Jonathan.” Best independent rider this season, Toprak Razgatlioglu failed to make it back to the podium in Qatar. Eleventh in the first race, he finished the Superpole sprint in fourth place and finished fifth in the final leg. In Supersport, Lucas Mahias ended his season with another victory, the second after Magny-Cours. A success obtained though hard work by the Kawasaki rider who suffered from stomach pains at the start. Hikari Okubo crossed the finish line of the Losail circuit in eighth place.

The Championship

Despite a difficult start to the season, Jonathan Rea once again crushed the competition this year. With 17 victories, the now five-time Superbike World Champion finished with 663 points, 165 points more than his first runner-up, Alvaro Bautista. Leon Haslam ranked seventh with 281 points while Toprak Razgatlioglu, the best independent rider, finished the season in fifth place with 315 points. In Supersport, Lucas Mahias, winner of two of the last three races, finished fourth in the world championship with 168 points. Fifth, Hikari Okubo finished the year with 105 points.

MotoGP World Championship – Australian Grand Prix

Márquez marks time

With capricious weather that disrupted the free practice sessions and complicated the races, the Australian Grand Prix was no picnic. Márquez won an honourable mention and managed his lead in the overall standings.

Once again, springtime in the southern hemisphere put the riders’ nerves severely to the test on the Phillip Island circuit. Scattered showers, a temperature of fourteen degrees and powerful gusts of wind that even forced the organizers to postpone the qualifying sessions for the MotoGP class on Sunday morning. A decision made after Miguel Oliveira crashed, driven off the track by a violent squall of wind at the end of the straight line. Well shaken by the crash, the KTM Tech 3 rider was unable to start the seventeenth race of the season. Braving difficult conditions although less unfavourable than those of the day before, Hafizh Syahrin, his teammate, managed to finish fifteenth to add a point in the overall standings. In Moto2, Álex Márquez did not ride the race he had hoped for after showing a good pace during the practice test sessions. Sixth on the starting grid, the Marc VDS rider never managed to keep up with the front-runners. He wisely stuck to eighth place. “The day was a lot more complicated than I expected,” he admitted. “Right from the start of the race I understood that I did not have the pace to take the lead. I found myself in a fight without being able to ride it out. When you don’t have the pace and you lack feeling with your bike, it quickly becomes difficult, especially on a circuit like Phillip Island where you have to feel confident to ride fast. But we still scored points that are important for the championship.” Starting from 14th place on the grid, Xavi Vierge was fighting it out for fifth position when he crashed at corner number four. “I’m really sorry for the team because I had the pace and the bike to make it to the podium,” said the Catalan. Like him, Marco Bezzecchi fell at the start of the race when he was classed eighth in the practice test sessions. Hit by another rider, the KTM Tech 3 rider could do nothing to prevent himself from crashing. And Phillip Oettl crossed the finish line in twentieth position.

The Championship

Having scored eight more points at Phillip Island, Márquez leaves Australia with a 28-point lead over Tom Lüthi. Next weekend in Malaysia the Marc VDS rider will play his first match point to win his first Moto2 World Championship title. Despite his crash, Xavi Vierge remains in 16th place in the overall classification. No change either for Marco Bezzecchi, still twenty-second. In MotoGP, Miguel Oliveira has moved up into seventeenth position while Hafizh Syahrin is now once again ahead of Sylvain Guintoli and is now in the twenty-third place overall.