Category Archives: Moto

Superbike World Championship – Argentina

Two more wins for Rea

In the wake of his fifth world champion title at the end of September in Magny-Cours, Jonathan Rea chalked up three new podiums in Argentina. And the Kawasaki rider made it twice to the top step.

The penultimate event of the Superbike World Championship season, the Argentinian event organized on the Villicum circuit in San Juan once again allowed the Kawasaki riders to show off. Third during the practice test sessions and second at the finish of the first race, Jonathan Rea took home two victories on Sunday, gaining the upper hand over Alvaro Bautista, the winner the day before. “I’m very happy with the way we managed this weekend,” said the five-time world champion. “We started on a very dirty track which caused us many problems, especially in terms of tire wear. But after each session and after each race the team did a great job, changing the settings of my bike each time. On Sunday, it behaved perfectly. The conditions had improved, the grip was better, and I was able to hold off Bautista who brakes hard. I was able to keep up a great pace that even allowed me to get away from him fairly quickly.” In trouble during the practice test sessions, Leon Haslam was penalized by being far back on the grid at each start. Sixth on Saturday, the British rider who, unlike his opponents was riding the San Juan track for the first time, finished eighth in the sprint race and tenth in the last event of the weekend. Toprak Razgatlioglu on the other hand rode well and, like Rea, chalked up three podiums during the Argentinian weekend. Three times third, the Turkish rider confirmed his improvement during the second part of the championship. In Supersport, Lucas Mahias finished his weekend on the second step of the podium. “I lacked feeling during the practice test sessions,” said the Frenchman. “At the beginning of the race, I still didn’t feel very comfortable on the bike. But by watching my opponents, I started to take the bends more tightly and found I could ride at a much faster pace. I was even the fastest on the second half of the race. Unfortunately, Jules Cluzel had taken too much of an advance for me to catch up with him. Whatever the case, this new podium was a great reward for the entire Kawasaki team.” His teammate Hikari Okubo took the chequered flag in twelfth position after his machine had vibration problems.

The Championship

Although he won the Championship title during the last weekend of the championship organized in France, it seems Jonathan Rea can’t win enough. The Kawasaki rider further increased his lead over his opponents in Argentina. 141 points now separate him from Alvaro Bautista. Further down the list, Leon Haslam remains in sixth place overall with 257 points, just behind Toprak Razgatlioglu who is now only five points behind Alex Lowes and six behind Michael Van der Mark. Already assured of the title of best independent rider, the Turk can still hope to overtake the two official Yamaha riders and finish the championship on the third step of the podium. In Supersport, Lucas Mahias has consolidated his fourth place and is now only 14 points behind Jules Cluzel. Fifth and missing 46 points, Hikari Okubo can no longer hope to catch up with his teammate.

MotoGP World Championship Thailand Grand Prix

Márquez keeps his lead

With only four races remaining, Álex Márquez now has a forty-point lead in the Moto2 World Championship standings. The title is getting closer …

The first of the four events on the Asia / Pacific Tour, the Thailand Grand Prix was more than a mere formality for the riders who had to cope with harsh weather conditions and a track whose grip changed from one day to the next.  Álex Márquez handled it well. Chalking up his fifth pole position in seven Grands Prix, the Spaniard finished the first lap of the race in the lead before giving way to Luca Marini. He then fought it out with Iker Lecuona, Brad Binder and Augusto Fernandez before crossing the finish line in fifth position. “The race was more difficult than expected,” said the championship leader. “Right from the warm-up this morning I found it difficult keeping up the pace. The conditions were noticeably different from the free practice sessions and things were more difficult for me. Despite it all we had a good race, I fought long enough in the lead, and could have made the podium. That was not to be, but the weekend was still positive, I finished fifth with useful points for the championship.” Xavi Vierge never saw the checkered flag. After qualifying for seventh place, the Catalan fell on the eleventh lap, trying to catch up with the leaders. On the side of the Tech 3 team, Marco Bezzecchi clinched his second top ten of the season after Assen. “The bike was working well and despite the heat I managed to keep enough energy for the end of the race,” said the Italian, “and that allowed me to overtake several riders in the last six laps.” Phillip Oettl took the checkered flag in twenty-second position. In MotoGP, Miguel Oliveira finished just short of the points, handicapped by pain in his shoulder after a fall during the practice test sessions. “I was paced well on the first part of the race but unfortunately I couldn’t keep it up,” regretted the Portuguese rider. Hafizh Syahrin complained about a lack of engine power probably due to the heat. He finished in twentieth position.

The Championship

Although he lost two points to Augusto Fernandez after the Thailand Grand Prix, Álex Márquez has nonetheless consolidated his position as leader, since with four races to go before the end of the championship he now has a forty-point lead over his Spanish opponent. Xavi Vierge has slipped to fifteenth place while Marco Bezzecchi has moved up to twenty-first. In the MotoGP category, Miguel Oliveira keeps his 17th place and Hafizh Syahrin is still 24th.

Superbike World Championship – France

A Five-Star Rea

While there are still two events to be run, Jonathan Rea on the Magny-Cours circuit won his fifth world champion title in a row. A unique performance in the history of the Superbike World Championship.

By winning the second race of the weekend at Magny-Cours as well as the sprint of the Superpole, Jonathan Rea clinched his fifth World Superbike title, something no rider has ever done before. The previous day, the Kawasaki rider was second in the first heat organized on the French circuit. The feat is all the greater in that there are still two events on the calendar, in Argentina and Qatar, and only a while ago Rea was 61 points behind Alvaro Bautista. “I’m super happy,” said the Brit. “It’s the most incredible challenge I’ve ever met since I started racing. The beginning of the season was very complicated, but we never gave up. We managed to react and work as a team. Honestly, I didn’t expect to win the title this weekend. The goal was to get it in Argentina and then go to Qatar without any pressure. Bautista’s fall was an opportunity that we couldn’t miss. I was better on the bike today, it was warmer and the pace was slower. Michael was better than me in some parts of the circuit, I was better in others. I took stock of the situation before riding all-out to win. And winning the title on top of a new victory is just fantastic. It’s a great reward for the whole team without whom nothing would have been possible.” For Leon Haslam, the weekend at Magny-Cours was more difficult. Victim of a crash Saturday, the Kawasaki rider had to settle for seventh place under the chequered flag on Sunday afternoon. Toprak Razgatlioglu took advantage of the French event to chalk up his first World Superbike win. The Turkish rider unfortunately fell on Sunday after clinching with Alvaro Bautista. In Supersport, Lucas Mahais chalked up his first win of the season in front of his fans after a hard-fought race. if proof was needed, Hikaro Okubo finished fifth – just two seconds behind his teammate.

The Championship

Backed by the 83rd victory of his career in Superbike, at Magny-Cours Jonathan Rea became the first five-time world champion in the history of the championship. With 544 points, 129 more than Alvaro Bautista, his runner-up, the Kawasaki rider is sure he cannot be overtaken when there are only two races left to contend. Leon Haslam slipped to sixth overall with 21 points behind Toprak Tazgatlioglu, who is now in fifth place with just 14 points behind Michael Van der Mark. In Supersport, Lucas Mahias has consolidated his fourth place and is now only 14 points from Jules Cluzel. Hikari Okubo keeps his fifth place. 30 points now separate the two teammates.

Endurance – Bol d’Or

Champions deserved better

For their first race with the number 1 plate, the riders of the team Kawasaki SRC were really unlucky. Just as they were fighting it out with the front-runners, the title-holding team had to retire after a crash, all due a cursed slick of oil.

The opening round of the 2019/2020 season of the Endurance World Championship, the Bol d’Or turned into a nightmare for the team Kawasaki SRC. Having qualified for second place on the starting grid, the title holders successfully rode through the chaotic start to the race, the rain having forced the organizers to suspend the event shortly after 18:00. “We started aquaplaning on the straight,” said Jeremy Guarnoni. “Even riding behind the pace became dangerous. Stopping the bikes was the right decision.” The 83rd Bol d’Or was interrupted for a dozen hours. The race management waited until the weather improved to restart the bikes at 6:00 am for the next 8 hours. After starting well, the team Kawasaki SRC was among the leading quartet when the Honda number 5 broke its engine, covering the Paul Ricard circuit with oil. In the wake of Mike Di Meglio, Erwan Nigon was trapped without being able to react. “There was oil everywhere,” said Gilles Stafler’s rider. “I found myself on the ground without having the time to understand or do anything. I was able to pick up my bike, and I was about to start it again when Loris Baz fell in turn. His bike cut me down, and when it hit mine, everything caught on fire. I just managed to get out of the blaze, it was pretty terrifying.” The motorcycle being completely destroyed, the Kawasaki team were unable to make it to the finish of the first race of the season. The next meeting is in December in Malaysia for the Eight Hours of Sepang, a new event on the EWC calendar.

MotoGP World Championship – Aragon Grand Prix

Márquez increases his lead

Leader of the Moto2 World Championship, Álex Márquez increased his lead by finishing third in the Grand Prix of Aragon while taking advantage of the fall of Augusto Fernandez, his main rival in the title race.

In front of his fans, on the Aragon circuit, the leader of the Moto2 world championship was eager to shine. Álex Márquez didn’t win, but by making it to the podium for the ninth time of the season and also taking advantage of the fall of his rival in the title race, Augusto Fernandez, the rider from Cervera has increased his lead at the top of the overall standings. From pole position, Márquez fought it out to the finish behind Brad Binder, together with Luca Marini and Jorge Navarro. “It was a difficult race because the conditions were different from those we had during the practice test sessions, especially because of the wind that had changed direction,” said the Marc VDS rider. “In trying to catch up with Binder I used my rear tire too much and at the end of the race I lacked traction. So when Jorge overtook me I didn’t insist. Augusto having fallen, my thoughts were on the championship.” His team-mate Xavi Vierge made it again to the top-ten, taking the chequered flag in tenth place. “I was hoping for better,” said the Catalan. “I didn’t have the same good feelings as during the practice test sessions, I had the impression I was fighting with the bike.” Marco Bezzecchi, who suffered from a lack of grip on his rear tire, finished fifteenth. Philipp Oettl, the second rider of the team KTM Tech 3, had to settle for twenty-sixth place. In MotoGP, Miguel Oliveira returned to the top fifteen. Thirteenth on the finish line, the Portuguese rider was satisfied with his performance after two Did Not Finish: “I had a good race fighting it out with the top riders. I am all the happier in that it’s not easy to overtake on this circuit.” His teammate Hafizh Syarhin ranked twenty-first.

The Championship

With his third place, Álex Márquez increased his lead in the overall standings from 26 to 38 points. A good operation before the major round of four races overseas looming ahead in October. Xavi Vierge stays in fourteenth place. On the side of the Tech 3 team, Marco Bezzecchi is in 23rd place with 11 points while Philipp Oettl’s counter has yet to start. In MotoGP, Miguel Oliveira has moved up one places. He is now seventeenth with 29 points. No change for Hafizh Syahrin, still twenty-fourth with 6 points.

MotoGP World Championship – San Marino Grand Prix

Marquez makes it to the Podium

By finishing third in the San Marino Grand Prix, Álex Márquez made it to the podium for the eighth time this season. A performance that allows the Moto2 Championship leader to maintain a lead of more than one victory in the overall standings.

After his fall in Britain, Álex Márquez had to redeem himself. Which is just what he did. On a circuit where he has never felt very comfortable, the Marc VDS rider managed to qualify for the front row on the starting grid before taking a place on the podium. In the fight with Augusto Fernandez and Fabio Di Giannantonio, Márquez had to struggle for a long time before securing third place. “Right from the first lap I had a major warning that made me think,” said the championship leader. “I narrowly avoided a crash, and I told myself the race was going to be difficult. I concentrated on keeping the fastest pace possible by staying with the riders ahead of me. After my fall at Silverstone, I had to get back on track.” Xavi Vierge had a positive weekend, finishing eighth, as he did in June in the Netherlands. For a long time sixth, the Catalan unfortunately missed a gear in the last laps, leaving Navarro and Binder to use it to their advantage and overtake him. On the Tech 3 Moto2 side, Marco Bezzecchi fell at the start of the race and Philipp Oettl finished twenty-third. In MotoGP, Hafizh finished fifteenth, just ahead of Miguel Oliveira. Victim of a fall early in the race when he could have made the top ten, the Portuguese rider managed to return to the track in last position and almost scored points.

The Championship

In making it back to the podium, Alex Marquez keeps first place in the overall Moto2 standings with more than one victory ahead of Augusto Fernandez, the winner in Misano. Thanks to his eighth place, Xavi Vierge has moved up a position. He is now thirteenth with 53 points. Hafizh Syahrin keeps his twenty-fourth place with six points while Miguel Oliveira is now eighteenth one point behind Andrea Iannone and Johan Zarco.

Superbike World Championship – portugal

Rea right back on track

Nearly two months after his triumph at Laguna Seca, Jonathan Rea made his comeback to competition in Portimao – and at the same pace. With two wins and a second place, the Kawasaki rider further increased his lead in the World Superbike Championship.

At the end of a long summer break, Jonathan Rea took the handlebars of his Kawasaki with the same appetite. In Portugal, the quadruple world superbike champion even came one step closer to a fifth star. Clocking the best time during the tests, he won the first two races of the weekend before securing second place in the last heat. “The team did a great job again,” said the Brit. “The conditions were tricky because it was very hot and the track lacked grip, but we managed to find interesting technical solutions to overcome the problem.” On Saturday afternoon, Rea broke away right from the start of the race taking advantage of a crash in the first lap by Alvaro Bautista, his opponent in the title race: “I found myself fairly quickly with a lead of several seconds that I then tried to manage.” Once again winner of the Superpole race Sunday morning, the Kawasaki rider ended the weekend with a duel to the finish with the Bautista’s Ducati. “It was a great fight,” he explains. “But in the last laps I preferred to secure second place and focus on the championship.” Less at ease on the Portuguese track, Leon Haslam chalked up three fifth places after signing the fourth time during the qualifying session. “I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t make it to the podium on Sunday afternoon,” said the Brit. “I lacked a bit of confidence in cornering and I was not able to keep pace with the riders ahead of me.” Toprak Razgatlioglu got better and better throughout the weekend. Sixth at the finish of the first race, he finished fourth in the Superpole race before taking the podium of the last heat on Sunday afternoon. In Supersport, Lucas Mahias also made it to the podium. The Kawasaki rider who fought end-to-end with the two Yamaha’s ridden by Caricasulo and Krummenacher finished third less than one second behind the winner. His teammate Hikari Okubo finished seventh.

The Championship

Jonathan Rea attacked the last part of the Superbike World Championship the same way he finished the first half of the season: by increasing his overall lead. With only four races to go, the four-time world champion is now 91 points clear of Alvaro Bautista, his most serious rival in the title race. Leon Haslam stays in fifth place with a capital of 229 points. Sixth, Toprak Razgatlioglu follows close behind with 223 points. In Supersport, Lucas Mahias is in fourth place with 98 points, just ahead of Hikari Okubo, fifth with 82 points.

MotoGP World Championship – British Grand Prix

Vierge finishes in top ten

After four withdrawals in a row, Xavi Vierge made it to the chequered flag of the British Grand Prix. The Spaniard even ranked in the top ten.

“My goal was to finish the race, I’m happy to have achieved that, even though the result was not the one I was hoping for.” At the arrival of the British Grand Prix, Xavi Vierge was positive. “I had to get back on track after four withdrawals in a row. I may have been a little too careful at the start of the race, but I really wanted to avoid any problems.” Leading the way after clinching his third pole position of the season, Álex Márquez seemed capable of chalking up another victory. Unfortunately the Marc VDS rider fell during the sixth lap while he was ahead of Jorge Navarro. “I made a mistake, I admit, but it’s the first of the season,” explained the former Moto3 world champion. “We must learn from it and come back to earth. Things may have been a little too easy for me lately. I am sorry for the team who once again did a great job this weekend; I’ll do my best to redeem myself in the next race at Misano.” The KTM Tech 3 riders also missed out on the Silverstone circuit. In MotoGP, Miguel Oliveira was hit early in the race by Johann Zarco while he could have made the top ten once again. Hafizh Syarhin managed to score points, something he has not done since the Dutch Grand Prix, ranking thirteenth. “The pace wasn’t great, but after three falls in the last three races, I lacked confidence,” commented the Malaysian. In Moto2, Marco Bezzecchi complained about the grip of his machine. The Italian took the chequered flag in nineteenth position while Philipp Oettl was ranked twenty-fourth.

The Championship

Despite his fall – his second Did Not Finish of the season – Alex Marquez is still the firm leader in the Moto2 rankings. The Marc VDS rider still has a thirty-five point lead over Augusto Fernandez. Xavi Vierge stays in fourteenth place. No change either for Marco Bezzecchi, still twenty-fourth with thirty-three points. In MotoGP, Miguel Oliveira has lost two spots and has dropped to seventeenth place. Hafizh Syahrin is now twenty-fourth with six points on the scoreboard.

MotoGP World Championship – Austrian motorcycle Grand Prix

Márquez makes the break

By making it to the second step of the podium for the Austrian Grand Prix, Álex Márquez has considerably increased his lead in the Moto2 world championship.

Despite his worst qualifying session, and finding himself in eleventh position on the starting grid, Álex Márquez played his Austrian Grand Prix to perfection. “After the morning’s rain, we started out on a track that was still very tricky,” said the championship leader. “I managed to keep calm and wait my time for the comeback. I didn’t attack in the first three laps until I found my pace and then started to overtake.” After catching up with the top trio led by Binder, the Spaniard took advantage of the nearing finish and the falls of Marini and Bastianini to clinch the second step of the podium. “In the last two laps I was practically able to fight it out with Brad, but he was riding very fast and I was thinking about the championship,” Marquez continued. “I had to stay in second place and not take unnecessary risks.” Xavi Vierge was again forced to retire. While fighting it out with the front-runners, the Marc VDS rider crashed on the third lap, taking the Japanese Nagashima with him. At Tech 3, Philipp Oettl and Marco Bezzecchi crossed the finish line in twenty-second and twenty-third positions. In MotoGP, Miguel Oliveira confirmed his progress behind the handlebars of the KTM RC16. Thirteenth on the starting grid, the Portuguese rider even scored his first top ten, placing eighth just sixteen seconds behind the winner. Hafizh Syahrin fell at the start of the race.

The Championship

With his new podium, the seventh since the beginning of the year, Álex Márquez has increased his overall lead. The leader of the championship is now forty-three points ahead of Tom Lüthi. By chalking up his fourth Did Not Finish in a row, Xavi Vierge has lost another place. He is now fourteenth. The same punishment has been meted out to Marc Bezzecchi who is now placed twenty-fourth. In MotoGP, Miguel Oliveira has won three places. The KTM Tech 3 rider has climbed to fifteenth place in the overall category, while Hafizh Syahrin remains in twenty-fifth place despite his new fall.

MotoGP World Championship – Grand Prix of Germany

Márquez back after the break

After three weeks of summer break, Álex Márquez started racing again at top speed. The Spanish rider won in the Czech Republic after going it alone once again, and consolidated his position as leader of the Moto2 world championship.

“I wanted to attack the second half of the championship the way I finished the first.” Álex Márquez was true to his word: as in Germany last month, the rider of the Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS team outclassed his opponents on the Brno circuit. Pole position, victory and lap record! “A perfect race, like in a dream,” he commented. “The key to the result was the work we did during the warm-up, focusing on worn tires. It allowed me to attack from the very first lap and then to control my lead.” His teammate was less inspired. Badly placed on the starting grid, Xavi Vierge fell at the very start of the race in his rush to make his way through the pack. The Spaniard still managed to get back in the saddle and take the checkered flag in twenty-fourth position. On the side of the KTM Tech 3 team, Marco Bezzecchi had his best race of the season after qualifying for the second row of the starting grid. “Starting in front helped me,” admitted the Italian who crossed the finish line of the Moto2 race in twelfth place. Philipp Oettl, who has been absent for three races after a concussion, finished the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic in twenty-third place. In MotoGP, Miguel Oliveira started racing again on the right foot. “We had a good race despite the difficult conditions,” confided the Portuguese rider, who was thirteenth. “The bad weather didn’t help us in tuning the bike, and the end of the race was complicated in terms of tyre management. So finishing by scoring points was a just reward.” Hafizh Syahrin also thought he’d score some points, but he unfortunately fell while fighting it out with Alex Espargaro when he was in thirteenth position.

The Championship

By winning his fifth victory of the season and giving the Marc VDS team the hundredth podium in its history, Álex Márquez also increased his lead over Tom Lüthi in the overall classification to thirty-three points. Xavi Vierge has slipped back to thirteenth place in the championship. Although his twenty-third position has not changed, Marco Bezzecchi now has ten points on his counter. In MotoGP, Miguel Oliveira remains in eighteenth position with eighteen points. Despite his fall, Hafizh Syarhin has kept his twenty-fifth place overall.