Category Archives: Season 2018

DS TECHEETAH celebrates leading the championship after the first round of the 2018/2019 ABB FIA Formula E championship

After an eventful race, it was the DS E-TENSE FE19 of Formula E champion Jean-Éric Vergne that crossed the finish-line in second place after a near double-podium for him and team-mate, André Lotterer.

The two DS TECHEETAH drivers lined up in 5th and 7th on the grid and managed to climb through the ranks to run first and second before a technical infringement caused a drive through penalty for the pair. Coming out behind the front pack after taking the penalty, the two drivers were on the hunt for the podium and Jean-Éric managed to claim second with André just behind in 5th whilst also scoring the Fastest Lap to gain additional valuable points at the ABB FIA Formula E Championship’s first round on the 2018/2019 Season.

 

« I would like to say a huge thanks to the whole team for this race but also for the lead up to this moment. Today was just a taster of what is to come from DS TECHEETAH. The course was so much fun to drive, it was like walking on a cloud out there. I’m very pleased that the FIA and Formula E took our feedback around ATTACK MODE on board after the Drivers’ Briefing as it made a very good race today. I’m very proud to be part of a championship that keeps innovating and re-inventing itself like this. We put on a great show and as we aim for more podiums and our first win of the season, I’m confident that we will continue to deliver some very exciting racing for the rest of the championship. We’re going to absorb all the lessons, continue in this spirit and come back for more, » said DS TECHEETAH Driver Jean-Éric Vergne.

« We had some issues today, but we should be happy about the pace we had. We were really putting the car through its paces and it responded so well. It’s of course frustrating to have the issues that we had as I lost out on a potential win, or at least a one-two or a double-podium as we had the pace for it, but we gained some valuable points and that’s what matters the most in this championship. I have mixed feelings about today but now we’re looking to the next race and it will be good to flex our muscles in Marrakesh, »  said DS TECHEETAH Driver, André Lotterer.

« Today was a huge achievement for the whole team. What a way to start the season! The championship has definitely taken another step forward and we’re racing on a whole new level now. Jean-Éric and André were flying out there and it was really exciting to see that all the hard work that the team has put into the package delivered on track. Congratulations to BMW for their first win, and welcome to Formula E, » said DS TECHEETAH Team Principal, Mark Preston.

« Congratulations to Jean-Éric and André for a fantastic first race. We are delighted to have secured the first podium for DS TECHEETAH. After many months of development and preparation with our team, it was wonderful to see everyone coming together to deliver such an impressive performance at our first event. It will allow us to continue to progress with confidence for the rest of the championship and to achieve our goals, » said DS Performance Director, Xavier Mestelan Pinon.


The next round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship takes place on 12 January 2019 in Marrakesh, Morocco.

 

DS TECHEETAH ready to hit the streets with the DS E-TENSE FR19

Season Five of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship is set to commence this Saturday on 15 December. Fans across the world will see 22 new Gen2 car, new tracks, new rules and new drivers added to the championship.

DS TECHETAH drivers André Lotterer and the reigning Formula E Champion, Jean-Éric Vergne returns to field the DS E-TENSE FE19 Gen2 car for the season ahead. They will start the season by tackling the new 2,5km street circuit of Ad Diriyah where they will be challenged with the new 45min plus one lap race format.

Formula E’s unique fan engagement, FanBoost, is set to return with updated regulations and we will now see the Top 5 drivers gain the boost voted for by the fans, that’s another two drivers gaining the energy boost on track compared the previous seasons. Fans will now also be able to vote 15 minutes into the race, further adding to the thrill of being directly involved in the championship.

The DS E-TENSE FE19 is built entirely in-house by DS Automobiles in the team’s new factory in Versailles just outside of Paris. DS Automobiles has also developed its own brake-by-wire system and is one of the few manufacturer in the paddock to have done so to gain a further competitive advantage. The new DS E-TENSE FE19 has a maximum power of 338hp and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.8s. It also has a larger battery capacity of 52 kWh that will last the whole race, thus eliminating the car swap.

As the championship continues to innovate, the introduction of ATTACK MODE is going to throw further challenges to the grid and bring the excitement of the series further.

When enable, the new feature temporarily increases the power level from 200 kW (in race mode) to 225 kW, which gives the drivers an advantage over the others, for a short time, to overtake, opening new strategic opportunities and delivering more dynamic races .
To be able to go into the ATTACK MODE, the driver must go through an activation zone, located outside of the race line. The number of activation and the period of use will be determined at each race by the FIA.

Jean-Éric Vergne #25: “For someone who’s been with the series since pretty much the start, I’ve personally seen how Formula E has taken big strides – not only with the performance of the car, but by implementing new ideas that continue to promote close racing such as ATTACK MODE. As drivers we want to be able to race hard and the fans want that too.”

André Lotterer #36: “Formula E has taken a huge leap forward in the last year and it’s very exciting to be part of a series that keep on reinventing itself like Formula E does. We’ve done all the prep work for the new additions to the series and the wait is finally over, we’re going racing now. It will be very interesting to see how the first race pans out as there will be some surprises, that’s certain.”

The Alpine A110 GT4 wins first-ever GT4 International Cup

With the victory of the n°36 Alpine A110 GT4 entered by the CMR team and driven by Pierre-Alexandre Jean and Pierre Sancinéna at the Bahrain International Circuit, Alpine adds another success to an extremely rich and eloquent history.

Organised by SRO during the Bapco Bahrain GT Festival at Sakhir, the first GT4 International Cup, a genuine World Cup for the category, brought together 21 crews and 10 constructors from around the world to conclude the 2018 season in style.

Right from free practice, the Alpine A110 GT4s prepared by the CMR team with Signatech technical support were on point. The n°36 set best time in the opening session before the n°26 of Antoine Leclerc and David Tuchbant did the same in session two.

After a low-profile qualifying despite Antoine Leclerc’s fifth place in Q2, the Alpine showed once again its potential in the two qualifying races. While the n°26 hit troubles in the field in both races, the sister car made two superb strong runs before the night-time grand finale. Forced to start at the rear of the field for the main race, David Tuchbant soon had to retire while Pierre-Alexandre Jean was starting to put on quite a show.

Third in the FFSA French GT Championship at just 17 years of age, Pierre-Alexandre Jean passed a dozen cars to move up to 7th on lap one. Fifth a lap later, the French driver was up to third place on lap five.

During the driver change window, Pierre-Alexandre Jean extended his stint as long as he could. With a clear track ahead of him, he put in a qualifying-like lap to make the difference before handing over to Pierre Sancinéna.

Once behind the wheel, the first champion of the Alpine Elf Europa Cup left the pits with the lead thanks to the hard work of his team mate. Never worried, the Normandy native was able to manage his pace while also gradually increasing his lead despite the German armada that was chasing from behind.

A few second after the clock reached the one-hour mark, the Alpine A110 GT4 in the blue, white and red Elf colours sealed the win and its triumph in the GT4 world… Barely five months after it competition debut!

Lionel Chevalier, Signatech Technical Director: “We are extremely proud to see an Alpine A110 GT4 win the first-ever GT4 International Cup. This victory is the reward for the work the Signatech Automobiles team put in for nearly 18 months and for the past several months with the CMR team. I want to congratulate them all, but also Pierre-Alexandre Jean and Pierre Sancinéna, two drivers who have starred in the Alpine A110 GT4 and Alpine A110 Cup. Following our successes in the both the French and European championships, this first world crown confirms the potential of our car. This is an incredible source of motivation for the future, even more so with such a high level of competition this weekend! We can’t wait to be in 2019 season to defend this title and set off on the conquest of different national and international championships.”

DS TECHEETAH announces Tatiana Calderón as test driver for the ad diriyah e-prix in-season test

DS TECHEETAH is delighted to announce that Tatiana Calderón will drive the DS E-TENSE FE19 at the in-season test on Sunday 16 December in Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, following the inaugural E-Prix in the Kingdom.

Tatiana has successfully competed in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship for three seasons in 2013 to 2015 and later in the GP3 series from 2016. She was announced as a Formula 1 test driver in 2018 and drove a Formula 1 car for the first time a couple of weeks ago, following the Mexican GP.

“When the promoter approached us about the opportunity to offer a test session to a talented female racing driver at the first in-season test, we jumped at the opportunity. We immediately started thinking about drivers that would be suitable for the test, and Tatiana was on top of our list. She’s incredibly talented and we think she will do a stellar job at the test with the experience she is able to bring. It’s also very exciting to be able to showcase the wonderful world of Formula E with a first-hand experience of testing the DS E-TENSE FE19 on track. I’m hoping that it will give her a taste for the series and I hope to see her racing in Formula E in the near future,” said DS TECHEETAH Team Principal, Mark Preston.

“I’m incredibly eager to test the DS E-TENSE FE19 in December. Formula E is a really exciting space and it’s great to be able to get a sense of the series through the test. It will be the first time that I will drive a fully-electric racing car on track, so I’m curious to find out how I will have to adapt my driving style to drive the car in the most efficient way. I’m thrilled to be working with DS TECHEETAH following their successful results last season and I’m looking forward to helping them with their work at first in-season test,” said DS TECHEETAH Test Driver for the Ad Diriyah E-Prix, Tatiana Calderón.

Elf, a Total Brand, Partners KTM Tech3 for MotoGP and Moto2 World Championship Racing

Paris, November 20th, 2018 – The 2019 season will see the beginning of a new partnership between two legendary French names of motorcycle racing as Total, with its Elf brand, and KTM Tech3 join forces in the MotoGP and Moto2 world championships. This new three-year partnership is just as exciting and stimulating for the oil major as it is for the Grand Prix team.

Backed by its expertise and know-how in racing fuels and lubricants, Elf will support the Tech3 team next year in its new challenge alongside Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM. Tech3, led by Hervé Poncharal, will be responsible for helping to develop KTM motorcycles in its role as a junior team. The rider line-up comprises Miguel Oliveira and Hafizh Syahrin in MotoGP and Marco Bezzecchi and Philipp Öttl in Moto2.

Present on the Grand Prix circuit since 1973, Elf has always seen racing as a fantastic testing ground. The brand has contributed to the development of new technologies throughout all of its seasons on the track. This pioneer spirit and quest for high performance made Elf the natural partner for the trailblazing Tech3 team and KTM, which joined the MotoGP and Moto2 grids two years ago to develop new projects.

Pierre-Gautier Caloni- Vice President, Total Competition & Sponsoring explains : “We are very pleased to announce that Total, via its Elf brand, will partner the KTM Tech3 team next year in both MotoGP and Moto2 racing. Behind the Tech3 team is a man – Hervé Poncharal – with whom we are very excited to be working. When he founded his team 30 years ago, Hervé Poncharal created an operation that has become a benchmark and a symbol among motorcycle Grand Prix competitors. The Tech3 team’s dedication and professional attitude set the example – and for good reason. With Tech3, we will also have the opportunity to work with KTM, a young and ambitious manufacturer who is also European leader in the motorcycle market. I am certain that together we will obtain results that match our potential while continuing to develop our products and know-how.”

Hervé Poncharal, KTM Tech3 Team Manager adds : “For a team like Tech3 that is involved in MotoGP and Moto2 racing, it’s an honor to sport the Elf logo – especially since we’re French. I am truly very pleased to join forces today with a legendary name in motorsports. Beyond the brand and its history, I’m also talking about the technology and quality of the products that have built Elf’s reputation. More than a new partnership, this is a coming home, since Elf was Tech3’s partner in 1995. That was the year Jean-Philippe Ruggia and Olivier Jacque raced for us in the 250 cc class. Later on, in 2001 and 2002, we moved up to the premier class with Elf’s support. Most of all, Elf’s special fuels and lubricants will help us raise the bar as we begin a new adventure with KTM. For Tech3, 2019 will be exciting in more ways than one.”

MotoGP World Championship – Valencia Grand Prix

Two “Rookies of the Year”

Franco Morbidelli in MotoGP, and Joan Mir in Moto2 have both finished the season with the title of best rookie rider. A just reward for the Team Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS.

The Races

he only bad thing about the last Grand Prix of the season was the weather. From the first day of the free practice sessions to the race, the rain laid down the law. Making it difficult to avoid the pitfalls of the Ricardo Tormo circuit. In MotoGP, neither Franco Morbidelli nor Tom Lüthi made it to the finish. Both fell before the race was interrupted because of the excessive level of water on the track. And neither could take the second start. Morbidelli was in fifth place when he fell, Lüthi was seventeenth. In Moto2, while Joan Mir left the race in the first lap, Álex Márquez managed to notch up his sixth podium of the season on his home turf. The Spaniard could have won the race if he hadn’t fallen ten laps from the finish. Fortunately, he was able to get up again and took third place.

The Championship

Franco Morbidelli has finished his first season in MotoGP with 50 points and fifteenth place overall. Tom Lüthi has finished the year without scoring any points. In Moto2, thanks to his latest podium Álex Márquez managed to take fourth place in the championship with 173 points. Joan Mir ranks sixth with 155 points on the clock.

The Background

While the Team Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS didn’t savour the sweet taste of success this year, the track record for the 2018 season has been largely positive for the Belgian team. In MotoGP and in Moto2, Marc Van der Straten’s riders have won the title of “Rookie of the Year”. In the premier-class category Franco Morbidelli outshone his teammate Tom Lüthi, as well as Hafizh Syahrin (his most serious contender), Takaaki Nakagami and Xavier Simeon. “To finish as best rookie rider was my goal at the beginning of the season,” said the Italian Moto2 World Champion in 2017. “It’s not been easy, I’ve had a lot to learn and there were plenty of pitfalls. Having succeeded in doing my job is the best way to thank and say goodbye to my team.” In Moto2, Joan Mir also dominated his contenders in the Rookie of the Year race, namely Bo Bendsneyder, Joe Roberts, Jules Danilo and Federico Fuglini. The only rookie to have made it to the podium this season, next year the Spaniard will race in MotoGP.

Signatech Alpine Matmut continues its streak of podium finishes in Shanghai

  • Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão and Pierre Thiriet finished on the podium for the fifth time in as many races this season in the 6 Hours of Shanghai.

  • At the conclusion of a parcelled race, Signatech Alpine Matmut is now second in the LMP2 category of the World Endurance Championship.

  • The entire team will now use the winter break to retake the championship lead at the 1000 Miles of Sebring on March 15, 2019.

Delayed several days due to a technical problem with its Paris to Shanghai flight and forced to make an unexpected stop in Siberia, all the members of the team managed to show up in time, helped by some rivals in the FIA World Endurance Championship paddock.

The French squad was on top form straight away under very capricious skies at the Shanghai International Circuit. After trying several aerodynamic configurations and the two types of rain tyres on Friday; the sun made a surprising return the next day.

Thanks to the intense work put in during the three free-practice sessions, Nicolas Lapierre set the fastest time in the LMP2 category. The n°36 Alpine A470 however, had to settle for fourth place in qualifying as Pierre Thiriet got caught out in his learning of the Chinese circuit in dry conditions.

Heavy down pours fell on Shanghai on Sunday. The race began behind the safety car and was red flagged after 15 minutes. Nicolas Lapierre and his rivals had to wait an hour before the action resumed. The Frenchman still moved up to third place before being surprised by the hellish conditions prior to another stoppage.

Once again, the race restarted behind the safety car, which stayed on circuit longer than planned because some drivers lost control of their cars due to aquaplaning on the start/finish straight! The team then chose this moment to readjust its strategy according to the weather.

The team’s effort paid off with Nicolas Lapierre moving back up to second place before handing over to André Negrão, shod on intermediate tyres. The Brazilian driver’s first stint was marked by another safety car period and the return of the rain before he was relayed by Pierre Thiriet just before hour five.

In the still difficult conditions, the two drivers continued to share the driving duties giving it their best as the light rapidly diminished. Moving back up to fourth, Pierre Thiriet finished the job as he avoided the final dangers of this race and stroke back as the Alpine A470 crossed took the chequered flag in third place.

 

Quotes

Philippe Sinault, Team principal Signatech Alpine Matmut
“It was a very difficult race both for the nerves and tactics. Nicolas got a good start before the first interruption. In order to anticipate an eventual definitive red flag, we adapted our strategy before readjusting it because the weather was forecasted to improve a little. As the rain began to let up, tyre pressures played a role and André stayed in contact while Pierre did his best as he discovered these conditions on this track. Pierre was back in the car for the end of the race to reach his minimum time behind the wheel and to secure a well-earned top three result for the entire team. This fifth podium is a satisfaction. We knew that the Shanghai round would be tough, our main rivals were racing on home soil. We are now 10 points behind and there is still a long way to go in the championship with two big coefficient races. We are still in the battle and every point will count!”

 

Nicolas Lapierre
“The conditions made this race extremely difficult. We had to gamble on strategy and we did a good job. My pace was a little off at half-distance, but there was plenty of speed and we had to push hard to reach this third place. We will now make the most of the break to retake the championship lead right away.”

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André Negrão
“With the several interruptions, I think we got the best result we could today. It was very hard to find the right pace and maintain it. I switched to the intermediates just as the track was beginning to dry, but the rain intensified again and I preferred to drive carefully to avoid losing a lot of points. It will all be to race for next year and we will continue to battle just until the 24 Hours of Le Mans!”

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Pierre Thiriet
“It was a very nervous time in the car between the extreme conditions and the mediocre visibility! I believe we did the business avoiding the numerous pitfalls. Although we will arrive in Sebring in second place in the championship, we can be proud of the work we put in over the week. The team made no mistakes with strategy or pit stops. It is a positive outcome and we will give it everything we’ve got at Sebring.”

6 Hours of Shanghai – LMP2

1. Jackie Chan DC Racing n°38 109 laps
2. DragonSpeed n°31 + 13.013s
3. Signatech Alpine Matmut n°36 +53.375s
4. Jackie Chan DC Racing n°37 + 1 lap
5. Racing Team Nederland n°29 + 9 laps
6. Larbre Competition n°50 + 11 laps
NC. TDS Racing n°28

FIA LMP2 Teams Trophy 

1. Jackie Chan DC Racing n°38 – 112 points
2. Signatech Alpine Matmut n°36 – 102 points
3. Jackie Chan DC Racing n°37 – 98 points
4. DragonSpeed n°31 – 73 points
5. Racing Team Nederland n°29 – 47 points
6. Larbre Competition n°50 – 46 points
7. TDS Racing n°28 – 30 points

An end of season on the up!

Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT secured its fifth podium of the season in Australia, this time thanks to Mads Østberg and Torstein Eriksen, once again illustrating the team’s improving form in the second half of the year.

Having grown up on Scandinavia’s roller-coaster roads, Mads Østberg has often been partial to rallies held on flowing, fast roads and Australia is certainly one such event. Despite being short of competitive racing since Wales Rally GB, his last WRC outing, the Norwegian wasted no time in reminding everyone of this as he grabbed the rally lead with a stage win on SS3 – Sherwood (26.68km), the longest test on Friday’s leg, and held onto first place until the end of the day. A first leg during which Craig Breen also produced an impressive performance. Second behind his team-mate on the first run on Sherwood, the Irishman claimed the stage win on the second pass, thus confirming the undeniable balance of the C3 WRC on this road surface, which remains difficult to reproduce in European tests. A talented former kart racer, Craig also showed his assurance on the two runs on the super-special stage, held mainly on tarmac, ending the opening leg in second position. Unfortunately, the race took a different turn at the start of day two, initially with a minor issue with the throttle sticking open, then a small but costly mistake that damaged the rear suspension and dropped down him to tenth place. Meanwhile, Mads tried to keep his charging rivals at bay, eventually relinquishing the overall lead after the third stage (SS11) on day two. Despite completing his first run on the evening’s super-special stage (SS17) in the rain, unlike two of his direct rivals for the podium, his perseverance and commitment were rewarded, as he remained within striking distance of the podium at the end of Saturday’s leg. In fourth place, just 20.3s behind the driver in front, he still had a chance going into the final leg with heavy showers expected to produce extremely testing conditions. The slippery, tricky conditions put paid to the hopes of two of the world title contenders, but Mads – at one with his C3 WRC on a road surface that was more like an ice rink in places – held his nerve. He initially put himself out of reach of any possible comeback from the driver behind him, before then benefiting from a racing incident to move up into third position on the penultimate stage. He therefore claimed his second podium of the year, after finishing as runner-up in Finland. His performance enabled Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT to grab a top-three finish for the fifth time this season, after podiums in Sweden (2nd), Mexico (3rd) and Finland (2nd) and winning in Spain. Meanwhile, Craig Breen and Scott Martin ended the rally in seventh position.

WHAT THEY SAID

THREE QUESTIONS FOR PIERRE BUDAR, CITROËN RACING TEAM PRINCIPAL

How would you assess this final outing of the season?

« Clearly, we’re pleased with this new podium, following on from our win in Spain. In particular, we had an excellent opening leg, making the absolute maximum of our good road position, with our cars holding the top two positions at the end of day one. Although things didn’t go quite as well on Saturday with a few mistakes, Mads nonetheless managed to stay within striking distance of the podium. We knew that, given the type of stages contested on Sunday and the weather forecast, anything could still happen on the final leg. Whilst the treacherous driving conditions caught out several crews, Mads showed his confidence in the C3 WRC, producing an extremely solid performance to seize third place. I think it’s no less than the team deserved. The guys didn’t put a foot wrong throughout the week, despite the ten-hour time difference, which is always difficult to overcome. »

What is your analysis at the end of the 2018 season?

« Obviously, we have had our fair share of highs and lows. I would say that the second half of the season was quite a bit better, with our podiums in Finland (2nd) and here, plus our win in Spain. In fact, I would like to take this opportunity to state my heartfelt thanks to both Mads and Torstein as well as Craig and Scott, for their support this season. They have always given everything and made a substantial contribution to turning things around in the second half of the season. We’ve also established strong ties with them this year. An underlying trend has been established in the team’s way of working, and I think that means we can look forward to 2019 in a more confident and relaxed frame of mind. Although we are still undergoing transformation, and to complete this we need to keep working hard and improving further, things are gradually being put in place and are certainly heading in the right direction. »

2019 is almost upon us…

« Indeed, there is no real let up in sight. As soon as we get back to Europe, we are going to prepare to start testing again with our new crews, so that they can get a feel for the C3 WRC and we can continue its development. We have known for some time that we are going to work together but now it is about to become very real and the prospect of actually taking action is a source of great motivation for the whole team! »

HIGHLIGHTS

On Friday, Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT enjoyed the perfect leg, with its two C3 WRCs at the top of the leaderboard for the first time this season.

In starting eighth and eleventh on the road and with the weather staying dry in the end, Craig Breen and Mads Østberg were very well placed to perform well on the Australian roads, which were expected to clean significantly. However, they weren’t the only ones in this situation and yet it was the Norwegian who emerged in the lead on Friday evening, followed by his Irish team-mate, just 6.8s adrift. The pair’s showing proved their competitiveness and that of their car at this event. The performance was all the more impressive for the Red Army in that Mads spent five of the opening day’s eight stages in the lead, reflecting his consistency among the frontrunners. Meanwhile, Craig gradually climbed the standings, grabbing third place with a stage win on the second pass on Sherwood (26.68km), the longest stage of the day. He maintained his good form, however, on the final two super-special stages to snatch second place at the close of day one.

MotoGP World Championship – Australian Grand Prix

Mir returns to the podium

Joan Mir has come to the end of a difficult period and has returned to the podium at the Australian Grand Prix. This second place has brought the MotoGP World Championship back up to fifth position in the Moto2 classification.

The races

In spite of a difficult qualifying round and a modest fourteen position at the starting gate, Joan Mir completed a fantastic race on the Phillip Island circuit where last year he was crowned Moto3 world champion. The Spanish contestant kept the bit between his teeth and gained a strong second place after battling it out in the company of Binder and Vierge. Alex Marquez, still out of sorts after another crash during the practice sessions, finished in seventh position. Franco Morbidelli achieved his best MotoGP performance by crossing the finishing line in eighth position. For the fourth time since the beginning of the year, Tom Lüthi finished just outside the points in sixteenth position.

The championship

Thanks to the twenty points gained in Australia, Joan Mir is now in fifth position in the Moto2 classification just three points behind Lorenzo Baldassari in fourth place. Alex Marquez is now in sixth place after dropping a position to his teammate. Still in fourteenth place in the MotoGP, Franco Morbidelli has confirmed his leading position in the “Rookie of the Year” classification.

History

Australia, which has been represented in the speed world championships since 1989, organised its thirtieth Grand Prix event this year. The first two events were held at Phillip Island before moving to the Eastern Creek circuit near Sydney in the state of New South Wales. They remained there for six years before returning to the state of Victoria. The Phillip Island circuit has seen some particularly memorable contests since 1997. “This track is unique,” explains Franco Morbidelli. In addition to its geographical situation and the amazing view over the ocean, the Phillip Island circuit presents a unique challenge. It is an extremely fast track with very few deceleration points and a lot of highly technical bends which come in quick succession. This is what makes the races so memorable for the spectators.” This is compounded by chaotic weather conditions characterised by wind, showers and very cool austral spring temperatures all of which combine to create a breath-taking spectacle.

Superbike World Championship – Qatar

A final success for Rea

After missing the first round due to rain, the final of the Superbike World Championship in Qatar has enabled Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes to end the season with a final double victory.

The races

It was a pity that the final race of the season had to be cancelled and ironic that rain forced the organisers to refuse to start the race in the middle of the desert… “It stopped me from breaking two new records,” sums up Jonathan Rea. Winner of the first race of the weekend after his victories in the first and last rounds and crossing the finishing line ahead of his teammate, the world champion was hoping to break the all-time record for the number of victories in one season. He had to resign himself to sharing this honour with the American Doug Polen with seventeen successes. He also had to content himself with finishing twelve points away from the all-time record set in that same season. “It will be a challenge for the next season,” responded Rea. Tom Sykes also had a great finish to his adventure with Kawasaki with another Superpole and a place on the last podium. Toprak Razgatlioglu crossed the finishing line in tenth position. Barbera finished seventh in Supersport whilst the Japanese participant Okubo fell in the first round due to a problem with his bike’s transmission chain.

The championship

This is the fourth world championship victory for Jonathan Rea who has ended the season with a total of 545 points. For his final year with Kawasaki, Tom Sykes finished fourth with 314 points. Razgatlioglu has come up to ninth position with 151 points for his first Superbike season. Okubo came thirteenth with 39 points and Barbera seventeenth with 27 points in Supersport.

History

The final round of the Superbike World Championship in Qatar marked a turning point in the history of this championship which pits motorcycles derived from standard models against one another. A new format is to be introduced next year by the FIM and Dorna Sport, the promoter of the championship. Three races will be planned in 2019 over a single weekend. The first, which will be held on Saturday at 2 p.m., will mark the start of the festivities and will maintain the current format. The second, on Sunday morning at 11 a.m., will be in the form of a sprint and the third, in the same format as the first, will start at 2 p.m. “We have been planning to incorporate a third “sprint” race in the format of the WorldSBK for a long time and we are delighted that it is finally happening in 2019,” explains Daniel Carrera, Executive Manager of WorldSBK. “We try each year to guarantee exciting races for the fans and we believe that the addition of a spring race will enrich the WorldSBK experience. We are still working on the final adjustments to ensure that the new format is a definite success.”