Grand Prix of Great Britain, 30 August, 2015

Silverstone Successful for Marc VDS riders

Redding chalking up his best result of the season, Rabat and Mark back into the top four… England was good to Michael Bartholemy’s riders.

The Races

Scott Redding swore he’d have his best result of the season on his home turf at Silverstone. The Brit kept his word. A little tense early in the race because of the rain, the Honda rider managed to increase the pace as the race went on, avoiding the pitfalls into which many of his opponents fell. Finishing sixth ahead of Bradley Smith, Redding was even the first British rider to take the chequered flag. In Moto2, Rabat and Marquez fought it out to the finish for third place. The reigning world champion finished with the upper hand over his young teammate who confirmed the build-up he began on the Brno circuit.

SCOTT REDDING GBR  ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 MARC VDS HONDA MotoGP  GP UK 2015 (Circuit Silverstone) 28-30/08.2015 PSP/ Lukasz Swiderek www.photoPSP.com

The Championship

Although he had already shone during the practice test sessions in Texas, Redding had never proved his skill in a race. But he did just that in England, pocketing ten points that allow him to move up a place in the overall standings, and is now thirteenth. In Moto2, Rabat continues to criss-cross with Alex Rins. Although he’s dropped back to third place, the rider for the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team is only four points behind his compatriot. Marquez stays in his tenth position, but it is now equal on points with the ninth rider, Dominique Aegerter.

The Background

Since the summer break, the MotoGP electronic management operating systems have been frozen. It is no longer possible for teams to make any changes to their software as they did until now from race to race. The championship is now in a transition phase between free electronics and controlled electronics. After imposing the same hardware for all of the machines, the championship promoter has demanded that next year everyone races with the same software. All that remains to be done is to write the program. What will it be? Since July, all of the manufacturers have pooled their operating systems in order to produce a synthesis which will result in the single software system. The discussions within the MSMA are heated, each manufacturer trying to pull the blanket to their side. Each plant has developed its own operating system according to the specific features of its motorcycle. All that remains to be done is to find the best compromise and write the 2016 software, the purpose of which is to reduce the gap in the performance between official and satellite motorcycles.

6 Hours of Nürburgring

SIGNATECH ALPINE IN THE TOP 5

The French team finished fifth in the LM P2 category on the legendary Nürburgring on which Porsche scored a home double in LM P1.

Just two laps away from happiness!

After six hours racing just two laps was all that was lacking for Nelson Panciatici, Paul-Loup Chatin and Vincent Capillaire to give the Signatech Alpine team its first top-3 finish in the endurance world championship.  Victory went to the KCMG team that had already won the LM P2 category in the last round, the Le Mans 24 Hours.

36 CAPILLAIRE Vincent (FRA) CHATIN Paul Loup (FRA) PANCIATICI Nelson (FRA) ALPINE A450-B NISSAN team Signatech Alpine action during the 2015 FIA WEC World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Silverstone, England, from April 9th to 12th 2015. Photo DPPI / Jean Michel Le Meur.

Porsche dominates

After its double in the legendary Sarthe classic, Porsche again filled the first two places on home turf helped by a new aero package and much greater downforce than its rivals in the LM P1 prototype category. No. 18 only lost out after being penalized (fuel consumption) so Bernhard-Hartley-Webber scored their first win of the 2015 season.  The German manufacturer also clinched a double in the LM GTE Pro category thanks to the works 911s run by Manthey Racing with no. 91 winning from no. 92.

 Next event: 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas (19 September)

Belgium Grand Prix (Spa-Francorchamps) 23 August, 2015

TOP-3 FINISH FOR GROSJEAN!

The French driver scored a superb third place on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit on which Hamilton won giving himself a little breathing space in the world championship classification.

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Romain’s tenacity pays off!

The French driver set the fourth-quickest time in Saturday’s qualifying session, his best result since his third place on the grid for the 2013 United States Grand Prix. He was penalised for a gearbox change and pushed back to the fifth row. In the race itself he gave a stunning demonstration of his skills behind the wheel by finishing in third place. Romain really worked hard for his tenth podium finish using consistency and opportunism. Thanks to this excellent result he is now lying ninth in the F1 Drivers’ World Championship ratings.

Hamilton dominates in the Ardennes

The world no. 1 chalked up his sixth victory in 2015, and he again proved that when it comes to chasing pole positions, he has no equals (10 in 11 GPs). He finished in front of his team-mate Nico Rosberg who he now leads by 28 points in the F1 title chase: they gave Mercedes its seventh double of the 2015 season.

Sebastian Vettel, the Silver Arrows’ main challenger, had a bad day at the office as he retired after a blow-out on his Ferrari’s right-hand rear tyre.

Daniil passes Daniel

The Infiniti Red Bull Racing drivers met with mixed fortunes. A hard-charging Daniil Kvyat came home fourth in the Belgian Grand Prix while Daniel Ricciardo was let down by his power unit after 19 laps. The Russian now leads his Aussie team-mate in the world championship.

Romain Grosjean (Lotus F1 Team):

I really enjoyed myself this weekend. As soon as I did the first few laps in the car I knew it was great. This was proved true in qualifying and again in the race. We reckoned we had a chance of a podium finish as we were very quick all weekend. I can’t really explain the reason for this improvement. All I know is that there are around one hundred people who work like crazy to make the car better. I did my very best to reward them. For us this podium is as good as a victory!”

 Next round: Italy GP (Monza – 6 September)

 

 

Rally of Germany 23 August, 2015

Ogier gives Volkswagen its first home victory!

The world no. 1 gave Volkswagen its first victory on home turf and the German manufacturer scored a triple in front of its home crowd. The Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT helped Mads Østberg to a seventh-place finish.

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14 scratch times out of 21!

Yesterday, Sébastien Ogier was in a class of his own compared to his rivals and he scored his 30th world rally championship victory after dominating Rally Germany. On Saturday he opened up a conclusive gap over his team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala second time through the Panzerplatte special stage and the French went on to give Volkswagen Motorsport its first victory on home turf. In fact, the German manufacturer clinched a triple as Andreas Mikkelsen came home third.

The DS 3s in the points

Mads Østberg gained momentum throughout the event and finished in seventh place. Kris Meeke went off on Friday in the sixth stage when he was lying fourth overall. He finally saw the flag in 12th position after setting the second-quickest time in the Power Stage.

A very impressive performance by Lefebvre

The reigning Junior WRC champion, the French Stéphane Lefevbre, put on a very impressive performance in what was his first official outing at the wheel of a DS 3 WRC which he crowned with a tenth-place finish, and scored his first world championship points.

Yves Matton (Citroën Racing Team Principal):

“Kris Meeke confirmed that he was competitive on tarmac and on gravel. Unfortunately, his mistake was a very costly one in terms of the overall result. After losing time on the first day as he looked for the right rhythm, Mads Østberg showed he was capable of fighting in the midfield on a surface which is difficult to get to grips with. On his first rally in the DS 3 WRC, Stéphane Lefebvre had an impressive race, which will have surprised many onlookers. He applied the instructions given to him by the team to the letter and the end result is beyond our expectations. His stage times and his splits were very interesting. We are keen to keep supporting him as he improves.”

 Next round: Rally of Australia (10 – 13 September)

 

 

Grand Prix of the Czech Republic, 16 August, 2015

Top Team Performance

With Tito Rabat finishing second and Alex Marquez in fourth place, the Moto2 riders of the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team were in fine fettle in the Czech Republic.

The Races

“It’s an excellent team result,”

grinned Michael Bartholemy at the finish line of the eleventh Moto2 race of the season. For the first time this year, the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team saw two of their riders finish in the first four – and if he hadn’t made a small mistake early in the race, Tito Rabat might even have fought it out with Johann Zarco for the number one spot.

  TITO RABAT SPA  ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 MARC VDS Kalex  Moto2  GP Czech 2015 (Circuit Brno) 14-16/08.2015 PSP/ Lukasz Swiderek www.photoPSP.com

Alex Marquez meanwhile chalked up his best performance of the season with his fourth place, confirming the progress he started to show in Indianapolis.

In the MotoGP class, however, Scott Redding still found his Honda RC213V difficult to handle. Fighting it out with Yonny Hernandez, the Brit had to settle for twelfth place.

 “We seem to be going around in circles looking for solutions without finding them,” regretted Michael Bartholemy, the manager of the Belgian team. “We’ve tried everything to help Scott feel more comfortable with the bike, but nothing seems to work. But we won’t give up.”

The Championship

Despite the three points he chalked up in Brno, Scott Redding stays in fourteenth place in the MotoGP standings. The Brit is now four points behind Yonny Hernandez.

In Moto2, Rabat has taken second place in the Championship from Alex Rins, while Alex Marquez has jumped from fifteenth to tenth position. In just two Grand Prix the Moto3 World Championship titleholder has gained eight places.

The Background

Last year, Alex Marquez was crowned Moto3 world champion after a long and bitter battle with Jack Miller, but also with his teammate Alex Rins. This season, Rins is in the top three of the Moto2 standings, while the rider of the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team is more frequently lower than tenth.

“It’s obvious we should be doing better,” admits Michael Bartholemy, manager of the Belgian team. “But whereas Rins quickly adapted to the Moto2 class, Alex has yet to find his feet with the Kalex, although the first tests during the winter went really well. Back then he was even riding faster than his former teammate. But a serious crash in Almeria affected his confidence before the first Grand Prix of the season. We’ve been making progress ever since. On the fast circuits, Alex is even riding very well. With a little luck he could have done much better in Mugello, Barcelona and Assen. During each of the three Grand Prix he was among the fastest riders, but in each of them he was involved in an accident on the track.”

As the championship enters its second half, Marquez aims to make it to the podium by the end of the season. His fourth place in Brno leaves room for hope that he’ll succeed.

“Our plan covers two seasons,” recalls Bartholemy. “I’m certain that next year Alex will regularly finish in the top five.”

Indianapolis Grand Prix – 9 August, 2015

Three riders take points

Scott Redding, Tito Rabat and Alex Marquez all brought back three points from their trip to Indianapolis, a good way of beginning the second half of the season.

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The Races

Thirteenth on the starting grid, and thirteenth to cross the finish line, Scott Redding redeemed himself after the errors he made at the German Grand Prix. The rider of the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team even managed to fight it out early on in the race with Cal Crutchlow to make it to the top ten.

“Unfortunately, as has been the case each race since the start of the season, I had to give up in the second part of the race when my tires started to lose grip,”

said the Brit.

“The bike became heavy and I either lost control of the front wheel or the back wheel as soon as I tried to push the pace.”

Leader at the start of the race, Tito Rabat was also penalized by the gradually decreasing performance of his tires. The Moto2 World Championship title holder ended the tenth race of the season in fifth place. After the difficulties he encountered in Germany, Alex Marquez ended the summer break better than he began, the Moto3 World Championship title holder taking the chequered flag in tenth position. 

The Championship

Finishing in thirteenth place for the fourth time this season, Scott Redding has now chalked up thirty points. Fourteenth in the MotoGP championship, the Brit is now three points behind Colombian Yonny Hernandez. In Moto2, Rabat has slipped back to third place in the championship, Rins having won his first race in Moto2 in Indianapolis. Alex Marquez has moved up from eighteenth to fifteenth place.

The Background

The second of two world championship MotoGP races held this year in the US, the program for the Indianapolis Grand Prix included the penultimate leg of the American speed championship, now called MotoAmerica. The competition which in the past had allowed the United States to train some great generations of Grand Prix riders – Kenny Robert, Freddie Spencer, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Kevin Schwantz, Roberts Jr. and Nicky Hayden together clinched five world championship titles in the premier-class category – last year was virtually dead and buried, with only a handful of riders, no support from importers and a calendar reduced to five events …

“We had to do something to save biking as a sport in America and hope one day to have one of us back in MotoGP,”

explained Wayne Rainey. Encouraged by a couple of American industrialists, but also supported by the MotoGP promoter, the former US world champion tackled the problem head on in an attempt to keep the stars and stripes flag flying.

“We had to keep it simple,”

summarized the Californian.

“We quickly realized it would be too complicated to immediately create a new class of racing such as Moto2 or Moto3. So we satisfied ourselves with the Superbike and Supersport type of race based on rules and regulations close to those in other national championships. Rebuilding the bases of biking as a sport in America will take time, but it’s an exciting project.”

 

Grand Prix of Malaysia (Sepang) 01-02 August 2015

Rea ready for the title

Jonathan Rea was only a wheel away from taking the Superbike world champion title after the race at Sepang. Beaten by Chaz Davies in the second leg by less than a tenth of a second, the Kawasaki rider will have to wait until September to carry off a crown that seems promised to him today.

The Races

It was another great weekend for Jonathan Rea in Malaysia. The championship leader won the first leg before losing to Chaz Davies by 0.091 seconds in the last race.

“I almost had a twin-win,” grinned the Kawasaki rider. “I was catching up Chaz quickly at the end of the race, and I realized I could overtake him in the last lap. It didn’t take much, but we collided and I even almost crashed. He prevented me from winning the title at Sepang, but in the end it’s probably better that way: my wife was not with me this weekend, and she wouldn’t have spoken to me for several days if I’d won the title without having her by my side.”

For a long time the leader in the first race, Tom Sykes fell back to fourth place near the finish after a sudden deterioration of his rear tyre. The result of the second race was even worse, the Kawasaki rider crashing after accidentally colliding with Max Biaggi shortly after the start. Nonetheless the former world champion was still able to get back on his bike to take the two points for fourteenth place. In Supersport Kenan Sofuoglu also experienced technical problems.

“We had trouble with the bumps,” grimaced the championship leader. “The bike came badly out of the turns, and I also found braking difficult.”

Sofuoglu nevertheless finished fourth, while for his first outing in Malaysia, Marco Faccani finished in sixteenth position, just outside the points.

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The Championship

One win, one second place, and twenty podiums in a row. That’s Jonathan Rea’s provisional track record for the 2015 season, with three events to go in the championship. After chalking up 452 points, the frontrunner in the overall classification now has a lead of 144 points with no more than 150 points left up for grabs. Suffice to say that unless there’s a real turn of events, the Brit should win his first world champion title on 20 September in Spain. Unlucky in the second race in Malaysia, Tom Sykes has lost his second place. He’s now third overall, 13 points away from Chaz Davies. In Supersport Kenan Sofuoglu has kept his leadership, but Jules Cluzel is only 13 points away from the Kawasaki rider.

The Background

World Supersport Championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu is currently crossing one of the most difficult periods of his life. The Turkish rider recently lost his son, Hamza, after a brain haemorrhage, in a personal tragedy that has obviously affected the entire Kawasaki team. Hospitalized early in May and operated on a few days later in Istanbul, Hamza Sofuoglu passed away just before the departure of his father for the Sepang circuit.

“I wondered what I should do,” admitted the triple world champion. “My wife and family encouraged me to race in Malaysia. My son fought for weeks to stay alive, now I have to live up to his memory. I cannot give up my job. In any case I would like to thank all those who have supported me.”

No doubt Kenan will overcome this new tragedy, having already lost two brothers in tragic accidents.

Rally of Finland (Jyväskylä), 01-02 August 2015

ØSTBERG CLINCHES TOP-3 FINISH

The Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT helped Mads  Østberg to third place in the legendary Rally Finland behind Jari-Matti Latvala’s and Sébastien Ogier’s Volkswagens.

Latvala doubles up on home turf

Jari-Matti Latvala from Finland was neck and neck with the world no. 1, Sébastien Ogier, his team leader, right from the start of Rally Finland. His performance on Saturday made the difference and on Sunday he was able to hold off the world champion from France. It was Latvala’s second victory in Finland on the bounce and the third in his career. However, it wasn’t enough to prevent Ogier from consolidating his lead as the 2015 championship is about to enter its second phase.

A record average

The Finn triumphed at a remarkable average of 125.44kph, eclipsing the previous best of 122.89kph set at the same rally in 2012 by Sébastien Loeb.

rallye, finlande, WRC

Meeke goes off, Østberg shows his class

On Saturday Kris Meeke’s hopes of a top-3 finish were shattered when he hit a tree. Mads  Østberg  immediately took up the chase and clinched third place in the rally in his DS3 WRC. This performance has helped the Norwegian to hold on to his third place overall in the world drivers’ championship and the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team to retain its second position in the manufacturers’ classification.

Yves Matton (Citroën Racing Team Principal): “We let our drivers decide on their own strategy for this weekend. They showed their ability to drive very fast on these roads, which are regarded as something of a benchmark in the World Championship. Both Kris and Mads showed that they were capable of being among the frontrunners in Finland with the DS 3 WRC. The work done by the entire team has clearly paid dividends. Kris’ mistake does not call this approach into question. Both drivers will be able to decide upon their own tactics in Germany and in Australia. Another podium finish is also further proof that the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team is making progress and it gives us confidence for the rest of the season.