Monthly Archives: June 2015

MotoGP: A controversial skirmish has taken the Rossi-Marquez rivalry to a new level

This incident has caused plenty of debate over the last few days so have a go playing the role of race steward and judge for yourself.

Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez came together on the last corner of the Dutch MotoGP during their spectacular fight for victory. Rossi skated across the gravel and won the race but Marquez believes Valentino should’ve been penalised for cutting the corner.

Here’s what both riders had to say.

Marc Marquez: “I feel that we won the race. I don’t think anybody wanted the contact but I think what I did was the perfect last chicane. When we had the contact we were already in the same position. I was not back. I think he already saw me. What I know is I did the correct way because I didn’t go outside the track.”

Valentino Rossi: “Maybe it’s better that we see the images another time as everybody has his own idea. My idea is that I was completely in front. I braked hard, I stayed in the centre, and I was already into the first part when he came onto me. I just saw the tyre and he touched me on the elbow. I wanted to make the chicane and I was on the line. Unfortunately his touch put me on the outside and I didn’t have a chance to stay on the line. When I went into the gravel my first reaction was to open the throttle because I didn’t know if it was deep. I was lucky to control the bike. This is my version. We know his version.”

Race stewards took no action because they deemed the clash to be a racing incident but plenty of observers (including Marquez) have questioned what they might’ve done if Valentino Rossi wasn’t the beneficiary. Did Rossi gain an unfair advantage, or was he the victim of a desperate lunge from Marquez? Either way, this epic rivalry has escalated another notch.

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FE: The inaugural Formula E championship was decided in the last 15 seconds of the season

It’s moments like this that make live sport so compelling – the motor racing equivalent of a penalty shootout.

Sebastien Buemi had to finish Sunday’s race 5th or higher to win the championship but was stuck running 6th in the dying stages. With only a few corners remaining, Buemi threw caution to the wind and made one last desperate attempt to pass Bruno Senna for the position he needed. In doing so he ensured the championship would be decided in single thrilling moment. Buemi ‘risked it for a biscuit’ but had to watch the title slip from his fingertips within sight of the chequered flag. Agonising stuff.

A Hollywood finish was the perfect way to wrap up a season of close exciting racing.‪‪

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Moto3: This is one of the strangest finishes to a motorcycle race that you’re ever likely to see

Niklas Ajo came off his bike at the final corner of the Dutch ‪‎Moto3‬ Grand Prix and, not only did he manage to avoid the wall, he ended up reaching the chequered flag on his knees. Nice work!

Ajo’s heroics have made it onto every sports highlights show over the last few days, but what makes his side-saddle moment even more remarkable is that he has actually done it before. Check out the below clip for an earlier episode of the Niklas Ajo stunt show.

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Hill climb: Technical problems have stopped Honda from doing something awesome this weekend

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The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb takes place this weekend and, up until today, Honda was planning to enter the event with an LMP2 car piloted by Justin Wilson. Practice has started on the mountain but Honda has been forced to withdraw due to technical issues they can’t fix on site. It’s a huge shame because a carbon fibre 500hp Le Mans prototype, with an ex Grand Prix driver behind the wheel, would’ve been epic on the winding mountain road – perhaps even a little bit insane.

Honda said this was an exploratory trip in preparation for a full assault in 2016 so they will be back next year. Hopefully their interest encourages other manufacturers to do the same. The road up Pikes Peak has only been tarmac since 2012 and that’s opened the doors for more varied machines (such as Le Mans prototypes it would seem). A new era of bonkers hill climb cars could be just around the corner.

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V8SC: 100 wins isn’t the only incredible statistic about Craig Lowndes’ career

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100 V8 Supercar race victories is an incredible achievement, but it might not be the most amazing statistic about Craig Lowndes’ career. What’s arguably more impressive is that Lowndes has finished fourth or higher in the championship a massive fourteen times (and is likely to make it fifteen this year).

He might only have three titles to his name, but Lowndes has finished runner-up five times and has almost always been near the front. Fourteen seasons at that level is the sort of statistic only Michael Schumacher and Valentino Rossi can match in their respective fields. 100 race wins is great, but being consistently in championship contention for such a long period of time is arguably more impressive.

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V8SC: Craig Lowndes has taken his 100th race victory

Craig Lowndes took his 100th V8 Supercar race victory today, and although it’s like comparing apples to oranges, it’s interesting to see how that stacks up against record winners from other categories around the world. It’s a brilliant achievement.

WINS

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IndyCar: The 2015 IndyCar season keeps throwing up surprises

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Team Penske is supposed to be the dominant force in this year’s IndyCar Championship. With the fastest engine/aero package and four of the top five drivers from 2014, Penske has all the ingredients to completely steamroll the opposition. However, a series of wet races and well-timed caution periods have produced a variety of results and it has been a fairly mixed up season.

Here are some interesting stats after the first 10 races:

  • 7 different winners.
  • Only once has the polesitter taken victory.
  • The championship leader, Juan Pablo Montoya, has an average finishing position of just 6th.
  • Between them, Penske’s drivers have qualified in the top 3 on 26 occasions. However, they’ve finished races in the top 3 on just 12 occasions.
  • 104 points will be up for grabs at the final race of the season. At the moment, 106 points separate the top 8 drivers.
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WEC: Recent history suggests three-car teams are more successful at Le Mans

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Interestingly, Toyota will be the only manufacturer battling for outright honours at Le Mans this weekend without a three-car LMP1 team. The decision to run two cars instead of three might’ve cost Toyota a shot at victory last year but the team hasn’t changed its approach and has said the additional funding required to run a third car is better spent on research and development. That’s a fair point. You’re probably better off with two good cars than three which are not ready.

However, there are distinct advantages to running a three-car team at Le Mans because the extra car provides insurance against problems hitting the other two. The statistics also tend to back this up – only twice in the last fifteen years has the race been won by a manufacturer with only two outright contenders on the grid. In a race where reliability is everything, more cars equals more chances to reach the finish, and several of Audi’s 13 victories mightn’t have been possible with only a two-car squad.

It will be interesting to see what impact reliability has on the LMP1 field this weekend.

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MotoGP: Valentino Rossi shows the difference between a good rider and a great rider

This brilliant slow motion video clip features a great save from Valentino Rossi as he pushes his Yamaha right to the limit at Mugello.

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FE: Peugeot-Citroen could shake up Formula E next season

Rumours emerged over the Moscow Formula E weekend that, not only is the PSA Peugeot Citroen company considering entering the series with one of its brands, it has even tested an engine at its facility near Paris. The arrival of Peugeot or Citroen would be a huge boost for Formula E as it promotes new technology next season, but it would also give the other teams something to worry about. Since the PSA Group stopped making Formula 1 engines in 2000 they have been hugely successful in motorsport and everything they’ve touched has quickly turned into gold.

PSA

Formula E could be next.

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