Monthly Archives: May 2017

Oakley Grand Prix of Italy – Preview

THE JEWEL IN THE MOTORSPORT CROWN

There is only one place to be on Sunday – The Oakley Grand Prix of Italy at the Autodromo Mugello high in the rolling Tuscan hills above the magnificent City of Florence. One hundred thousand patriotic fans packing the hillsides producing a cacophony of noise and passion that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand rigid. It’s an atmosphere and venue that is what MotoGP™ is all about. Four British MotoGP warriors step into the amphitheatre on Sunday for round six of the MotoGP World Championship around the undulating 3.259 mile circuit that follows the contours of those green wooded hills.

Isle of Man – based Midlander Cal Crutchlow got back to points scoring ways with a hard fought fifth place at the previous round in Le Mans. The LCR Honda rider is seventh in the championship and has one podium finish at Mugello but has also suffered too many crashes there.

Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding is a Mugello Moto2™ winner and pole setter but slipped to 12th in the championship after retiring at Le Mans with gear shift problems after qualifying in an impressive seventh.

Oxfordshire’s Bradley Smith is another Mugello winner and pole setter. He won the 2009 125cc race from pole and has an excellent Mugello record. In 2011 he was third in the Moto2 race and has also fifth and seventh MotoGP finishes. He picked up more world championship points at Le Mans finishing 13th in Red Bull KTM’s fifth grand prix.

Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes also arrives into the cauldron with some confidence. He has been on Moto2 pole for the last two years and finished third in the race last year. He picked up his first ever MotoGP points on the Gresini Aprilia in Le Mans and has just completed a successful test with the team in Barcelona.

Former Moto3™ World Champion Danny Kent returns to the Moto2 Championship after a brief return to Moto3 in Le Mans. The Wiltshire-based rider replaces the injured Iker Lecuona on the Garage Plus Interwetten Kalex. Twenty-one-year-old Tarran Mackenzie makes just his second grand prix appearance after a fall on his debut from the Kiefer Racing Suter ruined an impressive debut in Le Mans.

Twenty-two-year-old Scotsman John McPhee slipped to fifth in the Moto3™ World Championship after finishing 12th at Le Mans. The British Talent Team Honda rider will be looking to improve his qualifying to give him a proper chance of repeating those two second places in the opening two rounds.

 
DID YOU KNOW

• This is the 32st occasion that a GP has been held at the Mugello circuit, including twenty seven times in the consecutive years from 1991.

• The first time that Mugello hosted a grand prix event was in 1976. The 500cc race was won by Barry Sheene by the narrow margin of 0.1 sec from Phil Read, in a race lasting over 62 minutes. This was at a time when Suzuki riders dominated the premier-class; the first non-Suzuki rider home was Waerum Borge Nielsen in tenth place riding a Yamaha.

• The layout of the Mugello circuit has remained basically the same since 1976 with the official track length of 5.245km remaining unchanged.

• Yamaha have been the most successful manufacturer in the four-stroke MotoGP era at Mugello with a total of ten wins; five successive victories with Valentino Rossi in the years 2004 through to 2008, in addition to the wins with Lorenzo in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

• Honda have had four wins in the MotoGP class at Mugello: Valentino Rossi in 2002 and 2003, Dani Pedrosa in 2010, and Marc Marquez in 2014.

• Since Casey Stoner gave Ducati their the single victory at the Mugello in 2009, Andrea Iannone is the only rider to finish on the podium riding for the Italian manufacturer, with second place in 2015 and third last year.

• The best results for Suzuki in the MotoGP era is 5th, which was achieved by John Hopkins in 2007 and Loris Capirossi in 2009.

• Valentino Rossi is the most successful rider across all the classes at Mugello, with a total of nine victories; one each in 125cc and 250cc classes to add to his seven successive MotoGP wins (2 x Honda + 5 x Yamaha), the last of which came in 2008.

• Loris Capirossi is the only Italian rider other than Rossi to win in the premier-class at Mugello, the 500cc race in 2000 after a race long battle with his countrymen Biaggi and Rossi, both of whom crashed in the closing stages.

• The MotoGP race at Mugello in 2004 is the shortest ever premier-class grand prix race. The race lasted just six laps, after the first attempt to run the race was stopped due to rain and then restarted for the remaining laps under the rain rules as they stood at that time.

• Italy, together with The Netherlands and Great Britain are the only three countries that have hosted a motorcycle grand prix event in each year since the motorcycling world championship series started in 1949.

• Spanish riders have won the MotoGP race at Mugello for the last seven years. The last non-Spanish rider to win in the MotoGP class at Mugello was Casey Stoner in 2009.

• The MotoGP race victories at Mugello in the fifteen years since it was introduced as the premier-class of Grand Prix racing are shared by just five riders: Valentino Rossi (7 wins), Jorge Lorenzo (5 wins); Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner and Marc Marquez all having a single win at Mugello.

• The winning margin for Jorge Lorenzo over Marc Marquez at Mugello last year was just 0.019 seconds, making it the seventh closest finish of all-time in the premier-class of grand prix racing.

• Last year at Mugello just 0.077 seconds covered the first five riders across the line in the Moto3 race, making it the closest grand prix top five of all-time.

• All five riders who have won in the Moto2 class at Mugello are now competing in the MotoGP class: Andrea Iannone (2010 & 2012), Marc Marquez (2011), Scott Redding (2013), Tito Rabat (2014 & 2015) and Johann Zarco (2016).

• The Moto3 race at Mugello this year will be the 100th Grand Prix race for solo motorcycles to be held at the Mugello circuit.

 

MAGIC MUGELLO SEEKS REPEAT SHOWING.

Last year just 0.019s split Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marc Marquez while just 0.077s covered the first five Moto3 riders when they flashed across the finishing line in the Grand Prix of Italy at the magnificent 3.529 miles Autodromo del Mugello – there is absolutely no reason it will not be the same on Sunday.

The time has arrived among the Tuscan hills for two riders with superb records at Mugello to press the repeat button and none more so than Italian local hero Valentino Rossi. The Movistar Yamaha rider dropped to third place in the Championship when he crashed duelling with team-mate and championship leader Maverick Vinales, on the last lap at the previous round in Le Mans. The 38-year-old has won nine times in front of his adoring fans including seven MotoGP™ victories but that last win came in 2008.

Jorge Lorenzo has won five MotoGP races at Mugello, including that epic battle with Marquez last year, and he returns with the support of the patriotic crowd for the very first time making his Italian racing Ducati debut. He was a disappointing sixth in Le Mans after problems in qualifying, after finishing on the Jerez podium two weeks earlier. He will fancy another podium in the 23 lap race on Sunday.

Twenty-two-year-old Vinales arrives with a swagger after his third win of the season gives him a 17 point advantage over the in-form Dani Pedrosa. Vinales is a Moto3™ winner and finished sixth at Mugello last year. Fellow Spanish rider Pedrosa arrives with a similar swagger after three successive podium finishes including a Jerez win on the Repsol Honda. His team-mate World Champion Marc Marquez was another Le Mans faller and slipped to fourth, 27 points behind Vinales and just three points ahead of rookie sensation Johann Zarco. Both Pedrosa and Marquez are Mugello MotoGP winners.

The Frenchman Zarco, who won the Moto2™ race last year, faces just his sixth MotoGP race on the Monster Tech3 Yamaha with a confidence which is reflected by his start in the premier class culminating in his second place in his home grand prix at Le Mans. There is no reason why he can’t be challenging for a second successive podium finish on Sunday. Just one point behind him is Andrea Dovizioso who will unleash the power of the GP17 Ducati on the one kilometre start and finish straight.

Other Italians to check out include Danilo Petrucci on the Octo Pramac Ducati and former Mugello pole setter Andrea Iannone who’s having such a wretched time on his Ecstar Suzuki debut. Zarco’s team-mate Jonas Folger has given Tech3 an amazing start to the season and is ninth while Australian Jack Miller defies all pain barriers in tenth place on the Marc VDS Honda.

Normal service was resumed in the Moto2™ and Moto3™ classes at the previous round in Le Mans. Franco Morbidelli got back to winning ways with his fourth Moto2 win of the season. He returns home on the EG 0.0 Marc VDS Kalex with a 20 point lead in the championship over Tom Luthi who has Mugello podium finishes in both 125cc and Moto2. The only other Moto2 race winner this year is Morbidelli team-mate Alex Marquez who moved into third place after a brave fourth in Le Mans following a big crash in practice. The man to watch on Sunday is Italian Francesco Bagnaia who has finished second on the Sky Italia VR46 Kalex at the last two grands prix.

Spanish teenager Joan Mir grabbed his third Moto3™ win of the season in the chaotic Le Mans race. The Leopard Racing Honda rider leads the championship by an impressive 34 points over Romano Fenati, who crashed out in Le Mans, with the impressive Aron Canet in third place pushing Jorge Martin and John McPhee back to fourth and fifth respectively.
TELEVISION TIMES

BT SPORT 2
Friday 2 June: 8.00 – 15.00
Saturday 3 June: 8.00 – 15.15
Sunday 4 June: 7.30 – 15.00

CHANNEL FIVE
Highlights Tuesday June 6 19.00

talkSport2 will also have live commentary of the race on Sunday.

By | May 30th, 2017|News and Events, Uncategorised|Comments Off on Oakley Grand Prix of Italy – Preview

HJC Helmets Grand Prix of France – Preview

REDDING RETURNS TO SCENE OF TRIUMPH

Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding returns to a scene of triumph when he arrives at Le Mans for the HJC Helmets Grand Prix of France on Sunday. Four years ago Redding won the his first Moto2™ race at the 2.600 miles Bugatti circuit which uses the same start and finish area as the legendary 24-hour circuit.

It’s been a good circuit for British riders although there have also been too many crashes around this short demanding track that always produces close racing. Isle of Man – based Midlander Cal Crutchlow finished second in the MotoGP™ race the same year. Ten years ago Bradley Smith took his very first grand prix podium when he was third in the 125cc race.

Roll the clock forward to this season and Crutchlow’s crash in the previous round at Jerez spoilt what had been a great start to the season. Riding the LCR Honda, he’d finished third in Argentina and fourth in Austin before the Jerez fall which dropped him to seventh place in the championship six points behind local hero Johann Zarco who will receive massive support in the 28 lap race on Sunday.

Redding, riding the Octo Pramac GP16 Ducati, has dropped to 11th place in the championship after disappointing results in the last two races after such an impressive start to the year that saw him fourth after the opening two rounds. Oxfordshire’s Bradley Smith has made good progress on the new Red Bull KTM. In just their fourth grand prix he picked up two World Championship points in 14th place.

Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes, who finished fourth in the Moto2 race from second on the grid two years ago, is close to his first MotoGP World Championship points. He was 16th at Jerez riding the Gresini Aprilia.

Scotsman John McPhee will be looking to bounce back after such a disappointing Moto3™ weekend at the previous round in Jerez. The British Talent Honda team rider crashed out fighting to make up places after poor qualifying. He dropped to fourth in the championship after finishing second in the opening two races.

The 2015 Moto3™ World Champion Danny Kent returns to the class as a wild-card entry for the Red Bull Ajo KTM, team and is replaced by Tarran Mackenzie in the Kiefer Racing Moto2™ team.

 
MACKENZIE REPLACES KENT IN MOTO2

British Supersport Champion Tarran Mackenzie will replace Danny Kent on the Kiefer Racing Suter for the remainder of the Moto2™ World Championship season. Twenty-one-year-old Mackenzie has won the opening six races of this year’s British Supersport Championship after winning the title last year. He is the son of former 500cc World Championship podium finisher and British Champion Neil Mackenzie and makes his debut at Le Mans on Sunday.

Kent, the 2015 Moto3™ World Champion, has struggled on his return to Moto2 and returns to the Moto3 World Championship as a wild-card entry for the championship winning Red Bull Ajo KTM team at Le Mans.

 
DID YOU KNOW

• Le Mans has hosted a grand prix event on twenty-nine previous occasions, including the Grand Prix “Vitesse du Mans” in 1991, which is the only year that two grand prix events have been held in France in the same year.

• Le Mans was first used for a grand prix event in 1969, when the 500cc race was won by Giacomo Agostini, who lapped all the other riders in the race on his MV Agusta.

• This is the 18th successive year that the Le Mans circuit has hosted a motorcycle grand prix event, starting in 2000.

• In addition to Le Mans, there have been seven other circuits that have hosted the French GP (the figure in brackets is the number of times each circuit has hosted the French Grand Prix): Paul Ricard (13), Clermont-Ferrand (10), Nogaro (2), Reims (2), Rouen (2), Albi (1), Magny-Cours (1).

• Since the introduction of the four-stroke MotoGP™ formula in 2002, Honda have had seven wins at Le Mans, the last of which was three years ago with Marc Marquez.

• Yamaha have also had seven MotoGP wins at Le Mans, including for the last two years with Jorge Lorenzo.

• Last year at Le Mans, Lorenzo crossed the line 10.654 seconds ahead of Valentino Rossi; Lorenzo’s largest margin of victory in a dry MotoGP race

• Chris Vermeulen took his single MotoGP win at Le Mans in 2007 riding a Suzuki. Prior to Maverick Viñales winning at Silverstone last year, this was the only GP victory in the four-stroke MotoGP era for Suzuki. Viñales finished third at Le Mans last year – the first MotoGP podium for Suzuki since Loris Capirossi was third at Brno in 2008.

• The best results for Ducati at the Le Mans circuit are second place finishes for Loris Capirossi in 2006 and Valentino Rossi in 2012.

• The only non-Spanish rider to win a MotoGP race at Le Mans in the past eight years is Casey Stoner in 2011.

• There have been five GP wins at the Le Mans circuit by French riders: Jean Aureal won the 125cc race in 1969, Guy Bertin the 125cc race in 1979, Patrick Fernandez the 350cc race in 1979, Mike di Meglio the 125cc race in 2008 and Louis Rossi the Moto3 race in 2012.
• The best result by a French rider at Le Mans in the MotoGP class is 4th by Olivier Jacque in 2003. French riders twice finished on the podium in the 500cc GP class at Le Mans; Raymond Roche was second in 1985 and Christian Sarron third in 1987.

• Of the fifteen MotoGP races held at Le Mans, nine have either started in wet conditions or rain has started during the race. The only years that the MotoGP race at Le Mans has been run under full dry conditions are: 2004, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

• The seven Moto2™ races that have taken place at Le Mans have been won by six different riders: Toni Elias, Marc Marquez, Tom Luthi, Scott Redding, Mika Kallio and Alex Rins. The only rider to have more than a single Moto2 win at Le Mans is Tom Luthi, who is also the only previous Moto2 winner at Le Mans still competing in the class.

• None of the seven previous Moto2 races at Le Mans has been won by the rider starting on pole position.

• The five Moto3™ races that have taken place at Le Mans have been won by five different riders: Louis Rossi, Maverick Viñales, Jack Miller, Romano Fenati and Brad Binder. The only one of these victories not on a KTM machine was the win by Louis Rossi in 2012 riding a FTR Honda.

 
IN FORM PEDROSA BLASTS INTO LE MANS

The in form Dani Pedrosa blasts into the Le Mans circuit on Sunday where he has won grand prix races in all three classes. The Repsol Honda rider totally dominated the Spanish Grand Prix a couple of weeks ago and arrives at the 2.600 miles Bugatti circuit just ten points behind MotoGP™ Championship leader Valentino Rossi. Pedrosa has won four times in Le Mans and is one of the three winners in the opening four races of 2017.

Thirty-eight-year-old Rossi may not be a winner yet this year but despite major tyre problems in the Jerez heat still leads the way by a slender two points going into the 28 lap race on Sunday. The Movistar Yamaha rider has finished second at Le Mans in the last three years and breathing down his neck is team-mate Maverick Vinales who won the opening two grands prix and his first ever grand prix at Le Mans, the 125 cc race in 2011. World Champion Marc Marquez has bounced back to form with an Austin victory and second in Jerez. The Spaniard trails Rossi by just four points but has a mixed record at Le Mans with Moto2 and MotoGP wins but also numerous crashes.

Just ten points separate the top four riders in the championship but the dark horses on Sunday will be Jorge Lorenzo riding the factory Ducati and Frenchman Johann Zarco riding for the French Monster Tech3 Yamaha team. Lorenzo, who finished third at Jerez in just his fourth grand prix for Ducati, has won five MotoGP races at Le Mans in the last eight years and has led every lap for the last two years. Double Moto2™ World Champion Zarco will receive massive support from the 100,000 crowd on Sunday after a fantastic start to his MotoGP career. After crashing out on his debut while leading in Qatar he secured two fifth places and in Jerez was fourth – what better place than Le Mans to secure that first MotoGP™ podium?

He will be joined on the grid by another Frenchman with 2014 World Superbike Champion Sylvan Guintoli replacing the injured Alex Rins to join Andrea Iannone in the Ecstar Suzuki team. Watch out for Andrea Dovizioso in qualifying where he grabbed front row starts every year between 2011- 2015.

Alex Marquez, younger brother of Marc, blew the Moto2™ World Championship wide open with his first class victory in Jerez. His EG 0.0 Marc VDS team-mate Franco Mordbidelli crashed out after winning the opening three races and saw his lead slashed to 11 points by the consistent Tom Luthi. The Swiss rider loves Le Mans having won two Moto2 races and a third on Sunday would put some real pressure on Mordbidelli who appeared to be running away with the title chase. Five points behind Luthi is the impressive Miquel Oliveira on the new KTM with Marquez moving into fourth place after his Jerez win.

Romano Fenati is the man to watch in the Moto3™ class. The Italian returns to Le Mans where he won two years ago. Following his second place in Jerez behind Spanish teenager Aaron Canet, he trails championship leader Spaniard Joan Mir by nine points. The consistent Jorge Martin is third just a further six points adrift with John McPhee dropping to fourth after his Jerez crash. Keep an eye on the 2015 Moto3 World Champion Danny Kent who returns as a wild-card entry for the Red Bull Ajo KTM team after a disappointing season in Moto2.

 
TELEVISION TIMES

BT SPORT 2
Friday 19 May: 8.00 – 15.00
Saturday 20 May: 8.00 – 15.15
Sunday 21 May: 7.30 – 15.00

CHANNEL FIVE
Highlights Monday May 22 19.00

talkSport2 will also have live commentary of the race on Sunday.

By | May 15th, 2017|Uncategorised|Comments Off on HJC Helmets Grand Prix of France – Preview

Red Bull Grand Prix of Spain – Preview

200,000 PLUS HEAD SOUTH FOR JEREZ PILGRIMAGE

All roads lead south to Jerez this weekend for the opening European round of the MotoGP™ World Championship, the Red Bull Grand Prix of Spain. Hundreds of British fans will join the 200,000 plus weekend crowd in their annual pilgrimage to the legendary 2.748 mile circuit near Cadiz after three superb opening races in Qatar, Argentina and Texas.

Heading the British MotoGP challenge will be Isle of Man based Midlander Cal Crutchlow riding the LCR Honda. The 31-year-old hit great form in the last two rounds with third and fourth places and will be pushing hard for his second podium finish of the season in the 27 lap race. Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding made a good start to the year and was fourth in the Championship after the opening two rounds on the Octo Pramac Ducati. He struggled in Austin on the GP16 Ducati to finish 12th but is still only nine points adrift of Andrea Dovizioso in fourth place.

Oxfordshire’s Bradley Smith made his grand prix debut in the 125 cc race at Jerez in 2006 and won his first grand prix there in the 125 cc race three years later. The 26-year-old is working hard with the new Red Bull KTM team to develop the RC 16 machine and picked up a point in Argentina. They have tested at Jerez last year and any points gained would be very welcome.

Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes had endured a tough start to his MotoGP career on the Gresini Aprilia but he returns to the scene of one his greatest triumphs last year. He qualified on pole and won the Moto2™ race at Jerez. Gearbox problems and a crash have kept him out of the points this year and he looks to a change of fortune on Sunday when the 18 round World Championship reaches Europe.

Twenty-two-year-old Oban-based Scotsman John McPhee has made a brilliant start to the Moto3™season. Two second places and then a solid seventh place in Austin last time out puts the British Talent team Honda rider third in the Championship, just nine points behind Championship leader Joan Mir.

Former Moto3 World Champion and Jerez winner Danny Kent has quit the Kiefer racing Moto2 team

DID YOU KNOW

This is the 31st successive year that a motorcycle grand prix event has been held at the Jerez circuit since it was first used in 1987.

• Assen is the only current venue that has been used consecutively for a longer period than Jerez.

• A total of 92 grand prix races for solo motorcycles have been held at the Jerez circuit as follows: MotoGP™ – 15, 500cc – 15, Moto2™ – 7, 250cc – 23, Moto3™ – 5, 125cc – 24, 80cc – 3.

• Since the introduction of the MotoGP™ class in 2002, Honda have had seven victories at Jerez, the last of which was three years ago with Marc Marquez.

• Yamaha has also had seven MotoGP™ wins at Jerez, including for the last two years.

• Ducati’s only win at Jerez was in 2006 when Loris Capirossi won from pole position. The last time a Ducati rider finish on the podium at Jerez was in 2011 when Nicky Hayden was third.

• Last year Aleix Espargaro finished fifth at Jerez to equal the best ever MotoGP™ result for Suzuki at the circuit. Suzuki’s last victory at Jerez was in 2000, when Kenny Roberts won the 500cc race on his way to taking the world title.

• Jerez has been the most successful circuit for the Spanish riders as regards premier-class victories, with a total of eleven wins; Alberto Puig in 1995, Alex Criville in 1997, 98, 99, Sete Gibernau in 2004, Dani Pedrosa in 2008 & 2013, Jorge Lorenzo in 2010, 2011 & 2015, and Marc Marquez in 2014.

• There has been at least one Spanish rider on the podium in the MotoGP™ race at Jerez for the last thirteen years, a sequence that started in 2004.

• Alberto Puig’s victory at Jerez on 7th May 1995 was the first win for a Spanish rider in the premier-class on home soil.

• Valentino Rossi is the most successful rider at the Jerez circuit with nine grand prix victories to his name; a single victory in both the 125cc and 250cc classes to add to his seven in the premier-class.

• Last year was the first since 2009 that Spain did not have at least one winner across the three classes at the Jerez GP.

• There have been five different winners in the MotoGP™ class at Jerez in the last five years: Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.

• For the last three years at Jerez the rider who has won the MotoGP™ race has started from pole position.

• The seven Moto2™races that have taken place at Jerez have been won by seven different riders, none of whom are competing full-time in the Moto2 class in 2017: Toni Elias, Andrea Iannone, Pol Espargaro, Tito Rabata, Mika Kallio, Jonas Folger and Sam Lowes.

• Brad Binder took his first grand prix in sensational style at the Spanish Grand Prix last year, starting from the last place on the grid as a penalty for a technical infringement, and riding his way through the field to win by over three seconds. This was the first ever win the lightweight-class of Grand Prix racing for a South African rider.

ROSSI RACES INTO JEREZ LEADING THE WAY.

Valentino Rossi races into Jerez leading the MotoGP™ World Championship, after three breath-taking rounds, to start the European season at the Red Bull Grand Prix of Spain on Sunday. The 38-year-old nine times World Champion’s three podium finishes on the Movistar Yamaha has produced a precious six point lead when the Italian returns to the legendary 2.748 mile circuit in Southern Spain. Consistency has been the key for Rossi, who won the race last year, while his great rivals the Spanish duo of team-mate Maverick Vinales and World Champion Marc Marques have both won and crashed. Vinales won the opening two rounds but fell two weeks ago in Austin, while Marquez Marquez crashed out of the lead in Argentina. It promises to be another epic encounter in the 27 lap race on Sunday between the three stand out championship contenders. It’s a particularly big race for Austin winner Marquez who still trails Rossi by 18 points.

Dani Pedrosa, Marquez’s Repsol Honda team-mate, took his first podium finish of the season with a third place in Austin and has a great record at Jerez with nine podium finishes in ten MotoGP appearances including two wins. Cal Crutchlow has also hit some consistency on the LCR Honda after a difficult first race and will be pushing for his second podium finish of the season. It’s been a tough start to the year for the factory Ducati team but Andrea Dovizioso is still fourth in the championship while former Jerez winner Jorge Lorenzo is slowly getting to grips with the very different Italian machine and finished ninth in Austin.

MotoGP™ rookies and Monster Tech3 Yamaha team-mates Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger have made a sensational start to their step up from Moto2™. Zarco has finishes fifth in the last two races after crashing in Qatar while leading, while Folger has been the model of consistency including a sixth place in Argentina. Riders looking to start their European campaign with a bang after a tough opening three races include the Spanish trio of Alvaro Bautista, Aleix Espargaro and Hector Barbara, while Alex Rins is missing after breaking his left wrist in Austin. He will be replaced in the Ecstar Suzuki team by Takuya Tsuda who joins Jerez Moto2™ winner Andrea Iannone.

There is a clear message in the Moto2™ World Championship – who can stop Italian Franco Mordbidelli. The EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider has dominated the opening three races to build up an impressive 19 point lead over the consistent Tom Luthi who’s been on the podium in all three. Portuguese rider Miguel Oliviera has given the new KTM team an impressive debut especially with the second place in Argentina while Takaaki Nakagami’s two third places have pushed him into fourth place just in front of the impressive young Spaniard Xavi Vierge. The one rider who has pushed Mordbidelli in those three races has been his team-mate Alex Marquez who has made mistakes at vital times. Perhaps his time will come on Sunday?

Romano Fenati’s win in Austin has blown the Moto3™ World Championship wide open. Joan Mir had won the opening two rounds in brilliant style but Fenati’s impressive win on the Marinelli Rivacold Snipers Honda and Mir’s eighth place means the young Spaniard’s lead has been slashed to just six points over countryman Jorge Martin who has finished on the podium every time. John McPhee, riding the British Talent Team Honda, slipped to third after a seventh place in Austin, just four points in front of the flying Fenati.

TELEVISION TIMES

BT SPORT 2
Friday 5 May: 8.00 – 15.00
Saturday 6 May: 8.00 – 15.15
Sunday 7 May: 7.30 – 15.00

CHANNEL FIVE
Highlights Monday May 8 19.00

talkSport2 will also have live commentary of the race on Sunday.

By | May 2nd, 2017|Uncategorised|Comments Off on Red Bull Grand Prix of Spain – Preview