Monthly Archives: June 2017

REDDING RENEWS HIS VOWS IN THE CATHEDRAL

Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding is hoping to renew his vows at the Cathedral of Grand Prix Motorcycle racing at the Motul TT Assen, Holland on Sunday. Last year Redding finished third in the pouring rain at the legendary 2.882 miles Assen circuit that is the only circuit remaining from the original 1949 World Championship schedule. The Pramac Ducati rider returns for the eighth round of the MotoGP™ World Championship after a tough time following a good start to the season. He is 12th in the World Championship and has a good record in Assen with a couple of Moto2™ podium finishes in addition to his podium last year. Some cooler conditions and even some rain would suit him in the 26 lap race and there is every chance in Assen that may well be the case.

Isle of Man – based Midlander Cal Crutchlow returned to points scoring in the previous Barcelona round with a careful 11th place in the searing heat, The LCR Honda rider has finished on the podium this season and has a good record in Assen as he seeks to improve on his ninth place in the championship. He took his first MotoGP pole at Assen four years ago and finished third in the race the same year.

Oxfordshire’s Bradley Smith makes a welcome return on the factory KTM after missing the previous round with a badly damaged little finger on his left hand sustained in a practice crash. Not only did he miss the Barcelona grand prix but also the crucial test the next day and so it will be another tough task for the Austrian KTM Team on their first visit to Assen. Smith has previously secured Moto2 and 125 cc podiums in Holland.

Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes has finished third and fourth in the last two Assen Moto2 races and he certainly could do with some points scoring in the MotoGP race. It’s been tough for Lowes on his MotoGP debut on the Gresini Aprilia. Mechanical problems and crashes have eaten away at his confidence but he has finished the last four races. A couple of points scoring rides before the summer break would do him a power of good.

Scotsman Tarran Mackenzie at last competes at a circuit he knows after three races at new circuits on his Moto2™ debut. It should give him a real boost having competed in the British Supersport Championship in Assen as he continues his grand prix education on the Kiefer Racing Suter.

Another Scotsman, John McPhee, finished just over five seconds behind Moto3™ winner Joan Mir at the previous round in Barcelona but could only finish in 12th place. The amazing Moto3 races are so tight that good qualifying is vital and McPhee has struggled in the last few races on the British Talent Team Honda. After his brilliant start to the season he’s still seventh in the Championship and will be seeking the advice of his mentor Jeremy McWilliams who took his only grand prix win in Holland in the 2001 250 cc race.

 
DID YOU KNOW
Assen is the only venue that has hosted a grand prix event every year since the motorcycle World Championship Grand Prix series started back in 1949 and below are some facts and figures from the previous events at this famous circuit:

• The Dutch TT became part of the world championship series when it was first created in 1949 and Assen is the only circuit to have been part of the series every year since, making this the 69th Dutch TT that has counted towards the world championship classification.

• In 2016 the Dutch TT was held on Sunday for the first time; all previous Dutch TT events had taken place on Saturday

• The original Assen circuit, that was used up to 1954, measured 16.54 km. This was reduced to 7.7 km in 1955 and then in 1984 further modifications to the circuit reduced the length to 6.1 km. The current layout has been used since 2006, with a few minor adjustments.

• The 500cc race at the 1975 Dutch TT is the only premier-class grand prix race where the first two riders across the line have been credited with the same race time. Barry Sheene and Giacomo Agostini finished so close that the timekeepers of the day, using manual timing accurate to 0.1 sec, were unable to split them.

• Yamaha are the most successful manufacturer at the Dutch TT since the start of the four-stroke MotoGP formula, with eight victories.

• Honda have had six MotoGP wins at the Dutch TT with six different riders: Valentino Rossi, Sete Gibernau, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner, Marc Marquez and Jack Miller.

• Ducati’s single MotoGP win at the Dutch TT came in 2008 with Casey Stoner. Ducati has had just two podium finishers at Assen in the past six years: Andrea Dovizioso was second in 2014 and Scott Redding third last year.

• The last win by Suzuki at the Dutch TT was in the 500cc race in 1993 with Kevin Schwantz. The best results by Suzuki in the MotoGP era at the Dutch TT are 5th place finishes by John Hopkins in 2007 and Chris Vermeulen in 2009.

• Ben Spies took his one and only MotoGP win at the Dutch TT in 2011 riding a Yamaha.

• The last rider to win the MotoGP race at the Dutch TT in successive years is Valentino Rossi, in 2004 and 2005.

• The rider with most GP victories at Assen is Angel Nieto with 15 wins in the 125cc and 50cc classes, followed by Giacomo Agostini who had 14 wins riding 500cc and 350cc machines.

• Among the current riders, Valentino Rossi has been most successful at Assen with a total of nine victories, seven in MotoGP and one each in the 250cc and 125cc classes.

• Each of the three winners at the Dutch TT last year were first time winners in their particular class: MotoGP – Jack Miller, Moto2 – Takaaki Nakagami, Moto3 – Francesco Bagnaia

• The win in the Moto2 class by Takaaki Nakagami last year at Assen was the first GP victory for a Japanese rider in any class of grand prix racing since Yuki Takahashi won the Moto2 race at the Catalan Grand Prix in 2010. Nakagami is the only rider still competing in Moto2 who has won an intermediate-class race at Assen.

• Moto3 rookie Bo Bendsneyder finished 9th at his home grand prix last year, which was the best result for a Dutch rider in any class of grand prix racing at the Dutch TT since Jurgen van den Goorbergh finished ninth in the 500cc race in 2001.

• At the end of the 22 lap Moto3 race at the Dutch TT last year, Jules Danilo in sixth position crossed the finish line just 0.161 seconds behind race winner Pecco Bagnaia. This is the closest top six finish of all-time in grand prix racing.

• Pecco Bagnaia took his first GP win in the Moto3 race last year at Assen; this was also the first ever grand prix victory for Mahindra as a constructor.

 
SUNDAY SERVICE FOR DOVIZIOSO AT THE CATHEDRAL

Andrea Dovizioso makes the annual pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Grand Prix Motorcycle racing at Assen in Holland on Sunday praying for his third successive grand prix win. The Italian Ducati rider has won the last two grands prix and arrives at the legendary 2.822 miles Assen circuit for the Motul Assen TT as a real championship contender. Following his wins in Mugello and Barcelona he is just seven points behind championship leader Maverick Vinales, but history is against him making it a hatrick of wins at this eighth round of the championship.

Ducati’s only win at Assen came in 2008 with victory for Casey Stoner, with Dovizioso second in 2014 and Scott Redding third in the rain last year. Dovizioso has had two more MotoGP™ podiums in Assen and was in pole last year. After two scorching races in Italy and Spain the Dutch weather on Sunday could play a massive part in the outcome as it did last year. Australian Jack Miller took full advantage of the pouring rain to secure a brilliant first MotoGP win for the Marc VDS team with World Champion Marc Marquez second and Redding third.

Vinales really struggled in the Barcelona heat last time out with the Movistar Yamaha finding no grip and he finally finished in a damage limitation tenth place. The team used a new chassis at a two day test in Barcelona after the race and times suggest they may have found a grip solution in the heat which will be put to the test in the 26 lap encounter on Sunday. It was a good weekend for the Repsol Honda team in Spain with Marquez second and Dani Pedrosa third closing the gap on Vinales at the front. The World Champion is 23 points behind Vinales with Pedrosa just two points behind him. Both overtook Valentino Rossi in the standings after the nine times World Champion limped home in eighth place in Barcelona experiencing the same grip problems as team-mate Vinales. Rossi has an amazing record in Assen winning seven MotoGP races, including that epic finish with Marquez two years ago and also 125 and 250 cc victories.

Rossi is just one point behind Pedrosa with Moto2 World Champion Johan Zarco in sixth place after a memorable start to his MotoGP career on the Monster Tech3 Yamaha. The Frenchman won the Moto2™ race two years ago and finished second last year. Jorge Lorenzo is in seventh place to give Ducati further hope after a hard fought fourth in Spain and is getting stronger and stronger each race after his switch from Yamaha.

Alex Rins makes a welcome return to the Ecstar Suzuki team after his crash in Austin to join former Moto2 winner Andrea Iannone.

In similar style to MotoGP the Moto2™ Championship closed right up after the Barcelona race. With championship leader Franco Morbidelli only finishing sixth in the race won by Estrella Galicia Marc VDS team-mate Alex Marquez, Swiss veteran Tom Luthi closed the gap at the front to just seven points. Luthi has only finished off the podium once this season and a win on Sunday would really set him up for the second half of the season but it will not be easy. Marquez’s second win of the season put him 20 points behind Morbidelli while Takaaki Nakagami will be seeking a repeat of his one and only grand prix victory last year.

It’s not so close in Moto3™ after Joan Mir’s superb victory in Barcelona. The Spanish teenager, who joins the Marc VDS Moto2 team next season, opened up an impressive 45 point lead in the championship after his fourth win of the season for the Leopard Racing Honda team. It’s a different story behind him with just 12 points separating Romano Fenati, Aron Canet, Fabio Di Giannantonio, Andrea Migno and Jorge Martin.

 
TELIVISION TIMES

Friday 23 June: 7.00 – 15.00
Saturday 24 June: 8.00 – 16. 45
Sunday 25 June: 7.30 -15.30

CHANNEL FIVE
Highlights Monday June 26 19.00

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

By | June 19th, 2017|Uncategorised|Comments Off on REDDING RENEWS HIS VOWS IN THE CATHEDRAL

Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya – Preview

BRITS LOOK TO BARCELONA TO BANISH MUGELLO BLUES

After a miserable time in Mugello the British MotoGP™ stars head to the magnificent Mediterranean City of Barcelona for the Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya on Sunday. The 18 round MotoGP™ World Championship has reached the one third stage going into the race, around the revised 2.891 miles Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya on the northern outskirts of the City.

Isle of Man based Midlander Cal Crutchlow will particularly want to forget Mugello and being knocked off his LCR Honda by Dani Pedrosa while chasing a top ten finish on the very last lap. He slipped to tenth place in the championship and has never finished on the podium in Barcelona.

Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding, riding the Octo Pramac Ducati, was 12th in Italy and is just one place behind Crutchlow in the championship. Both Sam Lowes and Bradley Smith will be seeking points scoring rides after finishing out of the points last Sunday. Both Lowe’s Aprilia and Smith’s KTM teams have tested at Barcelona and will also take part in the vital one day test at the circuit on Monday.

Moto3™ Barcelona winner Danny Kent will find out if he continues to replace Iker Lecuona in the Garage Plus Interwetten Moto2™ team. The Spanish rider is being x rayed early this week to check if he’s recovered from the injuries he sustained in Le Mans. Tarran Mackenzie continues his grand prix education at yet another new circuit while Scotsman John McPhee looks to consolidate on his sixth place in the magnificent Moto3™ race in Mugello. The 22 year old Scotsman is sixth in the Championship, riding the British Talent Team Honda but only five points behind fourth placed Romano Fenati.

DID YOU KNOW

This is the 26th successive year that the Circuit de Catalunya has hosted a grand prix; it was first included in the motorcycle grand prix series in 1992.Only three current venues have a longer ongoing sequence of hosting grand prix events: Jerez, Mugello and Assen.

• The last time that Spain did not have at least one GP winner across the three classes at the Catalan Grand Prix was 2002.

• During the four-stroke MotoGP™ era, Yamaha have taken nine victories at the Catalunya circuit, including for the last two years.

• Honda have had just four wins at the Catalunya circuit during the MotoGP era.

• Ducati have taken two MotoGP wins at the Catalunya circuit, including their very first in the class with Loris Capirossi in 2003. The last podium finish by a Ducati rider at the Catalan GP was the 3rd place finish by Casey Stoner in 2010.

• The last win by Suzuki at the Catalunya Grand Prix was in the 500cc class in 2000, with Kenny Roberts. Last year Maverick Viñales’ fourth place equalled the best result for a Suzuki rider at the Catalunya circuit since the introduction of the MotoGP formula in 2002, which had previously been achieved by John Hopkins in both 2006 and 2007.

• Maverick Viñales set the fastest lap of the race last year on his way to finishing 4th – his first in the MotoGP class.

• Aleix Espargaro started from pole two years ago in Catalunya – which was the first pole for Suzuki since Chris Vermeulen took the top qualifying spot at the Dutch TT in 2007.

• The last Yamaha rider to start from pole in Catalunya was Jorge Lorenzo in 2010, which was also the last time that the rider starting from pole won the MotoGP race at this circuit. In addition to Jorge Lorenzo, the only other rider to have won the MotoGP race at Catalunya from pole position is Valentino Rossi in 2006.

• Valentino Rossi is the most successful rider across all grand prix classes at the Catalunya circuit with ten victories (1 x 125cc, 2 x 250cc, 1 x 500cc, 6 x MotoGP). The next most successful, with five wins is Jorge Lorenzo (1 x 250cc, 4 x MotoGP). In addition to his wins Lorenzo finished second in the MotoGP race in 2009 and 2011. He was second in the 2006 250 cc race. Tito Rabat won the Moto2™ race in 2014, was second in 2013 and third two years later. Tom Luthi scored his first podium finish when he was third in the 2003 125 cc race. He was second in the 250 and Moto2 races in 2010 and 2012 and third two years ago.

• There have been nine premier-class victories by Spanish riders at the Catalunya circuit; Alex Criville in 1995 & 1999, Carlos Checa in 1996, Dani Pedrosa in 2008, Jorge Lorenzo in 2010, 2012, 2013 & 2015, and Marc Marquez in 2014.

• There has been at least one Spanish rider on the podium in the MotoGP race at the Catalan GP for the last ten years.

• The seven Moto2™ races that have taken place at the Catalunya circuit have been won by six different riders, none who are currently competing in the class: Yuki Takahashi, Stefan Bradl, Andrea Iannone, Pol Espargaro, Tito Rabat, and Johann Zarco. The only rider among these who has more than a single Motro2 victory at this circuit is Johann Zarco who has won for the last two years.

• Honda riders have won the Moto3™ race at the Catalan GP for the last three years. Jorge Navarro’s win last year ended a run of 25 successive Moto3 races without a Spanish winner, since Efren Vazquez won in Malaysia in 2014.

 
HOMEWARD BOUND CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER

MotoGP™ Championship leader Maverick Vinales returns home for the Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya with a healthy 26 points lead at the one third distance of the 18 round MotoGP™ World Championship. The 22 year old Spaniard, riding the Movistar Yamaha, arrives at the demanding 2.891 mile Circuit of Barcelona – Catalunya with three grands prix wins this year and a second place in the previous round in Mugello.

He has a good record at his home circuit, which has been modified at turns 13- 14 following the tragic accident of Luis Salom during Moto2™practice last year. Vinales is a Moto3™ winner at this circuit and finished sixth and fourth in the last two MotoGP races riding the Suzuki. Andrea Dovizioso moved into second place in the championship after his superb home victory at Mugello on the factory Ducati and a repeat performance at the Barcelona circuit, which both he and Ducati know well, would make the Italian rider and factory a real championship threat.

Valentino Rossi’s last grand prix win came in Barcelona 12 months ago and the 38 year old needs a repeat if he’s going to stay in the championship hunt. He hung onto third place in the championship after a brave ride into fourth place in Mugello and has a superb record at the track. Another World Champion desperately seeking a good result to keep his championship chances alive is current champion Marc Marquez. The Repsol Honda rider is fourth, 37 points behind Vinales, after a disappointing sixth place in Mugello. He is on equal points with team-mate Dani Pedrosa who dropped from second place after crashing on the last lap in Mugello bringing down Cal Crutchlow.

Frenchman Johann Zarco has won the Moto2™ race in Barcelona for the last two years and he returns chasing his second MotoGP podium finish of the season. In his debut season riding the Monster Tech3 Yamaha the double Moto2™ World Champion is seventh in the championship just four points behind Pedrosa and Marquez. Italian Danilo Petrucci took just his second MotoGP podium finish in Mugello and moved into eighth place in the championship just four points behind Lorenzo.

The Moto2™ Championship took a turn in Mugello with the victory of Mattia Pasini and the second place of Tom Luthi. With Franco Morbidelli only finishing fourth, Luthi closed the gap at the top of the title chase to 13 points. Look out also for Morbidelli’s Estrella Galicia Marc VDS team-mate Alex Marquez who returns home fresh from his third place in Mugello and his race win in Jerez.

Spaniard Joan Mir leads the Moto3™ Championship by 34 points with another Spanish teenager Aron Canet in second place. That fight for second is much closer with the Italian trio of Fabio Di Giannantonio, Romano Fenati and Andrea Migno snapping at his heels.

 
TELEVISION TIMES

BT SPORT 2
Friday 9 June: 8.00 – 15.00
Saturday 10 June: 8.00 – 15.15
Sunday 11 June: 7.30 – 15.00

CHANNEL FIVE
Highlights Monday June 12 19.00

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

By | June 6th, 2017|Uncategorised|Comments Off on Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya – Preview