MotoGP: Rins snatches victory at Silverstone with stunning last corner move

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Suzuki’s Alex Rins snatched a dramatic victory on the finish line to win the British Grand Prix at Silverstone ahead of Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez.

Marquez led virtually all the way round and was on course for his seventh win of the season, appearing to have held off the younger Spaniard, only for Rins to produce a spectacular piece of riding on the final lap for his second win of the season.

Another Spaniard, Maverick Vinales, was third, with MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi a place further back.

The result sees Marquez extend his lead in the Championship to 78 points after second-placed Andrea Dovizioso of Italy suffered a bad crash on the first lap.

Dovizioso suffered his spectacular crash on the first lap as he went into the back of Frenchman Fabio Quartararo and went flying off his bike, which caught fire.

Luckily, nothing was broken but the Italian has been taken to Coventry Hospital for further checks after he sustained a severe blow to the head that caused a momentary loss of memory.

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New kit: Alpinestars launches Crutchlow Limited Edition Supertech R

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To celebrate this weekend’s British MotoGP at Silverstone – Alpinestars has launched a new pair of Supertech R’s inspired by Cal Crutchlow.

Cal secured his place in British racing history when he gave a wet riding masterclass to take victory at the 2016 Czech Republic round – becoming the first Briton to win a premier class race since in 1981. He claimed 18 podiums, four poles and four fastest laps in his nine-year MotoGP career – as well as three WSBK wins, five WSS wins and the 2006 British Supersport title.

And paying tribute to Cal’s career, Alpinestars has just launched a set of new Limited Edition Supertech R race boots inspired by the man himself – with distinctive white, black and fluorescent yellow colour scheme, plus Union Jack detailing.

MotoGP: Marquez smashes Silverstone lap record with scintillating pole

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Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez delivered his 60th premier class pole position from 120 premier class starts with a new lap record at the British Grand Prix.

Times were tumbling from early in the day as the Silverstone circuit record was improved on continuously throughout the day. The bar was provisionally set during Free Practice 3 when Marquez was one of three riders to enter the 1’58s – over a second faster than the record from 2017.

Immediately in the 1’58s from his first flying lap of Q2, Marquez left it late to set his fastest time as he secured pole with a 1’58.168 and set a new outright lap record around the Silverstone circuit.

The record-breaking lap is his 60th pole position in the premier class on what is his 120th premier class start. This is also the World Championship leader’s eighth pole of the 2019 season and his fourth pole in a row.

He said: “With the first tyre I felt really, really good and I just tried to find a good lap and I did my first lap alone. When we went out with the second tyre there was a fair bit of traffic, I was on top in the results so I did not want to push first. We were then waiting a bit and playing with our strategy and then on the last lap the tyres were ready and we made a really good lap. Valentino was ahead, maybe a little too far because I couldn’t profit fully from the slipstream. I think we can be strong in the race tomorrow, but for sure there are many rivals for tomorrow.”

Sunday’s 20-lap British Grand Prix will begin at 13:00 local time as the second race of the day due to the unique running schedule of the British round.

 

MotoGP: Dovizioso snatches last gasp win in Austria

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Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso won a spectacular Austrian Grand Prix with a last-corner pass on Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez after a terrific sparring match with the Spanish champion that lasted from the first to the last lap.

Dovizioso powered away well at the start from the front row, then overtook the provisional race leader Quartararo on Lap 6. He was followed immediately by Marquez, with whom Dovizioso then had an amazing scrap that only finished at the chequered flag.

On the final lap it was Marquez who held a slender lead, but Dovizioso used all of his race craft to line up and all-or-nothing overtake at the final corner reminiscent of Marquez’s own move on the Italian two years ago. However, unlike Marquez’s failed effort, Dovizioso pulled off the perfect block pass up the inside before using the superior acceleration of his Ducati to take an emotional victory by 0.213s. – his second win at the Red Bull Ring.

Dovizioso said: “Today I’m so happy, because this victory was really important for me. Towards the end of the race I had good right-side grip on the tyre and this allowed me to successfully attempt that incredible overtaking move at the final corner. My strategy for the race was to be aggressive right from the opening lap, but Marquez was more aggressive than me. He immediately tried to impose his rhythm but I was always able to respond and in the final stages I think he had more wear on his tyres than me so I could stay right on his tail until the end, and attempt that crazy passing move on him at the final corner. I want to thank Ducati and my team because today we did everything just perfectly.”

With this victory, Ducati continued its unbeaten winning streak at the Red Bull Ring since the Austrian circuit returned to the MotoGP calendar. The red bikes from the Borgo Panigale factory won here in 2016 with Iannone, in 2017 with Dovizioso, last year with Lorenzo and again this year with Dovizioso.

In the overall Riders’ championship standings, Andrea Dovizioso is still in second place but he has reduced the gap to leader Marquez to 58 points.

MotoGP: Marquez untouchable at Brno

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Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez claimed his 50th victory in the premier class after a chaotic start to the Czech GP.

Saturday’s dreary conditions were initially nowhere to be seen as race day at the Czech GP began. But a brief rain shower half an hour before the start of the MotoGP race left the track with wet patches and led to a delayed start and a reduced race distance of 20 laps.

After securing pole by 2.524 seconds in thrilling style on Saturday, championship leader Marquez shot forward to lead the shortened race as the lights went out. With the likes of Andrea Dovizioso, Alex Rins and Jack Miller behind, Marquez settled into a consistent pace and steadily opened up a half second lead over his rivals by lap ten. Even with a moment at Turn 10, Marquez’s lead continued to grow as the race went on.

With an advantage of over two seconds, Marquez crossed the line to claim victory in Brno and his sixth win of 2019. He becomes just the fourth rider in Grand Prix history to take 50 wins in the premier class and equals Mike Hailwood’s 76 wins across all classes.

The Spaniard said: “I was really concentrated from the beginning as there were still some wet patches, especially at Turn 1. I knew I needed to keep my rhythm as the Yamaha riders were starting from behind and they were strong in Warm Up. Then I saw that Dovi was behind me so I had to keep pushing and pushing. I had a little warning on lap 10 because that is when I started to push more to try and open the gap. Delaying the race was the best decision that could have been made because the track was in a mixed condition and it could have been quite dangerous. A crazy weekend with the weather but the whole Repsol Honda Team were perfect and helped me a lot to achieve victory!”

Fourth on the all time winner list, Marquez heads to round 11 in Austria with 210 points – 63 points clear of second placed Dovizioso.

MotoGP: Marquez takes pole at a wet Brno to equal Doohan’s premier class pole record

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A perfectly timed switch to slicks and a masterful ride aboard the RC213V saw Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez run away with pole position for the Czech GP and equal Mick Doohan’s premier class pole record.

Torrential morning rain ceased just ahead of Free Practice 3 but left the Brno circuit soaking wet. Although conditions improved throughout the morning session, the rain returned during the lunch break to ensure every Saturday session at the Czech GP was wet.

Undaunted, Marquez continued to challenge for the top spot as he had done throughout the weekend. Second in FP3 had the reigning world champion confident of a strong result in the wet or dry. Even with the rain, the grid would be decided on slicks and Marquez was the first to head out as the dry line appeared. Expertly navigating the treacherous conditions of the Automotodrom Brno, Marquez claimed pole by a staggering 2.5 seconds.

He said: “At the start I believed in the slick tyres with how the conditions were changing. In the end when the rain came back and the track got wetter it was difficult! Maybe in hindsight I took a little too much risk, but in the end we finished in a good way and I am happy. Tomorrow it looks like it will be a sunny day, so a normal race. With the conditions we have had, it is hard to know where everyone is but the target is the podium.”

This is the 86th pole of Marc Marquez’s career and his 58th in the premier class. He and five-time World Champion Mick Doohan now share the record for most pole positions in the premier class with 58 each.

EWC: Kawasaki wins dramatic Suzuka 8H race

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The Factory Kawasaki team has been classified as the winner of the incident-packed 2019 Suzuka 8H race.

Team Green had a stranglehold on the race as it entered the dying stages, with WSBK riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam putting in strong rides to build up a healthy lead over the Factory Yamaha #21 Yamaha bike and Factory Honda #33 machines.

With minutes to go, Rea was riding the final stint when the rain began to come down, adding more tension to an already close race. And then all hell broke loose as the the #2 SERT Suzuki let go of its engine heading into Turn 3. Instead of leaving the track and pulling off, the Suzuki rider instead chose to stay on the racing line, cruising round the circuit and depositing oil on track, which Rea hit and crashed with just two minutes left on the clock.

The race was red-flagged and Rea was unable to remount, leaving Alex Lowes on the #21 Yamaha to cross the line.

The crash meant nobody knew who had won. TV declared that the #21 Yamaha of Lowes, Michael van der Mark and Katsuyuki Nakasuga had won, yet the official timing at the circuit announced the win had gone to the #10 Kawasaki team of Rea, Leon Haslam and Toprak Razgatlioglu (who did not complete a stint during the race).

After a lengthy wait Race Direction declared that the #21 Yamaha team were the winners as Rea had failed to make it back to parc ferme within the required five-minute window, with #33 Honda second and the #1 FCC TSR Honda squad promoted to third.

However, Kawasaki immediately appealed against the result, arguing that the result should be taken from the last completed lap in the instance of a red flag being shown for a clean-up operation. As Race Direction had declared the result based on those who had made it back to pitlane within the five-minute window, a regulation which doesn’t exist in EWC racing as it does in WSBK and MotoGP, Kawasaki argued that that the result should have been declared based on the finishing order from the last completed lap and the five-minute rule disregarded.

After heated discussions, Race Direction upheld the appeal and the #10 team of Rea, Leon Haslam and Toprak Razgatlioglu (who did not complete a stint during the race) were declared the winners, claiming victory by 18.720 seconds and handing Kawasaki its first Suzuka success since 1993.

New metal: Yamaha unveils new 2020 R1 and R1M

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Yamaha has announced new versions of its flagship sportsbikes at the Laguna Seca WSBK round.

The 2020 YZF-R1M and the 2020 YZF-R1 feature significant revamps to meet stricter emissions rules on the road and to stay in touch with the ever fiercer competition on the track.

New styling, revised suspension, improved electronics and a reworked engine mean that despite sharing its bare bones with the existing model, the updated R1 promises to be a vastly improved package.

At first glance, the new models may appear to be similar to the existing bikes, but Yamaha has altered almost every panel on the R1. Signature elements remain, including the MotoGP M1-aping nose intake shape and the twin, round headlights below the nose, but the front end is new, as is the tank.

The new R1M also boasts a new carbon fibre tail unit.

The engine updates mean the uprated motor now passes next year’s Euro 5 emissions rules – making it one of the first machines in its class to do so – and Yamaha is still claiming 197bhp, the same as the 2019 model.

New metal: Ducati celebrates 25 years of iconic 916 with special Panigale V4 S LE

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Ducati has unveiled a limited edition Panigale V4S in homage to arguably its greatest ever superbike, the iconic Ducati 916, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Just 500 individually-numbered Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916s will be built, with bike number five being auctioned off in tribute to Carlin Dunne, who lost his life racing a Ducati at Pikes Peak earlier this year.

Although based on the 1103cc, 211bhp V4S, this special version features the front frame from the 998cc V4R, a dry clutch, Marchesini Racing forged magnesium wheels and a Euro4-compliant titanium Akrapovic silencer.

All 500 machines come in a distinctive new livery, inspired by Fogarty’s championship-winning 1999 Ducati 996 World Superbike.

Experiencing the highs and lows of used bike ownership in Austria

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The route from Asolo in the north of Italy through South Tyrol and into Austria is biking heaven. Snaking through the scenic countryside, the roads are glorious; smooth, plenty of grip and a glorious mix of wide, fast, sweeping bends and tighter, technical, slower corners.

The temperature’s hot. Really hot. As I set off, the thermometer its a giddy 35, there isn’t a cloud in the sky and the roads are empty. My bike, a 2006 Aprilia RSV-R Factory, feels good. It feels like it’s made for trips like this and is great at churning out the miles. It’s roomy, comfortable and has more than enough grunt to make each bend an occasion. The suspension feels plush and the noise from the engine is intoxicating, with the deep rumble that accompanies every downshift delivering a lot of smiles per mile. It really is all the bike I’ll ever need. Yes, I may be dripping sweat in my one-piece leather, but I’m grinning like a loon in my helmet, feeling at one with the bike and the road. Why would I possibly want or need something more modern? I look at the crude notes taped to the tank. This is old skull touring, and I love it.

Three hours of riding nirvana later and the bike starts misbehaving. There’s a slight delay in the throttle, followed by a surge when I overtake a car as we climb a valley. It’s nothing. I’m imagining it. And then reality hits home; the bike won’t rev above 6000rpm, in any gear. I pull over. In neutral the bike revs like a dream, under load it’s sticking at 6. I’m two hours from my destination, but four hours from home, It’s a Saturday, it’s 5.30pm and I’m in the middle of the Dolomites. I can either try and get where I’m going, or spin around. Fortune favours the brave.

The bike is getting worse. It now won’t rev above 5000rpm and it’s sounding rougher and rougher. I pull over for fuel and left the engine cool down, in the hope fresh juice will get the old girl singing again.

Unfortunately it doesn’t. The bike is getting worse, now refusing to rev above 4000rpm. It’s hesitant, and really struggles with town work. Then I pull up at a junction after sitting in road works for five minutes and the engine surges then dies. The engine’s still running, but it’s either all or nothing and there’s no response low down. I slip the clutch, pray there’s no massive power spike and pull left, quickly chasing into second in a bid to have some control over forward momentum.

I’m now just 45 minutes away from my digs for the night. I’m so close I can almost taste the beer. Yet I’m increasingly convinced I won’t make it. The bike now won’t rev above 3000rpm, and we’ve got to climb up to 1900m. As we leave the v alley floor and the main road, the asphalt up to the town where I’m staying narrows and become more sinuous. It’s a proper mountain road, and in normal circumstances this would be biking heaven. But it’s not. It’s hell. I’ve been passed by bike after bike after bike as I try and nurse it higher and higher, but the steeper the climb, the worse the problem becomes. And now I’m stuck behind a bus. I can’t use first, as the power keeps kicking in and then dying, and I can’t use second, as the bike won’t rev high enough to move forwards. It’s frustrating and scary in equal measure, and if it dies now, I’m literally in the middle of nowhere, with no phone signal.

I reach my hotel, just, get off the bike, take my helmet and sink to the floor. I’m overwhelmed with relief. But I’m also drained. I’ve coaxed the bike here but have no idea what’s wrong. Is it a throttle position sensor? An alternator? Fuel pump? How am I going to get it back? Where am I going to take it to get it fixed? So many questions…