Category: MotoGP

Quartararo takes Back-to-back wins at Race of Andalucia

The shorten MotoGP Season couldn’t have started better for Fabio Quartararo as the Yamaha Satellite rider rode to his second straight win at the weekend’s Race of Andalucia. With Reigning Champion Marc Marquez out for the season, at least for the time being, everyone gets a shot at the title. It was a 1-2-3 finish for Yamaha at the Andalucia race with Quartararo, Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi on the podium.  

Quartararo didn’t put a foot wrong in Sunday’s race, leading from the lights to the flag and making it back-to-back victories in Jerez. Team mate Franco  Morbidelli wasn’t so fortunate as he was out of the race due to mechanical faults.

Quartararo made the perfect getaway off the line and held the lead into the first corner. Vinales gave chase, but ran wide and would drop back to third after the first lap. It would turn into a tricky race for VInales into the middle part of the race. Rossi inherited second from his team mate’s slip and kept it for a bit. A relatively unknown Francesco Bagnaia would cause a panic in the factory Yamaha garage as he managed to slot above Rossi and Vinales during the early stint.

Up front, Quartararo made it looked easy as he pounded the track to increase the gap to the rest of the field. Vlnales dropped back to sixth, after another slip, but it won’t bother him too much with the powerful Yamaha factory machine. With 13 laps to go, Rossi who had lost a place to Bagnaia came under pressure from Morbidell. The 9-time champion refused to give in as he eyed for a podium finish. The Doctor had not climbed the rostrum since the 2019 Americas Grand Prix. Rossi regained second place on lap 20 of 25 when Bagnaia suffered a mechanical failure. In the final stint, Rossi defended from his team mate but Vinales simply wanted it more.

As the laps counted down, the race became one of attrition with Quartararo on the verge of his back-to-back win. He would finish 4.495secs ahead of Viñales and Rossi.

Just behind the trio of Yamahas,  Takaaki Nakagami had his  best MotoGP weekend to date as he finished fourth, the LCR Honda rider’s best result in the premier class, Joan Mir took fifth ahead of Ducati front man Andrea Dovizioso who was sixth, ahead of KTM’s Pol Espargaro.  

Repsol Honda’s rookie rider Alex Marquez took a courageous eighth place in his home race.  The Spaniard was the lone representative of the team with team-mate withdrawing from the weekend as he continues to recover from surgery on his broken humerus. The Kid started aggressively in the opening laps and gained seven positions on the first lap alone. Fending off the attacks of fellow rookie Iker Lecuona, He would settle into what would be a consistent, but lonely eighth spot. Johann Zarco and Alex Rins would complete the top ten finishers classification in the race.

The upcoming race in two weeks moves to the Automotodrom Brno, in the Czech Republic, for their third race of the season from 7-9 August.

Race of Andalucía results

1         QUARTARARO Fabio        Yamaha SRT           41’22.666

2         VINALES Maverick  Yamaha MotoGP                4.495

3         ROSSI Valentino     Yamaha MotoGP     .546

4         NAKAGAMI Takaaki          LCR Honda              6.113

5         MIR Joan                 Suzuki          7.693

6         DOVIZIOSO Andrea          Ducati 12.554

7         ESPARGARO Pol   KTM   17.488

8         MARQUEZ Alex Repsol Honda    19.357

9         ZARCO Johann       Avintia Racing           23.523

10       RINS Alex                Suzuki          27.091

Riders standings

1         QUARTARARO Fabio        50      

2         VINALES Maverick  40      

3         DOVIZIOSO Andrea          26      

4         NAKAGAMI Takaaki          19      

5         ESPARGARO Pol   19      

6         ROSSI Valentino     16      

7         MILLER Jack       13

8         MARQUEZ Alex      12      

9         ZARCO Johann       12      

10       MIR Joan      11

Quartararo wins frst race of the season as Marquez succumbs to Nightmare start

Nightmare start to season for Reigning Champion!

The first MotoGP race of the 2020 season began nightmarishly at the Jerez de la Frontera Circuit for Reigning Champion Marc Marquez as he fell off his bike and broke his foot. Aiming to defend his title, Marquez got off to a fast start in the reduced 20-rider grid of the shorten season against the likes of Maverick Vinales, Fabio Quartararo, Andrea Dovizioso and Jack Miller.

The Repsol Honda ace sprinted to the head of the field in second at the start of the race. Vinales who started second shot to first place on the first lap. The battle between Vinales and Marquez was the highlight in the early stint. Vinales and Marquez would go back and forth until the Yamaha ace got the better of things for the lead.  It wasn’t until lap 5, Marquez almost lost the bike but recovered to continue. He would drop back to 20th place before mounting a comeback. This gave Vinales and the riders behind him a clear path.

With Marquez dropped back, Vinales had a clear path in front of him. Only Quartararo and Miller gave chase. On lap 8, Quartararo took the lead after Vinales had a wobble. The Yamaha ace would run wide again to allow Miller through as well in ensuing laps. He was down to third place by the middle part of the race. The Spaniard mounted a comeback and with seven laps remaining, VInales took the runner up spot from Miller. Meanwhile, Marquez had powered his way back to contention right behind Vinales in third, with five laps to run. However, Marquez would lose his bike on a high side at turn 3 and crashed out of the race. He suffered a broken right humerus.

Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso captured third place, having started third on the grid. The Italian defended from Franco Morbidelli’s and Pol Espargaro’s attacks throughout the race. The Ducati man managed to fill in the gap on Miller and, with two laps to go, he went past Miller for third. Team mate Danilo Petrucci, still recovering from minor injury, finished ninth to give Ducati some added points in the manufacturers’ rankings.

Marquez’s team mate Alex Marquez, who made his MotoGP debut, finished 12th. 9-time champion Valentino Rossi did not finish the race as his bike had technical issues.  

It was a good day for  Quartararo who won the race and started the race in P1 ahead of factory riders. With Quartararo and Morbidelli first and fifth, Yamaha SRT team is at the top of the teams’ standings. Ducati occupies the second position in the manufacturers and  second in the teams after the first race.

Round Three of the 2020 season hits  Gran Premio de Andalucía, 24 – 25 July.

2020 MotoGP Season takes flight after 4-month hiatus

The 2020 MotoGP Championship season is finally a green light as riders hit the Jerez de la Frontera Circuit for the season-opener. The opening race, to be held behind closed doors, kicks start the season after months of lockdown, which began from the pre-season testing in Qatar at the end of February.

Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso, recovering from a left collarbone injury, is looking forward to getting back on his Ducati Desmosedici GP bike. He and team mate Danilo Petrucci are on the Jerez track for testing prior to the race weekend. The race weekend begins with the three practice sessions, then qualifiers and the race. Dovizioso, who had confirmed himself as runner-up in the championship for the third time in a row in 2019, is set to tackle his thirteenth season in MotoGP.

Second year Ducati rider, Petrucci aims to start his season in the best way possible to become one of the protagonists of 2020.

Reigning Champion Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez arrives in Jerez eager to reunite with his team and get back to riding the Honda RC213V. For rookie Alex Marquez, the wait to go racing has seemed even longer as the reigning Moto2 Champion has been forced to delay his premier class debut. Marquez has one goal in mind in the shorten season and that’s to defend his title.

Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi revved their hearts as they return to racing in the 2020 season. Riding for the first time in more than four months, the Yamaha riders took part in two crucial 90-minute test sessions ahead of this weekend’s race in Jerez. Both riders are as eager to race again after a four-month hiatus and put Yamaha in their rightful place in the championship in the shorten season.

Aprilia gets set to take on MotoGP eSport Season

With the pandemic situation still at large, there’s an eSport virtual challenge endorsed by the MotoGP organizers. Aprilia MotoGP squad is preparing for the virtual 2020 MotoGP eSport challenge with riders Francisco Santiago Marín and Joel Pedrosa.

Santiago will be one of the eleven rider gamers competing for the 2020 title: Known as EleGhosT555 on virtual platform, the Spaniard is one of the contenders for the final victory, after taking the runner-up title his rookie year in 2018. The second and reserve rider for Aprilia Racing eSports is rookie Pedrosa.

Aprilia as a group has won 54 titles in the various motorcycle racing disciplines: World Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing, Superbike, Off-Road and Trial. But, the MotoGP title has yet to be reached as they are a relatively newcomer. For 2020 eSport, Aprilia Racing pits the RS-GP on the virtual platform.

The final stage of the 2020 MotoGP eSport Championship will be held over 4 rounds, for a total of 8 races, on the official MotoGP videogame, MotoGP 20. The virtual game was televised on 15 channels and reached 64 million viewers, last year.

KTM MotoGP sounds off 2020 Challenge with New Bike and Rider line-up

\Although only in their second season in the premier class, KTM MotoGP squad have sounded their intent to challenge for prominence on the grid. The team have progressed from a satellite squad to a full-fledged factory squad within a year.

This year, the team is pitting four KTM RC16s on the  grid, all carrying a 2020 spec. The KTM riders for 2020 season are Pol Espargaro, in his fourth season with the team,  rookie Brad Binder, Miguel Oliveira year two rider and another rookie Iker Lecuona. Espargaro is a MotoGP veteran, while Binder has been a regular at KTM who captured the Moto3 title a year ago. He moves up to MotoGP with KTM this season.

All KTM riders have already completed both a private and official IRTA test so far since January and will lap Losail from 22 February for three days in the final dialling-in outing before Grand Prix action commences at the same venue in early March.

2020 Red Bull KTM Tech3 RC16 challenger

Red Bull KTM Tech3 boast some novelty factor for 2020 with their ‘Organics by Red Bull’ livery and a fresh look for the crew. The potential of the third generation of the KTM RC16 is eagerly anticipated after the firm expanded their test team efforts with the experience of former champion and Repsol Honda man Dani Pedrosa complimenting the long-standing knowledge of Mika Kallio in 2019.

KTM Motorsport Director Pit Beirer commented, “2020 is about to begin and I would say we are exactly where we expected to be. We’ve had everything on a road map and have followed it with the full support of the company and the board. Last year we worked with a satellite team and four riders that provided valuable feedback and the groups spurred each other on, but, at the same time, it pushed us to the limit for resources and raised us to the peak where we are now. I would not say we have a ‘satellite team’ now but instead we are a KTM ‘pack’ with friendship and trust, and I include our test team in that whole organization.”

Apart from MotoGP, KTM has fourteen KTM RC4 riders in lower category; namely the Moto3. KTM also supplies bikes to riders participating in the 2020 seven-round Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and the brand-new Northern Talent Cup series.

Repsol Honda has new rider pairing, led by Reigning Champion Marc Marquez

Reigning Champions Repsol Honda unveiled their 2020 new challenger in Indonesia prior to the first official pre-season testing at Sepang Circuit. For 2020, the rider pairing shall be defending champion Marc Marquez and Alex Marquez, the brothers would be riding the new-liveried Honda RC213V MotoGP machine.

M. Marquez helped Repsol Honda to their 25th manufacturers title and third straight triple crown last season. Marquez and Repsol Honda are gunning for another strong year as they welcome Moto2 champion Alex Marquez, who replaces Jorge Lorenzo, to the team. With 309 victories in the premier class, Honda have established themselves as the dominant force in two-wheel racing.

The Marquez brothers are preparing for first pre-season test of the 2020 season at Sepang, from 7 – 9 September. The brothers are testing the new RC213V for the first time on track as the new season kicks off proper at the Losail circuit from 6 – 8 March. “Repsol Honda and HRC have achieved incredible things and continuing this success is a big source of motivation for me, and now I’m eager to start another season and compete again on the RC213V,” the Reigning Champion said.

The younger Marquez commented, “It is a privilege to be part of the family that is the Repsol Honda Team. Already I have had the special feeling of stepping in the garage for the first time, working with my team for the first time. I know that there is much to learn and achieve in 2020 but I am devoted to giving my best, I’ll try to improve and learn every day and hope we can do a great season step by step.”

Repsol Honda are expecting great things from the Marquez brothers and the indomitable RCV213V machine. It all starts today at the Sepang track and another pre-season test, then the first race in Qatar. 

Yamaha MotoGP unveils 2020 Challenger at Pre-season test in Sepang

Yamaha MotoGP Team have unveiled their 2020 Challenger at the official pre-season testing site in Sepang. As the year before, the rider line-up remains 9-time Champion Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales.  

The 2020 Yamaha YZR-M1’s color scheme remains the same as the previous year, with the team’s YZR-M1, the pit box, and the riders’ leathers sporting the title sponsor’s ‘Monster Energy black’-to-‘Yamaha Factory Racing blue’ gradient. The M1 also features subtle blue stripes that add a further dynamic to the sleek design. The perfect blend between Yamaha’s aesthetic and Monster Energy’s instantly recognizable claw branding is also represented in the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team logo and the team gear.

Yamaha MotoGP riders are eager to get back on track after a mediocre last season. Vinales was third overall in 2019, while Rossi was seventh in the final rankings. Vinales faired better than Rossi with additional two wins. Fan favorite Rossi is a longtime rider at Yamaha, since 2004, before he jumped to Ducati for a brief time. He returned to the factory Yamaha squad in 2013. This season marks his 13th season with factory Yamaha. With Yamaha, the Doctor has attained four titles in 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009. Every fan can bet he’ll be as competitive as ever in 2020, but will he be able to upstage his younger rivals?

“At the end of last season we were in decent shape, so I‘m really excited to start working again on our goal to get the title and as many wins as possible. For sure, I‘m looking forward to riding my M1 again. I‘ve used the winter months really well. I‘ve done a lot of physical training and riding to make sure my body and mind are in top shape. We need to work hard and be focused on our goal right from the start, so that‘s exactly what we‘ll do!” Vinales commented.

Rossi added, “It‘s time to get serious about 2020. I‘m very curious to see what steps we can make during the Sepang Test. For sure, Yamaha have prepared some new things for us to try, and anyway the first laps of the year on a MotoGP bike after the winter break are always a unique sensation. For sure we have a lot of work ahead of us, but the team and I are ready for it.”

Former Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo has returned to the squad, where he won 5 titles. He is the test rider and has clocked first kilometers on the YZR-M1 in the shakedown test held on 2-4 February, after a three-year interval with Ducati. He completed his first test with satisfactory results, and his vast riding experience is expected to be a huge asset to Yamaha’s engineers over the course of year.

2020 Suzuki GSX-RR ready for MotoGP Pre-season Test at Sepang

Suzuki MotoGP has unveiled their 2020 machine color scheme at the first official pre-season testing in Sepang. The 2020 season marks Suzuki’s 60th year in two-wheel racing, which began in 1980’s the Isle of Man’s Tourist Trophy. After that, the brand then got into its first GP and Championship title with Ernst Degner on the saddle in the 50cc category of 1982 season. From then until 2019, Suzuki would have 14 more championship titles, right up until the most recent victories in 2019 with Álex Rins at the Grand Prix of The Americas and British GP.

The 2020 Suzuki GSX-RR is decked in a combination of the familiar blue, mixed with a more traditional slate silver. From the technical standpoint, the MotoGP bike takes on a new engine spec and the riders will take it for a thorough test at upcoming pre-season venues in  Sepang and Qatar. The technical team have also worked to develop new solutions for the chassis, set up and electronics, in the off season.

The team riders in the 2020 season features returning riders RIns and Joan Mir. Both Spaniards enter the 2020 season following a successful and propitious 2019. Finishing 4th in last year’s championship standings, taking two excellent victories and eleven Top 5 finishes, Rins proved his place among the top riders in MotoGP. He is ready to attack this brand new season with gusto, aiming to build on his results and add more trophies to the cabinet. His team mate completed a notable rookie season with Suzuki last season, which included a total of top ten finishes, with a fifth place finish at the Australian GP, as his best result.

“Last season brought me one of the most exciting feelings on earth which was to win my first #motogp race. It was a dream come true, and the second victory felt amazing too. I will bring those emotions with me into 2020, as well as the awareness of the growth that I’ve made,’’ Rins said.

“Now in 2020 we have to stay focused and get good results, more podiums for sure and hopefully also more wins. This is the path to success, I believe; little by little, step by step, with hard work all together,” he added.

Second-year rider Mir commented, “The first year has been a learning one, the MotoGP machine is such a beast that you have to learn how to control it, and I had huge support from all of my team. Now I want to build on my experience and start placing my name among the top riders. I’m really eager to get on my MotoGP machine again in Sepang and start to improve further.”

The riders will have opportunities to prove themselves in the new season against the likes of the Repsol Hondas, Yamahas and Ducatis/

Ducati MotoGP sounds off title aspirations for 2020 season

Ducati MotoGP has unveiled its 2020 challenger ahead of the new season of the Premier two-wheel racing series. As last season, the team have stuck with its title sponsors and is still known as the Mission Winnow Ducati team.

For 2020, the team’s riders remain Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci who took the covers off the new liveried Desmosedici GP20 challenger at the intro ceremony in Bologna. The GP20 is decked out in bright red with a few details in black and chrome. First assignment for the 2020 bike is the pre-season tests coming up. The first test is slated for 7 – 9 February at the Sepang track. The 2020 MotoGP season starts in early March at the Losail Circuit in Qatar. There are a grand total of twenty races scheduled this season.

The GP20 as a legitimate contender in 2020

The GP20 has been revised for the better from last season’s exploits. It’s got an engine that features a counter-rotating crankshaft, a spine and slice traction control. The new elements contribute to a more efficient aerodynamics, alongside the new aerofoils. This means the bike is even faster and has a competitive edge over its rivals.

Ducati hopes for a better competitive edge against their Japanese opponents i.e. the Hondas and Yamahas. The team would again rely on Dovizioso and Petrucci on their quest for MotoGP glory. “Last year we finished as runner-up for the third consecutive time behind Marc Màrquez, a rider that for sure made the difference last year, but we also did our best managing well our potential. Every year has its own story, and it is not easy to predict what will happen in 2020. Our goal is clear; we want to challenge for the title again,” Dovizioso remarked.

“I know our rivals will be back stronger this year, but that counts for me too. I have been improving and growing each season, and this year I want to confirm my results and make further steps forward compared to last year,” Petrucci concluded.

Ducati and fellow MotoGP manufacturers are preparing for the first pre-season test coming up on 7 February at Sepang.

Marquez ends season on a high note at Valencia

Repsol Honda captures Triple Crown

The big news prior to the season’s finale, 5-time Champion Jorge Lorenzo announced his retirement after an under-performing season with the Repsol Honda squad. But, it wasn’t all gloom as he assisted the team to a triple crown in the season’s final race. Reigning Champion Marc Marquez did what he does best, win races. For Marquez, it was his 12th win this season.

At race start, Fabio Quartararo on pole led the race in the early stint, The Yamaha satellite rider didn’t pull too far ahead with Marquez closing up fast. The champion was already in second place by the third lap. He then cut the gap from almost a second to just two tenths in five laps. Striking at Turn 11, Marquez only needed one chance to move to the front and quickly amassed an insurmountable lead. He sailed through in the final laps with Quantararo and Jack Millter behind. Andrea Dovizioso, Alex Rins and Maverick Vinales were the other factory riders who made an impact in the race, with fourth, fifth and sixth places.

With the 12 wins in 2019, Marquez has accumulated 420 points and becomes the first rider in history to score more than 400 points in a single season. For the team, they got the Triple Crown after winning the Riders, Teams and Constructors titles. This is the Repsol Honda’s ninth Triple Crown since the MotoGP class began in 2002, cementing them the most dominant team and constructor in the premier class. For the first time in the four-stroke era, the team has managed to take three Triple Crowns in a row.

Lorenzo is retired from MotoP after 297 Grand Prix starts, including this season’s finale where he ended up 13th. The five-time champion’s final career total shows: 68 wins, 152 podiums and 69 poles,

Ducati was the second best team in 2019 as they finished the season in the teams classification second and third in the constructors. Dovizioso took fourth in the finale, while Danilo Petrucci crashed out.

Viñales and Valentino Rossi struggled through the final race with rear grip issues. They finished sixth and eighth respectively. Vinales was third in the riders standings and Yamaha MotoGP ended up third in the teams category. Yamaha was the second best constructors thanks to the combined efforts of the factory and the SRT teams.

Riders are expected to hit the track at Valencia tomorrow for the first test of 2020 before moving to Jerez a few days later.

2019 MotoGP Race of Valencia results

1         MARQUEZ Marc        Repsol Honda 41’21.469

2         QUARTARARO Fabio        Yamaha SRT     1.026

3         MILLER Jack Pramac R 2.409

4         DOVIZIOSO Andrea          Ducati 3.326

5         RINS Alex    Suzuki           3.508

6         VINALES Maverick  Yamaha 8.829

7         MIR Joan     Suzuki           10.622

8         ROSSI Valentino   Yamaha        22.992

9         ESPARGARO Aleix       Aprilia 32.704

10       ESPARGARO Pol     KTM   32.973

Final Riders standings

1         MARQUEZ Marc      420      

2         DOVIZIOSO Andrea       269      

3         VINALES Maverick   211  

4         RINS Alex      205    

5         QUARTARARO Fabio        192  

6         PETRUCCI Danilo    176     

7         ROSSI Valentino     174         

8         MILLER Jack 165   

10       MORBIDELLI Franco        115

Final Teams standings

1         Repsol Honda Team          420

2         Ducati Team 400

3         Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP          385

4         Petronas Yamaha SRT      307

5         Team Suzuki Ecstar 212

6         EG 0.0 Marc VDS    167

7         Pramac Racing        136

8         CWM LCR Honda   133

9         Aprilia Racing Team Gresini         114

10       Red Bull KTM Factory Racing      100

Constructors rankings

1         Honda 436

2         Yamaha        321

3         Ducati 309

4         Suzuki          234

5         KTM   111

6         Aprilia 89

7         Kawasaki      7