8 November 2015

Moto3 and Moto2 round up – Valencia: Oliveira win not enough to stop Kent taking title, Rabat returns for victory.

The tension at the Ricardo Tormo circuit was not all for the big MotoGP finale, there was still all to play for in Moto3 too as Miguel Oliveira pulled out all the stops but Danny Kent did all he needed to for the crown.

The Moto2 championship may have been decided a few rounds ago, but there were still records up for grabs a great fight at the front and an amazing return from injury for Tito Rabat, winning with style at the Cheste track.

Race Reports


Moto3 got proceedings under way with another fast paced tense race, with two pieces of action to watch out for, if Miguel Oliveira could push for a win to keep his title hopes alive to the end and where Kent would finish, needing just 14th to secure the Moto3 crown.

                         Rabat back to his best          Photo EG 0,0 Marc VDS

At the front the battle was fierce, the Portuguese star often found himself out front but under hefty challenges and overtakes from Romano Fenati, Efren Vazquez and Jorge Navarro.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider steered well clear of trouble when Ongetta's Niccolo Antonelli lunged from fifth for a final assault on the podium places only to end his day in the gravel and take Vazquez and Fenati with him.

Also avoiding the muddle of bodies and bikes was Valencian Jorge Navarro, in contention all the way to the line at home for Estrella Galicia 0,0 on his way to second.

Jakub Kornfeil made the most of the situation and powered home for the final rostrum spot in third for Drive M7 SIC.

Brad Binder rode the second Red Bull to take the flag in an excellent fourth ahead of Gresini's Enea Bastianini in fifth and RBA Racing's Isaac Vinales in sixth.

Pole-sitter John McPhee was a little swallowed up as a train of riders towed past in the opening stages but the determined SaxoPrint-RTG rider was strong and fought back for seventh.

The other major factor for the title was Kent's position on track and the Leopard rider found himself swapping positions with his team-mate Hiroki Ono in a battle for eighth, with no team orders issued.

7 November 2015

Moto3 & Moto2 round-up: McPhee on pole as Kent opts for the hard way, Rabat returns in style

The final round of the Moto3 world championship is here, with Valencia once again the venue for some serious showdowns.

Moto3 got qualifying off to a fiery start with John McPhee on pole on merit and not needing a penalty demotion for another rider. In the championship however the man with nothing to lose gained a serious advantage with Miguel Oliveira - needing a win – starting fourth and Danny Kent seeming intent on making a title as hard as possible to take the Moto3 crown, earning just an 18th place start.
                       Rabat returns in style           Photo EG 0,0 Marc VDS

Moto2 saw some early rivalry between Tom Luthi and championship winner Johann Zarco stamped out by the returning Tito Rabat, giving his number one plate one last spin and reminding us of how the season may have played out differently had he not picked up injury.

Qualifying reports


SaxoPrint-RTG rider John McPhee looked settled and relaxed with his future rumoured to be secure with the team for next season and it showed as he constantly ran at the top of the timesheets before posting an impressive 1m 39.364 which remained good to the chequered flag, with only a disallowed lap by Jorge Navarro ever ahead.

The Honda rider crashed at the end but held the top grid slot. He is joined on the front row by Sky Racing VR46 (a very big VR46 this weekend too) rider Romano Fenati who pushed his KTM bike back to the pits at the end too, and Leopard's Efren Vazquez, looking to end his Moto3 career on a high.

Teamwork propelled Miguel Oliveira to fourth as the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider spent much time circulating with Brad Binder, with a late charge following Enea Bastianini also helping with a slipstream to put him in a strong position to fight for the title on Sunday.

25 October 2015

Moto3 and Moto2 Sepang: Oliveira win halts Kent's title dream, Zarco bursts Luthi's bubble

For once not the naughty class hauled in front of race direction, Moto3 had one clear objective for it's title protagonists, Miguel Oliveira had to win, Kent needed a top five finish to make it academic – Oliveira succeeded.

In Moto2 Tom Luthi looked set for a dominant win from pole before Zarco revealed his ace, conserved tyres and a pace which would see off Luthi over the closing laps.

Race Reports


The battle out front in Sepang in Moto3 was hectic and the lead changed constantly, but the man who needed it most and lead the longest, Miguel Oliveira, scrambled to the front and took the win to keep his feint title dream alive.

To take the crown Leopard's Danny Kent only needed to find his way up to fifth after another grid penalty, but the Brit fell as low as 16th, gained from the many crashes ahead of him ( including his team-mates, who took each other out) and could only manage a best of seventh as he struggled on the straights.

Between the pair, Oliveira's Red Bull KTM Ajo team-mate Brad Binder for a career best second and Estrella Galicia's top rookie Jorge Navarro completed the podium.

24 October 2015

Moto3 and Moto2 Malaysia: All in the timing : Late dash pole for Antonelli, early does it for Luthi

For the final flyaway race and the penultimate round of the season the paddock arrived in a hazy Sepang, with stormy weather predicted.

Moto3 got Saturday's sessions underway with a late battle for pole won by Nico Antonelli, while Danny Kent was again frustrated (and later penalised) and could only manage sixth while Miguel Oliveira, who is the only other rider with a hand on the title, starts on the front row.

Moto2's action was curtailed early when the predicted thunderstorm arrived meaning only those who got in a fast banker lap had a good time. Tom Luthi had done just that, a rare pole for the Swiss rider with a new lap record to boot

UPDATE: The following riders will move down the grid after receiving penalties not reflected in the original qualifying report:

Efren Vazquez - 4th to 7th
Danny Kent - 6th to 9th
Isaac Vinales 15th to 18th
Andrea Migno 24th to 27th
Manuel Pagliani 28th to 30th
Remy Gardner 30th to 31st

Qualifying Reports


The action in Moto3 was constant and frantic but it was Miguel Oliveira's early lap which stood until the final minutes when a perfectly timed lap by Nico Antonelli saw the Ongetta-Rivacold man climb to the top of the timesheets, also on the rise was rookie Jorge Navarro, who bettered all those trying to follow him – including Danny Kent, the Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider taking second.

Miguel Oliveira also improved and looked clam and relaxed as he placed his Red Bull KTM Ajo machine in the final front row spot.

18 October 2015

Moto3 and Moto2 round-up: Australia – Oliveira wins, Kent falls and Rins vanishes for victory

As the weather stayed warm for race day and the wind dropped Phillip Island was poised to present some epic race battles.

Moto3 saw almost half the grid fail to finish as Miguel Oliveira lead the last lap all the way to the line, keeping the title battle open for another week as Kent crashed out. Moto2 saw a dominant performance from Alex Rins as the highlight.

Race Reports


Opening the grand prix action at Phillip Island were the Moto3 class and they provided a crash-filled spectacular, with just nineteen finishers, some of whom had crashed and remounted.
                     Rins riding Solo in Moto2        Photo:PonsRacing.com

The lead group were well clear after the crashes split the pack and it was a brave Miguel Oliveira who took his chances to led at the start of the final lap, pulling out enough of a gap to avoid his rivals slipstreams aboard his Red Bull KTM Ajo.

The best of those gaining an advantage was Efren Vazquez, who slipped his Leopard Racing bike into second, Brad Binder, Oliveira's team-mate held the third and final podium spot.

The championship remains open heading to Sepang next weekend after Nico Antonelli and Danny Kent crashed while taking differing lines on the same section of track, collecting the Leopard man's Gresini rival Enea Bastianini in the process.

Just off the podium was rookie Jorge Navarro who lost out in the slipstream battle despite a strong showing for Estrella Galicia on the last lap.

Jakub Kornfeil recovered from a run off track to get back to the leaders on his Drive M7 SIC machine and took sixth, Romano Fenati clipped the rear of the Czech rider, so the Italian Sky Racing VR46 rider could do no better than sixth.

The chasing group was lead by Philipp Oettl, who crossed the line seventh for Schedl GP Racing, with Isaac Vinales (RBA) and Alexis Masbou (SaxoPrint-RTG) not far behind in eight and ninth, Remy Gardner made an impression taking his first points with a top ten finish.

Maria Herrera recorded a best of eleventh as she took the flag for Laglisse,ahead of Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Drive M7 SIC) in twelfth, Manuel Pagliani (San Carlo Team Italia) foe his first points in 13th, Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) who remounted for 14th and Jorge Martin who did the same for Mahindra for 15th.


After Axel Pons lead before falling behind and then falling victim t a tough ride through penalty for a jump start, then Sam Lowes also had a turn at the front, it was pole man Alex Rins who made it stick at the front, carrying a over a six second at the chequered flag for the rookie's second win of the season, also from pole.

The Paginas Amirillas HP 40 rider looked comfortable as he eased away with the field gapping Speed Up's Lowes was equally comfortable in second and in turn once he gained third -his first podium finish – Lorenzo Baldassarri didn't look back and was too clear.

Behind the rostrum men the battle for fourth was a more intense affair, with Idemitsu's Taka Nakagami the winner and Gresini's Xavier Simeon fifth.

The second Pons machine with Luis Salom on board took the flag sixth ahead of newly crowned Moto2 champion Johann Zarco who finished seventh for Ajo Motorsport.

Mika Kallio (QMMF) finished eighth, Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) ninth with Randy Krummenacher in the top ten again for JiR.

The remaining points went to Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans) in 11th, Marcel Schrotter (Tech 3) in 12th Simone Corsi (Forward Racing) in 13th, Ricky Cardus (JPMoto Malaysia) 14th and Tom Luthi, who rallied for a point for Interwetten after falling when running in the podium places.

For the full Moto3 result, click here.

For the full Moto2 result, click here.

17 October 2015

Moto3 and Moto2 round-up Australia: McPhee gains pole from Kent's penalty loss and Rins guarantees pole early


***In addition to the already confirmed grid penalty sanctions for Danny Kent (from FP3 – six places) and Fabio Quartararo (FP1 – 3 places) the following riders have also picked up a three place penalty for their qualifying actions, not reflected in the original report – Maria Herrera, Joan Mir, Andrea Locatelli & Remy Gardner. New grid at bottom of report.***

Before Moto3 had turned a wheel at Phillip Island ahead of the Australian Grand Prix there was already penalty talk, with Danny Kent on the back foot after the Leopard team argued his sanction down from nine to six places. On the eve of his second and more concrete title chance, he needed a poor performance from his main rival Enea Bastianini, and having struggled in practice it was on the cards.

There was also another Brit free of problems and ready to step into Kent's pole position shoes.
                      Powering to pole - Alex Rins    Photo:Pons Racing

In Moto2 the session started as a three-way battle between Alex Rins, Axel Pons and Sam Lowes, their lapping was chiselling away at the clock as they attempted to outdo each other until, with half an hour left to run the gains dried up, leaving Rins on pole after setting his lap at the optimum moment.

Qualifying Reports.


Danny Kent pulled out all the stops to pull out the red sectors as he cut through the traffic as he powered to pole, but all his performance for the Leopard team could do was minimise the damage to his six-place penalty (When all taken into consideration he will line up seventh).

Second after a powerful performance after being free of needing hours of set-up was fellow Brit John McPhee, who will officially inherit pole after Kent's penalty is put into practice on the grid.

The SaxoPrint-RTG man pulled out all the stops for a fiery fast lap. Third went to Miguel Oliveira , helped by his team mates and equally fast solo when possible, preventing an all Honda front row with the Red Bull KTM Ajo team.

11 October 2015

Moto3 and Moto2 Motegi : Unbeatable Antonelli and a classy champion's ride from Zarco in the wet

As predicted the rain arrived at the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit for a very wet shortened and delayed set of races, with the track only drying during the MotoGP race.

Moto3 had the worst of the weather and their short thirteen laps were just as exciting as ever, but unusually, there was no late battle for the win, Nico Antonelli had everything under control form the first corner.

Moto2 had spitting rain by the time they set off but still faced a tricky wet surface and despite an early showing from Jonas Folger, once comfortable Zarco displayed why he has become Moto2 champion this weekend, pulling our and maintaining a solid lead.

Race Reports


With only thirteen laps to contest after the rain delay Nico Antonelli wasted no time in hitting the front for Ongetta-Rivacold and stayed there until he saw the chequered flag, handing Honda the constructors title.
                   Cortese on his way to the podium      Photo:Marc VDS

Miguel Oliveira also made up places quickly after his grid demotion ( 'irresponsible riding' in FP3 and qualifying along with Masbou, Kornfeil and Navarro) and slotted into second. The Red Bull KTM Ajo man chased down Antonelli but it was not to be, the Portuguese rider second over the line.

Many riders had a hold on third over the course of the race, Ono, Loi, Binder and Vinales all had a stint in the final provisional podium slot before crashing out. Isaac Vinales was the last to slip out of the position handing Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) a rostrum finish for the second race running.

10 October 2015

Moto3 and Moto2 qualifying, Motegi : A champion first from Zarco and a first pole for Fenati

As the flyaway rounds get under way there was Moto2 news before a wheel turned in qualifying with Johann Zarco announced as champion after Tito Rabat declared himself unfit to race following a training accident.

He put in a champions performance at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit to steal a late pole from rival Tom Luthi.
Rabat out - Zarco becomes Moto2 champion! Photo EG0,0 Marc VDS

First off was Moto3 where an intense battle for pole was won by Romano Fenati, where despite all his years in the lower class and race wins under his belt, the Italian was celebrating his first ever pole position.

Qualifying Reports


UPDATE: The following riders all receive a three place grid penalty for failing to stay inside the new 110% of their own fastest lap time rule:

Miguel Oliveira
Jorge Navarro
Jakub Kornfeil
Alexis Masbou.

This means that Enea Bastianini and Nico Antonelli now have front row starts.

The new top ten on the grid is as follows

  1. Fenati
  2. Antonelli
  3. Bastianini
  4. Kent
  5. Oliveira
  6. Navarro
  7. Vinales
  8. Loi
  9. Binder
  10. Bagnaia

Sky Racing Team VR46 started Saturday's qualifying with much to celebrate after a late fast lap from Fenati propelled him to pole, all the more impressive given his tumble in the session.

The Italian set a best of 1m56.484, with a new record once again needed for pole in every class.

Joining the KTM rider on the front row are Miguel Oliveira, initially off the pace after being close to the top of the top of the timesheets all through practice before a late lunge saw him claim second for Red Bull KTM Ajo, and Honda rider Jorge Navarro in third, the Estrella Galicia rookie putting in another great performance at a track which is all new to him.

Niccolo Antonelli had been in charge ahead of qualifying and topped every practice session, but the Ongetta-Rivacold rider had all his problems come at the worst time, a spell in the pits with brake issues and a crash moving him out of contention for the top spots, and into fourth on the grid.

Enea Bastianini is well placed to keep the championship open from fifth, the Gresini rider is one place ahead of title rival Danny Kent who sits in sixth spot, who has his first chance to claim the crown this weekend aboard the Leopard machine.

8 October 2015

FIM CEV Repsol - Navarra

Lead extends for Moto3 championship leader Aron Canet, Pons gets the better of Marini.

The early October weather threatened to ruin last weekend's round of the FIM CEV Repsol in
Moto2 race gets underway
Photo: FIM CEV
Navarra, but after a gloomy start the rain largely stayed away for the majority of the day. After the first superbike race was red flagged just before what would have been lights out, the restart and chance to change tyres proved ultimately unnecessary as the worst was already over.

The race was run by the majority of the field on the wet tyres, but it quickly became obvious that those who had stuck to slicks had made the better decision, with track conditions never truly unsuitable for the dry tyre and improving quickly. Race 1 saw Robertino Pietri, having stayed on slicks, charge to victory over the no.77 BMW of Max Scheib Kruger and third placed rider Lucas de Ulacia. The second race was unaffected by the weather and the flag was taken by Carmelo Morales, followed by Adrian Bonastre and Robertino Pietri, who earned his second taste of champagne of the day.

5 October 2015

BSB Silverstone: One hand on the title?

Josh Brookes continued his stunning run of form this weekend at the penultimate round of the MCE British Superbike season, securing the double win and increasing his points lead of 47 points.
Brookes stood on top for both races at Silverstone
Photo: MCE BSB

Putting in a qualifying time of 2.03.984 which could have easily got him on the MotoGP grid earlier this year on top of setting a circuit lap record, the Australian is on the form of his life and it seems to have come at just the right time.

Race report:

Returning American John Hopkins stormed through into first position on the opening lap however the Lloyds British Moto Rapido rider was soon caught by championship contender Brookes. Starting from the fourth row of the grid Shane Byrne made up two positions in the opening lap, starting his charge for the front.

James Ellison shot past Hopkins as he fought to keep up with Brookes however despite staying up with the leader, tyre issues forced the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider to lose a podium spot in the closing laps. Reigning champion Byrne was able to move through the pack and take second position behind flying Brookes, with Peter Hickman securing a stunning third position.

4 October 2015

WSBK Magny Cours: Fifth double for Rea

Kawasaki Racing Team's Jonathan Rea demonstrated that despite securing the championship crown in Jerez, his hunger to win remains the same as he dominated in France this weekend, chasing Troy
Rea leads the way under cloudy skies
Photo: WorldSBK
Bayliss' record of 14 wins in a season. Securing his fifth double win of the season, there is no doubt that Rea continues to fly aboard his championship winning machine.

Race Report: 

Race one brought tough damp conditions for the riders, and it was former champion Tom Sykes who was able to get away from the field and pull an early lead aboard his ZX-10R, gaining over 3 seconds. However grip issues as the track began to dry for Sykes saw him quickly drop off the pace which allowed team-mate and main rival Rea to catch him on the 17th lap.

Reigning world champion Sylvain Guintoli was able to secure his first podium of the season as he judged the tricky conditions of the race well, putting him one position ahead of his PATA Honda team-mate Michael van der Mark.

29 September 2015

MotoGP Aragon: Shark Bite

Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo was able to decrease his points deficit on team-mate Valentino Rossi this weekend, as he dominated in front of his home crowd at Aragon.
The championship just got tighter
Photo: Movistar Yamaha

In classic Lorenzo style the Spaniard took the lead on the opening lap of the race and remained unchallenged for the duration of the race as his competitors crashed and battled it out for the other two positions on the podium.

Now with a gap of just 14 points to Rossi with four round remaining, the championship fight is still well and truly on for Lorenzo.

Race report:

Getting the holeshot into the opening corner from second position on the grid, Lorenzo was determined to make a clear getaway from his competitors. As reigning world champion Marquez chased him, he crashed out of the race from second position on only the second lap, meaning he has failed to finish in the last two Spanish rounds this season.

27 September 2015

Moto3 and Moto2 – Aragon: Title battles rumble on, Oliveira and Rabat winners

Aragon was set to be the scene of some historic moments in the Moto3 and Moto2 classes, but nothing can be certain in the world of racing.

Fresh from inking a new deal Danny Kent looked ready to put in a solid performance and make his title hopes stronger while social media was full of the #ZarcoTitleChance hashtag as the Frenchman arrived with his first title winning opportunity. There was added drama after a huge crash between Dominique Agerter and Xavier Simeon brought out the red flag in the 100th Moto2 race.
Rabat wins Aragon 2015 Moto2
           Timely home success for Rabat      Photo:EG 0,0 Marc VDS

It was however Miguel Oliveira and Tito Rabat who went on to take the spoils after a pair of last lap wars, with Moto3 title rivals Kent and Enea Bastianini both crashing at the end of the race and Zarco unable to find away out of sixth after twelve straight podium appearances.

Race Reports


Moto3 saw the lead change lap after lap with most of the top ten taking a turn at the front before Miguel Oliveira, who had put in the most laps out in first laid claim to the win, keeping clear of the trouble behind him and blocking his nearest rival Jorge Navarro to take victory for Red Bull KTM Ajo.

Navarro's second was all the more impressive given he missed the last round after his heavy practice crash and was only passed fit to race for Estrella Galicia 0,0 after another run to the hospital to be checked after a crash in warm-up.

Third went to a very determined Romano Fenati, with a performance which echoed his run through the pack last year to win, this time the Sky Racing VR 46 rider had to settle for third.

The late crashes for Enea Bastianini, hitting the back wheel of Brad Binder as he hit the brakes taking the pair out and Danny Kent who flew out of contention at the final corner saw all the riders behind benefit from an enhanced position.

Efern Vazquez had worked to move up in the group and the Leopard Racing rider took the spoils snatching a fourth, just ahead of a very impressive ride with the leaders from Philipp Oettl for Schedl GP Racing his best performance in the dry after being a podium finisher at Indy.

26 September 2015

Moto3 and Moto2 :Aragon - The easy way and the Aragon way - Bastianini and Rabat on pole as Kent and Zarco battle hard for third in qualifying.

Moto3 and Moto2 arrive in Spain again, this time at the MotorLand Aragon circuit, with a pretty clean slate as out of the two classes there is currently only one previous winner – Romano Fenati – who last year proved that you can win without securing pole at the track, but you may need a helping hand from the weather.

Rabat Qualifying 2015 Aragon
                  Pole for rapid Rabat                Photo: EG 0,0 Marc VDS
Tito Rabat was in no mood to rely on a rain dance as Johann Zarco can dethrone him as Moto2 champion from this round onwards, needing just seven points over his Spanish rival to guarantee his Moto2 championship. Rabat set about demolishing records as his last stand.

It was a similar affair at the start of the qualifying sessions in Moto3, though the title hunt remains more open. It was the second place man in the overall standings here too, Enea Bastianini who found record pace at the last second to swing into pole with Danny Kent struggling for clear track or a good tow before a final solo lap saw him climb to third.

Qualifying Reports


UPDATE: In Moto3 Maria Herrera, Andrea Migno, Isaac Vinales, Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Garbiel Rodrigo were all penalised for their qualifying actions and missed ten minutes of warm-up and a three place grid demotion.

Enea Bastianini took his fourth pole on his thirteenth and final lap around Aragon in Moto3 qualifying, needing a last minute record lap of the Spanish track (1m 57.755) to rise to the top of the timesheets.

The Gresini riders final dash deposed long time front runner Miguel Oliveira who had been the most consistent over the 40 minutes and fast on his own or looking for a slipstream for the Red Bull KTM Ajo Team.

Danny Kent kept himself busy looking for a tow only to find a sea of bikes behind his Leopard machine each time he left the pits or slowed for space. A final run alone saw the British championship leader back in contention with a front row start.

21 September 2015

BSB: Brookes smashes Assen

The Milwaukee Yamaha squad will be celebrating all the way back to England after not only silencing critics on the capabilities of the new R1 Yamaha throughout this season, as well as number one rider Josh Brookes extending his championship lead over title rival, Shane Byrne.
Brookes leads the field this weekend
Photo: MCE BSB

It was all to play for going into the opening round of the Showdown and after a two-way scrap for the win last-time out at Oulton Park between Shakey Byrne and Josh Brookes, it set the scene for a tough competition between Yamaha and Kawasaki this weekend. Brookes excelled in the tricky conditions in Assen by sealing his fourth double win of the season while Byrne was unusually left behind, a bit short off the pace and off the podium. James Ellison has made a speedy recovery from his broken wrist and was the top Kawasaki by sealing two rostrum finishes.

Race Reports

Race One:
Brookes led the pack off pole position followed by Ellison and Byrne with John Hopkins tucked in behind. After a Byrne mistake going into the Chicane allowed Hopkins to move into third, where they both spent a lap jostling for third position. The pair soon had Michael Laverty for company and with two decisive moves on lap 13 Laverty stole the third position and sealed his first podium of the season. By this time Brookes had broken away at the front from Ellison in second and Byrne and Hopkins continued to scrap but for fourth place and it was Byrne who crossed the finishing line in fourth.