Blog Archive

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Honda MotoGP bike “out of control” and “radical” in qualifying – Marquez – MotoGP

Alex Marquez says the Honda feels “out of control” and “a bit more radical” in time attack trim, after the rookie qualified 17th for the MotoGP Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The factory Honda rider has so far failed to lift himself higher than 17th on the grid in the seven rounds run this season, though has proven to have strong race pace with four points-finishes.

His race pace in Saturday’s FP4 – in which he was seventh – was comparable to the likes of Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci and KTM’s Brad Binder around him.

But once again in qualifying on fresh soft rubber, Marquez tumbled down the order, with his best of 1m31.198s just over 1.1 seconds off Maverick Vinales’ pole time.

“We are able to manage the rhythm in a good way and keep it really good, but we are not able to improve one second with the new soft

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Stoner: MotoGP currently lacking ‘next level’ without Marquez – MotoGP

Marc Marquez’s stint on the sidelines has left MotoGP lacking its “next level”, according to world champion Casey Stoner.

Honda star Marquez is facing at least another two months as he recovers from a broken arm sustained during the Spanish Grand Prix, after an initial comeback attempt at the Andalusian GP left him needing a second operation.

His absence has paved the way for some new winners in the class, Fabio Quartararo, Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira all racking up maiden victories.

However the unpredictable start to the pandemic-affected season hasn’t impressed retired Ducati ace Stoner, who thinks the series is missing its “next level” without Marquez on the grid.

When asked by on the latest episode of the In the Fast Lane podcast if he feels Marquez’s absence has lessened the value of the championship, Stoner said: “This is where I can start some controversy, but I completely agree.

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Stoner “pretty disappointed” with Ducati over Dovizioso treatment – MotoGP

Double MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner says he is “pretty disappointed” with Ducati in light of Andrea Dovizioso’s imminent departure from the squad.

Dovizioso and Ducati confirmed their split at the end of the 2020 season during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, though details on their separation have so far been closely guarded by all parties.

Stoner, who won his 2007 title with Ducati, quit his test rider role with the Italian marque in 2018 as he felt it was not listening to his feedback – having left Ducati for Honda in 2011 for similar reasons.

PLUS: Why Dovizioso’s MotoGP replacement shouldn’t be Lorenzo

Speaking in the Australian Grand Prix podcast, Stoner expressed disappointment in Ducati and took a swipe at its apparent inability to “really look after the riders”.

“Yeah, I’m pretty disappointed in Ducati,” Stoner told the podcast in a wide-ranging interview when asked about Dovizioso’s departure from

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Espargaro keen to compare KTM’s MotoGP package against Marquez – MotoGP

Pol Espargaro admits he “still cannot really believe” the pace KTM has been showing in MotoGP in 2020, but wants to see how the bike stacks up against Marc Marquez.

The reigning world champion has been absent since breaking his right arm in a heavy crash during the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez last month.

This is the first time in his MotoGP career that Marquez has missed races.

KTM has become a frontrunner in 2020, with Brad Binder securing both his and the bike’s first win in a stunning performance at the Czech Republic GP and Espargaro showing enough pace for victory last week in the Austrian GP before the race was red-flagged for the huge incident between Franco Morbidelli and Johann Zarco.

Espargaro, who will move to Honda and become Marquez’s team-mate in 2021, admits the step KTM took between last year and 2020 with the RC16

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Zarco: Pitlane start MotoGP penalty “not the end of the world” – MotoGP

Johann Zarco admits he is “unhappy” with his MotoGP Styrian Grand Prix pitlane start penalty, but believes it “is not the end of the world”.

The Avintia Ducati rider was handed the punishment for his part in the heavy crash with Franco Morbidelli in last week’s Austrian GP, which almost led to Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi being collected by errant motorcycles.

Zarco and Morbidelli attended an FIM Stewards hearing on Thursday, where it was decided that the Frenchman should start from the pitlane for Sunday’s second Red Bull Ring race.

The Avintia rider says he thought about appealing the penalty – having maintained his innocence – but felt this could impact him unnecessarily at Misano in September when he expects to have fully recovered from the wrist fracture he suffered in last Sunday’s crash.

“Unhappy with the penalty,” Zarco said on Friday. “I was thinking to appeal to the

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MotoGP Styria: Oliveira takes shock maiden win with last-corner move – MotoGP

Miguel Oliveira took a shock maiden MotoGP victory on the last corner of a red-flagged Styrian Grand Prix after Jack Miller and Pol Espargaro ran wide on the final lap.

Suzuki’s Joan Mir grabbed the holeshot for the first start, though had to relinquish his lead to Pramac’s Jack Miller for running off at Turn 1 and gaining an advantage.

Mir was then demoted by Takaaki Nakagami on lap four, though the Suzuki soon rallied and by the end of the tour was once again in the lead.

He was able to open up a lead of over two seconds by the end of lap 16 before the red flag brought the race to a halt after Maverick Vinales suffered a scary crash at Turn 1.

Having seemingly been battling brake issues all race, Vinales was forced to jump off his Yamaha at 130mph when it wouldn’t slow, with the

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Espargaro: Miller and I wanted Styrian MotoGP win “too hard” – MotoGP

Pol Espargaro says he and Jack Miller wanted MotoGP Styrian Grand Prix victory “too hard” in their last-lap duel and “gave it” to Miguel Oliveira.

The KTM rider led from lap seven to the final tour, but an overly defensive line at Turn 3 allowed Pramac’s Miller to overtake him on the run into the corner.

Espargaro scythed up the inside of Miller at the penultimate corner, with the latter attempting a move up the inside into the last turn – though both ended up going wide and allowing Tech3’s Oliveira to sneak through to claim a shock maiden win.

Commenting on his race, Espargaro says he was forced into defending hard on the last lap owing to the Ducati’s strength in braking and on acceleration.

“When I crossed the line, I saw on my pit board ‘plus zero’, so I didn’t know how much distance I had to Jack,”

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MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix qualifying – Start time, how to watch & more – MotoGP

MotoGP has set up camp at the Red Bull Ring for a double-header starting this weekend with the Austrian Grand Prix. Here’s how to watch qualifying.

Marc Marquez remains out of action after his second surgery to fix the plate in his broken right arm, with Honda test rider Stefan Bradl stepping in again, but the team hasn’t ruled out the reigning champion returning for the second Red Bull Ring race.

KTM’s Pol Espargaro topped the combined Friday practice timesheet, after FP2 was held in mixed conditions due to a brief rain downpour, to maintain the Austrian brand’s strong form fresh from Brad Binder securing his and the team’s maiden MotoGP race win last time out in the Czech Republic.

Andrea Dovizioso enjoyed a stronger start to his Austrian GP weekend in second place after a nightmare at Brno, but his Ducati future continues to dominate the headlines, with the

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Morbidelli: Maiden MotoGP podium because of “big brother” Rossi – MotoGP

Franco Morbidelli says his maiden MotoGP podium in the Czech Grand Prix is “mostly because of” his mentor Valentino Rossi, who he says is “like a big brother” to him.

The Petronas SRT rider led for the first 12 laps of Sunday’s Brno race on his Petronas SRT Yamaha, before ultimately taking his first podium in second place after eventual race winner Brad Binder passed him on the 13th tour.

Morbidelli made his MotoGP debut in 2018 as the reigning Moto2 world champion, becoming the first rider from the VR46 Academy to make the step to the premier class.

The Italian’s route to MotoGP was unconventional, having stepped to Moto2 from the European Superstock 600 series.

Commenting on the role Rossi played in his Brno podium, Morbidelli said: “I am here mostly because of him, because he believed in me when I was a nobody.

“So, I know it’s a

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Espargaro: MotoGP win in Austria more achievable last week – MotoGP

Styrian Grand Prix poleman Pol Espargaro feels victory was “more achievable” in the first Red Bull Ring MotoGP race as the field has tightened for the second outing.

Espargaro led the Austrian GP before it was red-flagged and looked the strongest of the lead group, but suffered with a lack of his preferred medium tyres for the restart before his afternoon ended in a collision with Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira.

The KTM rider has been quick all weekend at the Styrian GP, topping Friday on the combined times before claiming his maiden MotoGP pole by just 0.022 seconds.

While some riders fear Espargaro has the pace to check out in the race should he get the holeshot, Espargaro has cautioned that it will be “tough to win” on Sunday given the current competitive order.

“Last weekend I think we had more chance to win the race,” Espargaro said.

“I think it

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