MOTOGP™

MotoGP: teams head east to Japan

MotoGPTM kicks off the Pacific-Asian leg of the 2017 world championship this weekend with the Motul Grand Prix of Japan (Round 14), the first of three back-to-back races along with Australia and Malaysia. Provisional leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) stand out as the big favourites for this year’s title. 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Honda’s Aragon one-two

The Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón – Round 14 of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship – was won by Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), ahead of team-mate Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team). 

MOTOGP™

A winning start for Viñales at Yamaha

Spain’s Maverick Viñales celebrated his debut appearance for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP by claiming the first MotoGPTM pole start of his career. He followed that up by winning the Grand Prix of Qatar in torrential rain, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP).

As in 2009, heavy rain at Losail International Circuit forced the organisers to cancel the weekend’s qualifying session, which meant the grid order for the 2017 world championship opener was decided by free practice times. This put Viñales on pole, ahead of Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).

The wet weather caused the start of the night-time clash to be delayed by 45 minutes, while the race itself was shortened from 22 to 20 laps.

Iannone got away to a lightning start, but it was Frenchman Johann Zarco who caused the first surprise of the season by emerging in front on his Yamaha equipped with the soft rear Michelin Power Slick. The two-time Moto2 champion held firm for five laps before a fall at Turn 2 handed control to Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) who had made the same choice of rear tyre.

At the halfway point, Dovizioso was tailed by Marquez who had swapped his hard front tyre for the medium compound at the last moment. Iannone had a footing on the podium when he fell (as in 2016), allowing the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP pair to home in on the leaders.

On Lap 11, Viñales (medium Michelin Power Slicks front and rear) succeeded in passing Marquez to secure second spot before closing the gap to Dovizioso. Viñales squeezed past into first place on Lap 13 but Dovizioso reversed the situation next time round, and the pair traded the lead seven times in all!

At the age of 22, Viñales went on to secure the second MotoGP victory of his career, chased over the line by Dovizioso who came second in Qatar for the second year running! Rossi ended up third, ahead of Repsol Honda Team’s Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

The next round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship will take teams to Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina, on April 7-9.

FIA WRC

Meeke bounces back in Spain for Citroën/Michelin

Citroën Racing’s Kris Meeke stemmed a recent barren spell with an emphatic victory on the 2017 RallyRACC Catalunya-Rally de España in his Michelin-equipped Citroën C3 WRC. The Ulsterman was followed over the line by M-Sport team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta WRC/Michelin) whose efforts took the British outfit a step closer to its first Manufacturers’ crown since 2007. 

FIA WEC

Porsche and Michelin triumph in Texan heat

Porsche Team collected its third consecutive one-two finish in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship when Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley took the win at Austin, Texas, USA, in the N°2 919 Hybrid, ahead of the similar car of Jani/Lotterer/Tandy. The N°51 Ferrari 488 GTE/Michelin of Calado/Per Guidi won the LM GTE class.

FIA WEC

New look for world class endurance racing

Created in 2012, the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is to undergo significant changes from next season when the series will straddle two calendar years (2018/2019) and conclude with the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours. The LMP1 cars will run to new technical regulations. As a participant in the FIA WEC since the outset, Michelin approves the latest moves.  

FIA WEC

Porsche/Michelin enjoys Mexican fiesta

The 6 Hours of Mexico saw Porsche Team claim its second one-two finish in as many rounds of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship, with the N°2 Porsche 919 Hybrid/Michelin (Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley) securing top spot ahead of the N°1 sister prototype (Jani/Lotterer/Tandy). The N°8 and N°7 Michelin-equipped Toyota TS050 Hybrids were third and fourth at Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.    

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