FIA WRC

Sébastien Ogier and M-Sport WRT seal 2017 WRC crowns!

Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia and British outfit M-Sport wrapped up world class rallying’s 2017 titles* today after this weekend’s Wales Rally GB which was won by homegrown star Elfyn Evans. 

FIA WRC

First Germany triumph for Ford/Michelin

Ott Tanak collected the second win of his WRC career and earned Ford/M-Sport’s maiden ADAC Rallye Deutschland victory today in Germany. Third place behind Andreas Mikkelsen (Citroën/Michelin) enabled Sébastien Ogier (Ford/Michelin) to recover the Drivers’ championship lead from Thierry Neuville. Pontus Tidemand (Skoda/Michelin) is the 2017 WRC2 world champion.

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. 

A perfectly paced victory on Round 11 of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship will clearly have done Kris Meeke’s recently jaded confidence a world of good.

Leg 1 saw the Ulsterman put his recent difficult run behind him to bag provisional third at the end of the mixed-surface event’s day of gravel action.

The leader at this point, however, was none other than Andrea Mikkelsen. Hyundai/Michelin’s new signing led second-placed Ogier by 1.4 seconds at Friday evening’s service where teams were allocated an extra 30 minutes to convert their respective cars from gravel to asphalt trim for the remainder of the weekend.

Sébastien Ogier had been widely expected to take control at this point, but it was Meeke who stole the show instead. A surefooted display on the sealed-surface part of the event took him almost half-a-minute clear at the finish where he was understandably relieved to be back on the top step of the podium after a win-less spell that dated back to March’s Rally Mexico.

After the switch to asphalt, Mikkelsen failed to match his earlier pace and fell back several places, while Ogier – hard-pressed by Sordo (Hyundai/Michelin) and Tanak – admitted that he believed Meeke was uncatchable as his thoughts turned maximising his title chances with a strong points finish.

His hopes of securing a fifth straight Drivers’ crown were boosted when chief rival Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) was delayed by a hydraulic issue and an accident on a road section on Saturday. The Belgian was then forced out for good after suffering further suspension damage on Sunday morning.

Ogier sits 37 points clear at the top of the provisional standings and his closest threat is now his own team-mate Ott Tanak whose third place in Catalunya has more or less handed the 2017 Manufacturers’ crown to M-Sport WRT/Michelin. The British outfit is only four points short of sealing the outcome and essentially needs to get both its cars to finish at the next round (Wales Rally GB) to claim its first title since 2007.

Juho Hanninen salvaged fourth place after a poor weekend for Toyota which lost Latvala on Friday (engine), then Lappi (accident) on the last day. Hyundai’s Dani Sordo was typically quick on home soil but an ‘off’ on Sunday dropped him to 15th at the flag, although he did recover to post the best time on the weekend’s Power Stage.

There was yet another all-Michelin top three in the WRC2 battle which was won this time by Teemu Suninen (Ford), ahead of Jan Kopecky (Skoda) and Mexico’s Benito Guerra (Skoda).

MOTOGP™

Michelin named official MotoGP tyre supplier until 2023

Dorna Sports has confirmed that Michelin will continue to be the official supplier of tyres to the MotoGPTM World Championship for five additional seasons over and above the existing arrangement. The contract’s extension until 2023 was announced today at this weekend’s MICHELIN® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in the presence of Michelin Motorsport Director Pascal Couasnon and Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports. 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Dovizioso takes Malaysia win!

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) collected his sixth success of the year with victory at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, Round 17 of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship. Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) came second to notch up Ducati’s first one-two finish of the season, while Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was third. Fourth place for Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) means the fight for the 2017 crown will be decided in Valence. 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Marquez to wrap up title in Malaysia?

The 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship concludes its autumn long-haul tour with the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix (Round 17 of 18). Marc Marquez travels to Sepang with a 33-point cushion at the top of the provisional standings and could well collect his fourth premier class crown this weekend. 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Marc Marquez wins sensational Australian GP

The MICHELIN® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix – Round 16 of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship – saw Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) claim his sixth victory of the season. The defending champion took a step closer to this year’s crown by finishing clear of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales. Title challenger Dovizioso was 13th.

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