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: 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: onwards to Austria

Next weekend sees the MotoGPTM world move on from last Sunday’s Czech Republic clash to neighbouring Austria’s Red Bull Ring for Round 11, the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich.


After picking up his third victory of the campaign at Brno, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) is the provisional championship leader, 14 points clear of second-placed Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) who was third in Czechia.

A further seven points adrift is Andrea Dovizioso (3rd, Ducati Team) who will be hoping to add to his previous successes at Mugello and Barcelona with a third at the Red Bull Ring which seems well-suited to the characteristics of his Ducati Desmosedici GP17.

In 2016, the Italian bikemaker marked Austria’s return to the world calendar by posting its first one-two finish – led by Andrea Iannone – since Phillip Island 2007. Meanwhile, Dovizioso will be out for revenge after letting his team-mate beat him by just six-tenths of a second on that occasion!

A late decision to switch to slick tyres at Brno nearly cost Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) dearly but the nine-time world champion managed to limit the damage by salvaging fourth spot to occupy the same position (+22 points) in the Riders’ standings.

With six podium finishes to his name this season, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) has been remarkably consistent so far and is currently fifth in the championship (+33), while a battle rages in his wake for best rookie honours between Monster Yamaha Tech3’s pair. Despite a lowly 12th place at Brno, Johann Zarco is currently 11 points clear of Jonas Folger who was 10th last Sunday.

Other riders to watch in Austria will be Danilo Petrucci (Prama Racing), Cal Crutchlow (LRC Honda) and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) who is hunting for his maiden win in Ducati’s colours.

Many local fans will be gunning for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing which will be on home soil with Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith, plus a third bike for test rider Mika Kallio.

Soft, medium and hard MICHELIN Power Slicks will be available for the Austrian fixture, with rears featuring a harder compound for the right shoulder to cope with the higher number of right-hand turns. For wet weather, riders will be able to choose between soft and medium MICHELIN Power Rains, with the rear tyres asymmetric here again.

Free practice is due to start at 9:55am on Friday, August 11.


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. 


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.


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.  


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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