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racing

yam 1

The Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official Team of Niccolò Canepa, Marvin Fritz, and Karel Hanika, reigning FIM Endurance World Champions, were simply sensational as they dominated proceedings to storm to stunning back-to-back victories at Spa-Francorchamps and reduce the gap to the leader in the overall championship standings to just one point.

The weather, often a key factor at the legendary 6.985km Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, stayed dry and sunny throughout the second round of the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC), and the thousands of fans that attended the event bore witness to one of the most dominant performances in recent memory.

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Defending champions YART had laid down a marker on Friday by not only topping Free Practice, with Marvin Fritz setting an unofficial lap record of 2:18.551, but also by producing a commanding performance during qualifying. All three riders dominated their respective groups by showing blistering pace to ensure YART started from pole position and secured the five points on offer for securing pole position. 

Fritz was not to be denied, and he got his hands on the official lap record on Friday afternoon after he set a 2:18.552 in his first qualifying session to beat Hanika’s 2:18.845 set in 2022. But it was not just the German who was fast, as all three YART riders managed to break the 2:19 barrier (the only ones to do so throughout the entire weekend) as the Austrian squad demonstrated incredible pace leading into Saturday’s race.

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When the action got underway in the first 8 Hours of Spa Motos, following on from two 24-hour editions of the event in 2022 and 2023, it produced some thrilling racing, but no one could deny YART from making it two wins in a row at Spa. As always, strategy would prove to be critical during the race because while the Bridgestone-shod #1 R1 was undoubtedly the quickest bike on the grid in the hands of the YART riders, due to fuel consumption, the team knew that they would have to make one more pit stop than their rivals.

With that in mind, they needed to push right from the word go, and they could not have dreamed of a better first stint than that of Canepa’s. The Italian, who was still feeling the effects of his crash at the Daytona 200, got away superbly from pole and was in the lead by the end of the first lap. After a brief battle with championship rivals SERT, the 36-year-old put the hammer down and set the tone for the rest of the race as he blasted off into the distance. By the time of the first pit stop, he had sensationally created a gap at the front of almost ten seconds in one of the most electric opening stints in EWC history.

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Fritz and Hanika then continued to set a punishing pace while showing incredible consistency to match their speed. As the race progressed, the trio were relentless and continued to push, incredibly getting quicker and quicker as the clock ticked down, eventually extending their lead to over a minute. All three riders were utterly faultless, and the team backed this up by not making a single mistake during the pit stops, as YART increased their advantage at the front on almost every lap. 

Sticking to their strategy perfectly, they created a large enough gap to allow them to make an extra pit stop but still retain the lead, and with the end of the race getting closer, the win was there for the taking.

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As is often the case, the experienced Canepa took the final stint, and he brought the YART R1 home to win the 8 Hours of Spa Motos by 40.145 seconds after completing 201 laps, to spark jubilant celebrations amongst the team and complete the perfect weekend. The victory, along with pole position, meant that the defending champions claimed the maximum 35 points on offer in Belgium and closed the gap in the EWC standings to the leader to just one point, with two rounds still to go.

It was a more difficult race for the Belgian-based KM99 squad of Jérémy Guarnoni, Florian Marino, and Randy de Puniet. After qualifying in seventh, a crash within the first half hour saw them drop down the timing screens. They mounted a strong fightback, only for a second crash to lose them more time, but they bounced back in the last couple of hours to finish in 16th overall and tenth in the Formula EWC class.

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Niccolò Canepa - P1 201 laps
Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official Team
“I am thrilled because we won last year in the 24-hour race, and we have won again this year in the eight-hour race. Honestly, the performance has been perfect throughout the race weekend from all of us, from the team to the tyres, and of course, my teammates were incredible. Despite having to make one more pit stop, we managed the strategy perfectly and stuck to our plan to secure victory, and now we have reduced the gap to the championship leaders to just one point with two rounds to go.” 

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Marvin Fritz - P1 201 laps
Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official Team
“It was the perfect race. We won, set a new lap record, and we each topped our qualifying groups, plus we managed to secure the maximum points for the championship. I could not be more proud of my teammates and the entire YART team; we did an amazing job. We pushed right from the start of the race because we knew we had to make one more pit stop than our competitors, and Niccolò could not have got us off to a better start. Karel and I continued that way, and we were all setting an amazing pace for the rest of the race. The team did a superb job with the pit stops, the Bridgestone tyres were great, and the bike felt amazing. Honestly, it was the perfect performance, and to stick to our strategy and not make a single mistake was incredible. It was very special. Last year, we won with the #7 bike; this year, we won with the #1 on our R1, and I could not be happier. Bring on Suzuka.”

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Karel Hanika - P1 201 laps
Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official Team
“It feels amazing to win for the second year in a row here at Spa. I had a difficult race in Le Mans. I wasn’t at my best, and my crash cost us the victory there. So, I had to reset and focus on getting back to my best. It definitely took me a bit more time to get up to speed during Private Practice, but lap by lap, my confidence came back, and by qualifying, I was feeling really good on the bike again. In an eight-hour race, it is easy to make a mistake, as it is more like a sprint, but the whole team was faultless, and we produced an incredible performance. I am happy that I was able to bounce back like this, and my team and teammates are so good it is unbelievable. We have a great atmosphere in the team, and I could not be prouder of what we have achieved here in Spa. I want to thank the whole team and everyone at Yamaha and Bridgestone who supported us; this win was for you. We are already looking forward to Suzuka.”

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Mandy Kainz
Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official Team – Team Manager
“What a performance! The whole team have been incredible since we arrived on Thursday, working tirelessly to produce a performance like this. I am so proud of them all. The riders were faultless today and showed what we are capable of. The bike was superb, and when we combine everything like we did here in Spa, I truly believe that we are unstoppable. Obviously, this is endurance, so there are lots of factors to take into account, but this weekend, we pulled off the perfect race. To secure back-to-back victories at this track is also special, and I want to thank everyone from the team, Yamaha, and Bridgestone, for providing us with the perfect package. We managed to secure the maximum championship points, and now we are just one point behind the leaders, so it is game on for Suzuka.”

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yam 17


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Red Bull KTM Factory Racing celebrated their first FIM Motocross World Championship Grand Prix ‘double’ in 2024 as Jeffrey Herlings and Sacha Coenen both conquered the fine Kegums soil at the Latvian GP and round nine of 20. Herlings claimed his first MXGP victory in a year with a 1-3 performance on the KTM 450 SX-F while Sacha Coenen converted his bright speed with the KTM 250 SX-F to win in MX2 for the first time in his young career.

An overdue stint of sunshine greeted MXGP for the Grand Prix of Latvia at Kegums. Round nine dipped into the soft shallow soil of Kegums but the fast layout and hard base meant a typically deceptive and tricky circuit for the MXGP and MX2 classes (and European Championship support cards). Now fifteen years as a staple part of the MXGP slate and former Motocross of Nations venue; Kegums was nevertheless hit by a heavy but brief rainstorm that affected the end of the first MX2 moto and the opening MXGP outing.

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Before the weather could have its say for the motos, warm and dry RAM Qualification Heats took place on Saturday where Herlings labored to 6th place in MXGP and Andrea Adamo was best-placed with 4th in MX2.

On Sunday the passing Latvian clouds made sure the track was soft and very rough in places (braking bumps and ruts) but also fast and inviting in others. Herlings started well in the initial MXGP moto with his KTM 450 SX-F and seized the lead on the first lap. He controlled the race all the way for his third success of 2024. In the second moto Herlings had no answer for the pace of Jorge Prado and Tim Gajser (despite a late rally) but his 3rd position ensured the top step of the rostrum for his first success of 2024 and his fifth trophy of the year (his eighth career GP feat at Kegums). #84 is 3rd in the standings and 68 points from P1.

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MX2 belonged to Sacha Coenen. The young Belgian logged his seventh holeshot of the season (and started 2nd in the following moto) to keep strong and quick at the front of both races. #19 remained upright and in the game, and classified 3rd and 1st to achieve a series of milestones: first race win, first Grand Prix podium and first overall triumph. He was four places ahead of countryman Liam Everts who suffered a tip-off in the first moto and recorded a 5-4 scorecard for more top five regularity. A crash and damaged motorcycled meant world champion Andrea Adamo could rise no higher than 13th in MX2 Moto1 and rode to 8th for 9th overall.

Everts is the highest ranked rider in the MX2 championship in 4th and one slot in front of Adamo. Coenen’s best points haul of the year means he has moved up to 8th. MXGP travels to southern Europe and the iconic racing facility of Maggiora for the Grand Prix of Italy next weekend.

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Jeffrey Herlings, 1st and 3rd for 1st overall in MXGP: “Definitely happy. Yesterday was so bad but today I was able to show people I could still ride a bit! The podium was the goal but to come out with a win was amazing. I didn’t quite have the pace for Jorge and Tim in the second moto; I was able to close them down but didn’t have the speed to pass. Anyway, very happy and two good starts today. I hope to keep that going because it’s been a weak point. Pleased with my riding and it’s nice to finally get off that #103 to #104!”

Sacha Coenen, 3rd and 1st for 1st overall in MX2: “Really nice to win my first GP. I’m feeling happy! I had good speed today and I knew I could do it! I had a really good start in the second moto and I just did my race. We need to focus and try to make every weekend a bit like this…and be on the podium as much as we can. Not many mistakes today and I kept on my wheels. This feels so nice.”

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Over the three races, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser went one-two-two at the Kegums circuit in Latvia, to take second step on the podium, and reclaim the championship-leading red-plate once again. In what were completely different conditions in the two GP-scoring races today, Gajser showed that it doesn’t matter if it is wet or dry, and that he is a threat to win in any weather.

Yesterday’s victory in the qualification race gave him first gate-pick and although he wasn’t able to repeat yesterday’s holeshot, he was still able to get round inside the top five. Unfortunately he was behind his two main rivals in both motos, but he was quickly able to pass one of them early-on in each moto to move into second.

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Race one was a really wet moto, with standing water and wet sand making things difficult for everyone, but Gajser showed his skills to keep the leader in sight and pull away from the rest of the field. With the wet roost causing issues, he eventually had to settle for second place, which was still a good points tally and kept his chances of an overall alive.

In race two, he once again moved into second place and although he was able to keep the winner of race one well behind him, he knew he had to win to get the GP overall and despite intense pressure on the leader, he wasn’t able to make the pass happen on what was now a dry one-lined Kegums track. Once again he crossed the line, just over a second behind the race winner, knowing that his two-two would see him on the second step of the podium. Still, it was good enough for him to now be leading the championship by four points as they head to the 10th round of the series, which will take place at the prestigious Maggiora track in northern Italy.

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Tim Gajser  243

I rode well all weekend, and am happy with the overall effort. Going one-two-two shows that my consistency is good and that my speed is good enough to win, but I wasn’t quite able to make it happen. I got the red-plate back so that is a positive and although there is still a long way to go, it is nice to ride with the red-plate on my Honda CRF450R, especially next week in Maggiora which is a special track.

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Ferruccio Zanchi  73

My speed was good and I made a lot of passes on a track that wasn’t easy to pass on, but a few small moments cost me a top 10 overall. One was my fault, early in the first moto but the other two were frustrating and I hope I can learn from them and avoid that kind of thing in the future. Still, my fitness was good and I pushed until the end in both races so overall I am pleased with my progress and I’m really looking forward to a home GP in Maggiora next weekend.


KTMAMA01

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Tom Vialle has made it three straight 250MX podium results to open the 2024 AMA Pro Motocross Championship after claiming a hard-fought third position overall at Thunder Valley's third round of the season in Colorado.

Vialle rode his KTM 250 SX-F FACTORY EDITION to P5 in qualifying and then made steps forward to contend for the race victory in Moto 1, leading in the final stages and falling while challenging for a late pass for the lead. Still, he managed to remount efficiently and cross the line in P2.

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Later this afternoon in Moto 2, despite an average start that cost him important time early on and an untimely crash while working his way back through the pack, Tom eventually took the checkered flag in P4. That was enough to secure third place for the round and he now sits tied on points with second in the standings, 23 points outside of the lead.

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Tom Vialle: "Overall, the speed was good, just too many mistakes. I crashed in the second moto, then I was catching again and I tipped over in a corner, so I was really mad. But that's racing and the track was really good, a lot of fun today, so it was pretty nice and I'm excited for next weekend."

Colorado saw teenager Julien Beaumer match his overall finish from one week ago in scoring ninth position again. The Pro Motocross rookie qualified 12th and then improved to ninth in the opening encounter, before 10th in the final outing was another positive performance. He has now moved to eighth in the championship, motivated to keep inching closer to the front as experience grows.

Julien Beaumer: "Really good riding for me today, but bad starts and early crashes slowed my results down. I'm happy with the progress we made this weekend, so now we'll get ready for High Point!"

In wearing the red plates on his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION for the first time outdoors and coming off a victory at Hangtown, Chase Sexton displayed his front-running pace once again, but track position and a heavy crash while looking to take charge of Moto 2 resulted in 6-5 scores for fifth overall. He currently sits second in the standings, six points from the series lead following Round 3.

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Chase Sexton: "It was nice to have the red plate today, and I felt like we had speed on our side, but it just didn't come together in the motos. Considering the results, we're still right there in the championship, so look forward to rebounding at High Point next weekend."

450MX teammate Aaron Plessinger was also competitive throughout the Thunder Valley weekend, gradually gaining comfort in the middle stages of the first moto on his way to fifth place, and then being affected by his start in the second race. 'The Cowboy' recovered from 15th at the end of lap one to finish in P8, which put him sixth overall for the round and he holds fifth in the point standings.

Aaron Plessinger: "Thunder Valley was kind of a struggle in practice, and then I felt better in the first moto. I got a really good start, but fell back and wasn't really gelling that much until I started clicking off some good laps around halfway and through to the end, so ended up fifth. In the second moto, I royally messed up the start, so that cost me and I paid for it. I came from around 20th place, which in conditions like that being hard and slick, it's tough to come through the pack. I've just gotta put myself in better positions early on and we'll move on to High Point."


HRCGP01

MXGP

Tim Gajser’s fourth qualification victory of the season meant that the gap at the top of the championship is just one point as they head into tomorrow’s two GP-scoring races. In an updated Kegums circuit layout, the Team HRC riders got to grips with it quickly, setting the fastest lap in timed qualifying by over a second, and then leading every moment of the qualification race for another deserved victory.

In what is already an intense 2024 MXGP World Championship battle, the #243 wasn’t quite able to reclaim it for tomorrow’s races, but the maximum 10-point total for winning this qualification means that a GP victory tomorrow by more than two points, will be enough for him to reclaim the championship red-plate.

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The day started off well with a timed practice lap that none of his rivals could come close to matching, and that gave him the all-important first gate-pick for today’s race. Lining up on the inside, he used it to maximum effect, sweeping around the first turn and grabbing the holeshot. From there, on what is a much-changed Kegums track, he was able to lead the field round, and although he wasn’t able to break free, he was able to keep a big enough margin so that the rider behind never had an opportunity to make any moves. He crossed the line, over three seconds ahead and pleased to have put in such a strong ride, both mentally and physically, which sets him up nicely for tomorrow.

It does seem like there is potential for rain, but the Honda CRF450R rider has proved he is capable in any conditions, and whether the sand is wet or dry, he’ll be challenging at the front of the field and looking for his second GP overall.

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Tim Gajser  243

Really happy with today’s riding and it was great to get the qualification win to finish it off. I felt good in timed practice, and setting the fastest lap by over a second was a real confidence booster and that gave me first gate-pick. I then was able to use that to take a holeshot and just control the race. I had pressure the entire moto, but I knew my speed was good and it was nice to receive that chequered flag again. Obviously, I want to try and do that again tomorrow, and I think if I can get out front, I’ll be able to make that happen.

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hrcmxgp01As we approach the ninth round of the 2024 MXGP World Championship, Team HRC duo Tim Gajser and Ferruccio Zanchi are preparing for the sandy Kegums circuit, south of Riga, Latvia for their next challenge in what has been an exciting season so far.

Gajser went one-three-two across the weekend in Germany last time out and he’ll be looking for more podium visits and race wins in the qualification race and GP-scoring motos in Latvia. It is a track that he has won at four previous times, in 2016, 2019, 2021 and 2022 so the hope is that he’ll be able to add to his one GP victory so far this year and try to regain the championship red-plate, which he is just two-points away from holding.

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Zanchi has also enjoyed some good results in the Baltic nation and will go there off the back of seven top 10 finishes in the last nine motos since his return from injury. It is an impressive series of results for the youngster and one that is seeing him climb up the MX2 rankings quickly. He now sits in 12th place, and given his current form it won’t be long before he is inside the top 10 in the championship. Those are longer-term goals though, so for this weekend, he just wants to continue putting in the good-work and making sure the Honda CRF250R is represented in the top 10 of each race and trying to edge his way nearer to the top five performers.

Meanwhile, third rider in the team Ruben Fernandez is still recovering from the injury he sustained at the opening round in Argentina. The treatment and physio process has been going well so far, with positive comments from the doctors’ checkups that he’s been to, but as with an injury of this nature, everything takes time. At the moment, the hope is that he’ll be back for the final quarter of the season, but there is no cause for the Spaniard to rush back and risk further damage, so the proper procedures will be followed before we see the #70 back on track.

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Tim Gajser  243

It was a good overall performance in Teutschenthal, but I know Kegums will be a much different test. It’s a tricky track with the soft layer on top, and then a lot harder underneath so its always critical to get the setup right for the conditions on the day. Of course, I think we have done a very good job with that so far, so I am confident we will get it right in Latvia and I can once again fight for the win again. Unfortunately, we have lost a few riders in the class these past couple of rounds so I know concentration is critical as we approach the midpoint in the calendar.

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Ferruccio Zanchi  73

It was a good Sunday for me in Germany, coming eighth in both races is where I am looking to be at this stage but there is always room for improvement and having now done a few rounds, I can see myself progressing nearer to the guys at the front of the field. I’ve ridden in Latvia a couple of times in the past and had some decent results so once again I’ll be trying to get inside the top 10 in all three races and hopefully take advantage if anything better is possible.

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ktmama01

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Chase Sexton charged to a spectacular 1-1 result to capture his first AMA Pro Motocross Championship round victory of 2024 at the Hangtown National, in a day that also saw teammates Aaron Plessinger and Tom Vialle – winner of 250MX Moto 2 – stand on the podium overall.

Sexton managed to break through for the first moto win onboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION, before falling on the opening lap of the second encounter later this afternoon. The 24-year-old remounted at the rear of the field in 40th position and stormed back into contention by the closing stages of the race, ultimately making a last lap pass on Plessinger in the finest moto victory of his career to date.

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It was a pivotal result for Chase in what is his first year with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team, taking over the red plate as series leader in the 450MX title race following 2 of 11 rounds, and importantly signaling his intentions to fight for a maiden Pro Motocross Championship this season.

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Chase Sexton: "First race, it definitely felt good to win my first moto in a while, although not the way I wanted to with Jett [Lawrence] going down, but I had a good flow going and was able to win that one. In that second moto, I slid out at the start and I was dead-last, so I knew it was going to be a hard moto! That was wide-open from the start to the end. I don't even know what to say – that was the best ride, I think, of my life. Thanks to the team, they put in so much hard work, and these fans are awesome. They were cheering me on the whole way around the track and this one means a lot. This has been one of my best races and wins so far!"

After finishing fifth in Moto 1, Plessinger was also exceptional in the second race, taking control at the front of the pack on lap one and then leading the duration. He eventually followed Sexton across the finish in a 1-2 result for the team in terms of the moto, which in turn placed him third overall for the weekend. His first podium of the 2024 outdoors has resulted in him climbing to third position in the standings.

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Aaron Plessinger: "I got out front and I pushed as hard as I could, and then I figured I could back it down just a little bit, but no, these guys were riding so good – Chase was riding unreal – and I couldn't seal the deal. But we're back up here on the podium, I missed out on it last weekend, and we've bounced back! It's third place, but we'll take it and move on to the next round. I've gotta give it up to the whole team, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, and everybody who has helped me get here."

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing also picked up a moto win in the 250MX Class, where two-time MX2 World Champion Vialle asserted himself as a title threat by delivering a commanding performance in race two. Earlier, the Frenchman finished P4 in the opening moto, which placed him second on the podium for the round, and he is currently positioned third in the points following back-to-back podium finishes.

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Tom Vialle: "I knew I could do it and the second moto was way better! I want to thank the team, we changed a lot for the second moto and I felt great, so I am pretty happy. That's the first moto where I could push to my full potential and now I'm really excited for the next races with that setting on the bike. The track was awesome today, so I'm really happy to be on the podium."

Also equipped with the KTM 250 SX-F FACTORY EDITION, Hangtown was a step forward for 250MX rookie Julien Beaumer, the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing newcomer once again displaying intensity early on and remaining consistent for a top 10 result. The teenager took the checkered flag ninth in both races at the Prairie City facility, earning him 10th overall and elevating him to an encouraging eighth place in the championship.

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Matching the pace of the top ten in the second half of the race, Luca Marini was able to post competitive lap times after Joan Mir suffered an early fall in the Italian GP.

A busy weekend at the Gran Premio d’Italia comes to a close for the Repsol Honda Team with Luca Marini fighting until the very end of the 23-lap race for the top Honda spot. Changes to the aerodynamic package of the Honda RC213V produced positive gains for both Mir and Marini as the pair and HRC target further improvements in the future.

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Saving himself for the end of the race, Luca Marini was able to match the pace of those inside the top ten in the closing stages of his home GP as he hunted down Johann Zarco. Once again looking to focus at the positives, Marini rated this as his best race as a Repsol Honda Team rider to date – able to improve his pace and close the distance to the other Hondas. The Italian knows there is still work to do and speed to find, luckily Monday’s test will provide the perfect opportunity for that.

Launching from 17th, Joan Mir moved his way into the group and found himself battling with former Repsol Honda Team rider Pol Espargaro in the opening laps. Seeing the group ahead starting to break away, Mir attempted to escape but fell at Turn 1 on lap seven. Unharmed in the fall, Mir will be back out on track tomorrow.

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There’s no time to rest as the entire grid remains in Mugello for a post-race test on Monday, the second in-season test of the year. Running from 10:00 Local Time to 18:00 Local Time, the Repsol Honda Team will be working on a number of items throughout the day.

Luca Marini:

“I think this race was even better than in Barcelona, the last seven laps I was feeling good, and my pace was close to that of the top ten. For sure there is still more work to do as the distance to first is too much, but we are working in the correct direction now. It’s a pity I couldn’t give a better performance for the fans, but it will be better in the future. Our base now is quite good, we need to keep working on those final details. Tomorrow at the test gives us a good chance to experiment.”

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Joan Mir  36

“Honestly the bike was feeling good at the start of the race and I think everything was there to make some progress forward so it’s a shame to crash on lap seven. I was able to push on the front end and I was fighting with Pol Espargaro. I could see the group ahead starting to break away and he and I had a bit of a battle. Heading into Turn 1, braking behind him I lost the front and fell. It’s a shame for sure but we pick ourselves up and get ready for tomorrow’s test to try a few things.”

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Red Bull KTM Factory Racing chased speed and feeling at the Italian Grand Prix and the second weekend of MotoGP in a row. Brad Binder rode to 10th position at a busy and bright Mugello for six points and moves up to 7th in the championship as teammate Jack Miller made it to the finish in 16th place.

Mugello basked in sunny and warm late Spring weather with only the occasional dark cloud threatening the positive outlook. After the intensity of Saturday qualification and the Sprint, MotoGP formed a grid to tackle 23 laps on Sunday. Brad Binder and Jack Miller slotted into the depths of the pack and with hopes of repeating the same rapid start that Binder accomplished on Saturday when he zoomed from 13th to 4th in the first corners.

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The getaways were decent but not as striking as the Sprint and Binder, in particular, began to work and attack from the lower reaches of the top ten. He suffered with front end grip and eventually made sure of 10th. Miller, still coping with the slight effects of a vibration issue that hampered his progress on Saturday, rode to 16th and was a few tenths of a second in front of Pol Espargaro who used the Italian GP as part of a data-gathering exercise and a view towards his testing role.

Binder is 7th in the MotoGP standings and only 16 points from the top five, with Miller in 16th. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing crew rank 7th of 11 crews in pitlane and the company is still the second-best Constructor in the sport, according to the table.

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MotoGP will bring a hectic seven-day period of concentration and focus to a close on Monday afternoon. The second one-day official test of the season will now run around Mugello, and is followed by a three-week reprieve before another consecutive tally of dates in the Netherlands and Germany at the end of the month.

Brad Binder, 10th: “For sure we expected more today but the reality is that once we started rolling we just didn’t have the pace to go with the guys in front. I tried my best but when I started to push I kept losing the front and couldn’t hold the line well. It was a tricky race today and we’re lucky we have a test tomorrow because we have a lot of ideas and we’d like to find a direction to work in.”

Jack Miller, 16th: “We battled along, and it was a lot of work for no points but I was really suffering with the front end at the start and it wasn’t until 6-7 laps into the race and the rear dropped that everything was a bit more balanced. I was able to get a decent rhythm at one point and make some passes at the end. It’s no secret that we’ve struggled this weekend and we made a lot of changes and I’m really looking forward to the test tomorrow to try and sort it out.”

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Pol Espargaro, 17th: “We were not expecting a lot because we wanted to get some data, finish the race and get some information on the tire degradation. The pace was still decent and I was moving forwards with Jack. The guys [Brad and Jack] will use some of the stuff we’ve tried this weekend and because we ran it today it will make their job faster for tomorrow. I think we did a good job overall. We set some targets both for one-lap pace and the full distance.”

Francesco Guidotti, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “Brad’s weekend was affected by that touch of the green track limits on Friday. It started from there, and although he made a great start in the Sprint he couldn’t do it today and got stuck around 10th place. Overall, he improved a lot in terms of race speed from last year but the leading group improved even more; the amount of time is crazy. Almost twenty seconds! We have to keep working because we are not shining with Jack like we should. He is struggling with the feeling, and we have to help him get out of this period. I hope we can make some progress in the test tomorrow and then use the three-week break to rest and gather our energy for improvements. It was Pol’s first wild card and he did a great job. We have to thank him and we look forward to his next race.”

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MXGP

The Teutschenthal circuit in Germany once again proved a really tough test for man and machine, with Team HRC’s fighting hard for his three-two results, giving him the second step on the podium and keeping him right in this 2024 MXGP Championship hunt.

After winning the qualification race yesterday, he had first gate-pick for the two motos today, but in vastly different conditions, he wasn’t quite able to get the starts he needed in either of the races. After there had been rain overnight and in the morning, the track was a lot heavier than yesterday and created much rougher conditions that the Slovenian wasn’t quite able to get to grips with for the majority of the first moto. He worked his way into second place but then had a tough period of the moto when he lost his rhythm and dropped down to fifth. However, like the five-time champion that he is, and knowing that every point is valuable, he fought until the very end to get back to third place as he crossed the finish line.

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Working with the team to make sure that things went better in race two, he immediately looked more comfortable as he moved into third place early-on. Studying the two riders in front, he kept probing for possible passing spots on a track that was developing its traditional deep ruts on a large portion of the circuit. With just under two-thirds of the race completed he made an excellent pass on the rider in second and set his sights on the leader. Closing the gap down from 2.6 seconds to just 0.6, he looked poised to make the move, but he was forced to adapt his lines as he came into lapped traffic and had to concede a potential victory.

As it stands after eight rounds, he is just two points off the championship lead, and with 12 still to race, he is in a great position to add to his already impressive resumé. That opportunity continues next weekend in Latvia, and the sandy circuit of Kegums where Gajser has also enjoyed success in previous years.

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MX2

It didn’t take long for Ferruccio Zanchi to put the disappointment of his points-streak coming to end in yesterday’s MX2 qualification race, by storming out of the gate in race one and placing himself firmly inside the top 10. The #73 then remained there for the entire moto, trying to get as high as sixth, before eventually crossing the line in eighth place.

It was a similar story in race two, with another good start on his Honda CRF250R giving him the chance to race with the top riders in the class. Once again, he stayed consistent for the entire moto, in what very were difficult conditions, receiving the chequered flag in eighth place. This was good enough to put him in eighth overall and brings him closer to the top 10 in the MX2 championship standings, an impressive feat given he missed three rounds through injury.

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Tim Gajser  243

It was a solid weekend of racing, winning the qualification race and then going three-two here. I’m a bit disappointed in the first race, getting arm-pump and not being able to push how I wanted but I was still third. And then race two, I was able to ride a lot better and was a lot closer to the lead but I couldn’t quite get close enough to make the pass. Still, the championship is very close and I am happy, and healthy and I’m looking forward to Latvia next weekend.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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