MM93: Motocross fun time

Check out MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez having fun in Motocross during his off-season.

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Paulo Gonçalves runner-up in the Dakar 2015

The Dakar 2015 ends after circling the loop and ending up back in Buenos Aires a fortnight later, bringing new successes for Team HRC. Paulo Goncalves finishes the world’s toughest rally in second place.

After picking up the world championship runner-up prize last October at the Morocco Rally, Portuguese ace Paulo Goncalves has once again pulled off another achievement for Team HRC. It was a display of grit, tireless effort, consistency and teamwork, which finally brought the rider’s Rally Dakar 2015 adventure to a close as runner-up in the final rankings.

Paulo Goncalves very nearly pulled it off in the world’s greatest rally challenge too. The rider had collected a total of 17 minutes of penalties, and eventually finished just 16’53” behind the eventual race winner Marc Coma.

Noteworthy too, was the overall performance of Joan Barreda, with four stage victories, and always the man to beat at this Dakar 2015. The Castellon rider was unstoppable at the head of the race until stage eight, when extreme weather conditions at the Uyuni salt flats put an end to his chances of a win in the campaign. Barreda’s final overall ranking was an unjust 17th.

Helder Rodrigues has, likewise, been a cornerstone of the Team. In addition to two stage victories, Hélder finished in 12th place on the final leaderboard.

The rally came to an end in Baradero, with what had been planned as a 174 kilometre special, reduced by 73 kilometres due to the conditions, before the final connection phase brought the entourage into Buenos Aires, where the final ceremonial podium was held in Tecnopolis.

Paulo Goncalves: “I think the whole team deserves this result, especially after all the hard work that they have done. All that’s needed now is to go one small step further and win the rally. We are well-prepared and on the right track. I’m pleased with the result, and I want to thank the whole team, but most especially my team-mates Joan, Hélder and Jere, who were there to help me out in the most delicate moments. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be on the podium here in Dakar.”

Results Stage 13
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap

1 JAKES Ivan SLO Microstep Industry Team KTM 52’06
2 SVITKO Stefan SLO Slovnaft Team KTM + 0’45
3 PRICE Toby AUS KTM AUS Rally Factory KTM + 1’07
4 GONCALVES Paulo POR Team HRC Honda + 1’15
5 COMA Marc SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM + 3’11
19 BARREDA Joan SPA Team HRC Honda + 42’44

Final standings Dakar Rally 2015
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap

1 COMA Marc SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM 46:03’49
2 GONCALVES Paulo POR Team HRC Honda + 16’53
3 PRICE Toby AUS KTM AUS Rally Factory KTM + 23’14
4 QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI KTM KTM + 38’38
5 SVITKO Stefan SLO Slovnaft Team KTM + 44’17
17 BARREDA Joan SPA Team HRC Honda + 5:54’35

 

Text/Photo/Video: Honda Racing Corporation

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Barreda, flat out to victory in Termas de Río Hondo

A fourth win for Joan Barreda brings the Honda CRF450 RALLY a seventh triumph in the Dakar 2015. The Spanish athlete, first away this morning after yesterday’s marathon stage win, was also first to cross the finish-line in the Circuit of Termas de Río Hondo.

Barreda, who has clearly put his troubles from the Uyuni stage behind him, once again showed a white-knuckle display of speed and agility, picking up his fourth stage win so far in the event.

Paulo Gonçalves battled hard to keep all options of a final victory wide open in spite of a fifteen-minute penalization for an engine change at the end of the first leg of the marathon stage. The Portuguese ace finished in second place, and will be looking to try and reduce the deficit with his rival Marc Coma over the two final days.

Hélder Rodrigues made it through in eighth to Termas de Río Hondo, in a problem-free fashion, as the second leg of the marathon stage closed in spite of exhaustion after a sleepless night helping team-mates Paulo, Joan and Jeremías, swap first Paulo’s engine and then Joan’s. Consequently, Jeremías Israel’s generosity in sacrificing his engine saw him unable to start the day’s stage.

Joan Barreda: “Yesterday we had to change Paulo’s engine with mine, which was fresher, and I had to put Jeremías’ one in. We were working until two in the morning and we only rested for a couple of hours. Today the first part of the stage was complicated by the rains of last night, mainly with the swollen rivers. I got to the refuelling fine, and after that I pushed really hard on the mountain paths. Everything went well and I was able to win. We have proved that we can win not only stages, but also the whole race. Right now, the main priority is a win for the team.”

Paulo Goncalves: “We’ve finished off a hard marathon stage, in first and second place. But Mark’s overall position has improved because of the fifteen minute penalty for an engine change. It’s not possible to claw back twenty minutes racing, but anything could still happen. We’ve just got to keep working and take each day as it comes.”

Wolfgang Fischer (Team HRC Team Manager): “So, we have just arrived here at the end of this second marathon stage of this Dakar. This year the marathon stages have been a real rollercoaster for Team HRC. Yesterday, we had a very nice stage result with a victory from Joan Barreda after a very long day travelling over the mountains in Chile, but also without any problems at the end of the stage. On arriving back at the bivouac yesterday, they found out that Paulo’s engine had a problem and obviously, in the bivouac, the riders were on their own without any tools, but the four managed to work very well together, with a great team spirit, to help Paulo find out if they could fix the engine. Finally, after everything, they decided that they had to change the engine, so that Paulo could continue. The best way to do that was to remove the engine from Joan’s bike, because it was freshest and had only been removed two days before. They mounted it into Paulo’s bike and got everything working. Also, the decision was made to get Jeremias’ engine and put it into Joan’s bike, so we had to sacrifice one rider and now he’s out of the race so that the other riders could continue with the engines correctly mounted and working. Even after all the first marathon stage and only getting three hours sleep, they still managed to win and be second in the stage today; so it’s really fantastic team effort, and I’m really proud of the guys and what they did last night. So many thanks to Jeremias who was doing so well, always supportive and always making a super-human effort; first towing Joan back after the disaster in the salt flats, otherwise he would not be here; and yesterday he sacrificed his own race too, to help Joan finish today. We lost fifteen minutes for the engine change, but still anything is possible – nothing is won, nothing is lost. Two days to go.”

Results Stage 11
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 BARREDA Joan SPA Team HRC Honda 3:26’33
2 GONCALVES Paulo POR Team HRC Honda + 00’17

3 JAKES Ivan SLO Microstep Industry Team KTM + 1’35
4 FARIA Ruben POR KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM + 1’43
5 PRICE Toby AUS KTM AUS Rally Factory KTM + 2’17
6 COMA Marc SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM + 2’40

Provisional Standings after Stage 11
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap

1 COMA Marc SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM 41:43’03
2 GONCALVES Paulo POR Team HRC Honda + 20’12
3 PRICE Toby AUS KTM AUS Rally Factory KTM + 31’43
4 QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI KTM KTM + 33’15
5 SVITKO Stefan SLO Slovnaft Team KTM + 48’07
12 RODRIGUES Helder POR Team HRC Honda + 3:25’39
19 BARREDA Joan SPA Team HRC Honda + 5:19’32

Text/Photo/Video: PR Honda Racing Corporation

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Barreda continue to accumulate stage wins

Joan Barreda accelerates his way to a third win in the Dakar 2015 as the tenth stage concludes in Cachi, Argentina. Paulo Gonçalves holds second place outright, and Laia enjoys eighth overall.

With six out of a possible ten stage victories, the Honda CRF450 RALLY has been the runaway winner of the manufacturers, until now, in this 2015 Rally Dakar, already equalling the total number of victories of last year’s edition, with three stages still left to run.

It was a win in the tenth stage once again at the hands of Joan Barreda, in a fine exhibition of conviction and leadership qualities, which saw the Spaniard lead the charge from metre one of the special, until its culmination 371 kilometres later, clocking a 1’39” margin over the nearest rival and taking the score tab of stage triumphs to three.
Riders awoke today to the first part of the marathon stage, which headed out from Calama before finishing up at the camp in Cachi, where all bikes were immediately impounded in the parc fermè, barred from receiving overnight assistance, except by the participants themselves.

Hélder Rodrigues and Paulo Gonçalves covered a great length of the course in each other’s company, Barreda and Coma joining the pack later. The gap at the top sees Paulo Gonçalves, seven and a half minutes adrift of the rally leader and ready to pounce. Gonçalves took fifth spot on the day.

Joan Barreda: “I think that today went really well, I got away to swift start on an easy day that didn’t require much navigation and never left the main path. It’s a real shame about what happened in the salt flats of Uyuni, because that’s where I said goodbye to any possibilities. We were in the lead and with all the difficult work that we had done… But now I can only resign myself to it. We will be here for the last few days, supporting the team so that it gets the best result possible.”

Paulo Goncalves: “Today was a really quick stage, with some navigation that wasn’t too hard. The track was a bit slippery and we had to take it carefully. The first four finished together at a quick pace. I think that we had a good stage without pushing it too much, because we are back in the marathon stage again. The bike is in perfect shape for the battle tomorrow, and I am too.”

Results Stage 10
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap

1 BARREDA Joan SPA Team HRC Honda 4:07’11
2 COMA Marc SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM + 1’39
3 FARIA Ruben POR KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM + 1’57
4 PRICE Toby AUS KTM AUS Rally Factory KTM + 2’14
5 GONCALVES Paulo POR Team HRC Honda + 3’46

Provisional Standings after Stage 10
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap

1 COMA Marc SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM 38:13’50
2 GONCALVES Paulo POR Team HRC Honda + 7’35
3 QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI KTM KTM + 31’42
4 PRICE Toby AUS KTM AUS Rally Factory KTM + 32’06
5 SVITKO Stefan SLO Slovnaft Team KTM + 45’19
12 RODRIGUES Helder POR Team HRC Honda + 3:22’54
15 BARREDA Joan SPA Team HRC Honda + 4:37’12
31 ISRAEL Jeremias CHI Team HRC Honda + 7:32’21

Text/Photo/Video: PR Honda Racing Corporation

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Marquez brothers took an exhibition ride

Fresh from their second successive Triple Crown, the Repsol Honda Team were back on track in Valencia today for the first official test of 2015.

After a long season, Marc Marquez decided ‒ together with HRC ‒ that he would not test today, and only his teammate Dani Pedrosa took to the track to begin his test programme.

Instead of testing today, Marc and his brother Alex Marquez ‒ who was crowned Moto3 World Champion yesterday‒ took advantage of the kind gift from HRC to Alex to test ride Marc’s MotoGP machine, in recognition of his World Title success, the first one for Honda in Moto3. The two brothers completed 12 exhibition laps on Marc’s two bikes, riding in tandem around the Valencia track.

The test will continue today and Wednesday with 2014 World Champion Marc joining the rest of the field in an official capacity tomorrow.

Text/Photo: Repsol Media Service

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Marc Marquez closes the season with victory


The Valencian Grand Prix brought the 2014 season to a close in style, with Marc Marquez putting the finishing touches to a record-breaking year. After taking the MotoGP title, the Repsol Honda rider claimed another victory today –with which he broke Mick Doohan’s record for wins in a single season that had stood since 1997.

When the red lights went out, Andrea Iannone and Valentino Rossi took the initiative, with Marc Marquez in third and Dani Pedrosa in fourth. Jorge Lorenzo got past Pedrosa before the end of the first lap, but the Repsol Honda regained the position on the next time around. Cal Crutchlow then relegated Pedrosa into fourth, until he again responded three laps later.

At the front, Marquez overtook Rossi on Lap 10 and Iannone on Lap 11, leaving him with a clear path to completing a memorable season with a win. Wasting no time, Pedrosa also passed Iannone and stuck on Rossi’s rear wheel, but rainfall when he was just 2 tenths of a second behind meant that he decided to settle for third.

 

Marc Marquez: “I am so pleased, especially for my brother! It is a very happy day, even more than in Motegi when I was crowned Champion. Today Alex took the Moto3 title that he deserved, and to cap it off I was able to close the year with a victory here in Valencia. I congratulate my brother for his season, because both him and Honda have done a great job this year! Now it’s time to celebrate in the way that the occasion deserves, because it will be difficult to repeat another season like this. During today’s race I was reminded of Aragon, because it was raining and there was a moment in which I considered whether or not to change the bike. In the end we stayed calm and today we were successful with our strategy. It was an ordeal which I enjoyed but suffered a bit at times! Thanks to the whole team for all their efforts this season!”

RESULTS
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 46:39.627

2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha +3.516
3 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda +14.040
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati +16.705
5 Cal Crutchlow Ducati +16.773

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 362 points
2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 295 points
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 263 points
4 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 246 points
5 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 187 points

Text: Repsol Media Service
Photos: Nico Schneider

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Tom Luthi wins thrilling Moto2-final

Team Interwetten Sitag rider Tom Luthi crowned the Moto2-Grand Prix season in 2014 with a fantastic victory.

 

At the final round in Valencia he stayed consistently behind the Spanish world champion Tito Rabat, over the entire 27-lap distance and had the lucky ability in the end: Rabat underwent a little mistake when accelerating – according to him it was a problem with the fuel pump for a split second – what gives Lüthi the opportunity to pass just before the goal line and bring about a tenth of a second behind his opponent. The triumph also made sure that the fourth world ranking was safe for the swiss, according to the latest technical improvements this was also a deserved success for manufacturer Suter.

 

Tom Luthi: “I’m super-happy with this victory. It was my goal to round out the time with my old team with another success, and it is fantastic that I have succeeded. At first I did not know what was going on, even thought briefly, the red flag was swung and Rabat have aborted. Then I realized quickly that it was an error in fshifting from him and then I am naturally drawn past.”

RESULTS
1 Thomas LUTHI SWI 43’08.366

2 Esteve RABAT SPA +0.133
3 Johann ZARCO FRA +10.728
4 Luis SALOM SPA +13.014
5 Xavier SIMEON BEL +13.689

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1 Esteve RABAT Kalex SPA 346 points
2 Mika KALLIO Kalex FIN 289 points
3 Maverick VIÑALES Kalex SPA 274 points
4 Thomas LUTHI Suter SWI 194 points
5 Dominique AEGERTER Suter SWI 172 points

Text: PR INTERWETTEN RACING
Photos: Nico Schneider

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Alex Marquez crowned Moto3 World Champion

After 18 races and 450 points contested, Alex Marquez became Moto3 World Champion for 2014 thanks to just 2 points.

 

The race was uncomfortable and, as had happened in recent races, featured continuous overtaking at every turn. At the front, Miller tried to keep the lead whilst Marquez controlled his rival. A large group featuring Kent, Vazquez, McPhee, Rins and Viñales were very active trying to mix things up at the head of the pack. Rins played a great supporting role, covering the back of his teammate when necessary.

With two laps to go, Miller and Viñales fought for the race victory. It went to the Australian, but Marquez was half a second behind in third place and had done enough to seal the title. Like his brother Marc in 2010, on his 46th Grand Prix appearance Marquez was proclaimed World Champion. This is also the first season in which two brothers have won a World Championship.

Close racing till the last turn in the Moto3 category

Alex Marquez: “I am very happy. It has been a very eventful race, with some complicated situations, but yesterday I felt very strong and I knew I could handle those moments calmly. I was very competitive at all times during the race. Getting this title is the result of all the hard work we’ve done this season and is a reward for never losing patience and always wanting to get better and better. I wanted to win this title cleanly, and that’s what we did. I knew that if a difficult situation was created then I could play the same game, but finally we were able to take the title cleanly. Now the important thing is that we won.”

RESULTS
1 Jack Miller KTM 40:10.983
2 Isaac Viñales KTM +0.155
3 Alex Marquez Honda +0.955
4 Danny Kent Husqvarna +1.572
5 Alex Rins Honda +2.251

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1 Alex Marquez Honda 278 points

2 Jack Miller KTM 276 points
3 Alex Rins Honda 237 points
4 Efren Vazquez Honda 222 points
5 Romano Fenati KTM 176 points

Text: Repsol Media Service
Photos: Nico Schneider

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Marquez wins and equals Doohan record

 

World Champion takes twelfth victory of the season, something only Mick Doohan had accomplished before.

Marc Marquez returned to winning ways at the Malaysian Grand Prix and continued to make history. Yesterday he broke the record for pole positions in a single season and now he has equalled Mick Doohan’s number of wins in a single campaign -also set as a Repsol Honda rider in 1997. Dani Pedrosa was unlucky at Sepang and suffered two crashes: One on the second lap when riding in second and another mid-race, when he was almost into the Top 10.

The race began with Pedrosa taking the lead, before he was overtaken by Jorge Lorenzo on the first lap. On Lap 2 the Repsol Honda rider fell at the last corner. Behind him were Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez, who had fought back from eighth place –where he had been riding after contact with Lorenzo at the opening corner.

Midway through the race, the Italian and the reigning World Champion passed Lorenzo. A lap later, Marquez took the lead after a mistake by Rossi. From that moment on, the Repsol Honda rider managed to hold onto his advantage and take his twelfth win of the year. Further back, Pedrosa had got back onboard and was putting in times to match the leaders but, after moving up from twentieth to eleventh, he crashed out definitively with seven laps remaining.

The final race of the season will be held in two weeks, as the series contests a the fourth event of the year in Spain: The Valencian Grand Prix.

Marc Marquez: “This was one of the toughest races of the year for me physically and I’m happy to have equalled Mick Doohan’s record! We knew to expect this kind of weather in Malaysia but it was especially hot today and we all found it hard to finish the race. Halfway into the race the pace slowed down because I think everybody needed to take a breath! I’m happy with how I handled the race, because the first corner was a bit of a nightmare but I was able to come back to the front and stay there, whilst I cooled down my tyres and brakes. I started to attack with 10 laps remaining, then made the difference when there were 5 laps to go.”

RESULTS
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 40:45.523

2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha +2.445
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha +3.508
4 Stefan Bradl Honda +21.234
5 Bradley Smith Yamaha +22.283

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 337 points

2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 275 points
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 263 points
4 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 230 points
5 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 174 points

Text/Photo: Repsol Media Service

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Alex Marquez is made to wait until Valencia

 

Alex Marquez will have to wait until Valencia and the closing round of the 2014 season to see if he can achieve his dream of becoming Moto3 World Champion. At Sepang he experienced a tough race and eventually finished fifth, whilst Miller placed second to keep the title fight alive. Following this race, Marquez heads to Valencia with 262 points to Miller’s 251. Alex Rins was third today, climbing from seventeenth.

The race featured, as is customary in this category, bunches of riders battling amongst one another. Marquez and Rins were amongst the candidates fighting for the win. Together with them, Miller, Kent and Vazquez –amongst others– took turns to lead the way. Miller’s strategy was to make things hard for Marquez. He was hit by the Australian on the penultimate lap and dropped to fifth, where he remained when crossing the finish line.

Miller was second, Rins third and Marquez fifth in a race won by Efren Vazquez. At Valencia, Marquez will begin the race with an 11-point lead over Miller.

Alex Marquez: “The TV footage speaks for itself; it was a very hard fought race. I had to go very carefully at all times, because there was a title at stake. Perhaps I was overly cautious, but in the end I did the right thing. We stayed on the bike and, although I had to settle for fifth place, luckily Miller did not win. I’m happy because we scored some very important points. I would have liked to have won the race and clinched the title here, but the important thing is that we lead going to Valencia.”

RESULTS
1 Efren Vazquez Honda 40:41.002
2 Jack Miller KTM +0.213
3 Alex Rins Honda +0.385
4 Danny Kent Husqvarna +0.803
5 Alex Marquez Honda +0.831

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1 Alex Marquez Honda 262 points
2 Jack Miller KTM 251 points
3 Alex Rins Honda 226 points
4 Efren Vazquez Honda 212 points
5 Romano Fenati KTM 174 points

Text/Photos: Repsol Media Service

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