Paulo Goncalves tops the table of Sardinia Rally

Team HRC’s Paulo Goncalves achieved a noteworthy start to the Sardinia Rally Race, after finishing the special stage with a second place finish on the day, which turns the Portuguese rider into the rally’s overall leader.

The Sardinia Rally got off to a dream start for Team HRC with Paulo Goncalves establishing himself at the head of the leader-board. Although initially finishing in third place, penalizations favoured the Portuguese rider who was able to move up into second final position.

As had been previously anticipated, the first full stage was a demanding affair, full of navigation, which wound its way through narrow, rocky paths that proved a constant struggle to keep the bike under control. Nevertheless, the Portuguese rider astride the Honda CRF450, setting out from sixth starting position, was able to score a commendable time, finishing just six seconds adrift of Catalan Joan Pedrero after 160 kilometres of timed special. Paulo Goncalves now heads the overall table with a four-second gap over second place Armand Monleón.

Today, the Sardinia Rally will offer up a double special stage with 100.2 and 102.2 kilometres respectively, starting out again from Pula, but this time finishing in Fordongianus.

Paulo Goncalves:Today, the first stage went fairly well: I stayed focused throughout the special which was really tough to navigate. Here in Sardinia the track is really narrow and rock-filled and we went down a lot of paths where the bike only just made it through. But in the end it turned out well and everything went according to plan. The bike was running perfectly too after we fine-tuned the suspension. Tomorrow, I will push hard and do my best to keep it up.”

Results Stage 1
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap

1 PEDRERO Joan SPA Sherco Rally Factory Sherco 3:36’04.55
2 GONCALVES Paulo POR Team HRC Honda +6.0
3 MONLEON Armand SPA KTM Warsaw Rally Team KTM +9.0
4 COMA Marc SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM +38
5 WALKNER Mathias AUT KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM +2’02

Provisional Standings after Stage 1
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 GONCALVES Paulo POR Team HRC Honda 3:37’56

2 MONLEON Armand SPA KTM Warsaw Rally Team KTM +4
3 COMA Marc SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM +33
4 WALKNER Mathias AUT KTM Red Bull Rally Factory KTM +1’51
5 CERUTTI Jacopo ITA Honda RS Moto Honda +4’03

Text/Photo: PR HRC

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Cluzel takes second win of the season

Jules Cluzel puts in another stellar performance on the Algarve circuit. On a track which is quite similar to Phillip Island in terms of morphology, difficulty and beauty, the Frenchman once again unleashed his riding skills, aided well by his MV Agusta F3 to repeat the success achieved in the first race of the season.

His feeling on the ups and downs of the track was clear from the practice sessions where he dominated to bring home pole position with 1’44.554, almost three tenths of a second ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu.

In the race Jules got off the line like a shot, putting distance between himself and the pack behind him – 1.06 in the opening lap of the race – led by the Hondas ridden by Jacobsen and Smith, whereas Sofuoglu’s Kawasaki was in fourth place and the second F3 RC ridden by Zanetti in eighth. In the second lap Jacobsen managed to get past Jules, but the American’s run lasted less than a lap with the Frenchman domineeringly taking back the race lead for another nine laps.

In the meantime the Turkish Kawasaki rider, making a full comeback, moved up behind his main rival for the title. Lorenzo Zanetti was also making a comeback, moving up into sixth place and setting his sights on Smith’s Honda. Sofuoglu made his move in the twelfth lap, moving into the lead.

Jules wasted no time responding, putting on a show with acrobatic moves to resist the Turkish rider’s forcing and to challenge him to a duel to the last lap.

Cluzel moved into the lead in the first braking section, only to be overtaken and then to finally deal the lethal blow just a few turns from the end, killing any chance the Turkish rider may have had for a comeback. Lorenzo Zanetti also did well, managing to bring home a fifth place finish ahead of Smith, improving steadily over the weekend.

At the end of the race a beaming Jules Cluzel had this to say: “It was a long race. I moved into the lead, they came back and I even had some problems with traction but today I was sure that I was fastest and I proved it.”

With this win Cluzel moves up to 110 points in the overall standings, lying second behind Sofuoglu who has 150.

1. Jules Cluzel

2. Kenan Sofuoglu
3. Patrick Jacobsen

FIM Supersport – World Championship Standings
1. Kenan Sofuoglu 150 points

2. Jules Cluzel 110 points
3. Patrick Jacobsen 95 points

Text/Photo: PR MV Augusta


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Four Wins in a row as Sofuoglu dominates Donington

Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) rode to his fourth win in four races by taking victory at the Donington Park round of the FIM Supersport World Championship.

In a fight with his main championship rival Jules Cluzel and British wild card Kyle Ryde in the early laps, Kenan Sofuoglu took the lead on lap four and then held a gap to eventual second place rider Cluzel, easing up at the flag to win by 0.891 seconds.

His fourth win of the year in his Ninja ZX-6R made it 31 race victories in his WSS career. Kenan is now a strong 45 points ahead of second placed Cluzel at the halfway point of the season.

Kenan Sofuoglu:“From the first day at Donington we were very strong and yesterday in the race simulation it looked like we had a good advantage. Today I was a little scared of the weather because it was quite cold. I had to be very careful on the entry of the left corners because it was not only a race to think about today, I am also riding for the championship. It was very important for me to stay on the bike. When I took the lead I looked behind and saw Cluzel. I tried to keep the distance to him, to be more relaxed. He had good pace but I think I had more if I needed it. I did not want to take any risks. I want to say a big thank you to Kawasaki and Puccetti Racing because this weekend we were very strong and we led almost all the sessions. You cannot ask any more than winning the races.”

Race – 1
1. K. Sofuoglu
2. J. Cluzel

3. K. Ryde

World Championship standings
1. K. SOFUOGLU KAWASAKI 130 points
2. J. CLUZEL MV AGUSTA 85 points

4. L. ZANETTI MV AGUSTA 70 points
5. G. REA HONDA 54 points

Text/Photo: PR Kawasaki Racing

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Controlled victory for Luthi in Moto2

Swiss Thomas Luthi won already his fourth GP in Le Mans on Sunday. Previously, he had won twice in the 125cc class, now he said at the Circuit Bugatti in Le Mans his second Moto2 Triumph added. His total of 10 Grand Prix victory kept Lüthi up to the second intermediate place in the championship. Lüthi started from the second row into the race perfectly. After the first corner he was already third and in the fifth round he took over the lead after two attacks against the leading local favorite and World Championship leader Johann Zarco. After Lüthi turned on a tremendous high rhythm constant lap after lap, although the tires were claimed enormous, given the sharp rise in temperature. Lüthi also improved the official lap record by no less than 6 tenths of a second. and won the race in the end.

Thomas Luthi:“Right from the start I had a very good feeling. I was mainly able to attack on the corner entry and was quickly behind Zarco. I immediately felt that I could go a little faster than he. My first attack he could counter, but in the next round I passed him. After that I controlled the race from the top.”

Moto2 Race – Classification
1 Thomas LUTHI SWI Derendinger Racing Interwetten Kalex 153.7 42’27.011

2 Tito RABAT SPA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex 153.6 +1.767
3 Johann ZARCO FRA Ajo Motorsport Kalex 153.5 +3.760
4 Sam LOWES GBR Speed Up Racing Speed Up 153.5 +4.076
5 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Italtrans Racing Team Kalex 152.9 +14.492

Moto2 World Standing 2015
Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points

1 Johann ZARCO Kalex FRA 89
2 Thomas LUTHI Kalex SWI 68
3 Jonas FOLGER Kalex GER 57
4 Sam LOWES Speed Up GBR 54
5 Franco MORBIDELLI Kalex ITA 54

Text: PR Derendinger Racing Interwetten
Photo: Nico Schneider

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New SHOEI NXR Indy Marquez replica

Special design for Marc, to race the United States. Now available on the Shoei NXR for everybody.


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Marquez achieves objective at Jerez

Repsol Honda Team rider takes important podium finish, placing second just a week after surgery.

Marc Marquez took a valuable podium finish at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday. The reigning MotoGP World Champion placed second in front of his home fans, just a week after fracturing the little finger of his left hand.

Starting from second on the grid, Marquez made a good start and kept up with race leader Jorge Lorenzo, who had taken off from pole position. Both began to open up an advantage over the rest of the pack, but the Repsol Honda rider was unable to match his rival’s pace for the duration. With 6 laps remaining, Valentino Rossi came up to within just over a second of Marquez, but the reigning MotoGP World Champion managed to increase the pace again and reopened a gap –crossing the line with a lead of over six seconds.

With this result, Marquez cuts 4 points off Rossi’s lead in the MotoGP World Championship. Rossi has 82 points, Andrea Dovizioso 67, Lorenzo 62 and Marquez 56. The next round of the World Championship will be the French Grand Prix, held in two weeks’ time at Le Mans.

Marc Marquez:“This is a track where we’ve always struggled a little because of my riding style –and this year also because of my injury, but today we achieved what we set out to do. On the opening laps I followed Jorge, but by lap five I could tell that although my finger was not a problem, I was unconsciously working more with my right arm and it began to stiffen up. From then on, I decided to just try and finish the race strong. Then I saw that Valentino was closing in on me and I thought “it’s going to be Argentina all over again” but I gathered strength and this time I was able to maintain the gap between us. We leave Jerez a little closer to the World Championship leader, but Jorge has extended his advantage.”

1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 44:57.246
2 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda +5.576
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha +11.586
4 Cal Crutchlow Honda +22.727
5 Pol Espargaro Yamaha +26.620


1 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 82 points
2 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 67 points
3 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 62 points
4 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 56 points

Test/Photo: Repsol Media Service

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Go for a ride with Shaun in Valkenswaard

Take a ride with Shaun Simpson at Valkenswaard/NL in the first free practice session of the Grand Prix of Europe. The Scot set the third fastest lap in the morning period as well as Time Practice and was third again in the Qualification Heat until a small slip dropped him to sixth place. On Sunday’s race day Shaun closed a solid weekend with 5th overall. Check out the lumps and bumps of the Dutch sand in what is round five of eighteen in MXGP this year.

Photo: PR Youthstream

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Marc Marquez undergoes successful operation

Repsol Honda rider operated on this afternoon to treat fracture to little finger of left hand, suffered while training dirt track. His participation in the Spanish Grand Prix has not been ruled out.

Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez has been successfully operated on this afternoon by Dr. Xavier Mir, Head of the Unit for Hand and Upper Extremities Pathology at the Hospital Universitario Quiron Dexeus in Barcelona.

Dr. Mir commented after the surgery that Marquez had “attended the casualty department of the Hospital Universitario Quiron Dexeus having suffered a crash in training this Saturday morning. The patient presented a deformity to the little finger of his left hand and a subsequent X-Ray showed a fracture of the proximal phalanx, with displacement. Therefore, we decided to treat the injury -as we would in the case of any other patient- by fixing a titanium plate to his finger. This will allow us to initiate functional recovery after 24 hours and give him a chance of racing at Jerez.”

Text/Photo: PR Honda Rcing Corporation

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Barreda and Goncalves on the final podium in Qatar

The FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship winds up with a stage victory for Joan Barreda and a second-place for Goncalves assuring both riders a step on the final rostrum as the championship’s second round finishes.

It was yet another display of velocity and tactics as the Honda CRF450 RALLYs of Team HRC’s dynamic duo Joan Barreda and Paulo Goncalves notched up a second consecutive one-two to round off the Sealine Cross-Country Rally in style.

The 365.28 kilometre special stage, offering up the now habitual mix of rocks, dunes and navigation, was dominated by the Team HRC riders who had fought tooth and nail all week to overcome the handicap imposed on them by the unfavourable starting-order of the first day.

Starting out from six position today due to the new rules which allow riders to select their starting positions out of the top six, Team HRC hit hard and snatched a fine stage victory. Barreda crossed the finish-line with a 1’21 advantage over team-mate Paulo Goncalves, in second. After five days of racing, the Portuguese ace consolidates his third overall position, coming home 1’53 behind Barreda, runner-up of the Sealine.

Joan Barreda:“It’s been a good week with a fast pace all through the rally. I pushed really hard and I’m pleased. It was never an easy job, particularly the first day; we knew that it would be a complicated one. We were looking to change the strategy of the first day and we were just six seconds off winning the first stage. We been battling with Marc all week and in the end the difference has been minimal. I’m happy with the hard work that we’ve done. The consolation is that we can really believe in the right direction that we are taking.”

Paulo Goncalves:“The rally has finished – the second race of the world championship – but maybe the previous result in Abu Dhabi was our setback, as it meant that we had to start from the front. The positive aspect is that we have never stopped fighting. That way, we have been able to win the last three stages and recuperate quite a lot. Barreda finished second and I came third. With the new rules it was impossible to win, but the most important thing is to finish on the podium. The bikes performed perfectly. We are pleased. Now it’s time to look forward to the next goal and do everything possible to achieve it.”

Results Stage 5
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
1 BARREDA Joan SPA Team HRC 4:07’51
2 GONCALVES Paulo POR Team HRC + 1’21

3 COMA Marc SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 3’17
4 VILADOMS Jordi SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 5’01
5 SUNDERLAND Sam GBR KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 7’24
7 WALKNER Matthias AUT KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 27’53

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap

1 COMA Marc SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory 19:56’48
2 BARREDA Joan SPA Team HRC + 4’40
3 GONCALVES Paulo POR Team HRC + 6’33

4 VILADOMS Jordi SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 17’59
5 QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI KTM Warsaw Rally Team + 18’00
7 WALKNER Matthias AUT KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 1:40’18

Text/Photo: Honda Raciong Corporation

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Double for Team HRC in the Sealine fourth stage

Joan Barreda and Paulo Gonçalves take the top-spots in the penultimate stage of the Sealine Cross-Country Rally as the Honda CRF450 RALLY seals a second consecutive win in Qatar.

Team HRC haven’t thrown in the towel yet, today scoring a remarkable one-two as the rally heads towards the final-day showdown. Joan Barreda sneaked the victory ahead of team-mate Paulo Gonçalves, which seats the two in podium places.

The Honda CRF450 RALLY riders started today’s escapade from advantageous rear positions. There ensued a high-speed hunt as the Honda buddies imposed themselves on the rest of the rivals, who saw their surplus time whittled down by the end of the day. Joan caught up with Paulo and the two chased down the leaders and track-openers. By refuelling they had reached the main group who they then tracked until the end of the special stage, crossing the line virtually together.

The triumph moves Joan Barreda up to second overall place and to within eight minutes of the leader Marc Coma. Portuguese rider Gonçalves lies third, one and a half minutes off his Spanish side-kick and 8:29 behind the Sealine front-runner.

The 2015 Sealine Cross-Country Qatar Rally winds up with 365 kilometres of special stage tomorrow.

Joan Barreda: “Today was a great day. I started out from further back and I pushed hard the first 150 km with Paulo. We were able to catch the other riders up before we got to the refuelling and we rode with them until the end. It was a really good stage. Tomorrow is the final day and I’d like to be able to make up some time, but it will be difficult.”

Paulo Goncalves: “We had another good day today. We started out from nice positions. I was setting a fine pace, good enough to catch the leading group. I managed to make up more time. Tomorrow will be important to keep the podium places. The bike is working at 100% and everything that we’ve tried is going really well. It’s crucial to stay as focused as possible to not make any mistakes on the final day.”

Results Stage 4
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
1 BARREDA Joan SPA Team HRC 4:32’38
2 GONCALVES Paulo POR Team HRC + 1’56

3 COMA Marc SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 4’00
4 QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI KTM Warsaw Rally Team + 6’02
5 SUNDERLAND Sam GBR KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 8’05

Rider Standings
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap

1 COMA Marc SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory 15:30:40
2 BARREDA Joan SPA Team HRC + 7’57
3 GONCALVES Paulo POR Team HRC + 8’29

4 QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI KTM Warsaw Rally Team + 12’15
5 VILADOMS Jordi SPA KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 16’15
7 WALKNER Matthias AUT KTM Red Bull Rally Factory + 1:15’42

Text/Photo: Honda Racing Corporation

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