Matthias Walkner celebrates first Rally victory

Matthias Walkner of Austria took victory in the Sardegna Rally Race, Round Four of the FIM World Cross Countries Rally Championship on the Italian island of Sardinia. Walkner is in his first full season with the KTM Factory Team and is a former MX3 World Champion.

Matthias Walkner, speaking in the finish area of the rally said that despite the win he had not been completely satisfied with his riding over the first three days. ”I was very motivated after winning the Super Special on the first day, but I crashed twice the next day. From a riding perspective the Sardegna Rally can’t be compared with desert riding. It has more the characteristic of an Enduro race.” He added that the navigation was rather complicated and it was very easy to make a mistake. “After I got more used to this situation, I was able to win the stage yesterday and I had to today I again had to start first. I rode alone at the front for over 100 km and I really felt good. I had not reckoned with the overall victory and for this reason I am even more pleased that it all worked out.”

The next round in the FIM World Championship is the Atacama Rally in Chile, August 30-September 9, 2015.

Sardegna Rally Race – Final Overall Results
1. Matthias Walkner, AUT, KTM, 16 hours 30 minutes, 26 seconds
2. Armand Monleon, ESP, KTM at 2.33
3. Helder Rodrigues, POR, Yamaha, at 5.05
4. Paolo Goncalves, POR, Honda at 9.10
5. Marc Coma, ESP, KTM, at 10.25

Text-Photo: PR KTM Racing-RallyZone Bauer/Barni

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Magical Hermunen storms to victory in Poland

After the hot temperatures of qualifying on Saturday the heavens opened during the night to leave the riders without an off-road section come Sunday. Added to that were drizzly conditions which would keep the riders on their toes.

At the start of S1GP Race 1 it was TM X-MAX Mauno Hermunen, who grabbed the holeshot but was quickly passed by HUSQVARNA Lukas HOELLBACHER and TM Racing Thomas CHAREYRE, but both riders fell in lap three handing the lead to the Championship leader Hermunen. Riding smooth and with confidence the Finn never put a wheel wrong and cruised to an easy win.

Behind him though things were a little more heated as HONDA L30 Ivan LAZZARINI, HONDA GAZZA IFG Asseri KINGELIN, KTM MTR Devon VERMEULEN and HONDA Freccia Teo MONTICELLI scrapped over second.
Lazzarini took advantage of the mistakes of HOELLBACHER and CHAREYRE to move into second and apart from two laps mid race where the Italian was passed by Vermeulen, was able to hold on to second behind Hermunen. Vermeulen ride a great race to place third with HOELLBACHER pushing through to fourth ahead of Teo MONTICELLI and Thomas Chareyre who lost major points to Hermunen with that sixth place finish.

What a race awaited the Polish fans in race 2. Mauno Hermunen took the holeshot from CHAREYRE but lap two saw both riders make a mistake handing the lead to Devon VERMEULEN as Hermunen fell to second, Chareyre dropped to 4th.Vermeulen continued to lead the world and as he did Hermunen fell again to fourth behind Teo MONTICELLI and LAZZARINI as Chareyre struggled in sixth.

As the race went on it looked as though Vermeulen would sneak his first win in the prier class but on the final lap he was denied by Hermunen who claimed a brilliant double race victory. Vermeulen was second and last years S2 Champion Asseri Kingelin was third. Lazzarini took fourth from HOELLBACHER and an out of sorts Chareyre came home sixth.

S1GP Race 1 Top Ten: 1. HERMUNEN Mauno (FIN-TM) 19:06.585; 2. LAZZARINI Ivan (ITA-Honda) 19:09.916; 3. VERMEULEN Devon (NED-KTM) 19:18.568; 4. HOLLBACHER Lukas (AUT-Husqvarna) 19:25.563; 5. MONTICELLI Teo (ITA-Honda) 19:25.575

S1GP Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Mauno HERMUNEN (FIN-TM) 19:19.596; 2. Devon VERMEULEN (NED-KTM) 19:20.666; 3. Asseri KINGELIN (FIN-Honda) 19:24.686; 4. Ivan LAZZARINI (ITA-Honda) 19:25.432; 5. Lukas HOLLBACHER (AUT-Husqvarna) 19:25.973

S1GP Overall Top Ten: 1. HERMUNEN Mauno (FIN-TM) points 50; 2. VERMEULEN Devon (NED-KTM) 42 p.; 3. LAZZARINI Ivan (ITA-Honda) 40 p.; 4. KINGELIN Asseri (FIN-Honda) 34 p.; 5. HOLLBACHER Lukas (AUT-Husqvarna) 34 p.

S1GP Championship Top Ten: 1. HERMUNEN Mauno (FIN-TM) points 188; 2. CHAREYRE Thomas (FRA-TM) 164 p.; 3. LAZZARINI Ivan (ITA-Honda) 158 p.; 4. HOLLBACHER Lukas (AUT-Husqvarna) 141 p.; 5. KEJMAR Pavel (CZE-Husqvarna) 130 p

Text/Photo: PR Youthstream/Marko Paju

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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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