Smith blazes to podium in Australia


Bradley Smith rode an unforgettable race to clinch his best ever MotoGP result and a debut podium at the Tissot Australian Grand Prix.

The young British rider began the Grand Prix at the 4448 meter track from 4th after just missing out on the front row of the grid by 0.006 seconds. He launched forward to run right behind the leading MotoGP bikes before completing the first lap in third, hot on the heels of the front runners.

Smith set into his strong race rhythm as he looked to maintain this position, before being shuffled down the order to 8th due to a few aggressive moves by his competitors which he needed to avoid, to prevent crashing. However the 23 year old remained fully determined in the following laps as he sought to ascend back through the field and he remained firmly in the thrilling battle for 5th with the four other riders.

With three quarters of the race distance covered, the British rider moved into 5th after passing Andrea Dovizioso and as the finish line loomed closer, his consistent and fast times saw him rapidly cutting the gap to third place. The tireless efforts undertaken by the Tech3 rider were rewarded as he relentlessly pushed further before screaming over the finish line in 3rd, seizing his first podium since Mugello in 2011 in the Moto2 class. In addition, it was his career best result and ensured a complete Yamaha podium. His strong showing today granted him a rise to 8th in the World Championship standings and leaves him poised for more success in Malaysia next week.

Bradley Smith: “For sure it is a fantastic feeling to clinch my debut podium in the MotoGP class and I am so pleased to reach this milestone. Honestly, I wasn’t too happy with how I was riding at the beginning of the race, I made several mistakes and lost a few positions. Therefore I told myself to calm down, I improved and moved forward. It’s a bit unexpected to be on the podium in all honesty, but after having great pace all weekend, it is the dream way to complete all of the good work we have done recently. I passed the chequered flag and saw the team on the wall, so I thought that I was in 4th or 5th, but then I saw my name in 3rd on the board as I came around the corner, which was an amazing feeling. Now we have closed the gap in the championship to 6th quite considerably, so we need to focus on this for the next two races. There is only a small gap between myself, Pol and Aleix in the standings, so we will aim to continue this great run in Malaysia and try to climb two more positions in the final standings. I must say a big thanks to the team who did a great job this weekend as well as to my sponsors for their support. Moreover, it’s a fantastic experience to complete an entire Yamaha podium and I can’t be anything other than grateful for their assistance!”

1 ROSSI, Valentino Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 40’46.405
2 LORENZO, Jorge Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +10.836
3 SMITH, Bradley Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +12.294
4 DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Ducati Team +14.893
5 BARBERA, Hector Avintia Racing +30.089

Text/Photo: PR Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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Marc Marquez clinches second MotoGP title

Repsol Honda team rider wins premier class crown thanks to the second position in the Japanese Grand Prix.

An historic second place for Marc Marquez at Honda’s home track of Motegi allowed him to mathematically claim a second MotoGP title. The Repsol rider becomes the youngest man in history to take two consecutive titles in the premier class, and adds the accolade to his World Championship wins in 125cc and Moto2. His teammate, Dani Pedrosa, finished fourth in a race won by Jorge Lorenzo.

The start of the race had a big impact on the outcome. When the red lights went out, Pedrosa and Marquez dropped to the fifth and seventh, respectively, at the first corner. The reigning World Champion regained positions gradually, reaching third by the midway point. It was enough for Marquez to finish ahead of Valentino Rossi to win the title, and he passed the Italian with 8 laps remaining. Maintaining the advantage over the Italian, he crossed the line second and sealed the title win. His 20 points from the Japanese GP take him to 312 overall, 82 ahead of Rossi and Pedrosa on 230. Pedrosa took longer than his teammate to overtake Ducati riders Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso and, although he managed to get within half a second of Rossi, he finally finished fourth.

The next Grand Prix takes place in seven days, at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia.

Marc Marquez: “I am very happy to have sealed this second consecutive World Championship, because although it is difficult to maintain this level, in the end we succeeded! Today is the time to enjoy this title. In the race I had a very clear objective, which was to finish ahead of Valentino and Dani ‒the other riders did not matter to me so much today. I just had one goal in mind and the important thing is that I was able to achieve it. I want to dedicate this title to all the people who have helped me ‒they know who they are‒ and especially to my family and the team, who are the foundation for all of this.”

1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 42:21.259
2 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda +1.638
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha +2.602
4 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda +3.157
5 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati

1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 312 points

2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 230 points
3 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 230 points
4 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 227 points
5 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 153 points

Text/Photo: PR Repsol Media Service

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Superior Moto2-Victory for Luthi in Japan

Tom Lüthi drove to a superior start-finish victory at the Grand Prix of Japan. With a perfect start from the front row of the star of the team Interwetten Sitag immediately took the lead, went to the field in the first few rounds by two seconds of it and then controlled his lead with an iron hand. Also, as the Spanish Super Talent Maverick Viñales number two took over and began to set out on the hunt for the 28 year old from Oberdiessbach / Switzerland, Lüthi remained sovereign and held his pursuers cool under control. At the finish he was still a rich cushion of 1.2 seconds.

The last victory of Tom Lüthi is more than two years ago. Since the success of the French Grand Prix in 2012 he has coped technical and health setbacks, especially an involuntary and lengthy arm injury, which in 2013 took him every chance to fight for the title. That Lüthi his losing streak now able to finish on such a convincing way, proves that in the future will be to count on him in the championship fight again. But first sparked the success of especially great joy. “An awesome feeling”, it brought Luthi on the point.

1 Thomas LUTHI SWI Interwetten Sitag Suter 154.6 42’50.219

2 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Paginas Amarillas HP 40 Kalex 154.5 +1.209
3 Esteve RABAT SPA Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex 154.4 +3.631
4 Johann ZARCO FRA AirAsia Caterham Caterham Suter 154.1 +7.797
5 Mika KALLIO FIN Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex 154.1 +8.472

1 Esteve RABAT Kalex SPA 294 points
2 Mika KALLIO Kalex FIN 256 points
3 Maverick VIÑALES Kalex SPA 224 points
4 Dominique AEGERTER Suter SWI 143 points
5 Thomas LUTHI Suter SWI 141 points

Text/Photo: PR Paddock GP Team

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Alex Marquez wins and consolidates Moto3 lead

The Repsol Moto3 riders enjoyed mixed fortunes on raceday at Motegi. Whilst Alex Marquez won the race and extended his lead in the overall standings to 25 points, teammate Alex Rins finished in a creditable but disappointing tenth place after some early drama. The latter was run off track by Jakub Kornfeil in the opening stages of the race and had to fight back from 21st.

Whilst Marquez fought for victory at the front, Rins calmly moved his way up through the field until reaching the second group. There he became embroiled in a tussle with Bastianini, Fenati and Antonelli ‒finally placing fourth in that pack.

On a thrilling final lap, Marquez was the smartest rider in the group, managing to use his own line on the hard braking corner right before the tunnel. Miller and Kent, fighting for victory, went wide as the Spaniard went through cleanly.

With this latest victory Marquez increases his lead in the Moto3 World Championship with 231 points, followed by the Miller 25 points behind and teammate Alex Rins 37 back.

The next race meeting will be held next weekend at Philip Island, Australia.

Alex Marquez: “Our approach during the weekend was difficult, because we never really found our way, but in the qualifying session ‒and especially the warmup‒ we took a step forward. I felt very comfortable on the bike in the race. I knew it would be hard and I began well, making my best start of the year. From then I tried to stay focused. When I was behind Miller and Kent I had a little more than them, but when I passed them they overtook me on the next corner. I stayed behind them and kept calm, and when I saw that they were going wide I kept my line when braking. I’m very happy to win again here. I have to thank Honda because we had a very fast bike.”

1 Alex Marquez Honda 39:26.830

2 Efren Vazquez Honda +0.357
3 Brad Binder Mahindra +0.484
4 John McPhee Honda +0.672
5 Jack Miller KTM +1.161

1 Alex Marquez Honda 231 points

2 Jack Miller KTM 206 points
3 Alex Rins Honda 194 points
4 Romano Fenati KTM 174 points
5 Efren Vazquez Honda 174 points

Text/Photo: PR Repsol Media Service

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Barreda takes command of OiLibiya Rally of Morocco

Joan Barreda once again has taken control of the OiLibiya Rally of Morocco. The Spanish rider on the CRF450 RALLY marked the fastest time in a hazardous fifth stage, bringing Team HRC’s tally to four out of five stage wins.

The rally caravan journeyed on today with the rally’s longest stage, setting off from Zagora before winding its way into the mountainous Draa area, and finishing up some 512 kilometres later in Ourzazate, which featured 302 km of timed special. The route was in complete contrast to yesterday’s – the dunes being replaced by rock-filled narrow and treacherous track.

Joan Barreda was, for the fourth time, the fastest of the race, setting a storming pace that allowed him to close down on the front-runners. In doing so, Barreda moves up into fourth place in the overall standings with just tomorrow’s stage in Marrakech still left to run.

Paulo Gonçalves was unable to finish the special. He suffered a fall in the early in the special before arriving at the first waypoint, which resulted in an injured shoulder and ribs. ‘Speedy’ had been battling to retain his FIM World Cross-Country Rally title which he had clinched in the same race last year. After the fall, he managed to make it to the first Control Point and was transported to hospital in Ourzazate.

Joan Barreda:“It was a really dangerous day today. I set off really pushing hard, but I saw straight away that there was so much to lose, with loads of dangers, and knew that I had to stay calm, especially in the river crossings with so many rocks. I changed the chip and focused on getting through without making any mistakes or crashing. In the end I caught up with the other riders that I had up ahead, making it a good all round result.”

1 Joan Barreda 4:15’37 ESP HONDA Team HRC

2 Joan Pedrero +02’42 ESP SHERCO Sherco Rally Factory
3 Helder Rodrigues +03’07 PRT HONDA Team HRC
4 Ruben Faria +03’34 POR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
5 Toby Price +03’49 AUS KTM KTM AUS Rally Factory

Provisional after Stage 5
1 Marc Coma 16:05’05 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
2 Sam Sunderland +09’58 GBR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
3 Helder Rodrigues +12’05 PRT HONDA Team HRC
4 Joan Barreda +15’31 ESP HONDA Team HRC
5 Ruben Faria +16’13 POR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Text/Photo: PR Team HRC

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Jeremy Seewer signs extension with SHOEI

We are proud to announce that the Rockstar Energy Suzuki MX2-Teamrider Jeremy Seewer from Switzerland has signed a contract extension that will keep him aboard for the next two years.

The 20-year old has shown strong performances in his full rookie season in the MX2 Motocross World Championship 2014 – where he ended up on 10th place overall – and will surely turn some heads in the future as well.

We wish him the best of luck and and look forward to two more successful years with him.

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Barreda wins the stage and Goncalves takes the leadership

Honda continued the tendency once more today in the longest stage of the Rally OiLibya of Morocco. The race concluded in Zagora with a third consecutive win for the CRF450 RALLY. Joan Barreda was once again the fastest, and Paulo Goncalves takes over the overall leadership.

At the end of a long gruelling day in Zagora, Joan ‘Bang Bang’ Barreda was once again the fastest in the 2014 edition of the OiLibya Rally of Morocco. The Spanish rider was heavily penalized yesterday for excess speed, with a thirty minutes penalty that saw his triumph annulled and passed down to yesterday’s runner-up, his fellow Honda team-mate, Jeremias Israel. Today Barreda got off to a storming start, yet again proving himself to be the fastest on the track, leaving another HRC rider, Paulo Goncalves two and a half minutes behind. Honda and the CRF450 RALLY thus clinch the third double in three days.

Portuguese Goncalves, managed to keep up a cracking pace throughout the stage, fighting a splendid comeback that sees him move up to the top of the overall leader-board, with a forty second advantage over Marc Coma.

Joan Barreda:There was a very fast liasion between Erfoud and Zagora, with a lot of rutted ground, where we had to really push. It was very tough. Yesterday, I finished the stage totally convinced of having done a good job. In the end we found something that we haven’t seen in 30 years of rallying with a penalty like that. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens, and if the rule applies to everyone.

Paulo Goncalves:It was a long and hard stage with a lot of tricky navigation. Some dunes and rocks. But I pushed hard and closed down on Marc, and now I’m leader in the overall standings. I’m happy for me and for Team HRC. We’ll try and get another good result tomorrow.

Results Stage 3
1 Joan Barreda 3:14’15 ESP HONDA Team HRC

2 Paulo Goncalves +02’30 PRT HONDA Team HRC
3 Sam Sunderland +05’22 GBR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
4 Chaleco López +07’07 CHI KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
5 Marc Coma +07’18 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Provisional after Stage 3
1 Paulo Goncalves 8:54’39 PRT HONDA Team HRC

2 Marc Coma +00’41 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
3 Helder Rodrigues +12’21 PRT HONDA Team HRC
4 Sam Sunderland +12’29 GBR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
5 Ruben Faria +13’33 POR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Text/Photo: PR Team HRC

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Second double for Honda in Morocco

Joan ‘Bang Bang’ Barreda, once again, gave a note-worthy exhibition of his riding progress on the Honda CRF450 RALLY. The second stage of the OiLibya Rally of Morocco had the Spaniard’s mark of authority stamped all over it.

Joan Barreda extended his leadership of the OiLibya Rally of Morocco yet further after an impressive sand and navigation-filled second stage victory. The win was all the more remarkable for having set off at the head of the field. The Spaniard remained unreachable out front. In doing so, Barreda widens the deficit over second place Marc Coma by two minutes. The damage could have been much worse, were it not for a slight navigation slip-up which set the leader back several minutes.

Paulo Goncalves had a good day at the office, finishing in sixth. The reigning world champion at one point was forced to stop to fix a vibrating front fairing.

Joan Barreda: “I’m really happy. We did a lot of preparation for this stage yesterday. We knew that there was going to be a lot of navigation. It was an incredible pace, I navigated without mistakes, impeccable, until kilometre 160. We really pushed, opening the way in the dunes. In the end I made a slight error thinking that we could get back on the track further on, but I was able to rectify it without losing too much time. But that’s the way it is; if you push that hard you can expect some navigational errors.”

Results Stage 2
1 Joan Barreda 2:26’14 ESP HONDA Team HRC

2 Jeremias Israel +2’00 CHI HONDA Team HRC
3 Marc Coma +2’01 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
4 Sam Sunderland +2’20 GBR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
5 Helder Rodrigues +5’42 PRT HONDA Team HRC
6 Paulo Goncalves +6’10 PRT HONDA Team HRC

Provisional after Stage 2
1 Joan Barreda 5:30’25 ESP HONDA Team HRC

2 Marc Coma +3’22 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
3 Paulo Goncalves +7’29 PRT HONDA Team HRC
4 Helder Rodrigues +9’03 PRT HONDA Team HRC
5 Ruben Faria +10’58 POR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Text/Photo: PR Team HRC

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Double for Team HRC

Team HRC got off to a flying start in the 2014 edition of the OiLibya Rally of Morocco, with Joan ‘Bang Bang’ Barreda on the Honda CRF450 RALLY securing victory in the race’s first timed special. Team HRC side-kick Paulo Gonçalves finished not far behind in runner-up position giving Honda their first one-two.

Joan Barreda becomes the first leader of the OiLibya Rally of Morocco, in this, the sixth and final rally of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. The Spanish rider set a cracking pace over the 276 kilometres against the clock, in a stage that covered both hard track and rocky terrain, and even included a first incursion into the dunes. Such was the speed over most of the stage, that not even a minor loss of route in the later part was able to stop the Team HRC rider crossing the finish-line in first place.

Joan Barreda’s win was reinforced by team-mate Paulo Gonçalves who made it a Honda double. ‘Speedy’ kept his distance from Marc Coma who started out from behind the Portugese rider, but was never able to get past him.

Joan Barreda: “It went really well. I’m pleased with the way that the stage went. We started from behind and there was a lot of tricky navigating to do. Near the end I dropped a couple of minutes due to a slight navigational error, but it didn’t amount to much. Now we will be looking to see how we can improve even more over the next few days, and keep ahead of the rest. The strategy will have a crucial role in the race.”

Paulo Goncales: “Today was a hard day for the start of a rally. We came across dunes, very stony areas, and difficult navigation. I started from behind in fourteenth place, and I came up against some slower riders who it was very difficult to overtake. Here we are. I’ve finished in second. It was very hard to stay in front because all the riders were pushing so hard.”

Results Stage 1
1 Joan Barreda 3:04’11 ESP HONDA Team HRC
2 Paulo Goncalves +1’49 PRT HONDA Team HRC

3 Marc Coma +1’51 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
4 Helder Rodrigues +3’51 PRT HONDA Team HRC
5 Ruben Faria +4’35 POR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Provisional after Stage 1
1 Joan Barreda 3:04’11 ESP HONDA Team HRC
2 Paulo Goncalves +1’49 PRT HONDA Team HRC

3 Marc Coma +1’51 ESP KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory
4 Helder Rodrigues +3’51 PRT HONDA Team HRC
5 Ruben Faria +4’35 POR KTM KTM Red Bull Rally Factory

Text/Photos: PR Team HRC

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Second place takes Marquez closer to Moto3 lead

Alex Marquez took the runner-up spot, respectively, in San Marino for the second consecutive Grand Prix, reducing the gap to Moto3 series leader, Jack Miller, in the process. After another stellar display at Misano, Marquez trails Miller by 9 points.

The race started with Miller pushing hard at the front and both Repsol riders attentive to his attempts at escaping. Although Marquez got off the line the best and was up into third, Rins quickly took the lead of the second group from fourth and went after Miller. As he broke away, he brought with him his teammate and Miguel Oliveira, who later crashed out of the race.

After overtaking Miller, Rins established a gap of just over a second, but Marquez –on his own in second– gradually reeled in his teammate and caught him with 8 laps to go. Patient behind Rins, Marquez got past him with 2 laps remaining. Rins returned the favour on the final lap to win by 0.042s.

With this latest victory and second place for Rins and Marquez, the Spanish duo head to their home round in a fortnight’s time: The Aragon GP at MotorLand.

Alex Marquez: “It was a pretty tough weekend for us, with four crashes –one of which was a heavy one in the warmup. So in the end second place is very important for us. We tried our best and managed to cut the gap to the series leader for the third race in succession, so we should be happy and continue in this way. Now comes a home race and hopefully the circuit is full, so that the fans can push us at every turn. At Motorland, where we have done three tests, we will try to be competitive from day one”.

1 Alex Rins Honda 39:50.694
2 Alex Marquez Honda +0.042
3 Jack Miller KTM +3.403

4 Isaac Viñales KTM +4.459
5 Enea Bastianini KTM +4.485

1 Jack Miller KTM 195 points
2 Alex Marquez Honda 186 points
3 Alex Rins Honda 175 points
4 Efren Vazquez Honda 151 points

Text/Photo: Repsol Media Service
5 Romano Fenati KTM 140 points

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