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January 23, 2018

Rossi aims to cement second MotoGP spot in Sepang

Kuala Lumpur (AFP) – Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi is looking to take a major step towards securing second place in the world championship over teammate Jorge Lorenzo at the Malaysian MotoGP this weekend.

The Italian great is eight points clear of the Spaniard going into Sunday’s penultimate race in Sepang following his win at Phillip Island, Australia, just a few days ago.

With Spanish sensation Marc Marquez crowned the championship winner earlier this month, second place is the best Rossi, 35, and Lorenzo, 27, could hope for but are determined to secure it.

Rossi has won seven premier class titles in Malaysia but will be aware that the last of those was in 2010. The Italian was only able to finish fourth last year, one place behind Lorenzo.

He will also be conscious of the 5.5 kilometre (3.4 mile) track’s unique challenges, particularly the often difficult weather conditions with high temperatures and heavy tropical rain.

“Apart from the temperature being a bit too high for MotoGP racing, I really like the Malaysian track,” Rossi told MotoGP.com.

“I will do my best to win again. I got my second win of the season and now I want to fight for second place in the championship.”

Honda’s Spanish star Dani Pedrosa won last time round pipping teammate Marquez into second, with Lorenzo finishing third. Pedrosa also triumphed in 2012.

“I look forward to racing at Sepang, it’s a nice track,” said Lorenzo on MotoGP.com.

“I would like to be competitive again, especially because I want to fight for second place in the championship.”

For Marquez this year’s race is a chance to atone for that loss, free of pressure with the world championship title already in the bag.

The 21-year-old has added motivation and won’t be taking his foot off the pedal as he bids to equal Australian Mick Doohan’s record of 12 wins in a single season.

Marquez, who last year became MotoGP’s youngest world champion is also looking to bounce back after crashing out at Phillip Island on Sunday.

“The race in Australia didn’t end as how I would’ve liked and to crash 10 laps from the end is infuriating,” he said.

“I will be going for the win in Malaysia and give it everything I’ve got in one of my favourite circuits,” Marquez added on his Repsol Honda blog.

The Spaniard secured the championship in Japan this month but organisers insist that hasn’t dampened ticket sales, with 65,000 tickets already sold.

The spotlight will also be on driver safety, three years after Sepang witnessed one of its darkest moments when Italian rider Marco Simoncelli died after coming off his bike.

“We will ensure the safety of riders,” the circuit’s chief executive officer Razlan Razali said.

The last MotoGP race of the season will be in Valencia, Spain, next month.

Source – 

Rossi aims to cement second MotoGP spot in Sepang

Motorcyling: Marquez equals season pole record in Australian MotoGP

Newly-crowned world champion Marc Marquez will start off pole position for Sunday’s Australian MotoGP as the fastest qualifier.

The Spanish Repsol Honda rider clocked one minute 28.408 seconds in Saturday qualifying to finish ahead of Ducati’s Cal Crutchlow by 0.234secs, with Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo a further eight-hundredths of a second away third.

It was the 21-year-old Spaniard’s 12th pole of the year to equal the most poles in a season, previously held by Australian Casey Stoner.

“I’m really happy to be on the pole after winning the title in Japan,” Marquez said.

“It will be a tough race tomorrow especially Yamaha (Lorenzo), they are very strong and they have a good pace.

“But I was able to ride well, I was consistent, and we are ready to fight for the victory tomorrow.”

It was Marquez’s 21st career pole as he chases his first premier class victory at the Phillip Island circuit after winning a 125cc race in 2010.

Marquez secured this year’s world title in Japan last weekend with three races remaining in the season.

Lorenzo is battling Marquez’s Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi for second place overall in the championship, with the trio separated by just three points.

“Everyone has struggled this weekend to get the grip with the tyres and we are half a second to one second slower than we were last year here,” Lorenzo said.

“It’s the same for everyone. It’s good, third place, my rivals Rossi and Pedrosa are behind me so I’m happy.”

Lorenzo, who won last year’s MotoGP at Phillip Island on the way to losing the world championship by four points to Marquez, is coming off back-to-back wins at Aragon and Motegi.

Pedrosa was fifth fastest in qualifying after having to go through repechage qualifying while Rossi, a nine-time world champion through the classes, was eighth.

The Italian great, 35, has finished on the podium 14 times in 17 visits to Phillip Island across all three GP classes.

The 4.448-kilometre (2.764 mile) circuit, located on the shores of the storm-tossed Bass Strait, is a season classic for the world’s top riders with its sweeping blend of seven left-handers and five right-handers.

From:  

Motorcyling: Marquez equals season pole record in Australian MotoGP

Motorcyling: Marquez on pole for Australian MotoGP

Newly-crowned world champion Marc Marquez will start off pole position for Sunday’s Australian MotoGP as the fastest qualifier.

The Spanish Repsol Honda rider clocked one minute 28.408 seconds in Saturday qualifying to finish ahead of Ducati’s Cal Crutchlow by 0.234secs, with Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo a further eight-hundredths of a second away third.

It is Marquez’s 21st pole as he chases his first premier class victory at the Phillip Island circuit.

Marquez already secured this year’s world title in Japan last weekend.

Lorenzo is battling Marquez’s Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi for second place overall in the championship, with the trio separated by just three points.

Lorenzo, who won last year’s MotoGP at Phillip Island on the way to losing the world championship by four points to Marquez, is coming off back-to-back wins at Aragon and Motegi.

Pedrosa was fifth fastest in qualifying after having to go through repechage qualifying while Rossi, a nine-time world champion through the classes, was eighth.

The Italian great, 35, has finished on the podium 14 times in 17 visits to Phillip Island across all three GP classes.

The 4.448-kilometre (2.764 mile) circuit, located on the shores of the storm-tossed Bass Strait, is a season classic for the world’s top riders with its sweeping blend of seven left-handers and five right-handers.

More here:

Motorcyling: Marquez on pole for Australian MotoGP

Lorenzo leads MotoGP practice at Phillip Island

PHILLIP ISLAND, Australia (AP) — Despite a late crash, Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo set the fastest time in Friday afternoon’s MotoGP practice for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix, edging ahead of the morning time posted by his Spanish countryman Aleix Espargaro.

Lorenzo had a lap time of 1 minute, 29.602 seconds Friday, faster than Espargaro’s morning 1:29.749 effort in his Forward Racing Yamaha around the 4.5 kilometer (2.7-mile) Phillip Island circuit.

With his quickest times achieved early in his run, two-time champion Lorenzo came off his bike around the turn four hairpin, ending his session but causing no injuries.

Marc Marquez, also of Spain, was third-fastest with 1:29.752. Marquez is looking to win his first Australian GP and a season-record 12th victory to add to his second consecutive MotoGP title.

While Marquez sealed the 2014 title by winning in Japan last weekend, Lorenzo had won the previous two races and is the defending champion in Australia.

Lorenzo is in a three-way fight for second place overall with his factory Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi and Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, with the trio separated by just three points. Rossi was sixth fastest on Friday and Pedrosa 10th.

Spain’s Esteve Rabat, on his Marc VDS Kamex, was fastest in both sessions of Moto2, which produced a series of accidents. Finnish rider Mika Kallio walked away from a crash into a tire wall, somersaulting onto his feet.

British rider Danny Kent was quickest in Moto3 morning practice with a 1:36.906 on his Ajo Motorsport Husqvarna, while Australian Jack Miller led the afternoon groups in 137.033 for Red Bull KTM.

Qualifying will be held on Saturday.

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Lorenzo leads MotoGP practice at Phillip Island

Marquez 2nd in Japan to claim MotoGP championship

MOTEGI, Japan (AP) — Honda rider Marc Marquez of Spain defended his MotoGP championship on Sunday when he finished second in the Grand Prix of Japan behind compatriot Jorge Lorenzo.

Marquez crossed the line 1.638 seconds behind Lorenzo to collect the crucial points for the world championship win. Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi of Italy completed the podium in third place.

Yamaha rider Lorenzo took his second successive victory with a time of 42 minutes, 21.259 seconds over 24 laps at the 4.801-kilometer (2.983 mile) Honda-owned Motegi circuit.

With three races left in the season, Marquez has 312 points, 82 points ahead of Rossi and Dani Pedrosa. Riders are awarded 25 points for a win.

Having started fourth on the grid, Marquez passed Rossi midway through the race then made an attempt to catch Lorenzo, but the Yamaha rider held his lead and Marquez settled for second.

At 21, Marquez is the youngest rider to take consecutive premier world titles.

“The race doesn’t really matter today,” Marquez said. “Maybe I wasn’t riding like always, as I felt a little different. It was hard to overtake and I didn’t want to make any mistakes.”

“We got the title and it’s incredible to take it at home. Thanks to my family and Honda.”

The next race is at Phillip Island, Australia on Oct. 19.

See original article here: 

Marquez 2nd in Japan to claim MotoGP championship