Results and summary of the Moto2 race in Valencia:
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class in Valencia:
Although the weather got kinder as the day progressed, there was not much action in the early stages of FP3 for the intermediate class as riders were waiting for track conditions to improve further and perhaps have a look at slick tyres. However, that dry line never quite arrived and only a dozen or so riders were tempted to chase a time in the wet. With no Q2 places realistically on offer, those who persevered got rewarded with a top position in FP3 and Jorge Navarro was the keenest of the lot, taking over top spot on the timesheets by nearly three tenths of a second.
The intermediate class closed a gloomy day in Valencia and benefitted from a mostly dry track surface. Championship leader Sam Lowes looked like the strongest man in the dry, the British rider starting off with a one second advantage at the top of the timesheets, however, a late tumble at turn 8 made him miss out on the final eight minutes of the session and title rival Enea Bastianini took full advantage. The Italian stole the headline by half a tenth of a second from Lowes, with Joe Roberts in third, one tenth off top spot.
Damp and drizzly Valencia was the backdrop for the intermediate class’ first practice session and much like their colleagues before them, they kept things uneventful until the closing stages got some gravel trap action. After a few less than stellar performances, Tom Luthi seemed to be enjoying his time in the limelight and took over the top of the timesheets halfway through the session. Despite a harmless crash at turn 6 with 15 minutes left, the Swiss rider kept top spot by a tenth of a second ahead of a persistently impressive Hector Garzo.
MotoGP will continue into 2021, and scheduling difficulties continue to accompany it. Unlike 2020, however, Dorna and the FIM are prepared for it, however, and so today, we saw a provisional 2021 MotoGP calendar announced. It is a very conventional-looking schedule, with a giant caveat attached underneath: "All dates, events and the attendance of spectators are subject to the evolution of the pandemic and the approval of the corresponding Governments and authorities."
After two tests, at Sepang in mid February and Qatar in mid March, the 2021 season is scheduled to kick off at Qatar on March 28th. After Qatar, the series heads to the Americas, where MotoGP races in Argentina at Termas de Rio Hondo and at Austin. They then head back to Europe, for the usual round of spring races: Jerez, Le Mans, Mugello, Barcelona, Sachsenring, and Assen. They round it off with a trip to Finland, subject to the Kymiring being homologated on time.
They say that there have been four pairs of brothers who have won Grand Prix races: Christian and Dominique Sarron, Nobuatsu and Haruchika Aoki, Marc and Alex Márquez, and since Darryn Binder won the Moto3 race at Barcelona this year, the Binder brothers Brad and Darryn. In reality, there have been five.
Most MotoGP fans got to see Luca Marini for the first time in those images of his (half-)brother's championship celebrations in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Marini and Valentino Rossi, who share the same mother, have an age gap of more than 18 years. When Marini was born, Rossi was well on the way to his first world championship. When Marini started racing Minimoto, Rossi was 23 years old and already a huge name in motorsports, and especially in Italy.
Marini was never afraid to mention his relationship to arguably the most important rider in MotoGP history and he has worked hard to find his way to shine under the umbrella of his older brother, his mentor, his idol and one of his best friends, as he describes their relationship.
More than just a brother
It is easy to start an interview with the Urbino-born rider talking about his brother, though it might not be fair for the rider who led the Moto2 championship up until his massive crash at Le Mans. Yes, he is the brother of the biggest name the sport has ever known, but Marini came for the ride neither behaving nor feeling entitled.
A ride as dominant as anything we’ve seen all year, title challengers lost at sea, and a tremendous ten-rider battle for the win… Moto2 and 3 threw up a host of talking points at the Teruel Grand Prix. Here we take a look at what went on.
Lowes in the driving seat
Having won only after his main rival crashed at the previous week’s Grand Prix, there could be no doubting who was the number one here. On the back of wins in France and Aragon, Sam Lowes put on an exhibition at the Teruel Grand Prix as dominant as anything witnessed in any class this year to take charge of the Moto2 championship.
Lowes was irrepressible from Friday afternoon. He smashed the lap record on his way to pole on Saturday, led four of the weekends six sessions ahead of the race and annihilated the field from the first lap. After his best start of the season, he was soon in the rhythm. His fastest lap the second time around was 0.6s faster than any other rider managed through 21 laps. His winning margin of 8.4s was the biggest recorded this season in any category.
Tyre supplier Dunlop had introduced a softer rear tyre compound for this weekend with the caveat: the rubber had to be managed in the closing laps. Yet Lowes made a mockery of those claims, maintaining his rhythm in the 1m 52s until the penultimate lap while everyone else suffered a drop.