Moto2

Europe Moto2 & Moto3 Review - Neil Morrison On Arenas' Temper, Bezzecchi's Return, Gardner Keeping His Cool, And A Lacklustre Luthi

MotoGP may have moved definitively toward one contender taking the crown. But a three-way title fight in Moto2 became four thanks to a surprise crash for leader Sam Lowes. And Any feeling 2020 was inching decisively in favour of Moto3 challenger Albert Arenas took just two laps to come apart. Here are a number of the big stories from the junior classes at the European Grand Prix.

Arenas loses his cool

Perhaps with the passing of time the Moto3 contest will be remembered for Raul Fernandez’s long-awaited first grand prix win. But it was Albert Arenas’ all-action showing that really caught the eye. Unfortunate in the extreme to get hit from behind when avoiding Celestino Vietti’s stricken KTM, the championship leader was forced into the pits with a snapped footrest bracket.

That should have been the end of his morning. But Arenas wasn’t finished. “I went into the garage pissed off, but the team tried to calm me,” he said. The team succeeded in mending the machine, but failed to defuse the rider. Rejoining in 30th place and three laps down, the Spaniard let the leading men by when shown the blue flags. But then came the madness. The 23-year old inexplicably started passing the riders in the fight for the second, including a ludicrous lunge on title rival Ai Ogura at the final turn – enough for Race Direction to show him the black flag.

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2020 Europe Moto2 FP3 Result: Navarro Leads But Not Many Follow

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.

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2020 Europa Moto2 FP2 Result: Bastianini Robs Lowes

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.

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2020 Europe Moto2 FP1 Result: Luthi Back In A Damp Limelight

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.

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Provisional 2021 MotoGP Calendar Announced - 20 Races, Normal Schedule, 3 Reserve Circuits

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.

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Luca Marini Interview: Stepping Out Of The Shadow

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.

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