Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Vive le Zarco!

Finalement, France has someone to cheer in MotoGP. Rookie Johann Zarco has lit up the 2017 season and will be going all-out at Le Mans this weekend

MotoGP has never seen anything like it; at least not since Marc Márquez arrived in 2013. Two weeks ago at Jerez, reigning Moto2 champion Johann Zarco rode the first few laps like he was the king and the rest were rookies. He charged past Valentino Rossi (twice), Cal Crutchlow, Maverick Viñales, Andrea Iannone and Márquez in just a few laps, finding gaps where others could find none.

“Zarco reminds me of me when I arrived in MotoGP,” grins Márquez. “He is really aggressive, he pushes to the limit and sometimes he nearly crashes. This is the way to learn, you need to push, so he’s working in a good way.”

Zarco’s pace and bravery at Jerez were magical and will bring tens of thousands of French fans to Le Mans. It’s about time France had someone to cheer in the class of kings. During 69 years of Grand Prix racing the nation has won only three races in the premier class – that’s an average of one victory every 23 years. Compare that to 230 victories by Italians, 154 by Americans, 137 by Britons and 135 by Spaniards.

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Concessions and control ECU on the cards for WorldSBK?

Momentum for a technical shake-up in WorldSBK has increased but the manner to instigate that change is a big question

The Imola paddock was full of rumor and discussion about changes to the technical regulations for 2018. With Kawasaki and Ducati having shared all but four wins since the start of the 2015 season there have been calls to grant other manufacturers some avenues with which to improve performance. Discussions between the manufacturers took place once again in Italy to lay down a framework for the future.

No answers were forthcoming but with Yamaha and Honda having brought all-new Superbikes to the series in the last year and struggled to compete with the front runners it is clear that the winds of change may be in the air. For 2017 Aprilia increased their involvement with the Milwaukee Aprilia bikes built and prepared in Italy. The former title winning marque has thus far failed live up to preseason expectations.

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Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 51: Title Chase Tightens In Jerez

The Jerez round of MotoGP turned out very differently to the pundits' predictions, with victory for Dani Pedrosa and the Repsol Hondas while the Yamahas struggled badly. In the latest episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast, Neil Morrison and David Emmett discuss what turned into a very eventful weekend.

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2017 Imola World Superbike Race Two Results: Red Flag, Restart, Race, Result

As is customary this weekend, the start of this race was delayed, this time by a red flag caused by Ayrton Badovini's engine exploding into a sheep's worth of cloud on the second lap. The restart took longer than usual as the track was made safe, but eventually an eighteen lap race was started. 

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2017 Imola World Supersport Race Results: No Result Yet

World Supersport’s race was delayed initially for a bike that returned to the pits smoking. Safety dictated that the track was checked for oil. After it was cleared, the race was started with sixteen laps intended, down one from the original seventeen, but that was red flagged after two laps due to a Robbie Rolfo crash. The restart lasted four laps before Robbie Rolfo crashed again, joined by Kazuki Watanabe and Marco Malone this time, bringing out red flags again. World Supersport will resume after World Superbike has completed and everyone’s had enough time to figure out the rules. The restart will be 14:20 local time.

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