The long-awaited news of Johann Zarco's MotoGP contract has been announced. The Frenchman is to join Jonas Folger in the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team for 2017. Zarco's contract is for one year, with the team holding an option on the Frenchman for a second year.
If there is such a thing as a Honda track, then the Sachsenring is surely it. Of the nineteen premier class races held at the tight, tortuous circuit, Honda have won twelve. That includes the last six races in a row: From 2010 through 2012, nobody could touch Dani Pedrosa around the circuit. From 2013 onwards, Marc Márquez has been unbeatable at the track.
What makes the Sachsenring such a Honda track? Maybe it's the two key braking points at the circuit, going into Turn 1, and at the bottom of the hill for Turn 12. Maybe it's the ability to use the Honda horsepower going up the hill out of the final corner, across the line and into Turn 1. Or maybe it's the tight corners, the Honda always a strong bike in turning.
The Sachsenring circuit is invariably described in disparaging terms – "Mickey Mouse", "a go-kart track" – but that does not do the track justice. It may not challenge the bikes in terms of horsepower, but it demands an awful lot of the riders. From the moment they arrive at the end of the short, uphill front straight, brake hard for the sharp right-hander of Turn 1, and pitch it into the corner, the bike barely leaves the edge of the tire until the plunge down the Waterfall after Turn 11. There is a brief moment of respite between Turns 7 and 8, before heeling the bike over again for another series of lefts going up the hill to the circuit's crowning glory.
The WorldSBK season goes on its annual summer break with the championship suddenly poised on a much finer edge than was imaginable just a week ago.
Jonathan Rea's dominance of the current campaign has been almost unparalleled. However, his run of 17 consecutive podium finishes to open the season is now over and suddenly he faces a threat from within for his title defense.
Marc Marquez’s Houdini-like escape during Assen practice was one of the greatest saves in MotoGP history
Over the past three decades I’ve seen many amazing riders do many amazing things. All kinds of moments jump out, from before Kevin Schwantz to after Casey Stoner – way too many to go into now, but here are three.
It’s September 1985, the season-ending San Marino GP at Misano, way before anyone had even dreamed of traction control. Randy Mamola is chasing Ron Haslam during practice, both of them aboard Honda’s superbly rider-friendly NS500 triple. The American is accelerating out of a left-hander when his rear tyre smears sideways and then grips. Suddenly the bike isn’t so rider-friendly and flicks him skywards like an ejector seat. When Mamola re-enters orbit his head just about thumps the front mudguard and both his legs land to the right of the bike as he runs off the track. He is now skating through the grass with both feet, his hands hanging onto the handlebars for dear life, while he waits for the bike to slow, because he knows he will crash if he tries to use the front brake.
Later than hoped for, but here at last. Recorded after the MotoGP race at Assen, the latest episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast is finally online.
In it, Tony Goldsmith and Neil Morrison discuss the events of a wild and weird weekend in The Netherlands, and the surprise winner the Dutch TT produced. Tony and Neil go over the race and the weather, and the difficulties of a red-flagged race.
World Superbike championship standings after the second race at Laguna Seca:
Press releases from the series organizers and teams after Sunday's second World Superbike race at Laguna Seca:
Laguna Seca: Day 3 - A Showdown to Remember
- Rea out, dueling Ducatis and last corner drama -
Tom Sykes has taken victory in Race 2 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, heading the Ducati duo of Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies over the line in a race that would have been impossible to script.
Race two started with Tom Sykes leading Davide Giugliano, Jonathan Rea, Chaz Davies and Nicky Hayden but was halted after six laps after a red flag. The restart would be twenty one laps.
Report and results follow:
World Superbike standings after the first race at Laguna Seca:
Press releases from the organizers and teams after the first race for the World Superbike series at Laguna Seca:
Laguna Seca: Day 2 - Rea Reigns in the US of A
- KRT duo battle at the front as Kentucky Kid Hayden withstands the pressure for P3 -
Rea (Kawasaki) had never won at Laguna Seca; that fact now a thing of the past
Jonathan Rea has taken his first ever victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, beating teammate Tom Sykes into P2 with Nicky Hayden coming through under pressure to take the final spot on the rostrum.
The United States always make a patriotic meal of their sporting events, with their military usually paying to take part in whatever opening ceremonies they hold, but Nicky Hayden was the centre of attention; he wore a helmet saying "The creature is back to Laguna" but would the Kentucky Kid stand a chance against the current crop of Superbike racers?
Report and results follow:
Thirteen riders contested two slots to join the top ten in Superpole two, with Michael van der Mark and Alex De Angelis the two quickest men in the first group.
Report and results follow: