Moto2: Acosta Dominates Season Opener

pedro acosta portuguese Moto2

Pedro Acosta, labelled by many as the favourite to become the 2023 Moto2 World Champion, vindicated those predictions with a flawless ride in the Algarve.

The Red Bull KTM Team Ajo rider barely broke a sweat enroute to the first of what is likely to be many race wins this season.

After a solid performance on Saturday, Czech rider Filip Salac earned his first pole position in Moto2. He was joined on the front row by Aron Canet, starting 2nd, and the aforementioned Acosta, starting 3rd.

It was Canet who led the field down to turn one on the back of a great launch, with Salac hot on his heels. The polesitter briefly recovered the lead at the start of lap two, before he was shuffled backwards by Canet and Acosta.

There were frantic scenes behind the leaders too, as Bo Bendsneyder was taken out by Alonso Lopez. The Spaniard was given a long lap penalty for his troubles. Moments later Acosta assumed the lead of the race – He would now hold it until the chequered flag was waved.

After joining the newly formed Fantic Racing over the winter, Celestino Vietti made some early progress before serving his double long lap penalty which was carried over from last season’s final race in Valencia.

With the lead pair pulling away from the rest of the field, Marc VDS rider Tony Arbolino muscled his way into third. He then set about the impossible task of reeling in both Acosta and Canet.

After a disappointing qualifying session, Britain’s Jake Dixon had made steady progress through the field. At the halfway stage he was enjoying a good battle with Moto2 rookie, Darryn Binder. The pair exchanged positions before leapfrogging Jeremy Alcoba. Moments later, a mistake from Binder caused him to slide off the asphalt. The South African was able to re-join the race.

Despite Canet’s best efforts, he wasn’t able to challenge Acosta and by the end of the race, the gap between the two was well over a second. The former Moto3 champion looked unstoppable, kickstarting his campaign in style with a flawless ride.

Canet, still in search of his first Moto2 win, finished 2nd for the tenth time in the intermediate class. It was an impressive performance from Arbolino who brought his Kalex home in 3rd.

The British riders had a good day. Dixon managed to claim 6th after making good progress from the fourth row on the grid. Sam Lowes finished just behind him in 7th. Rory Skinner built on his wildcard appearances last season. The Scotsman, now a fulltime rider in the class, finished in 22nd.

After his lap 15 fall, Binder recovered to finish 16th, just missing out on the points in his first Moto2 start. Moto3 graduates Sergio Garcia and Dennis Foggia looked impressive, finishing 15th and 18th respectively.

Feature Image: MotoGP

MotoGP: Bagnaia Cruises to Victory in Portugal

Our reigning MotoGP Champion, Pecco Bagnaia, has enjoyed a dream start to his 2023 season after taking a clean sweep in the first weekend of action. The Ducati rider has won Saturday’s Sprint Race before going on to dominate in Sunday’s Feature Race. He was joined on the podium by Maverick Vinales and Marco Bezzecchi.

After making history by winning MotoGP’s first ever Sprint Race on Saturday, Pecco Bagnaia has carried on his winning streak on Sunday, with victory at the Portuguese GP Feature Race. He took the lead on Lap 2 and, despite a good challenge from Maverick Vinales, he never looked back and took the chequered flag with a comfortable 0.68 second lead.

Our pole sitter, Marc Marquez, crashed out of the race on Lap 3. He made a huge mistake in the braking zone into Turn 3 and clipped the back of Jorge Martin, who was running in 3rd. As he went down, he clattered into the back of home hero Miguel Oliveira, running in 2nd, and brought him into the gravel with him. His injuries saw Oliveira stretched off track and taken to the medical centre – we are still waiting for an update on his condition. Martin was lucky to stay upright and rejoined the track in 16th, before crashing out of the race at Turn 2, on Lap 20 of 25.

Taking advantage of this drama was Maverick Vinales who carefully made his way through the incident and found himself up to 2nd, after starting 7th. He was quickly on the back of Bagnaia but didn’t quite have the pace to steal the lead from him. He ended the day in 2nd.

Marco Bezzecchi rounded out the podium spots with a well-earned 3rd place. He took 3rd from Jack Miller on Lap 6 but failed to close the gap on the leading pair. For much of the race, the battle for fourth was where the majority of the action was taking place, and Miller was a key part of this. He battled with Alex Marquez, Brad Binder, Aleix Espargaro and Johann Zarco for much of the race. However, on the final lap, Zarco bested all of them as he leap-frogged from 7th up to 4th with a late move. Alex Marquez, Binder and Miller were forced to settle with 5th, 6th and 7th respectively.

Image Credit: MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo had a difficult day starting in 10th, losing 5 places at the start and then fighting his way back up to end the race in 8th. He took that spot on the penultimate lap as Espargaro made a mistake that opened the door for the Frenchman.

With 6 riders failing to finish the race, all 14 finishers crossed the line to secure some points. Those non-finishers included Luca Marini who suffered his fourth crash of the weekend – a disappointing start to his season after such a consistent year in 2022 – as well as Fabio Di Giannantonio, who retired with mechanical issues on Lap 11, and Raul Fernandez, who crashed on the penultimate lap of the race.

After a perfect weekend, Bagnaia is sitting pretty at the top of the championship standings. Just behind him is Vinales, lagging behind by 12 points, and Bezzecchi, a further 9 points behind.

We only have to wait 7 days for the drama to continue, as the grid will be in action on the 1st and 2nd of April in Argentina.

Full Results:
1st Pecco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo
2nd Maverick Viñales Aprilia
3rd Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46
4th Johann Zarco Prima Pramac
5th Alex Marquez Gresini
6th Brad Binder Red Bull KTM
7th Jack Miller Red Bull KTM
8th Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha
9th Aleix Espargaro Aprilia
10th Alex Rins LCR Honda
11th Joan Mir Repsol Honda
12th Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda
13th Augusto Fernandez GASGAS Tech3
14th Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha
Championship Standings:
1st Pecco Bagnaia 37 points
2nd Maverick Vinales 25 points
3rd Marco Bezzecchi 16 point
4th Johann Zarco 15 points
5th Jack Miller 15 points

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

MotoGP: Marquez Comes From Nowhere To Take Pole In Portugal

Marc Marquez has snatched pole position for the first race of the 2023 MotoGP season, in Portugal. He will be joined on the front row by reigning champion, Pecco Bagnaia, and Jorge Martin. 2023 is the first season to include Sprint Races, giving this qualifying session even more importance.

The 2023 MotoGP season may be starting with a new-look format, but there is a familiar name at the front of the grid after qualifying in Portugal. Marc Marquez, after coming through Q1 to then struggle in Q2, came from nowhere to lay down just one flying lap that took him from 12th to 1st. He set a lap time of 1:37.226, which is a new lap record for the circuit. With a Sprint Race later this afternoon, Marquez has given himself two pole positions for the weekend as qualifying sets the grid for both the spring and main races.

Joining him on the front row will be our reigning champion, Pecco Bagnaia. He was in the mix for the whole session and spent much of Q2 in provisional 3rd before his final lap saw him temporarily take pole position. Jorge Martin and his Prima Pramac Racing machine will line up in 3rd after a strong session.

Image Credit: MotoGP

Miguel Oliveira, who also had to make his way up through Q1, will start both of this weekend’s races in 4th, with Jack Miller in 5th. The Australian rider will be disappointed with 5th after spending the first half of the session in provisional pole. He then crashed at Turn 3, with 3 minutes left on the clock, and wasn’t able to fight back from there and was shuffled back to 5th as others riders were able to improve.

Enea Bastianini, who helpfully gave Marquez a tow that helped him to secure pole, will line up in 6th, ahead of Maverick Vinales in 7th and Marco Bezzecchi in 8th. The top 10 will be completed by Luca Marini and Johann Zarco in 9th and 10th.

It was a difficult day for Fabio Quartararo and Aleix Espargaro, in 11th and 12th respectively. Quartararo was consistently off the pace throughout Q2 and ended the day a whopping 0.694 seconds away from pole. Espargaro, just 5 minutes in to the session, went down at Turn 13 and struggled to recover from there.

In the previous Q1 session, Alex Marquez and Joan Mir were disappointed to not progress to Q2 after a strong session. Marquez faced a scary moment in the early stages of the session, nearly losing the front of the bike in the final sector but somehow managing to stay upright. The pair will line up 13th and 14th on the grid respectively.

Marc Marquez took a gamble in Q1 by staying in the pits for the second half of the session. He had already laid down a brilliant lap time – a new lap record at that time – and decided to save his tires by watching the final minutes of Q1 from the back of the garage. It clearly paid off as he enjoyed celebrating his pole position with the adoring Portuguese crowd.

Don’t forget, with the new format this weekend, this qualifying session has now set the grid for both today’s sprint race and tomorrow’s main race. Crew On Two will have all the updates you need!

1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda
2 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo
3 Jorge Martin Prima Pramac
4 Miguel Oliveira CryptoDATA RNF
5 Jack Miller Red Bull KTM
6 Enea Bastianini Ducati Lenovo
7 Maverick Vinales Aprilia
8 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46
9 Luca Marini Mooney VR46
10 Johann Zarco Prima Pramac
11 Alex Marquez Gresini
12 Joan Mir Repsol Honda
13 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM
14 Alex Rins LCR Honda
15 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha
16 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda
17 Augusto Fernandez GASGAS Tech3
18 Raul Fernandez CryptoRNF
19 Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini

Feature Image Credit: MotoGP

Round 2 WorldSBK, Mandalika, Indonesia, Race 2

Mandalika always seems to throw plenty of drama, and talking points into the mix, and Sunday was no exception, with drama from start to finish.

WorldSBK Mandalika, Round 2, Race 2 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

The earlier Superpole race was full of incidents, and it was Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Team) who was able to avoid them all and secure the win, followed by fellow team mate Andrea Locatelli in 2nd, with Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in 3rd rounding out the podium. Championship leader Alvaro Bautista crashed out for his 1st DNF of the season.

Before the start of race 2, Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) was declared unfit to start, due to suffering a fractured leg in contact with Lowes in the superpole race. Remi Gardener (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) however was able to start after his illness.

Lights out then for race 2, and it was Toprak with the hole shot into turn 1, followed by Yamaha team mate Locatelli in 2nd, Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 3rd, Bassani (Motocorsa Racing Ducati) 4th, Lowes 5th and Vierge (Honda HRC) 6th. Lowes made a move on Bassani briefly taking 4th, before the Italian was able to snap back to retake the position. Bautista was down in 8th.

On lap 19 of the 21, Bassani who had an incredible start and was looking very aggressive, was now in 2nd, and blasted past Locatelli to take the lead. Toprak however had been mugged, and now found himself down in 5th. Rinaldi ( Racing Ducati) also had a great start and was moving through the field. Positions were as follows: 1. Bassani 2. Rinaldi 3. Rea 4. Lowes 5. Toprak 6. Vierge 7. Locatelli 8. Bautista 9. Redding (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 10. Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team).

Next lap and Rinaldi continued his forward advance, and now got through on Bassani to take over the lead for the first time. Lowes also went through on Rea into 3rd.

With 17 laps remaining Bautista was now up to 7th, after getting through on Locatelli who was in 8th. Toprak dived under Rea into turn 10 to take 4th. Meanwhile Bassani was instructed to drop 1 position for dangerous riding.

Next lap and it was Rinaldi with the new fastest lap time a 1:33.0, and he held a gap of 0.8s to Bassani. Bassani then eased off the throttle to allow Lowes through, however Toprak snapped up the chance also coming through. Bassani lost 2 places and was in 4th.

WorldSBK Mandalika, Round 2, Race 2 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

With 15 laps of 21 remaining Rinaldi was looking at ease in front, and set another fastest lap this time a 1:32.668. Meanwhile further back however, it was utter carnage, with firstly Lowes running off track, then both Rokit BMW’s crashed, and Oettl (GoEleven Racing Ducati). The German collided into the back of Vd Mark, sending the Dutchman high siding with a nasty crash, both were out, then Redding lost his BMW into a corner and he was down. It was absolute mayhem! Meanwhile Bautista had got through on Rea, and was up to 4th.

Then with 14 laps left, and unsurprisingly, the race was red flagged. The new race distance after the restart would be 14 laps with Rinaldi in pole position, Toprak 2nd, Vierge 3rd, Bautista 4th, and Rea 5th. Both Lowes and Redding were able to restart.

Lights out for the 2nd time in the race, and Rinaldi got the hole shot into turn 1, followed by Toprak 2nd, Bautista 3rd, Vierge 4th, Rea 5th, Bassani 6th, Locatelli 7th, Redding 10th, and Lowes 14th.

With 12 laps left, it was the other Ducati setting the fastest lap, this time it was Bautista with a 1:32.5, and he was all over the back of Toprak looking for the pass. Rinaldi held a gap of 0.8s out in front.

Next lap and not to be outdone by his team mate, it was Rinaldi with the fastest lap a 1:32.3, and was pulling away from Toprak behind, the gap now at 1.3s. Bautista then made his move on Toprak with a super move into turn 15, slicing under the Yamaha R1 to take 2nd. Bassani then got through on Rea into turn 1 to take 5th, Rea now in 6th.

Just over half race distance, and positions were as follows: 1. Rinaldi 2. Bautista 3. Toprak 4. Vierge 5. Bassani 6. Rea 7. Locatelli 8. Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Ducati)9. Lecuona (Honda HRC) 10. Gardner.

With 8 laps to go, Rinaldi held a gap of 1.1s to Bautista. Bautista in turn held a gap of 1.2s to Toprak behind in 3rd.

Next lap and Rea cut under Bassani into the penultimate corner to take back 5th. Then drama for the 6 times world champion a few corners later, as he lost the front end into the high speed turn 7, sliding out, and his race was over. Another disappointing race for Kawasaki, as Lowes was down in 14th and not looking comfortable.

With only 5 laps remaining positions were as follows: 1. Rinaldi 2. Bautista 3. Toprak 4. Vierge 5. Locatelli 6. Bassani 7. Petrucci 8. Lecuona 9. Gardner 10. Redding.

Last 3 laps and Bautista had now caught his team mate, looking like he had a lot more tyre grip than Rinaldi. Toprak was still in 3rd, but out of contact for the race win.

Next lap and Bautista took Rinaldi into turn 10, and was looking good for the win.

Last lap and Rinaldi had lost his race rhythm, he overshot turn 10 going wide and lost places. However his team mate would make no mistake, and crossed the line to make it 5 wins out of 6 races this season. Toprak 2nd, Vierge 3rd, Rinaldi 4th, Locatelli 5th, Petrucci 6th, Gardner 7th, Bassani 8th, Lecuona 9th, Redding 10th.

WorldSBK Mandalika, Round 2, Race 2 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

Result top 5:

  1. Bautista ( Racing Ducati)
  2. Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Team)
  3. Vierge (Honda HRC)
  4. Rinaldi ( Racing Ducati)
  5. Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Team)

Championship top 3:

  1. Bautista – 112 pts
  2. Razgatlioglu – 75
  3. Locatelli – 70

WorldSBK Round 2 Mandalika Race 1

Scorching hot temperatures on track for the Superpole of 60 degrees Celsius. And it was the factory Yamahas of team mates, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Team), and Andrea Locatelli who claimed a 1, 2. Toprak claimed top spot with an unbeaten time of 1:32.037, and rounding out the front row was Alvaro Bautista ( Racing Ducati) in 3rd.

WorldSBK Round 2 Mandalika Race 1 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

It was still blazing hot for the start of race 1, and the infamous Lombok thunderstorms, were yet to make an appearance to the relief of the grid. Most of the riders went for a harder rear tyre, the SC0, while the Ducatis gambled on the softer SCX, would the gamble pay off? Unfortunately both Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), and Granado (Petronas MIE Racing Honda Team) were declared unfit to start due to illness.

Lights out then for race 1, and it was Toprak with the hole shot into turn 1. Drama on the first corner for Rinaldi ( Racing Ducati), who over cooked it and ran into the rear of Bassani (Motocorsa Racing Ducati), sending Rinaldi down and out of the race.

Next lap and positions were as follows: 1. Toprak 2. Bautista 3. Bassani 4. Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Ducati) 5. Locatelli 6. Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 7. Vierge (Honda HRC) 8. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 9. Redding (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 10. Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW).

With 19 of 21 laps remaining it was Locatelli with the fastest lap of 1:33.7.

With 17 laps to go, and after a poor start Rea was steadily making progress in 6th, and then cut under Petrucci to take 5th. Meanwhile further ahead, Bautista had enough of sitting behind Toprak and cut up the inside of the former champion into turn 15, to take the lead for the first time. It was a Ducati 1, 2 followed by the Yamaha team mates of Toprak and Locatelli, and then the Kawasaki team mates of Rea and Lowes.

With 15 laps remaining Bautista was slowly extending his lead with the gap at 0.6s. Meanwhile further back Vd Mark (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was up to 9th, ahead of team mate Redding 10th, and Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) was 11th.

Next lap and it was Bautista with the new fastest lap, a 1:33.1. Would Toprak, who was unbeaten here last year, be able to respond?

With 13 of 21 laps remaining, Bautista again put in another fastest lap of a 1:32.975. Meanwhile further back, Baz got though on Redding to move into 10th. The Kawasaki’s were not having a good start to the weekend, and both were now losing contact with the 4 riders ahead.

Next lap and it was the 6 times world champion who was holding his team mate up, Lowes eventually had enough and got past Rea to move into 5th. Meanwhile at the front Bautista held a gap of 0.8s.

With 11 laps to go, Locatelli who was having a great start to his season, got through on fellow Italian Bassani into turn 10, to move up into 3rd. Meanwhile Rea was still dropping like a stone, and had former MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci all over the back of him now.

Just over half race distance, and Bautista was managing the softer rear tyre to perfection and had now pulled the gap out to 1.1s. Disaster again for poor Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), who has to retire once again due to a mechanical issue. Meanwhile Lowes was having a second wind, and cut up the inside of Bassani into turn twelve to take 4th briefly, before the fiery Italian snapped back to retake the position. A bad day for Scott Redding who comes into pit lane visible seething, smashing his screen off, before storming back into the BMW garage, having to retire due to a mechanical issue.

WorldSBK Round 2 Mandalika Race 1 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

With 8 laps to go, Bautista was showing no signs of grip loss, and put in another fastest lap of a 1:32.803. Meanwhile Petrucci used all of his racing experience and got through on Rea to move into 6th. A struggling Rea had to continue to defend as he had Xavi Vierge all over him now.

With 6 laps to go Vierge finally made his move on Rea getting by to move into 7th. The six times world champion was now in 8th, and it wasn’t going well. Petrucci continued to make up places, and then went through on Lowes to move back into 5th. Excellent ride for the former MotoGP rider considering he’d never been to this track before. The defending continued for Rea, and next up it was Vd Mark eyeing up a sorry looking Kawasaki. Meanwhile at the front, Toprak held a gap of 1 second to his team mate behind in 3rd.

With 4 laps left, Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was finding great late race pace, and was now up to 10th, and gaining on the riders ahead of him. The Dutchman Vd Mark eventually got past Rea to move into 8th, and now the Swiss rider Aegerter was all over the back of Rea. A terrible day for both Kawasaki’s as Vierge also went through on Lowes to move into 6th.

With only 3 laps to go positions were as follows: 1. Bautista 2. Toprak 3. Locatelli 4. Bassani 5. Petrucci 6. Vierge 7. Lowes 8. Vd Mark 9. Rea 10. Aegerter.

Next lap and Vd Mark was having a great ride, and moved first past Lowes and then past Vierge and up into 6th.

Last lap and Domi Aegerter in a fantastic move, took both Kawasaki’s into turn two to move into 8th. Safe to say a disaster for factory Kawasaki with Rea in 9th and Lowes in 10th. However the same could not be said for Alvaro Bautista, who came across the line to take the win, unbeaten so far this season with 4 out of 4 wins. Toprak 2nd, Locatelli 3rd, Bassani 4th, Petrucci 5th, Vd Mark 6th, Vierge 7th, Aegerter 8th, Rea 9th, Lowes 10th.

Result top 5:

  1. Bautista ( Racing Ducati)
  2. Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Team)
  3. Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Team)
  4. Bassani (Motocorsa Racing Ducati)
  5. Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Ducati)

Championship top 3:

  1. Bautista – 87 pts
  2. Locatelli – 50
  3. Razgatlioglu – 43



Excited Iddon has high expectations for the 2023 British Superbike Season.

This evening, I caught up with British Superbike Championship contender Christian Iddon to see how he’s feeling as the countdown to Testing and Round 1 looms ever closer.

Iddon joins the Oxford Products Ducati team ran by Steve Moore’s Moto Rapido Racing outfit as they challenge for British Superbike Championship glory in 2023.

Christian Iddon – Image Oxford Products Racing Ducati

“I’m really excited for the season ahead. Back to the Ducati which I know really well and I’ve had success on in the past. I have really high expectations, that is clear! I really want to put everything that happened last year behind me. I just had one of those year where I feel I didn’t get the most out of the package and things just didn’t work out.”

“In 2022, I struggled with an injury and things just never fell my way. It’s not an excuse as the bike, although it wasn’t the best on the grid, it certainly had more potential than what I showed. I wish I’d been able to do that, but I wasn’t.”

Christian Iddon Buildbase Suzuki, Hawk Racing Team Picture courtesy of Christian Iddon

“So we start a fresh and go again! I am really positive about the year that’s coming up. We have some really exciting riders coming in to BSB and a few have left and I wouldn’t be racing if I didn’t think I could do a particular job,  and that’s the job in hand, the one I am aiming to do but it’s the same one I’ve been doing the whole time I’ve been racing.”

“This year I definitely believe I have the tools to do the job required. Although we’ve not been out yet, so far the Moto Rapido squad from what they have shown me, what I have seen of them is beyond impressive really. They’re probably one of the most technically advanced teams I’ve ever worked with, in any part of my racing career. That’s really exciting for me. I feel like I’m cut from a similar cloth, though I am clearly not as technically advanced as the team members but I’m on that trajectory shall we say? I’m on that similar wavelength, so I am really looking forward to that. It’s a slightly different way of working but it’s one that I think will suit me.”

Christian Iddon – Image Vision Track Ducati 2020-2021

“I just want to get the first test out of the way and spin those first few laps. It’s been a long time since I raced, or since I cocked a leg over a tarmac based bike anyway so I’m looking forward to getting out. I have high expectations but you never know, there’s a massively stacked field this year and I can only control the ‘controlables’ which is to just work on myself, as I always do and what will be, will be more or less. There are a lot of strong riders and packages out there this year, and hopefully we are the best of them. I guess we will find out at the end of the season.”

Christian had a year in the doldrums on the Buildbase Suzuki in 2022 and would be the first to say he didn’t live up to his own expectations with the Hawk squad. 2023 is about getting back to winning ways and returning home with even more silverware for the trophy cabinet. Christian seems determined that this year, nothing but the championship is expected! I for one wish him the very best of luck! #Lightning

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Round 1 WorldSBK, Phillip Island, Australia, Race 2

The earlier Superpole race saw Alvaro Bautista ( Racing Ducati) claim his second win of the weekend, followed by team mate Rinaldi, and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Team).

WorldSBK Philip Island Round 1 Race 2 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

Conditions were thankfully dry for the start of race 2, with an air temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, and track temperatures in the mid 30’s,  with the sun shining down on the track.

Lights out then for race 2 and it was Bautista with the hole shot into turn 1, followed by team mate Rinaldi, and the Yamahas of Locatelli and Toprak, with Bassani in 5th. Rea was again looking to make early in roads from his disappointing 7th place grid position, knowing that allowing Bautista any distance at the front would surely spell danger.

Next lap and positions were as follows: 1. Bautista 2. Rinaldi 3. Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Team) 4. Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati) 5. Rea 6. Toprak 7. Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 8. Lecuona (Honda HRC) 9. Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Ducati) 10. Oettl (Team GoEleven Ducati).

With 19 laps of 22 remaining, Bautista wasn’t in the mood to hang around, and was already working on extending his lead at the front. He now held a gap of 0.7s, with a group of 8 riders forming behind, the racing was much closer in the dry conditions.

Next lap, and it was first Rea to move through on Bassani into Doohan’s, followed by Toprak, the racing was heating up. Meanwhile out in front the two Ducatis were looking quick. Locatelli, 3rd, held a gap of 1.6s to Rea behind in 4th, while Lecuona, 8th, held a gap of 1.6s to Petrucci in 9th.

Next lap and rookie Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), who had been looking aggressive all weekend, tried to force a move up the inside of Petrucci into MG corner. However the Italian snapped back to hold his position.

With 15 laps remaining, Lowes got good drive down the straight and blasted past Toprak to take 5th. The Kawasaki team mates were now 4th and 5th. However disappointment again on the other Kawasaki for Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), who initially went into the pits, and then returned on track only to crash a few moments later. Not the return to racing that Sykes would have wanted.

Next lap and things were heating up with a 5 way battle for 4th between Rea, Lowes, Toprak, Bassani and Lecuona. Bassani in particular was looking aggressive, and made contact with Lecuona, tearing his wing off the fairing in the process.

With 13 laps to go, Lowes decided to make a move on his team mate, and dived through on Rea, holding the position. Meanwhile it was getting spicy between Bassani and Lecuona who once again collided, and this time gave Oetll the opportunity to come through into 7th, which he took with open arms.

Next lap, and at the front Bautista held a gap of 1.9s, and as he had all weekend, was looking comfortable. Meanwhile Toprak had come through on Lowes briefly, and Lowes returned the favour to retake 5th. Positions were now changing almost every corner, and it was reminiscent of a Moto3 race. Current positions were as follows: 1. Bautista 2. Rinaldi 3. Locatelli 4. Rea 5. Lowes 6. Toprak 7. Bassani 8. Oetll 9. Lecuona 10. Petrucci.

WorldSBK Philip Island Round 1 Race 2 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

With just over half race distance covered, Lowes again made a move on Rea into turn 1, powering up the inside and making the move stick. Meanwhile the constant battling of riders behind, had allowed the leading three riders to pull clear of the rest. Locatelli now held a gap of 3.4s to Lowes behind in 4th.

With 9 laps to go, Bassani used the top end speed of his Ducati to blast past Toprak down the straight and into turn 1 to take 6th. Meanwhile Rea had fought back to retake 4th ahead of his team mate, Lowes who dropped back into 5th. Further back, Aegerter again tried the same move on Petrucci into MG corner, and again the experienced Italian was able to defend his position. Further ahead Lowes wouldn’t be put off, and again passed Rea to retake 4th.

With 7 laps remaining it was quickly becoming a blow for blow scrap between Kawasaki team mates, Lowes and Rea and it was the former who would retake 4th, with Lowes back in 5th. Meanwhile further back there was a 3 way battle for 13th between Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), Vd Mark (BMW Motorrad) and Redding (BMW Motorrad).

Next lap and Bassani was showing good late race pace, and had got past both Kawasakis to end up 4th, Rea was in 5th. Then huge drama as Lowes lost the front end of his bike braking into turn 4, collecting an unsuspecting Toprak in the process, and sending them both down and out of the race. Toprak was clearly upset about that incident, which he obviously had no control of.

With 4 laps of 22 remaining, the three at the front would not be caught unless there was some incident. Positions were as follows: 1. Bautista 2. Rinaldi 3. Locatelli 4. Bassani 5. Rea 6. Oettl 7. Lecuona 8. Aegerter 9. Petrucci.

Next lap and Oetll had now passed Rea to take 5th, the German was having a fantastic weekend. Rea however was suffering from rear tyre grip, and was trying to hold off Lecuona who was now right behind him. The Honda has better drive out of turn 12, and it allowed Lecuona to blast past Rea into 6th. In front Bassani held a gap of 0.2s to Oettl in 5th. Meanwhile further back Gardner moved up into 11th, holding off the BMW factory team mates of Redding, and Vd Mark.

Last lap and Bautista made no mistake, crossing the line to take his 3rd win of the weekend, a clean sweep of wins. Rinaldi 2nd, Locatelli 3rd, Bassani 4th, Oettl 5th, Lecuona 6th, Aegerter 7th, Rea 8th, Petrucci 9th, Vierge 10th.

Result top 5:

  1. Bautista ( Racing Ducati)
  2. Rinaldi ( Racing Ducati)
  3. Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK Team)
  4. Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati)
  5. Oettl (Team GoEleven Ducati)

Championship top 3:

  1. Bautista – 62 pts
  2. Locatelli – 34
  3. Rea – 31

Round 1 WorldSBK, Phillip Island, Australia, Race 1

We ended last years season here in Phillip Island, with Alvaro Bautista                    ( Ducati) being crowned the champion. The paddock have returned to the Island for the start of the new 2023 season.

WorldSBK Philip Island Round 1 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

Superpole saw Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) claim top spot with an unbeaten time of 1:29.400, followed by Alvaro Bautista in 2nd, and former double SSP champion, and current SBK rookie, Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) in 3rd.

Conditions for race 1 were less than ideal compared to the earlier Superpole, with the rain coming in, the track was soaking wet, and the race was declared a wet race. Every rider opted for full wet tyres in the tricky conditions.

Lights out then for the first time this season, and it was Bautista quickest off the line with the hole shot into turn 1, followed by Rea (KRT Kawasaki), Toprak, Lowes (KRT Kawasaki), and Aegerter in 5th. Rea looked keen from the off, and made a decisive move on Bautista into MG, cutting up the inside of the reigning champion to take over the lead. Fellow KRT Kawasaki team mate Alex Lowes replied in kind by blazing around the outside of Toprak over Lukey Heights, and up into 3rd, Toprak 4th.

Next lap and positions were as follows: 1. Rea 2. Bautista 3. Lowes 4. Razgatlioglu 5. Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 6. Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati) 7. Aegerter 8. Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) 9. Lecuona (Honda HRC) 10. Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Ducati).

Drama then for the Dutchman Vd Mark (BMW Motorrad) who had a nasty looking high side into the Hay shed corner, his bike was mangled, and his start to the season was over. Meanwhile at the front Rea and Bautista were both checking out, and had already pulled out a decent lead.

With 20 laps of 22 remaining, it was Rea who set the fastest time in the tricky conditions with a new lap time of 1:42.5, and held a gap of 1.3s over Bautista behind in 2nd.

With 18 laps to go, Toprak struck back at Lowes, and blasted past the Kawasaki down the straight and into turn 1 to retake 3rd. The Yamaha R1 looking like it had extra grunt this season. Further back the former AMA rider, and MotoGP rider, Danilo Petrucci was having a decent start to his season, and was up into 9th. At the front Rea had extended his lead to 1.6s.

Next lap and Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad) moved through on rookie, and former MotoGP rider, Remi Gardner to move up into 10th. Back in the paddock once again, the former WorldSBK champion Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) had to retire due to a mechanical issue.

Lap 6 of 22, and Bautista was slowly finding his rhythm and was making inroads on the gap to Rea, the gap now cut to 0.9s.

With 14 laps to go, Bautista had now caught right up to Rea, with the gap only 0.6s. Toprak 3rd, Lowes 4th, Locatelli 5th, Bassani 6th.

Next lap and Bautista made his move on Rea into turn 3, Rea couldn’t respond and Bautista took over the lead. Rea however had been steadily losing time, and the commentator noted that he had been having to shut off the throttle on gear shifts, seemingly a problem with the quick shift, or automatic blipper. Bad news then for the Kawasaki team on their return to racing.

Half race distance, and Rea was fighting incredibly hard to stay in contact with Bautista, you could notice him ringing the throttle now, but the electronic issue was also affecting his traction. Positions were as follows: 1. Bautista 2. Rea 3. Toprak 4. Lowes 5. Locatelli 6. Bassani 7. Redding 8. Lecuona 9. Petrucci 10. Vierge (Honda HRC).

With 8 laps remaining it was drama for Alex Lowes who had a high speed crash into turn 2, and he was lucky to be able to walk away from it, however his race was over. Meanwhile further back it was the German, Oettl (Team Goeleven Ducati) 11th, Gardner 12th, Rinaldi ( Ducati) 13th, and Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) 14th.

With 6 laps to go Rea was still fighting with his bike, and trying to reduce a gap of 1.8s to Bautista in front.

WorldSBK Philip Island Round 1 Picture courtesy of WorldSBK

Next lap and Iker Lecuona moved through on Redding to take over 6th, Meanwhile after his fantastic superpole to start in 3rd, Aegerter was now all the way back in 13th, finding the conditions challenging.

On lap 20 of 22, and as he was for so much of last season, Bautista was firmly in control of the lead, and looked like he would have the win sealed up. Rea was behind in 2nd, with Toprak in 3rd.

Last lap and Bautista made no mistake and crossed the line to take the first win of the new season. Rea 2nd, Toprak 3rd, Locatelli 4th, Bassani 5th, Lecuona 6th, Vierge 7th, Petrucci 8th, Redding 9th, Gerloff 10th.

Result top 5:

  1. Bautista ( Ducati)
  2. Rea (KRT Kawasaki)
  3. Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK)
  4. Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK)
  5. Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati)

Championship top 3:

  1. Bautista – 25pts
  2. Rea – 20
  3. Razgatlioglu – 16


Mystic Motorsport

Mystic Motorsport – Predictions for Motorsport in 2023

Just as a psychic would say my senses are tingling as I read my mystic ball.

Andretti get entry for 2025

In 2022 season the Circuit of the Americas last corner was renamed after Mario Andretti the 1978 WDC Champion now more news for Andretti, it will be announced at COTA  or maybe Vegas that Andretti will enter Formula 1.

It will be an all American venture as they have said previously, and they will announce the following drivers, Colton Herta as a rookie, and Alexander Rossi will return to Formula 1 after his brief spell in late 2015 with Marussia. He does have history with Andretti in Indycar, the only year

Aston Martin fighting amongst themselves for the last points position in Hungary 2022. Image courtesy of Aston Martin Media

not with  the team he will drive with Autosport in the upcoming 2023. Their power unit is a temporary Renault deal as there were talks to have them In principal.  Renault always looks to increase their share in the team pool. General Motors have their own engine lined up or work with Honda for 2026 as they are also behind the deal, so could see a Red Bull/Honda unit going forward much like how it seems Audi are working with the Sauber team.

Ferrari win Le Mans Overall

Ferrari take it back to 1965, winning one of the World’s greatest races, for the first time in 58 years! Going back to the days of Ferrari vs Ford! An epic film if you haven’t yet watched it.
Ferrari have been at Le Mans throughout the years but have stepped back to the GT series with the AF Corse car in recent times. It would be quite fitting considering this years’ Le Mans marks its  centenary race, the 100th running of Le Mans in France. They now have the new 499P hypercar, fully expecting the likes of Antonio Fuoco, Alessandro Pier Guidi to be the drivers who was apart of the team as well as Antonio Giovinazzi, the reserve F1 driver to make up the team the main team. These will be the drivers to take victory.

They will also have a team made of non-Italians but they have raced with their GT cars such as the ever reliable James Calado but that will result in a non-finish, they will have success in other races throughout the WEC calendar.

Evans WRC Champion

Elfyn Evans over the last few years since joining Toyota from his previous team M-Sport Ford has always been the bridesmaid, never the bride, especially in 2020 and 2021 finishing second place. The sport dominated since 2004 by French drivers Sebastien Loeb and Ogier of late, only recent Ott Tanak and Kalle Rovanpera have changed that of late. It is now time that Evans to step up and becomes the first British driver to win the World Rally Champion since Richard Burns with the iconic Subaru Impreza in 2001.

Evans is great across all surfaces from the asphalt of Monaco, snow of Sweden to the traditional dirt of Kenya. He has victories in previous years and as rally is more known for consistency is key, as one mistake can end it all. He has a great relationship with co-driver Scott Martin who can lead him to success for 2023.

Hungarian GP Shake-Up

There has been talks over the last few years of bringing the MotoGP series to Hungary whether it be through the well-known Hungaroring or the new option considered Magyar Nemzetközi Motodrome only in rendered format designed by Herman Tilke currently.

This could possibly be announced for the MotoGP series when we hit the European rounds, and do see F1 possibly announcing when the contract ends at 2027 at Hungaroring that the tracks share the honour of holding the Grand Prix, rotating it, as Silverstone and Brands Hatch did from 1963 to 1986.

Just a few thoughts to put to the table! I can sense it!

McAMS Yamaha promote Tim Neave to British Superbikes for 2023

The latest news from the British Superbike paddock sees McAMS Yamaha announce the promotion of Tim Neave from National Superstock 1000 to British Superbikes for 2023.

After an injury riddled season aboard an R1 for the team in the National Superstock 1000 category which saw a broken pelvis ruin Neave’s season, McAMS have decided they had seen enough to warrant signing Neave into their superbike squad in the vacated seat of Tarran Mackenzie.

With Mackenzie, the former British Superbike Champion of 2021 having announced he is moving on to pastures new for 2023, this leaves the Fleetwood based squad in a position to take a chance on the young BSB rookie. Neave joins the team to learn and develop alongside current Yamaha Veteran rider, Jason O’Halloran.

Steve Rogers and Tim Neave – McAMS Yamaha

Neave said: “To get the call up to ride for McAMS Yamaha is a dream come true. When I signed to ride for the team last year, in the back of my mind I was thinking if I could do a really good job on the Superstock bike and a seat became available, it would be the dream but I didn’t think it would actually happen!

“Raceways are one of, if not the best teams in the paddock – they’ve certainly won more races than anyone else in recent years so I can’t think of a better team to step up into BSB with. I loved riding the R1 Superstock bike, it really suited me as a rider and from what Jason has told me, the Superbike has similar characteristics so I’m looking forward to getting out on it for the first time. BSB is one of the toughest classes in racing, but I’ll give it my everything to make sure this opportunity isn’t wasted on me.”

Team Owner Steve Rodgers commented: “When Tim joined the team to race the Superstock bike in 2022 we were all really impressed by him. Not only was he super quick straightaway, but his attitude and the way he went about things meant that he fit in to the team immediately. There’s no doubt had the Knockhill accident, which wasn’t his fault, not occurred, he’d have continued to fight for the Superstock title.

“When he was fit, he was super-fast on the R1 and the Superstock bike has a lot of similarities to the Superbike, including the fact that we couldn’t run any traction control on the stocker, so the jump isn’t as big as it is with some other manufacturers. There’s still a lot to learn, but we are confident he’ll pick it up and look forward to seeing what he can achieve.”

Tim Neave – McAMS Yamaha
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