Du­cati fin­ishes Mo­toGP sea­son on a high note

THE MO­TOR­SPORT LAP/ Sea­son fi­nale also brings first pre­mier class podium for KTM

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS -

Du­cati’s An­drea Dovizioso tamed a rainy race­track in a dra­matic two-part race to clinch the Mo­toGP sea­son fi­nale at Spain’s Va­len­cia cir­cuit on Sun­day.

The Ital­ian rider twice passed Suzuki’s Alex Rins, the long­time leader, be­fore and after a 40-minute red-flag stop­page to take his fourth win of 2018.

Mul­ti­ple cham­pion Valentino Rossi crashed five laps from the end of the restarted race, hand­ing Suzuki’s Alex Rins se­cond place, while Pol Es­par­garo was third to give KTM their first podium in the pre­mier class.

Rossi still took third place in the cham­pi­onship ahead of Yamaha team-mate and pole­sit­ter Mav­er­ick Vi­nales, who was one of sev­eral riders to crash out in the slip­pery con­di­tions. Marc Mar­quez, who won his fifth world ti­tle with three races to spare in Ja­pan in Oc­to­ber, crashed out with 21 laps to go after start­ing fifth.

The red flags were out on lap 15, and the race or­der was rolled back to lap 13. Spaniard Rins held the lead off the line, but Dovizioso passed him on the next lap, be­fore pulling away to take the che­quered flag.

Vet­eran rider Dani Pedrosa took fifth place for Honda in his fi­nal Mo­toGP race.

In a great day for KTM, the Aus­trian man­u­fac­turer also won the Moto2 and Moto3 classes in wet con­di­tions. Miguel Oliviera won the Moto2 race, with his South African team-mate Brad Binder crash­ing out. Binder, how­ever. re­tained his third place in the cham­pi­onship

His­tory was made in the en­try-level Moto3 class when 15-year-old Turk­ish wild card rider Can Oncu took vic­tory on his de­but. He be­come the first rider to win on his first world cham­pi­onship out­ing since Noburu Ueda in the 125cc Ja­pa­nese Grand Prix in 1991.


Teenage Ger­man For­mula Three driver Sophia Flo­er­sch, 17, has had suc­cess­ful surgery with “no fear of paralysis” after a dra­matic crash at Sun­day’s Ma­cau Grand Prix, her team said on Mon­day.

She suf­fered a spinal frac­ture at the street cir­cuit after her car cat­a­pulted off the track and into a pho­tog­ra­phers’ bunker while trav­el­ling at 275km/h.

“Every­thing is work­ing and is in or­der,” team boss Frits Van Amers­foort told the BBC. “We are ex­tremely happy that she is now re­cov­er­ing and that every­thing went well. There’s no fear of paralysis what­so­ever.”

Ja­pa­nese driver Sho Tsuboi, who Flo­er­sch hit be­fore fly­ing through the catch fenc­ing, was also taken to hos­pi­tal com­plain­ing of back pain, and was dis­charged after treat­ment.

Crashes are fre­quent at the Ma­cau Grand Prix which this year, in its 65th edi­tion, hosted six car and mo­tor­cy­cle races on the 6.2km Guia Cir­cuit.

In 2017, British mo­tor­cy­clist Daniel He­garty died after hit­ting the safety bar­rier dur­ing a race, the eighth rider to have lost his life on the cir­cuit since 1973.


France’s Se­bastien Ogier won his sixth con­sec­u­tive world rally cham­pi­onship ti­tle when his two re­main­ing ri­vals failed to fin­ish stages at the sea­son-end­ing Rally Aus­tralia on Sun­day.

The Ford driver’s near­est ri­val Thierry Neuville of Bel­gium, who came into the rally three points be­hind Ogier in the ti­tle race, was forced to re­tire from stage 22 after tear­ing the left wheel off his Hyundai.

Toy­ota’s overnight leader Ott Tanak had a math­e­mat­i­cal chance of tak­ing the ti­tle but the Es­to­nian’s chances were scup­pered when he slid off a slip­pery gravel track and hit a tree in the penul­ti­mate stage.

Ogier’s fifth place in the rally meant he ended the sea­son with 219 points, 18 clear of Neuville (201) with Tanak third on 181.

Finn Jari-Matti Lat­vala won the rally by 32.5 sec­onds from New Zealand’s Hay­den Pad­don for his first vic­tory since the Rally Swe­den at the start of last sea­son. Lat­vala’s win helped his Toy­ota Ga­zoo team se­cure the man­u­fac­tur­ers’ cham­pi­onship with 368 points to Hyundai’s 341, a first suc­cess for the Ja­pa­nese mar­que since 1999.

Ogier, whose ti­tle was a 14th in a row for France after Se­bastien Loeb’s nine straight from 2004, will be leav­ing Ford and re­join­ing Citroen.


East Lon­don will once again re­ver­ber­ate with the sounds and smells of Grand Prix cars when the South African His­toric Grand Prix Fes­ti­val be­gins on Satur­day and Sun­day. But it won’t just be pre-war vin­tage cars that will be cel­e­brat­ing the fes­tiv­i­ties of over 84 years of mo­tor­sport at this his­toric site.

Over 80 en­tries have al­ready been re­ceived for the full race week­end in­clud­ing sin­gle seaters from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s to some of the wild for­mula cars of the ’80s and ’90s.

On De­cem­ber 1 and 2 the fes­ti­val moves to the Val de Vie Lux­ury Es­tate in Cape Town for a Grand Prix Gar­den Party, where the pub­lic will be able to in­ter­act with the cars. A dis­play of the pre-war grand prix cars will be on dis­play along with a col­lec­tion of about 150 of SA’s best col­lec­tor and clas­sic cars.

More fes­ti­val de­tails and tick­ets are avail­able on www.sahis­toricgp.com

Du­cati Team’s An­drea Dovizioso cel­e­brates win­ning the race.

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