Honda MotoGP rider Spanish Marquez celebrates on podium after becoming the youngest MotoGP world champion at the end of the Valencia Motorcycle Grand Pri in Cheste

Marc Marquez becomes youngest ever Moto GP world champion


Marc Marquez has become the youngest world champion in the history of Moto GP after clinching the title at his first attempt in the final round of the 2013 season in Spain today.

Marquez only made his debut in the premier class of motorcycle racing at the beginning of the season after winning support class, Moto 2, last year. Despite being just twenty years old, the Spaniard was taken on by the factory Honda team for 2013 alongside compatriot Dani Pedrosa.

Marquez immediately proved his worth though, winning just his second Moto GP race at the Grand Prix of the Americas held in Austin, Texas, back in April. The Spaniard also won the other two races held in the United States at Laguna Seca and Indianapolis which comprised part of a four-race win streak that put him in control of the championship.

With three rounds to go, Marquez was in a position to seal the championship but a mix-up in the pits meant that he was disqualified, allowing championship rival Jorge Lorenzo to inflict maximum damage on the Honda rider. Lorenzo won again at the penultimate round in Japan to take the championship to the final race in Spain, and despite the Yamaha rider claiming a third consecutive win in Valencia, Marquez finished third to clinch the title by just four points.

Marquez becomes the first rookie champion in Moto GP since Kenny Roberts back in 1978. At the age of just twenty, he also becomes the youngest ever 500cc world champion. Marquez became the youngest ever winner of a premier class race at the Circuit of the Americas earlier this season as well as becoming the youngest pole-sitter at that race.

As the riders and teams look ahead to 2014, all eyes will be on Marquez to see if he can repeat this incredible form and begin to create a legacy in Moto GP despite his relative infancy.

Ecclestone has ‘no doubts’ Monza will remain on F1 calendar

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MILAN (AP) Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone is confident the Italian Grand Prix in Monza can find the needed cash to stay on the calendar.

Ecclestone tells the Gazzetta dello Sport, “We will find the right solution – I no longer have doubts – to provide a future for the Italian GP.”

No circuit has hosted more F1 racing than Monza, but officials at the track outside Milan have had trouble producing the estimated 25 million euros ($26.6 million) per year that Ecclestone seeks to keep the race in place after the current contract expires next year.

Ecclstone says, “Things have been cleared up and there is only one go between, (Angelo) Sticchi Damiani, the president of the Italian Automobile Club.”

The Italian GP next year is scheduled for Sept. 4.

Alternative engine solution rejected by F1 Commission

Nico Rosberg

Plans to introduce a new alternative, cheaper engine into Formula 1 for 2017 – hypothetically a 2.2-liter V6 similar to what is seen in IndyCar – will at least temporarily go on the backburner.

The F1 Commission has rejected the so called “alternative engine solution,” where several companies submitted proposals to be that alternative supplier.

“The F1 Commission voted not to pursue this option at this stage — however, it may be reassessed after the Power Unit manufacturers have presented their proposal to the Strategy Group,” the FIA said on Wednesday.

“The parties involved have agreed on a course to address several key areas relating to Power Unit supply in Formula One,” the statement added.

Meanwhile the statement outlined four things the current manufacturers – Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda – would be tasked with improving on the current 1.6-liter formula:

Those are:

  • a guarantee of supply to teams
  • the need to reduce the engines’ cost
  • simplification of the specification
  • “improved noise”

Further meetings between the manufacturers and the governing body are scheduled, including one this weekend at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season finale.

As F1 heads into the final weekend of the season, political/paddock items such as Red Bull and Toro Rosso’s respective power unit futures, whether Renault’s takeover of Lotus will finally become official and what will happen with Manor’s team leadership stake – this marks Graeme Lowdon and John Booth’s final weekends although ex-McLaren man Dave Ryan has been hired as the team’s new racing director – are among the talking points.

Stoffel Vandoorne’s Super Formula test hampered by engine woes

Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne
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You couldn’t make this stuff up.

Dominant GP2 Series champion Stoffel Vandoorne had his first go in a Super Formula car at Suzuka on Wednesday, but the engine woes that have hampered his Formula 1 team’s efforts (McLaren) all season appear to be equal opportunity woes.

Vandoorne only completed a limited day of running due to technical issues; naturally, and in an unfortunate coincidence, the Super Formula cars also have Honda power.

The Belgian is now en route from Japan to Abu Dhabi, where this weekend’s final round of the GP2 season will be held alongside the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

FIA Formula E to remain at Battersea Park following vote

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Wandsworth Council’s Community Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee voted seven to four late Tuesday night, in favor of retaining the FIA Formula E event in Battersea Park.

This will see the London ePrix – the season finale for the electric open-wheel championship – continue at the site for at least the next two seasons.

The 2016 race will run July 2-3, to avoid a direct head-to-head clash with the British Grand Prix a week later in Silverstone.

Battersea Park’s race faced local opposition in recent weeks, which put the race under threat.