Marco Simoncelli inducted into Moto GP Hall of Fame

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The late Marco Simoncelli has been posthumously inducted into the Moto GP Legends Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Mugello today, ahead of this weekend’s round at the Italian circuit.

Simoncelli was one of Moto GP’s brightest talents, winning the supporting 250cc class in 2008. He stepped up to the premier series in 2010, and enjoyed a fine¬†debut season, scoring points in all but two races.

In 2011, he scored his first pole position and podium finish in Moto GP. He followed up his maiden top three finish in the Czech Republic with second place at the Australian round at Phillip Island, in what would turn out to be his final race.

At Sepang, Simoncelli was involved in an accident that would ultimately claim his life, such was the severity of the injuries suffered. He was 24 years old.

Now, Moto GP has honored the Italian racer by inducting him into the sport’s hall of fame. It was formally confirmed at Mugello circuit today in a ceremony attended by Marco’s father, Paolo.

After such a bright career was cruelly cut short, this is a touching tribute by Moto GP. It follows in the footsteps of the Misano circuit in Italy, which renamed itself “Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli” in the wake of the accident.

Simoncelli’s legacy continues to be felt in the motorcycle racing world, and he will forever be a part of its history.

Williams confirms Kubica and Sirotkin for Abu Dhabi F1 test

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Williams has confirmed that Robert Kubica will enjoy his third Formula 1 test outing with the team at the end-of-season running in Abu Dhabi next week as rumors grow regarding a possible race seat for 2018.

Almost seven years after his last F1 start, Kubica’s remarkable return from severe injuries sustained in a rally accident saw him enjoy two private tests with Renault before completing running with the team in a 2017-spec car in Hungary over the summer.

Reservations over Kubica’s capabilities prompted Renault to pass on giving him a seat, instead opting to hire Carlos Sainz Jr. for next year, only for Williams to become an alternative for the Pole.

Kubica tested a 2014-spec Williams at both Silverstone and the Hungaroring in recent months, and will now sample a 2017 car when he tests at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kubica will share track time with regular Williams racer Lance Stroll and Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin, who has worked with Renault over the past two years but also missed out on a 2018 seat.

“Williams Martini Racing is pleased to confirm it will run Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin for the Abu Dhabi Pirelli tire test, alongside current race driver Lance Stroll,” a statement from the team reads.

“The Pirelli tire test will take place over two days at the Yas Marina circuit during the week following the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“On day one Robert Kubica will drive the FW40 in the morning session, before Lance Stroll takes over in the afternoon.

“On day two Sergey Sirotkin will drive in the morning and afternoon sessions before handing over to Robert in the late afternoon.

“The test is aimed at evaluating 2018 candidate tires on behalf of the Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli.

“Williams is excited to have this opportunity to assess the new tyres across such an interesting range of drivers: Lance, as confirmed race driver for 2018, Robert with his huge experience, and Sergey as a very promising young talent in Formula 1.”

Williams denied earlier this week it has signed Kubica to partner Stroll for 2018, but indications are the deal looks very likely to go ahead, subject to the relevant paperwork and contracts being finalized.