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.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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