Getty Images

Vinales takes third MotoGP win in Argentina as Marquez crashes out

Leave a comment

Maverick Viñales continued his perfect start to life with Yamaha in the 2017 MotoGP season by taking his second straight victory – and the third of his career – in Sunday’s race in Argentina.

Viñales took a stunning victory on his Yamaha debut in Qatar two weeks ago, but looked set to struggle in Argentina as Honda’s Marc Marquez set the pace in qualifying, taking his fourth straight pole at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo.

Marquez made a clean getaway from pole to lead the early part of the race from LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, only to crash out at Turn 2 on Lap 3 when pulling away from the field at over two seconds per lap.

This mistake handed Viñales a lead that he would not relinquish, cruising to his second win of the year by 2.9 seconds to give himself a perfect score of 50 from the opening two rounds.

Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi battled through to finish second, passing Crutchlow late on to complete a one-two for the Japanese manufacturer, leaving the Briton to complete the podium in third place.

Alvaro Bautista scored a huge result for the satellite Pull and Bear Aspar Ducati team, finishing fourth ahead of rookies Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger in P5 and P6.

Danilo Petrucci ended up seventh for Octo Pramac Racing ahead of teammate Scott Redding, while Jack Miller and Karel Abraham rounded out the top 10 positions.

To compound matters for Honda, Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa also crashed out of the race while running inside the top five, while Jorge Lorenzo’s rough start to life with Ducati continue has he fell at the first corner, ending a rough weekend at the first corner.

MotoGP returns in two weeks’ time at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas for the sole U.S. round of the 2017 season.

MotoGP Argentine Grand Prix – Full Results

Pippa Mann returns to Dale Coyne Racing for seventh Indianapolis 500 bid

Photo courtesy Dale Coyne Racing
Leave a comment

Pippa Mann announced Tuesday that she plans to drive in her seventh Indianapolis 500 on May 27.

The native of Ipswich, England will once again return to race for Dale Coyne Racing, with new sponsorship by Donate Life Indiana.

She had previously been sponsored the last four years in the 500 by the Susan G. Komen organization. She’ll continue to carry logos of that organization on the front wing of her car in the 500, Mann said.

Mann, 34, has raced six times in the 500, with a best finish being 17th in last year’s race.

Mann will fill out the four-car Dale Coyne Racing field for the Greatest Spectacle In Racing. She’ll be teammates with Sebastien Bourdais (No. 18 Team SealMaster Honda in a partnership with Vasser-Sullivan), Pietro Fittipaldi (No. 19 The Paysafe Car Honda) and Conor Daly (No. 17 U.S. Air Force Honda in a partnership with Thom Burns Racing).

Mann will make her first practice laps for this year’s 500 on Tuesday, May 15. Qualifying is May 19-20.

Mann’s No. 63 Honda will have a significantly different look than in the last few years. Instead of pink, her car will feature a silvery blue and light green paint scheme wrapped around a Donate Life Indiana logo.

“I am honored to have been asked to drive the Donate Life car this May and to partner with Donate Life Indiana as an ambassador to raise awareness on our mission to help reach even more Hoosiers through our education efforts,” Mann said in a media release. “This is obviously a campaign with a pretty deep personal meaning for me, and I am humbled to have the opportunity to join the racers carrying this cause forward.

“I also want to thank Dale and Gail Coyne for once again giving me this opportunity to pilot one of their entries this May. This will be my sixth year with Dale Coyne Racing and I’m truly grateful that they allow me to do this every year.”

Mann will also serve as a spokesperson for the organization and to raise awareness for youth education initiatives in Indiana, most notably organ, tissue and eye donor registration.

In addition to her driving duties in the 102nd running of the 500, Mann will also visit schools across the Hoosier State to speak about the importance of organ donation and transplantation.

“Our education team is committed to partnering with Pippa and students and teachers across the state to bring the message of organ donation and transplantation to as many students as possible,” said Steve Johnson, board chairman for Donate Life Indiana.

Follow @JerryBonkowski