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Marquez leaves it late to score Misano MotoGP victory

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Marc Marquez left it late to secure his fourth victory of the 2017 MotoGP season and move back into the lead of the riders’ championship on countback, passing Danilo Petrucci on the final lap of the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano on Sunday.

Starting third after crashing out of qualifying on Saturday, Marquez made a good getaway to sit second early on behind Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo, who vaulted up the order on a wet circuit.

Marquez slipped behind Octo Pramac Ducati rider Petrucci in the early stages as he struggled in the spray, but moved back up to second when Lorenzo high-sided and was thrown from his bike.

Petrucci led a close train including Marquez and points leader Andrea Dovizioso, with the trio being covered by just a couple of seconds for much of the race.

Marquez looked uncomfortable as he worked to keep up with Petrucci, informing his Repsol Honda team to ready a dry setup bike with different brakes despite conditions still being damp.

Petrucci and Marquez dropped Dovizioso heading into the final few laps, with the Spaniard closing in on the leader heading onto the final lap.

Marquez lined up a move on the main straight on the final lap, passing into Turn 1 before defending well and pulling clear, posting the fastest lap of the race en route to the checkered flag.

The result sees Marquez move back into the lead of the riders’ championship with five races to go, tied with Dovizioso on 199 points but ahead by virtue of having more second-place finishes than the Italian.

Petrucci took P2 to mark his fourth MotoGP podium, but was left disappointed after coming within a lap of his maiden victory in the premier class of motorcycle racing.

Pole sitter Maverick Viñales failed to recover from a poor start, finishing fourth on the sole Yamaha factory bike ahead of Michele Pirro and Jack Miller.

British racer Scott Redding took P7 ahead of Alex Rins and Jonas Folger, while Bradley Smith completed the top 10 positions, having gained places after Johann Zarco slowed on the final lap, ultimately pushing his bike across the line.

MotoGP returns at Motorland Aragon in two weeks’ time before embarking on its final flyaways of the season.

Pirelli reveals new super-hard, hyper-soft F1 tires in Abu Dhabi

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Pirelli has confirmed it will add two new tires to its range for the 2018 Formula 1 season, launching the ‘super-hard’ and ‘hyper-soft’ compounds in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Pirelli currently makes three of its five dry compounds available to teams for each race weekend, and despite varying selections across the course of the season has struggled to offer much in terms of strategy options, with one-stop races being the norm.

The hope is that the addition of two new tire compounds and a re-alignment of their durability will offer teams more choices in races.

Pirelli confirmed plans to introduce a new softest tire below the current ultra-soft earlier this month, inviting fans to pick a name.

The pink-colored compound will be known as the ‘hyper-soft’ from next year, with the arrival of a new ‘super-hard’ (colored ‘ice blue’) also being confirmed at a launch event in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

“Compared to this year, when the tires grew by 25% to fit a brand-new generation of cars, the changes for next year are less far-reaching,” Pirelli head of car racing Mario Isola said.

“However, we’re pleased to present some important innovations with softer and faster compounds across the range: including the new hypersoft.

“We realized that, under the unique circumstances of this year, some of our 2017 compounds were perhaps conservative: the tires we have created for 2018 addresses this, in line with the objective of having around two pit stops at most races.

“However, the fundamental design concept of the tires hasn’t changed next year, preserving the attributes that all drivers have appreciated this year and allowing them to push hard from the start to the finish of each stint.

“The new range consists of faster tires that should lead to even harder and more spectacular racing in 2018.”

Besides the seven dry compounds made available, there will be the two rain tires – wet and intermediate – taking it to a total of nine for the 2018 season.