IndyCar: Chevy captures doubleheader podium sweep in Toronto

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TORONTO – The Verizon IndyCar Series races in Toronto this weekend were called the Honda Indy Toronto.

The winners, though, rocked the Chevrolet bowtie.

Chevrolet took five of six podium positions on home soil in Detroit, as part of that doubleheader weekend and an overall weekend of dominance across IndyCar, Pirelli World Challenge and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

At Houston, Honda regained the advantage with five of the six podium positions there.

But it was back to Chevrolet holding the edge in Toronto, with a full podium lockout. All six podium finishers – race one podium Sebastien Bourdais, Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan and the race two podium of Mike Conway, Kanaan and Will Power – drove for Chevrolet-powered teams.

Chevrolet had the IndyCar Manufacturer’s Championship lead heading into the weekend and the double-double in T.O. – not the Tim Horton’s but the actual on-track variety – will go far to help Chevrolet capture another title since its return to INDYCAR in 2012.

“Weekends like this are cherished for their rarity.” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, Verizon IndyCar Series. “Chevrolet is proud to partner with and provide the power to all of our Team Chevy organizations. We leave Toronto with a full head of steam and look forward to Mid-Ohio on August 3rd.”

Added Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President Performance Vehicle and Motorsports, “It was an exciting weekend for Chevrolet on the Streets of Toronto to capture four of the top-five finishing positions in Race One, and the top-four in Race Two,” Campbell concluded. “The credit for the results goes to the drivers and the teams In addition, all four of the Chevrolet partner race organizations – KVSH Racing, Ed Carpenter Racing, Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing – contributed valuable manufacturer points in both races.”

Through 14 of 18 races, Chevrolet has eight IndyCar race wins this year to Honda’s six.

Miguel Oliveira wins MotoGP Thai Grand Prix, Bagnaia closes to two points in championship

MotoGP Thai Grand Prix
Mirco Lazzari / Getty Images
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Miguel Oliveira mastered mixed conditions on the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand to win the MotoGP Thai Grand Prix. Oliveira showed the adaptability as he navigated a race that began in wet conditions and turned dry over the course of the race. Oliveira won the Indonesian GP in similar conditions.

“It was a long race, but I can’t complain,” Oliveira said on CNBC. “Every time we get to ride in the wet, I’m always super-fast. When it started raining, I had flashbacks of Indonesia. I tried to keep my feet on the ground, make a good start and not make mistakes and carry the bike to the end.”

All eyes were on the championship, however. Francesco Bagnaia got a great start to slot into second in Turn 1.

Meanwhile Fabio Quartararo had a disastrous first lap. He lost five positions in the first couple of turns and then rode over the rumble strips and fell back to 17th. At the end of the first lap, Bagnaia had the points’ lead by two. A win would have added to the gain and for a moment, it appeared Bagnaia might assume the lead.

Early leader Marco Bezzecchi was penalized for exceeding track limits, but before that happened, Jack Miller got around Bagnaia and pushed him back to third. Oliveira was not far behind.

After throwing away ninth-place and seven points on the last lap of the Japanese GP last week, Bagnaia did not allow the competition to press him into a mistake. He fell back as far as fourth before retaking the final position on the podium.

“It’s like a win for me, this podium,” Bagnaia. “My first podium in the wet and then there was a mix of conditions, so I’m very happy. I want to thank Jack Miller. Before the race, he gave me a motivational chat.”

Miller led the first half of the Thai Grand Prix before giving up the top spot to Oliveira and then held on to finish second. Coupled with his Japanese GP win, Miller is now fully in the MotoGP championship battle with a 40-point deficit, but he will need a string of results like Bagnaia has put together in recent weeks – and he needs Bagnaia to lose momentum.

Miller’s home Grand Prix in Australia is next up on the calendar in two weeks.

Bagnaia entered the race 18 points behind Quartararo after he failed to score any in Japan. The balance of power has rapidly shifted, however, with Quartararo now failing to earn points in two of the last three rounds. Bagnaia won four consecutive races and finished second in the five races leading up to Japan. His third-place finish in Thailand is now his sixth MotoGP podium in the last seven rounds.

Aleix Espargaro entered the race third in the standings with a 25-point deficit to Quartararo, but was able to close the gap by only five after getting hit with a long-lap penalty for aggressive riding when he pushed Darryn Binder off course during a pass for position. Espargaro finished 11th.

Rain mixed up the Moto2 running order in the MotoGP Thai Grand Prix as well. Starting on a wet track, Somkiat Chantra led the opening lap in his home Grand Prix. He could not hold onto it and crashed one circuit later, but still gave his countrymen a moment of pride by winning the pole.

Half points were awarded as the race went only eight laps before Tony Arbolino crossed under the checkers first with Filip Salac and Aron Canet rounding out the podium.

American Joe Roberts earned another top-10 in eighth with Sean Dylan Kelly finishing just outside the top 10 in 11th.