Moto GP: The streak is over – Marquez finishes fourth as Dani Pedrosa wins at Brno

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Marc Marquez’s incredible winning streak in Moto GP has come to an end today in the Czech Republic as Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa stopped the Spanish sensation from making it eleven-in-a-row at Brno.

Marquez has set the motorcycle racing world alight since making his Moto GP debut at the beginning of last season. He became the youngest ever world champion in 2013, and was the first rookie since Kenny Roberts in 1978 to the win the premier title.

He is poised to go back-to-back in 2014 after winning all of the first ten races, but his hopes of a perfect season went up in smoke today at Brno as he was forced to settle for fourth place come the checkered flag.

After starting from pole, Marquez made a poor start to drop to sixth as Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo took the lead of the race from Pedrosa. Valentino Rossi slotted into third, but fell behind Marquez when the Spaniard began to fight back.

However, the 21-year-old struggled with the setup on his bike, meaning that he could not hold Rossi back. For the first time in his Moto GP career, he finished a race off the podium in fourth place.

At the front, Pedrosa managed to find a way past Lorenzo on lap six before fending the Yamaha rider off to claim the victory. At the line, the gap between the two riders was just four-tenths of a second.

This race may have seen Marquez’s hopes of a perfect season come to an end, but the Spaniard’s achievements cannot be understated. Winning all eighteen races was always going to be a near impossible task, so to have completed ten-in-a-row is still something to be incredibly proud of. The Honda rider will now be hoping to wrap up the championship as soon as possible.

Moto GP returns in two weeks’ time at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”