Moto GP: Marc Marquez wins world championship in Japan

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Spain’s Marc Marquez has won his second Moto GP world championship in Japan today.

The 21-year-old has set the motorcycle racing world alight since making his premier class debut at the beginning of 2013, in a season that saw him become the first rookie to win the world title since Kenny Roberts back in 1978.

In 2014, Marquez has gone from strength to strength, winning all of the first ten races of the year. Although he was unable to keep his hopes of a perfect season going, he has done enough to win the championship with three races remaining.

Marquez started the race from fourth place in Japan, and although he could not beat compatriot Jorge Lorenzo to the race win, in second place, he scored the required points to secure the title. Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi finished third.

For Marquez, the victory was made all the sweeter by the fact that it came at the home race for his team, Honda, at Motegi in Japan.

“It was hard to overtake and I didn’t want a mistake,” Marquez said. “I had two mistakes in the last races but we got the title! It’s incredible to take it at home. Thanks to my family and Honda.

“Just two years in Moto GP with two titles is incredible. Maybe for the people it looks easy because I’m always smiling, but there is a lot of pressure. Misano and Aragon we made some mistakes so it was important to focus here for Honda. I’m really happy with my team and family and fans, they’re all pushing me. It’s like a dream right now.”

With three races remaining, Marquez will be hoping to add to his haul of 11 wins in 2014 as he plots to secure a hat-trick of titles next season.

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.