Moto GP: Marquez closes out season with 13th win of 2014

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Two-time Moto GP world champion Marc Marquez has finished his record-breaking season in style at the Valencia Grand Prix by winning for the 13th time in 2014.

Since making his premier motorcycle class debut at the beginning of 2013, Marquez has rewritten a number of records, and was crowned world champion for a second time last month in Japan.

On home soil today, Marquez clinched his 13th win of the year, breaking Mick Doohan’s record for the most number of wins in a single season.

Despite starting the race from fifth place on the grid, Marquez managed to move into the lead on lap 11 ahead of pole-sitter Valentino Rossi, and in spite of light rain falling, the Spaniard was able to hang on and cross the line 3.5 seconds ahead of the field.

Jorge Lorenzo’s streak of podium finishes came to an end at Valencia when he made the switch to a wet bike in reaction to the rain, and ultimately failed to finish the race.

Marquez’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, completed the podium ahead of Andrea Dovizioso, who in fourth gave Ducati a good end to a difficult year. In his final race for the Italian marque, British rider Cal Crutchlow finished the race in fifth place.

After finishing second today, Rossi second the runner-up spot in the riders’ championship behind Marquez, with Lorenzo finishing third for Yamaha ahead of Pedrosa and Dovizioso.

American rider Nicky Hayden finished the race in 13th place, ranking 16th in the end of year standings.

IndyCar’s season finale at St. Pete approved to have 20,000 fans

IndyCar St. Pete fans
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ season finale will be permitted up to 20,000 fans, making the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg possibly the circuit’s most well-attended race of 2020. The race originally was scheduled as the season opener before being moved to Oct. 25 because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

IndyCar has enjoyed limited crowds at Road America, Iowa Speedway, Gateway, Mid-Ohio and this weekend’s doubleheader races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, which could have up to 10,000 fans in attendance. That had been the largest maximum grandstand crowd for an IndyCar race this season.

At a St. Petersburg city council meeting Thursday, Mayor Rick Kriseman approved plans by race organizers Green Savoree Racing Promotions to hold the Oct. 23-25 weekend for the IndyCar Grand Prix of St. Pete with 20,000 fans who would follow health and safety protocols that include mandatory temperature checks and masks.

 “My thanks to Green Savoree Racing Promotions and IndyCar for their flexibility and resilience during this challenging time,” Kriseman said in a release. “I know that everyone is excited to get back on the track in St. Pete. I can’t wait for Oct. 23rd. I know everyone will embrace this race the St. Pete way, adhering to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Let’s have some great racing in the Sunshine City.”

Paddock and the pit lane will remain closed to spectators, and social distancing of at least 6 feet will be observed on site.

“Our entire team greatly appreciates the patience and understanding of our ticket holders as we worked through this process with Mayor Kriseman, City Council and local health officials,” Kim Green, co-owner, chairman and CEO of Green Savoree Promotions. “It’s important for everyone who attends to read and follow all the COVID-19 protocols to contribute to a fun, safe and successful event for us all.”

“The ongoing guidance and support of Mayor Kriseman, City Council, and the City of St. Petersburg’s event team have been phenomenal,” said Kevin Savoree, co-owner, president and COO of Green Savoree Promotions. “We also would not be in this position to move this spring tradition to fall without Firestone’s unwavering commitment and dedication. It’s going to be a terrific weekend again in downtown St. Pete in three weeks featuring world-class racing from INDYCAR.”