Open-wheel notes: Latorre confirmed in Pro Mazda, other Indy/track tidbits

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Several news items related to the Verizon IndyCar Series or Mazda Road to Indy have come in rapid succession this morning. Here’s a quick run through of them:

LATORRE CONFIRMED FOR CAPE IN PRO MAZDA

Florian Latorre will follow the same path as Scott Hargrove in 2015. The Frenchman will emulate the Canadian in moving up from USF2000 into Pro Mazda with the same team, Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing.

Latorre, who turns 18 in April, replaces Hargrove for the 2015 season. He’ll team with the previously announced Daniel Burkett, and drive the No. 3 entry featuring MAZDASPEED signage and support.

“I signed with Cape Motorsports because this is a team with whom I had a great year with in USF2000,” Latorre said. “They are very professional in their work, and they are very competent. I love working with them always in the pursuit of excellence and perfection to win. In 2015, I have the goal of winning the Pro Mazda Championship, and I know that is possible with Cape Motorsports.”

TIMOTHY PLAN INVESTS IN JONATHAN BYRD RACING

One of the rare Indianapolis 500-only entries already confirmed for 2015 has a quick bit of news out. Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, which is running Bryan Clauson in conjunction with Indianapolis 500 Champion team KVSH Racing, has announced a partnership with the Timothy Plan Family of Mutual Funds as Jonathan Byrd’s Racing’s investment vehicle of choice.

This is a renewed relationship with the Jonathan Byrd’s Racing team, as the Timothy Plan first appeared on the team’s IndyCars in the late 1990s.

HONDA INDY, TORONTO STAR ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP

Organizers of the Honda Indy Toronto today announced a new three-year sponsorship agreement with the Toronto Star that will see Canada’s largest daily as the official newspaper partner for the event through 2017.

Noteworthy here isn’t so much the sponsorship agreement as the length. Toronto is moving dates for the 2015 season from its usual July date up to June, per the Pan-Am Games. But the confirmation of a three-year sponsorship agreement is good news as it confirms the length of the event beyond 2015, given the one-year date adjustment.

MotoGP points leader Fabio Quartararo scores third win of season

MotoGP Fabio Quartararo
LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images
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Fabio Quartararo won the Catalan Grand Prix, recapturing the MotoGP points lead and his championship momentum Sunday with his third victory of the season.

Quartararo, who opened the season with his first two career victories in the premier series, took his first checkered flag in two months by winning at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya aboard his Petronas Yamaha SRT.

The French rider opened an eight-point lead (108-100) over Joan Mir, who finished second Sunday. Alex Rins was third.

After winning the previous race, Maverick Vinales slipped to 18 points behind Quartararo after a ninth-place finish.

Andrea Dovizioso was the points leader entering the race but crashed his Ducati in the second turn and placed last. Dovizioso fell three spots to fourth in the championship rankings, 24 points behind Fabio Quartararo in MotoGP.