Simona de Silvestro completes Formula E show run in Geneva

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Simona de Silvestro took to the streets of Geneva today in a Formula E car as part of a promotional event for watch company Tag Heuer.

De Silvestro spent four years in IndyCar before setting her sights on a race seat in Formula 1 for the 2015 season, but parted company with Sauber F1 Team last year due to financial reasons.

Little is known about her future plans, but the Swiss driver appeared today in Geneva for a Formula E show run that saw her drive the Spark-Renault car through the city streets.

Switzerland imposed a country-wide ban on motor racing following a crash at the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans that saw one driver and 83 fans killed. However, this has recently been lifted, opening up the possibility of a Formula E race in Switzerland.

“It was a special moment for me to drive the Formula E car here in the streets of Geneva on the day which celebrates the return of motorsport in Switzerland,” de Silvestro said. “For me it was the first time I drove the Spark-Renault SRT_01E and the first feeling I had is that there was no noise!

“For a driver every new challenge is a great experience and this was even more special; the acceleration of this car is really good and I had a lot of fun. I am sure that the American fans will love to see Formula E in Miami and Long Beach in the next weeks.”

This event acted as a taster of what is to come next week at the Geneva International Motor Show, where the Formula E car will be on display.

“We would never have dreamed of getting an ePrix in Switzerland off the ground without TAG Heuer and Jean-Claude Biver’s continuing support,” Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag explained. “We are very proud to have TAG Heuer as a founding partner, and thankful that they are able to assist us in this exciting challenge.

“If the race takes place, TAG Heuer will definitely be our title sponsor. The ePrix will strengthen our close relationship with this country, which is the home market of our Global Partner Bank Julius Baer. They have been fully behind us since the very first race in Beijing.”

The next Formula E race takes place on March 14 in Miami, the first of two rounds in the United States in 2015.

Jack Miller wins MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix as Fabio Quartararo stops his points slide

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Jack Miller ran away with the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi as Fabio Quartararo stopped his downward slide in the championship when a last-lap accident from his closest rival in the standings caused Francesco Bagnaia to score zero points.

Starting seventh, Miller quickly made his way forward. He was second at the end of two laps. One lap later, he grabbed the lead from Jorge Martin. Once in the lead, Miller posted three consecutive fastest laps and was never seriously challenged. It was Australian native Miller’s first race win of the season and his sixth podium finish.

The proximity to his home turf was not lost.

“I can ride a motorcycle sometimes,” Miller said in NBC Sports’ post-race coverage. “I felt amazing all weekend since I rolled out on the first practice. It feels so awesome to be racing on this side of the world.

“What an amazing day. It’s awesome; we have the home Grand Prix coming up shortly. Wedding coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m over the moon; can’t thank everyone enough.”

Miller beat Brad Binder to the line by 3.4 seconds with third-place Jorge Martin finishing about one second behind.

But the center of the storm was located just inside the top 10 as both Quartararo and Bagnaia started deep in the field.

Quartararo was on the outside of row three in ninth with Bagnaia one row behind in 12th. Neither rider moved up significantly, but the championship continued to be of primary importance as Bagnaia put in a patented late-race charge to settle onto Quartararo’s back tire, which would have allowed the championship leader to gain only a single point.

On the final lap, Bagnaia charged just a little too hard and crashed under heavy braking, throwing away the seven points he would have earned for a ninth-place finish.

The day was even more dramatic for the rider who entered the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix third in the standings. On the sighting lap, Aleix Espargaro had an alarm sound, so he peeled off into the pits, dropped his primary bike and jumped aboard the backup. Starting from pit lane, he trailed the field and was never able to climb into the points. An undisclosed electronic problem was the culprit.

For Quartararo, gaining eight points on the competition was more than a moral victory. This was a track on which he expected to run moderately, and he did, but the problems for his rivals gives him renewed focus with four rounds remaining.

Next week, the series heads to Thailand and then Miller’s home track of Phillip Island in Australia. They will close out the Pacific Rim portion of the schedule before heading to Spain for the finale in early November.

It would appear team orders are not in play among the Ducati riders. Last week’s winner Enea Bastianini made an aggressive early move on Bagnaia for position before the championship contender wrestled the spot back.

In his second race back following arm surgery, Marc Marquez won the pole. His last pole was more than 1,000 days ago on this same track in 2019, the last time the series competed at Motegi. Marquez slipped to fifth in the middle stages of the race, before regaining a position to finish just off the podium.

In Moto2 competition, Ai Ogura beat Augusto Fernandez to close the gap in that championship to two points. Fernandez holds the scant lead. Alonso Lopez rounded out the podium.

Both American riders, Cameron Beaubier and Joe Roberts finished just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th respectively.