MotoGP: Lorenzo beats lap record to secure Jerez pole

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Jorge Lorenzo will start tomorrow’s MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix from pole position after breaking the lap record during Saturday’s qualifying session at Jerez.

Just one day after it was announced that Lorenzo would be remaining with Yamaha for the 2016 season, the Spaniard found his feet to score the team’s first pole position of the season ahead of Honda’s Marc Marquez.

After dominating practice, Lorenzo continued his good form in qualifying to post a fastest lap of 1:37.910 on Saturday, beating Marquez by three-tenths of a second.

Marquez is racing in Jerez with a broken finger, having sustained the injury whilst riding dirt bikes following the last race in Argentina where he retired due to a late clash with eventual race winner Valentino Rossi.

Andrea Iannone continued Ducati’s strong start to the 2015 season by qualifying third in Jerez, finishing half a second down on Lorenzo in pole position. Pol Espargaro ran well for Tech 3 on the satellite Yamaha bike to qualify fourth ahead of factory Yamaha rider and championship leader Rossi.

Lorenzo is yet to win a race in 2015, but by becoming the first ever driver to lap in less than 98 seconds around Jerez on two wheels, the Spaniard appears to be on the brink of a breakthrough victory on home soil on Sunday.

In the support series, reigning champion Tito Rabat claimed his first Moto2 pole position of the season on home soil, whilst 16-year-old French rider Fabio Quartararo will start from P1 on the grid for the first time in Moto3 on Sunday.

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.”