MotoGP: Marquez wins tactical San Marino GP at Misano

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Marc Marquez did his faint hopes of winning the 2015 MotoGP world championship some good by winning the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano on Sunday thanks to a perfect tactical call from his Honda team.

Starting second, Marquez spent the opening stages of the race duelling with Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi before rain forced all three to dive into the pits and switch bikes.

A mistake caused Marquez to slip behind Rossi and Lorenzo, who slowly pulled away from the Honda rider as the race passed half distance.

However, as conditions improved once again and a drying line began to appear, teams turned their attention to Tech 3 rider Bradley Smith, who had stayed out on slick tires in the rain.

Once his lap times became the benchmark, a number of teams opted to pit their riders and move back onto their dry compound tires. Marquez pitted from third at the end of lap 17.

Yamaha opted to stick it out at the front with Rossi leading from Lorenzo, but as the track continued to dry, the decision backfired spectacularly. By the time Lorenzo pitted, Marquez had already jumped ahead, whilst Rossi fell back one lap later when he stopped for a change.

With Marquez now alone at the front, Yamaha’s focus turned to damage limitation as Lorenzo led from Rossi. However, the Spaniard pushed too hard on his cold tires and slid off the track at turn four, leaving him in the gravel and out of the race.

Marquez eased his bike home to claim his fourth win of the season by 7.2 seconds from Bradley Smith, whose brave strategy call allowed him to soar all the way from the back of the field to second place.

The Briton was joined on the podium by compatriot Scott Redding, who made the most of the changeable conditions to edge out Loris Baz in the closing stages of the race and finish third. Baz was left to finish fourth as the leading ‘open’ rider.

Rossi recovered from Yamaha’s strategy faux pas to finish fifth and extend his championship lead over Lorenzo to 23 points with five rounds of the season remaining. Silverstone hero Danilo Petrucci starred again to finish sixth ahead of Ducati riders Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso.

The 2015 MotoGP season resumes in two weeks’ time at Motorland Aragon in Spain.

Motocross: Chase Sexton to miss Hangtown after midweek practice crash

Sexton Hangtown practice crash
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Chase Sexton announced on Instagram he will sit out this weekend’s Pro Motocross race at Hangtown in Rancho Cordova, California after a practice crash on Tuesday left him with a concussion.

Sexton’s crash on Tuesday happened during a test session at Fox Raceway.

“Bummed to make this post but I’ll be sitting out this weekend,” Sexton said. “As you guys saw I had a big one during qualifying at Pala, then another one on Tuesday this week that banged me up pretty good. Nothing broken just need a few days to get back to 100%.”

Despite his crash in the first qualification session in Pala, California, Sexton mounted up for both motos and finished second in each race behind his teammate Jett Lawrence, who was making his Motocross debut and won with a pair of first-place finishes. Sexton padded his SuperMotocross points’ lead over the injured Eli Tomac, who is still second in the combined Supercross and Motocross standings despite missing the SX finale at Salt Lake City and the outdoor opener with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Sexton has an advantage of 78 points over Cooper Webb and cannot give up his SMX lead by missing this round.

At stake, however, is the risk of losing ground to Lawrence in the Pro Motocross championship. Sexton currently trails his teammate by six points and is liable to lose significant ground this weekend.

In addition to his concussion, Sexton has also been diagnosed with mononucleosis and the combination of the two conditions caused the team to make the difficult decision to keep him out of the lineup at Hangtown.

“I’m super-bummed to miss this weekend’s race,” Sexton said in a press release. “I feel like I rode well at Pala, and I was really looking forward to Hangtown because it’s a good track for me. Unfortunately, I was already pretty banged up from my qualifying crash on Saturday, and now with mono and Tuesday’s concussion on top of it, I want to do the right thing and hopefully be back on the track soon.”

A return date for Sexton has not yet been announced.

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