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MotoGP: Marquez storms to Australian GP pole

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Defending MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez stormed to his eighth pole position of the 2015 season in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Marquez has struggled to match Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo across the course of the season, boiling the title race down to the Yamaha riders with just three races to go.

Marquez can still play a big part in the championship battle, though, and dealt a blow to Lorenzo’s hopes of victory on Sunday by claiming pole position earlier today.

The Spaniard produced two laps good enough for P1 during his three Q2 runs, with a fastest time of 1:28.364 giving him a three-tenths of a second advantage over Andrea Iannone and Lorenzo behind.

“I am pleased with how the day went, and of course with pole position,” Marquez said. “Thanks to the team for all their work, we have a good pace for tomorrow and we are ready to fight for the podium and hopefully the victory tomorrow.

“However we must wait and see what happens, because here every day is different; it can be sunny but then all of a sudden clouds can appear, and the key will be interpreting how the track conditions are, in order to have a good race.”

Iannone and Lorenzo posted identical laps with their final Q2 laps, with second place on the grid going to the former by comparing their next-fastest times. However, Lorenzo was far from pleased with Iannone, who picked up a tow from the Yamaha rider during his final lap to improve his straight line speed.

“I was a little bit angry after qualifying, because my real position was second place if I could have been on track alone, but with my tow Iannone was very fast here and the Ducati‘s soft tire for sure helped him to improve two or three tenths of a second and take second from me,” Lorenzo explained.

“This is very important because usually I start better than Marquez, but my starts are the same or maybe even a bit worse than Iannone‘s so this will make the first lap more difficult.”

In better news for Lorenzo, title rival Rossi could only qualify down in seventh place, handing the Spaniard an opportunity to cut the 18-point deficit at the top of the standings in tomorrow’s race.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”