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MotoGP: Marquez snatches last lap win in Phillip Island thriller

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In one of the most remarkable MotoGP races of recent times, defending world champion Marc Marquez scored his fifth win of the 2015 season in Australia after jumping from third to first on the final lap.

Starting from pole at Phillip Island, Marquez made a poor start to hand the lead to Lorenzo as the two Spaniards battled closely with Ducati’s Andrea Iannone and championship leader Valentino Rossi.

Lorenzo managed to pull out a one-second lead over Marquez before being reeled in and passed on lap 18, but reclaimed first place three laps later to drop the Honda rider into the clutches of Iannone and Rossi behind.

After falling down to P4 following a remarkable double overtake from Iannone, Marquez picked his way past the duelling Italians before setting his sights on Lorenzo on the final lap of the race.

Lorenzo’s healthy advantage quickly diminished as Marquez gave his all before throwing his Honda bike down the inside at the hairpin and moving into the lead, setting the fastest lap of the race as he crossed the line.

The result marked Marquez’s 50th career grand prix win, and will undoubtedly go down as one of the most exciting races in the recent history of motorcycling racing.

“You know during the race I feel really strong but there were many passes between me, Valentino and Andrea and Jorge opened a gap,” Marquez said. “Then I pushed a little to catch Jorge but I overheated the front tire and I had a lot of movement when I tried to open a gap.

“I tried to slow down to cool it down but it wasn’t there. The last three laps I said ‘OK I will push’. Andrea and Valentino overtook me and then the last lap I pushed 100%. I didn’t expect to arrive to Jorge but really happy for the win.

“I don’t know where I pulled that time out from, but it was what made the difference for us! I want to thank all the team, Honda and all the fans. After a difficult season it’s always nice to finish the year with some victories! We worked really hard and the results weren’t coming but this result is really nice for us.”

Lorenzo finished second to cut Rossi’s championship lead down to 11 points with two races remaining as his Yamaha teammate was forced to settle for fourth at the flag, losing out to Iannone.

Iannone enjoyed the race of his life to finish third, less than one second behind Marquez, despite hitting a seagull with his bike in the early stages.

Dani Pedrosa won a close fight for fourth place ahead of Maverick Vinales and Cal Crutchlow, while American rider Nicky Hayden was forced to retire after nine laps.

The penultimate race of the 2015 season takes place at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia next weekend before the MotoGP finale and likely championship decider in Valencia on November 8.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.