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.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.