Tveter to remain in FIA F3 with Carlin for 2016

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Rising American motorsport talent Ryan Tveter will remain in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship for a second year in 2016.

Tveter made his debut in the series with Carlin at the beginning of 2015 and recorded a best finish of ninth across the course of the season at points-scoring events.

Tveter also finished seventh at the Zandvoort Masters F3 Invitational event in September, as well as racing in the prestigious Macau Grand Prix at the end of the year.

The 21-year-old of Oyster Bay, New York will now spend a second year in F3 with Carlin, and is relishing the opportunity to build on the lessons learned from his rookie season.

“My rookie year in FIA F3 was only my third full season in any kind of motorsport, so I’m very excited to continue to work with Carlin, Volkswagen and Dallara for a second season of FIA F3 in 2016,” Tveter said.

“I learned a huge amount this year, and often there were only a couple tenths separating me and my teammate, Antonio [Giovinazzi], who was this year’s vice champion. Finding those last few tenths is a combination of hard and soft skills that comes with experience and letting the car do its work — not overdriving.

“I’m probably most happy with the progress we’ve made in that respect. Carlin and I have built a strong foundation together, and that’s been showing in winter testing, where I’ve been consistently at the front. I’m really looking forward to next season and the continuity of a second year with a great team.”

Team boss Trevor Carlin added: “A development year in FIA F3 is always tough, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen such a competitive season with as many serious incidents as 2015.

“Ryan was on pace, with some very close qualifying sessions and some spectacular starts during the season, and he did an excellent job of pushing forward. He managed continuous improvement despite some major setbacks, and showed the grit and professionalism we expect from drivers at this level.

“We are extremely happy to welcome Ryan back for 2016 and expect his results to match the potential he demonstrated throughout the year.”

Jack Miller wins the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix as Fabio Quartararo stops his downward points’ slide

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Jack Miller ran away with the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi as Fabio Quartararo stopped his downward slide in the championship when a last-lap accident from his closest rival in the standings caused Francesco Bagnaia to score zero points.

Starting seventh, Miller quickly made his way forward. He was second at the end of two laps. One lap later, he grabbed the lead from Jorge Martin. Once in the lead, Miller posted three consecutive fastest laps and was never seriously challenged. It was Australian native Miller’s first race win of the season and his sixth podium finish.

The proximity to his home turf was not lost.

“I can ride a motorcycle sometimes,” Miller said in NBC Sports’ post-race coverage. “I felt amazing all weekend since I rolled out on the first practice. It feels so awesome to be racing on this side of the world.

“What an amazing day. It’s awesome; we have the home Grand Prix coming up shortly. Wedding coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m over the moon; can’t thank everyone enough.”

Miller beat Brad Binder to the line by 3.4 seconds with third-place Jorge Martin finishing about one second behind.

But the center of the storm was located just inside the top 10 as both Quartararo and Bagnaia started deep in the field.

Quartararo was on the outside of row three in ninth with Bagnaia one row behind in 12th. Neither rider moved up significantly, but the championship continued to be of primary importance as Bagnaia put in a patented late-race charge to settle onto Quartararo’s back tire, which would have allowed the championship leader to gain only a single point.

On the final lap, Bagnaia charged just a little too hard and crashed under heavy braking, throwing away the seven points he would have earned for a ninth-place finish.

The day was even more dramatic for the rider who entered the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix third in the standings. On the sighting lap, Aleix Espargaro had an alarm sound, so he peeled off into the pits, dropped his primary bike and jumped aboard the backup. Starting from pit lane, he trailed the field and was never able to climb into the points. An undisclosed electronic problem was the culprit.

For Quartararo, gaining eight points on the competition was more than a moral victory. This was a track on which he expected to run moderately, and he did, but the problems for his rivals gives him renewed focus with four rounds remaining.

Next week, the series heads to Thailand and then Miller’s home track of Phillip Island in Australia. They will close out the Pacific Rim portion of the schedule before heading to Spain for the finale in early November.

It would appear team orders are not in play among the Ducati riders. Last week’s winner Enea Bastianini made an aggressive early move on Bagnaia for position before the championship contender wrestled the spot back.

In his second race back following arm surgery, Marc Marquez won the pole. His last pole was more than 1,000 days ago on this same track in 2019, the last time the series competed at Motegi. Marquez slipped to fifth in the middle stages of the race, before regaining a position to finish just off the podium.

In Moto2 competition, Ai Ogura beat Augusto Fernandez to close the gap in that championship to two points. Fernandez holds the scant lead. Alonso Lopez rounded out the podium.

Both American riders, Cameron Beaubier and Joe Roberts finished just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th respectively.