© Getty Images

Di Grassi extends Formula E championship lead with Paris win

Leave a comment

PARIS – Lucas di Grassi extended his lead at the top of the FIA Formula E drivers’ championship with a controlled victory in the inaugural Paris ePrix on Saturday.

A perfect getaway from second place on the grid allowed di Grassi to slip past pole-sitter Sam Bird on the run down to the first corner, from where the Brazilian only lost P1 through the pit stops.

Di Grassi spent the opening half of the race forging a lead over DS Virgin Racing drivers Bird and Jean-Eric Vergne, albeit tempered by a lap of full course yellows called when Loic Duval stopped out on track.

His lead stood at five seconds before coming into the pits after Vergne and Bird made contact, the latter having also lost second place to his teammate at the start. Their squabbling continued until after the car swaps, allowing championship contender Sebastien Buemi to close in on a podium position, making his way up from eighth on the grid.

Bird made a critical error with six laps remaining, locking up at Turn 1 and take a trip down the slip road to drop to sixth place, handing Buemi the final podium position.

The race finished under a safety car after Team Aguri debutant Ma Qinghua crashed at the final corner with five laps remaining. The Chinese racer thankfully walked away unharmed, although the same could not be said of his car.

This allowed di Grassi to ease across the line in first place for the third race in a row (one win lost through disqualification) and extend his lead over Buemi in the standings to 11 points.

Vergne picked up his first podium in Formula E since last year’s London finale by finishing second for DS Virgin on home soil, while Buemi finished third ahead of Renault e.dams teammate Nicolas Prost.

Stephane Sarrazin had a quiet race en route to P5, finishing ahead of Bird, but the same could not be said of Robin Frijns and Antonio Felix da Costa. Despite racing with season one technology, both drivers had feisty races on their way to seventh and eighth.

Bruno Senna and Daniel Abt had hoped to enjoy a late charge by going longer before making their first pit stops, giving them more energy for the second stint, but the safety car scuppered this and left them ninth and 10th at the flag.

Formula E Paris ePrix Race Result

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 17.00.08

MotoGP champion Marc Marquez has second surgery on fractured arm

MotoGP Marc Marquez second surgery
JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Defending MotoGP series champion Marc Marquez underwent a second surgery Monday after a titanium plate inserted in his fractured right arm sustained damage. The Repsol Honda Team said in a statement that it’ll be two days before the recovery period is determined.

Marquez was injured during a crash in the July 19 season opener. He underwent an initial surgery July 21 in Barcelona, and doctors said there was no nerve damage.

The eight-time champion was cleared to race in the season’s second event Jerez. But Marquez decided to skip the July 26 race after experiencing discomfort while riding the No. 93 bike in a July 25 practice.

MOTOGP ON NBCHow to watch the 2020 season

He had planned to race in Sunday’s grand prix at the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic in hopes of returning to defend his title. His status for Sunday apparently will be unclear until at least Wednesday.

In a statement Monday, the team said the titanium plate in Marquez’s right arm successfully was replaced after stress accumulation. Marquez will stay in the hospital for two days recovering.

Dr Xavier Mir, who performed the surgery at the Hospital Universitari Dexeus, said in the release that “Marc Marquez underwent surgery 13 days ago and today he returned to the operating room. The first operation was successful, what was not expected was that the plate was insufficient. An accumulation of stress in the operated area has caused the plate to suffer some damage, so today the titanium plate has been removed and replaced by a new fixation.

“The rider has not felt pain during this period. He has always followed the medical advice given and the feeling from his body. Unfortunately, an overstress has caused this issue. Now we have to wait 48 hours to understand the recovery time.”