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Rossi fights back to claim emotional MotoGP win in Barcelona

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Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi fought back from a poor start that left him running as low as seventh to win Sunday’s Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona for Yamaha.

Rossi started fifth at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but slipped back after a poor getaway from the grid.

Pole-sitter Marc Marquez also failed to get a clean getaway, allowing Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo to assume the lead of the race in the early stages.

Lorenzo was unable to open up a gap to the chasing pack, while Rossi managed to fight his way back up to third in just three laps, leaving him to dice with Marquez for position.

After seeing off Marquez, Rossi then made light work of Lorenzo to take the lead of the race on lap seven. Marquez followed him through as Lorenzo struggled for pace, causing him to drop down the order.

As Rossi and Marquez battled at the front, Lorenzo’s race came to an early end after Ducati’s Andrea Iannone crashed into him when attempting an overtake. Lorenzo was furious with the Italian rider, but had to accept that his championship lead was lost.

Marquez tried to keep up with Rossi, but a mistake on the penultimate lap caused him to lose ground and ended his hopes of a home victory. Rossi was able to ease to the line, enjoying an advantage of 2.6 seconds at the checkered flag.

After the race, Rossi and Marquez put aside their long-running rivalry to shake hands in parc ferme before donning t-shirts paying tribute to Moto2 rider Luis Salom, who died in practice on Friday. Rossi also dedicated his victory to Salom.

Dani Pedrosa followed Honda teammate Marquez home in third place, while Maverick Vinales finished fourth for Suzuki. Pol Espargaro ended the race fifth for Tech3 ahead of LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow and the sole factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso in sixth and seventh respectively.

Alvaro Bautista finished eighth ahead of Danilo Petrucci and Hector Barbera, the latter unable to maintain his good qualifying result as he fell from P4 on the grid to P10 at the flag.

The next MotoGP race takes place in Assen on June 25.

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.”