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Sainz: Canada fightback proves Toro Rosso’s strength

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Carlos Sainz Jr. believes that his fightback from 20th on the grid to finish ninth in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix proves the strength of the Toro Rosso team and the progress it is making.

Sainz crashed out in the second stage of qualifying on Saturday, leaving him in need of a new gearbox that relegated him to 20th place on the grid.

The Spaniard battled his way up the order through Sunday’s race, ultimately crossing the line ninth – a result he believed to be out of reach after his shunt in qualifying.

“A really good race for me today here in Montreal! If you had told me before the race that I would have finished in P9 after starting P20, I would’ve probably signed immediately!” Sainz enthused.

“I’m really happy to have made it back into the points, I enjoyed it a lot out there. We chose the right moment for our first pit-stop, going for the undercut, and I then did five or six qualifying laps on the soft tire, which allowed me to overtake five or six cars and keep up with the Force India.

“Even if I hadn’t made yesterday’s mistake in qualifying, more than a P8 this weekend was impossible, so we can be happy and satisfied with our weekend.

“A result like today’s shows that we are strong and that we are constantly improving. Today we did the right strategy and good pit-stops, so I’d like to congratulate the whole team for this weekend, it’s been great!”

Teammate Daniil Kvyat found himself battling for the final points-paying position late on, but was unable to stay ahead of Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso, leaving him P12 at the checkered flag.

“If I say the truth, it was quite a boring race today,” Kvyat said.

“We were trying to fight for that last point with Perez, but they were just that bit faster and we didn’t manage to get in front of him. We then switched to the ultra-soft tires for the last stint, but the set didn’t quite give us what we expected and they got destroyed while battling with the other cars around us.

“Unfortunately, I spent most of my race stuck behind a car and in traffic. Luckily the next race is just around the corner, so we can start thinking of that straight away and forget about today.

“But looking at the positives, it was a clean weekend for me, something which I needed. We were able to finish the race, as well as get important data for myself and the team, to learn as much as we can.

“We now need to start showing some performance and I hope we do this starting from Baku next week.”

Alex Marquez wins first MotoGP #StayAtHomeGP Virtual Race

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Alex Marquez of Spain won the inaugural MotoGP #StayAtHomeGP Virtual Race as the world’s premier bike racing series followed other motorsports into online racing.

The #StayAtHomeGP, which was streamed Sunday on several platforms including the Motorsports on NBC YouTube channel, featured a field of 10 riders competing on their console gaming systems at home.

Francesco Bagnaia was the runner-up, and Maverick Vinales rounded out the podium.

INDYCAR iRACING: Sage Karam wins Watkins Glen opener

Defending MotoGP premier series champion Marc Marquez, the older brother of the rookie race winner and his teammate at Repsol Honda Team, finished fifth.

Here’s a recap of the race from the MotoGP site.

The premier class of MotoGP has yet to hit the track this season as its opener was canceled and the next three races were postponed, including the Grand Prix of the Americas being moved from April 5 to Nov. 15.

Several other racing series have tried online racing in recent weeks.

IMSA held a “SuperSaturday at Sebring” March 21 in place of the postponed Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of SebringNASCAR started its Pro Invitational Series last Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway and will continue Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. IndyCar kicked off its six-race IndyCar iRacing Challenge with a Saturday race at Watkins Glen International that was won by Sage Karam.