Marquez leaves it late to score Misano MotoGP victory

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Marc Marquez left it late to secure his fourth victory of the 2017 MotoGP season and move back into the lead of the riders’ championship on countback, passing Danilo Petrucci on the final lap of the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano on Sunday.

Starting third after crashing out of qualifying on Saturday, Marquez made a good getaway to sit second early on behind Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo, who vaulted up the order on a wet circuit.

Marquez slipped behind Octo Pramac Ducati rider Petrucci in the early stages as he struggled in the spray, but moved back up to second when Lorenzo high-sided and was thrown from his bike.

Petrucci led a close train including Marquez and points leader Andrea Dovizioso, with the trio being covered by just a couple of seconds for much of the race.

Marquez looked uncomfortable as he worked to keep up with Petrucci, informing his Repsol Honda team to ready a dry setup bike with different brakes despite conditions still being damp.

Petrucci and Marquez dropped Dovizioso heading into the final few laps, with the Spaniard closing in on the leader heading onto the final lap.

Marquez lined up a move on the main straight on the final lap, passing into Turn 1 before defending well and pulling clear, posting the fastest lap of the race en route to the checkered flag.

The result sees Marquez move back into the lead of the riders’ championship with five races to go, tied with Dovizioso on 199 points but ahead by virtue of having more second-place finishes than the Italian.

Petrucci took P2 to mark his fourth MotoGP podium, but was left disappointed after coming within a lap of his maiden victory in the premier class of motorcycle racing.

Pole sitter Maverick Viñales failed to recover from a poor start, finishing fourth on the sole Yamaha factory bike ahead of Michele Pirro and Jack Miller.

British racer Scott Redding took P7 ahead of Alex Rins and Jonas Folger, while Bradley Smith completed the top 10 positions, having gained places after Johann Zarco slowed on the final lap, ultimately pushing his bike across the line.

MotoGP returns at Motorland Aragon in two weeks’ time before embarking on its final flyaways of the season.

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
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SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.