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Leclerc, Celis Jr. enjoy track time in Mexico at Pirelli test

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Formula 1 juniors Charles Leclerc and Alfonso Celis Jr. continued their development by taking part in a two-day Pirelli tire test earlier this week at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, staying out in Mexico following last weekend’s grand prix.

Leclerc, 20, enjoyed more time with Sauber in the team’s C36 car after taking part in opening practice in Mexico, with the Ferrari’s youngster and Formula 2 champion’s program gearing him up for a race seat with the Swiss team next year.

Leclerc was joined on-track in Mexico by Force India development driver Celis, 21, with the drivers completing 115 and 114 laps respectively on Pirelli’s prototype tires for 2018.

Leclerc had the track to himself on Wednesday, where overnight rain allowed him to sample Pirelli’s intermediate tire before moving onto slicks later in the day, completing 104 laps in total.

Pirelli’s next 2018 tire test will take place at Interlagos following the Brazilian Grand Prix on November 14-15, with McLaren in action.

Champion Marc Marquez leads MotoGP into virtual world Sunday

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During its layoff because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, MotoGP will become the latest racing series to enter the virtual world.

The MotoGP Virtual Race will be held at 9 a.m. ET Sunday, March 29 with 10 riders. It will be streamed on several platforms, including the Motorsports on NBC YouTube channel. Reigning series champion Marc Marquez is among the riders in the field.

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 Sebring. NASCAR 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.