Josef Newgarden wins pole position for IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix Race 2

IndyCar
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After winning yesterday’s Race 1 of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, Josef Newgarden won the pole position for Race 2 this afternoon with a lap of 1 minute, 14.8607 seconds around the 2.35-mile Belle Isle Park street circuit.

The pole is the first for Newgarden since last year at Toronto, as well as the first of his career at Belle Isle.

“It was a good lap,” Newgarden told NBC Sports. “I got it on the first one. I could tell the temperatures were coming up quicker than yesterday. Normally, our second lap is our peak lap, and I could see the grip was already there so I had to go, and the second lap was done. The tires were already burned off so I tried to maximize that first one.”

“I must have got lucky, you know? I guess it worked out.”

Race 1 polesitter Alexander Rossi attempted to make it back-to-back poles from qualifying Group 1, but his time of 1 minute, 15.1825 seconds was not enough to put his NAPA Honda at the top. He’ll start today’s race from the outside front row.

Rossi’s teammate at Andretti Autosport, Zach Veach (1:15.2625), qualified third and will share the second row with rookie Colton Herta (1:15.6478).

James Hinchcliffe (1:15.4393) and Scott Dixon (1:15.8003) are set to line up in the third row, and behind them will be two more rookies in the fourth row: Felix Rosenqvist (1:15.4958) from Chip Ganassi Racing and Patricio O’Ward (1:15.9263) from Carlin.

As for Indianapolis 500 champion Simon Pagenaud, he’ll have to climb from mid-pack again today after qualifying 14th (1:16.2190).

But it could be much worse. Graham Rahal (1:17.3698) will start this afternoon’s race from the 22nd and final starting position after he experienced a gearbox failure.

Group 2 qualifying was interrupted by a nearly 50-minute red flag delay due to water on the track at Turn 6. A tarp on the tire barriers there sagged and released rain water collected from yesterday.

Once the clean-up was over, INDYCAR officials reset the clock to the full 12 minutes for Group 2 competitors.

Coverage of Race 2 for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix begins at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC.

Click here for full qualifying results 

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Jack Miller wins the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix as Fabio Quartararo stops his downward points’ slide

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Jack Miller ran away with the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi as Fabio Quartararo stopped his downward slide in the championship when a last-lap accident from his closest rival in the standings caused Francesco Bagnaia to score zero points.

Starting seventh, Miller quickly made his way forward. He was second at the end of two laps. One lap later, he grabbed the lead from Jorge Martin. Once in the lead, Miller posted three consecutive fastest laps and was never seriously challenged. It was Australian native Miller’s first race win of the season and his sixth podium finish.

The proximity to his home turf was not lost.

“I can ride a motorcycle sometimes,” Miller said in NBC Sports’ post-race coverage. “I felt amazing all weekend since I rolled out on the first practice. It feels so awesome to be racing on this side of the world.

“What an amazing day. It’s awesome; we have the home Grand Prix coming up shortly. Wedding coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m over the moon; can’t thank everyone enough.”

Miller beat Brad Binder to the line by 3.4 seconds with third-place Jorge Martin finishing about one second behind.

But the center of the storm was located just inside the top 10 as both Quartararo and Bagnaia started deep in the field.

Quartararo was on the outside of row three in ninth with Bagnaia one row behind in 12th. Neither rider moved up significantly, but the championship continued to be of primary importance as Bagnaia put in a patented late-race charge to settle onto Quartararo’s back tire, which would have allowed the championship leader to gain only a single point.

On the final lap, Bagnaia charged just a little too hard and crashed under heavy braking, throwing away the seven points he would have earned for a ninth-place finish.

The day was even more dramatic for the rider who entered the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix third in the standings. On the sighting lap, Aleix Espargaro had an alarm sound, so he peeled off into the pits, dropped his primary bike and jumped aboard the backup. Starting from pit lane, he trailed the field and was never able to climb into the points. An undisclosed electronic problem was the culprit.

For Quartararo, gaining eight points on the competition was more than a moral victory. This was a track on which he expected to run moderately, and he did, but the problems for his rivals gives him renewed focus with four rounds remaining.

Next week, the series heads to Thailand and then Miller’s home track of Phillip Island in Australia. They will close out the Pacific Rim portion of the schedule before heading to Spain for the finale in early November.

It would appear team orders are not in play among the Ducati riders. Last week’s winner Enea Bastianini made an aggressive early move on Bagnaia for position before the championship contender wrestled the spot back.

In his second race back following arm surgery, Marc Marquez won the pole. His last pole was more than 1,000 days ago on this same track in 2019, the last time the series competed at Motegi. Marquez slipped to fifth in the middle stages of the race, before regaining a position to finish just off the podium.

In Moto2 competition, Ai Ogura beat Augusto Fernandez to close the gap in that championship to two points. Fernandez holds the scant lead. Alonso Lopez rounded out the podium.

Both American riders, Cameron Beaubier and Joe Roberts finished just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th respectively.