MotoGP pushes season to June with postponements of Italy and Spain

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The start of the 2020 season for the premier class in MotoGP has been pushed until at least mid-June by two postponements announced Tuesday morning.

The Italian GP, which had been scheduled for May 29-31, and the Catalunya Grand Prix, which was slated for June 5-7, will be rescheduled at dates to be determined.

The 2020 season currently would be scheduled to begin with the June 21 grand prix at Sachsenring, Germany, for the premier class, which has yet to hit the track. The Moto2 and Moto3 classes competed in the Grand Prix of Qatar last month before their seasons were put on hold.

MotoGP’s premier division’s first eight races of 2020 have been canceled or postponed: Qatar, Thailand, United States, Argentina, Spain, France, Italy and Catalunya.

The Thailand Grand Prix was moved from March 22 to Oct. 4. The Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas, was shifted from April 5 to Nov. 15. The Argentina Grand Prix moved from April 19 to Nov. 22. The rescheduled races also forced the season finale at Valencia, Spain, to move from Nov. 15 to Nov. 29.

A statement from MotoGP said “a revised calendar will be published as soon as available.”

Here’s the statement Tuesday from MotoGP:

The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports regret to announce the postponement of the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley and Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, which were set to be held at the Autodromo del Mugello from the 29th to the 31st of May and at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from the 5th to the 7th of June, respectively. The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has obliged the two events to be rescheduled.

As the situation remains in a state of constant evolution, new dates for these Grands Prix, as well as the recently-postponed French and Spanish GPs, cannot be confirmed until it becomes clearer when exactly it will be possible to hold the events. A revised calendar will be published as soon as available.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.