Alex Rins wins Aragon Grand Prix as Suzuki teammate Joan Mir takes MotoGP points lead

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Alex Rins edged Alex Marquez in the Aragon Grand Prix, delivering Suzuki its first MotoGP victory this season Sunday at MotorLand Aragon in Alcaniz, Spain.

Joan Mir finished third to move into the championship lead by six points (121-115) over Fabio Quartararo, who finished 18th and out of the points Sunday after starting on pole position despite a crash in practice. Maverick Vinales and Takaaki Nakagami rounded out the top five.

It was the second consecutive podium finish for Marquez. The younger brother of injured nine-time champion Marc Marquez had started 11th.

Rins, who won for the first time in more than a year (the British GP on Aug. 25, 2019), became the eighth rider to win during an unpredictable 2020 season.

“Unbelievable,” Rins said after his third career victory. “From the start, I was so calm. I did a really good start. In the end I tried to manage the distance with the guy on the back. It’s amazing.”

Quartararo, who qualified his Yamaha in first after visiting the track’s medical center Saturday, had entered the race with a 10-point lead on Mir. The French rider opened the season with his first two career victories and added a third last month.

Vinales is ranked third in standings, 12 points out of the lead, followed by Andrea Dovizioso and Nakagami.

With the absence of Valentino Rossi (who missed the race after a positive COVID-19 test), Sunday’s race marked the first Grand Prix without a premier series champion on the starting grid since 1999.

There are four races remaining in the season. The circuit will return Oct. 25 to MotorLand Aragon and then head to Comunitat Valencia Ricardo Tormo in Spain on Nov. 8 and Nov. 15.

The 2020 season, which was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, will conclude Nov. 22 at the Algarve International Circuit in Portugal.

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.