Franco Morbidelli wins Teruel MotoGP for second victory; Joan Mir extends points lead

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ALCAÑIZ, Spain — Franco Morbidelli won the Teruel MotoGP for his second victory of the season after pole-sitter Takaaki Nakagami crashed on the first lap Sunday.

Morbidelli crossed the finish line more than 2 seconds ahead of Álex Rins, with Joan Mir coming in third place after starting 12th.

Mir extended his championship lead to 14 points over Fabio Quartararo, who finished eighth. Maverick Viñales was five points further back after finishing seventh.

Morbidelli moved to fourth in the standings with the victory, staying 25 points off the lead. He earned his maiden career MotoGP victory at the San Marino GP in September.

“It really was a trip,” the 25-year-old Morbidelli said. “I knew I had to make an aggressive race. When I saw clean air in front of me I just decided to give everything I got every single lap. The concentration was very high.”

Rins was the winner last weekend at the same MotorLand track. Mir was coming off a third-place finish last weekend.

“I couldn’t be faster today,” Mir said. “It’s OK. Another podium is an amazing result. Today a podium is like a victory for me.”

Nakagami, the 28-year-old Japanese rider looking for his first MotoGP win, lost control of his bike shortly after the start while leading the race. Brad Binder and Jack Miller also crashed on the first lap.

Álex Márquez, who was second in the last two races, crashed with 10 laps to go while in fourth place.

Veteran Italian rider Valentino Rossi did not race again because of a recent COVID-19 positive test result. He had already missed last weekend’s race. Defending champion Marc Márquez also hasn’t been racing because of an injury.

The following two races will also take place in Spain, at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia. The championship then finishes in the Algarve, in Portugal.

Supercross: Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll and Malcolm Stewart out with injury

Swoll Stewart injury
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.

“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”

The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.

Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.

Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.

He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.

Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.

Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.

Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.

Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.

The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.

Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.

Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.