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April 2014

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The Team

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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and SPEEDtv.com, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for inRacingNews.com.
  • David Judson
    Contributor

    29 years old, Dave Judson lives in Mentor, Ohio. Dave has grown up with racing, watching his father win races and championships at the local go-kart track as a youngster and continuing his love of racing while watching NASCAR, Indycar, Formula 1 and sports cars.
    Judson has enjoyed a successful sim-racing career of his own in the IZOD Indycar iRacing Open and Fixed Setup Series. He has race wins to his credits as well as the Division 1 Championship of the Open Series in Season 1 of 2013 and the Overall Championship of the Fixed Series in Season 3 of 2013.
    Dave has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University and is looking to expand his horizons by writing for inRacingNews.

  • Matt A Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Kingsbury lives in Fairfield, Connecticut where he currently attends Sacred Heart University. He is a fan of any form of racing, from NASCAR to IndyCar, Formula 1, and especially endurance racing. The summer of 2013 saw Kingsbury attend IndyCar's return to Pocono Raceway as well as the ARCA race at Pocono which Corey Lajoie won and got some pictures (including the accompanying mug shot) in Victory Lane thanks to his aunt!

  • Raymond Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Ray Kingsbury is a motorsport enthusiast and full-time university student, born and raised in Connecticut. He started his own racing career in BMX, riding bicycles competitively on the state level. In eight years he claimed the state championship and was ranked nationally before moving away from the sport. This void of activities led him to rediscover sim-racing in the form of NASCAR Heat. After a championship in the game's most competitive league Kingsbury started focusing full-time on his involvement in Live for Speed. There he founded Last Lap Motorsports which today has more than 20 members worldwide.

    When a few Last Lap Motorsports members decided to give iRacing.com a chance to feed their desire for more oval racing, Ray teamed with his brother Matt, Nathan Lamothe and newcomer Jimmie Jones to enter the ETV! Live Team Series and claimed the title after a dominating performance at Watkins Glen. To this day the team continues in both Live for Speed and iRacing.com and Ray still takes much delight in his own sim-racing career. A reporter for his high school newspaper before moving to university, Kingsbury keeps-up his writing activities by contributing to iRacing News.

  • Jeff Jacobs
    Contributor

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the iRacing.com Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Jordan Hightower
    Contributor

    Jordan began sim-racing in 2005 with the NASCAR Racing 2003 Season sim and then joined the iRacing community in June of 2008. He hails from Fort Smith, Arkansas where he is currently enrolled at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, after which he plans to attend the University of Arkansas to earn his MBA. Although he enjoys watching and playing basketball, most of Jordan's focus is on motorsports, particularly NASCAR: "Anything that burns gas and goes fast, I like."

  • Scott Kelly
    Contributor

    Born and raised in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area, Scott Kelly has had a love for motorsports ever since his father did the right thing by introducing auto racing into his life. No longer able to quench his need for speed by spectating NASCAR races on TV and watching dirt track stars slide around local tracks, Kelly eventually picked-up sim racing in his teens, wheeling cars found in Ratbag Games' "Dirt Track Racing" and "World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars" while also becoming introduced into multiple Papyrus sim-racing series. Joining the iRacing ranks in late 2011, Kelly set his sights on the short track racing he was familiar with, focusing on the sprint car, while also driving the Legends and street stock in multiple iRacing.com leagues.

    Kelly brings not just his enthusiasm for racing to the highest-rated motorsports simulation, but also his B.A. degree in English; he covers the action seen in the iRacing.com Sprint Car Series, while also placing the spotlight on various leagues within the service. Enjoying his start to a career in motorsports journalism, Kelly also doesn't mind visiting victory lane from time-to-time.

  • George Wood
    Contributing Writer
    After beginning his racing career with go-karts at age seven, George then turned wrenches on street stocks until he could finally turn the wheel. Following the successes of his friends and family, George has since retired from real-world racing, where he is now a science and mathematics faculty member for several local community colleges. When George isn't grading laboratory reports or iRacing, he is performing at bluegrass festivals in the Northeast, making fishing lures, playing golf, and rooting for his beloved Baltimore Orioles.
  • Chris Hall
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Chris Hall has been writing since the nineties and moved into motorsports reporting in 2005, covering series such as ALMS, British GT, FIA GT, Le Mans and 2CV racing for Full Throttle magazine, Motorsport.com, The-Paddock.net, GTGateway.com, L' Endurance and, of course, inRacingNews. During 2008 and 2009, he worked with the RSS Performance Porsche Carrera Cup Team (and former British GT(C) champions) as a data engineer for a variety of drivers and models of 997s.
  • Jason Lofing
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Dylan Sharman
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in Adelaide and we moved-out for Angle Vale for a few years until I was about 7 years old, when we moved to the Barossa Valley where I live now. I'm 19 years old and currently traveling back and forth weekly as I'm studying for a Diploma of Furniture Design and Technology.

    I've always had a love for racing as my close family did some racing and we were always out at the local dirt track. I joined iRacing back in 2010 and slowly but surely got the hang of it as this is my first experience with sim racing and am loving it each time I race. I've won two SK Modified titles (almost had three in a row but finished P2 in 2011 S4), an iRacingNews Challenge championship (2012 S1 Mazda) and was also an AustralAsian Intel GT Series Finalist.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

Pol Espargaro injured in test crash

March 9th, 2014

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MotoGP rookie Pol Espargaro sustained a broken collarbone in a crash during the final pre-season test day in Qatar on Sunday. The Spaniard crashed his Tech 3 Yamaha at Turn 6 in the closing hours. Espargaro was immediately taken to the circuit medical centre, where a broken left collarbone was diagnosed. He will now be taken to Barcelona for surgery on Monday. The MotoGP season-opener takes place at the Losail track in a fortnight. Espargaro graduates to the top class with Tech 3 this year after winning the 2013 Moto2 title. He replaces Ducati-bound Cal Crutchlow as Bradley Smith’s team-mate.

Bautista tops second day in Qatar

March 8th, 2014

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Alvaro Bautista topped the times on the second day of the ‘non-factory’ MotoGP test in Qatar on Sunday. The Gresini Honda rider improved by almost a second from Friday and his best effort of 1m55.194s shaded the quickest time from the previous day, a 1m55.386s set by Forward’s Aleix Espargaro. Bautista was also one of the day’s busiest riders, clocking up 55 laps around the Losail circuit. Stefan Bradl made it a satellite Honda one-two aboard his LCR machine, though he was 0.314s back, with Espargaro again demonstrating the pace of Forward’s Open-spec bike with the third-fastest time, just 0.078s slower than Bradl. Tech 3 Yamaha pair Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro completed the top five, while Pramac’s Andrea Iannone was again the top Ducati in sixth. The second day [...]

Espargaro leads opening Qatar test

March 7th, 2014

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Aleix Espargaro underlined the pace of Forward’s Open class Yamaha as he led the ‘non-factory’ MotoGP test in Qatar on Friday. Originally scheduled as the final pre-season test for the full field, the three days at Losail are taking place without the works Honda, Yamaha and Ducati teams as all took part in Bridgestone’s tyre test at Phillip Island instead. That left the way clear for the satellite and Open teams in Qatar. Espargaro had come close to upstaging the works squads several times in the previous tests at Sepang, and he was nearly three tenths of a second clear of the field on day one at Losail. His 1m55.386s put him ahead of early pacesetter Bradley Smith’s Tech 3 Yamaha by 0.253 seconds. Both Espargaro brothers were within the [...]

MotoGP to add third class in 2014

March 6th, 2014

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MotoGP is set to introduce a third class with immediate effect following the fallout caused by Ducati’s switch from factory to Open entrant. The new class will sit as an intermediate between the factory and Open categories, and will duly be dubbed Factory 2. Its creation is designed to ensure that the privileges of running in the Open class diminish if the entrant is able to regularly break into the top three. Ducati will be placed in the new division. In contrast to factory allowances of 20 litres of fuel per race and five engines per season, Open bikes can use 24 litres of fuel and use 12 engines over the year in exchange for using spec software. There is also no engine freeze in the secondary class. Those advantages [...]

Ducati class switch angers Honda

March 4th, 2014

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Honda says it is “not happy” about the circumstances under which Ducati made its radical switch from being a factory to an Open class entrant in MotoGP. HRC team principal Livio Suppo said that, while he was sympathetic to Ducati’s priorities, its switch undermined what he believes is the fundamental basis for the Open class’s creation. He also voiced his disgruntlement over the release of new and more sophisticated spec software just days before Ducati confirmed its direction change. Andrea Dovizioso, now riding an Open-class Ducati, finished just six thousandths of a second down on Honda’s Dani Pedrosa after the second day of tyre testing at Phillip Island on Tuesday. “As Honda, the position is clear; we understand that Ducati is behind, so they are trying everything to recover,” Suppo [...]

Lorenzo stays on top at Phillip Island

March 4th, 2014

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Jorge Lorenzo was quickest again on day two of MotoGP’s tyre test at a scorching Phillip Island. After expressing deep unhappiness with Bridgestone’s 2014 rubber during last week’s Sepang test, Lorenzo has found the tyres far more to his liking in warmer conditions at the Australian track. The focus of the test is on addressing the tyre wear issues that disrupted both the MotoGP and Moto2 races at Phillip Island last October, with suppliers Bridgestone and Dunlop assessing a wide variety of options during the three days of running. TOBY MOODY: How MotoGP averted disaster at Phillip Island Yamaha rider Lorenzo got down to a 1m29.133s lap on Tuesday, two tenths of a second ahead of Honda rival Dani Pedrosa. Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso completed the top three, with his team-mate [...]

Fitness a huge issue – Lorenzo

March 3rd, 2014

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Jorge Lorenzo has revealed that he feels ‘destroyed’ by race simulations in MotoGP testing at the moment following winter surgery. The double champion had follow-up operations during the off-season related to the damage he sustained in his pair of collarbone-breaking crashes at Assen and the Sachsenring last summer. He said his fitness was therefore hampering him in 2014 pre-season testing, where he has also been unsettled by the characteristics of Bridgestone’s new tyres. “I underwent three surgery operations,” Lorenzo told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’m not in shape, I haven’t had time to recover from the three general anaesthesia. “I began gym work late and I’m far from last year’s condition. “I struggle to ride and a simulation destroys me.” Lorenzo played down speculation that his tough winter has made him [...]

Lorenzo leads Phillip Island testing

March 3rd, 2014

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Lorenzo leads Phillip Island testing

Jorge Lorenzo was quickest on the opening day of MotoGP’s tyre test at Phillip Island on Monday. The test has been arranged to avert a repeat of the problems that blighted last year’s Australian Grand Prix, when tyre wear issues forced MotoGP to add mid-race pitstops and truncated the Moto2 event. TOBY MOODY: How MotoGP averted disaster at Phillip Island Bridgestone has brought six new varieties of tyres to the test, which is being attended by the factory Yamaha, Honda and Ducati teams. The squads are sitting out the previously scheduled Qatar test later this week to ensure they do not get an unfair advantage. Lorenzo had been extremely unhappy with Bridgestone’s 2014 tyres during last week’s Sepang test, but was quickest for the majority of day one at Phillip [...]

Camier loses Ioda MotoGP ride

March 1st, 2014

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British rider Leon Camier is set to lose his planned Ioda MotoGP seat before the season even starts. The 27-year-old was listed on a second Aprilia for Ioda in January. But amid rumours of financial problems, the team did not make it to either of the first two pre-season tests in Malaysia. An updated entry list was released on Friday featuring only a single Ioda entry for team regular Danilo Petrucci. The team subsequently issued a statement confirming that it would start the season with just Petrucci. Ioda boss Giampiero Sacchi said the intention was still to add a second bike for Camier at a later stage if possible. “Our priority is to start working with Aprilia for the development of the bike according to the steps that we have [...]

Lorenzo: tyres give Honda advantage

February 28th, 2014

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Jorge Lorenzo believes Honda has been handed a definitive advantage over Yamaha as a result of Bridgestone’s altered 2014 MotoGP tyre compounds. The Spaniard has grown increasingly despondent about Yamaha’s ability to adapt to the new rubber, and in particular the stiffer sidewalls that reduce edge grip. Having first spoken of his fears on Wednesday, he is now convinced Honda will have a clear lead on Yamaha over the season as a result of the tyres. “This tyre is much worse for Yamaha and better for Honda,” he said after the final day of Sepang testing. “We found a better solution today to improve our situation [but] at this track, with this Tarmac that is very slippery, it’s impossible for us to be competitive. “We tried a simulation today and [...]

Pedrosa edges Espargaro on day two

February 27th, 2014

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Dani Pedrosa shaded Aleix Espargaro to set the pace on day two of MotoGP’s second 2014 pre-season test at Sepang. The works Honda rider surged ahead in the final hour, denying Espargaro by just over two tenths of a second. The latter excelled once again on his Open class Forward FTR-Yamaha, setting the pace for much of the day. Alvaro Bautista, who went quickest on an unusual opening day, continued his own strong start by going third fastest for the Gresini Honda squad. The Spaniard finished two tenths of a second down the road from Espargaro, and within half a second of Pedrosa. Valentino Rossi, among the day’s busiest riders with 60 laps under his belt, ended up fourth overall. His Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, disgruntled by Bridgestone’s new tyre [...]

Marquez ruled out of rest of testing

February 26th, 2014

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MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez will miss the rest of 2014 pre-season testing due to the broken leg he sustained in training last week. Marquez and his Honda team had initially hoped that he would only have to sit out this week’s Sepang sessions and could return to the track in Phillip Island testing early in March. But after a further medical check with MotoGP surgeon Dr Xavier Mir on Wednesday, Marquez has been told he will be sidelined until the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix weekend on March 20-23. “I’m obviously disappointed that I’m not in Sepang at the moment and to miss Phillip Island is also unfortunate, but we believe it is the best decision,” said Marquez. “After my meeting today with Dr Mir, although he was happy with [...]

Lorenzo fears tyres will cause issues

February 26th, 2014

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Jorge Lorenzo fears that Bridgestone’s 2014 MotoGP tyres are going to prove troublesome for Yamaha. The double world champion was already concerned that Yamaha was struggling to adapt to this year’s fuel regulation changes and their impact on electronics. After the first day of the second pre-season test at Sepang, Lorenzo said the latest Bridgestones were now the biggest headache. “The new rear tyres, both the soft and the hard, are not working properly on our M1,” he said after going fifth quickest. “We tried many things but for the moment we haven’t found any solutions. Tomorrow we are going to try something different with the electronics that worked last year to try to improve a little bit because we are not so good today. “The tyres don’t give me [...]

Bautista sets early pace at Sepang

February 26th, 2014

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Alvaro Bautista denied Aleix Espargaro the top spot on an unusual first day of the second pre-season MotoGP test at Sepang. Few of the big names came out early on due to the dusty track conditions, with Gresini Honda rider Bautista taking up first position for much of the day. He was briefly pipped by a 2m00.900s lap from Espargaro’s Open class Forward FTR-Yamaha, before redressing the balance with a lap 0.052 seconds quicker in the closing moments. The pace of Forward’s Yamaha-based machine has already caused controversy, with Honda unhappy about its arch-rival’s interpretation of the Open category regulations. Espargaro’s Wednesday pace will fuel the debate further. Both Espargaro brothers were in the top three, as Aleix’s rookie brother Pol put his Tech 3 Yamaha third with a late [...]

Honda won’t rush Marquez comeback

February 25th, 2014

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Honda insists it will not rush Marc Marquez’s comeback from a broken right leg, despite the disruption to the Spaniard’s preparations for his MotoGP title defence. Marquez suffered the break while riding a dirt-track bike in Spain last week. He will be forced to sit out the forthcoming three-day test at Sepang, which starts on Wednesday February 26, and is also a doubt for a three-day run at Phillip Island in early March. Honda though downplayed the potential cost of missing out, saying Marquez’s pace and feedback had already established a strong platform for his 2014 campaign. The 21-year-old was quickest on all three days of 2014′s opening test in Malaysia earlier in February. “On the one hand it would be good for him to be on the bike again [...]

Brazil drops off MotoGP calendar

February 24th, 2014

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MotoGP has dropped its planned Brazilian Grand Prix and consequently returned to 18 races for the 2014 season. The series had originally planned 19 races, substituting the loss of Laguna Seca with rounds in Argentina and Brazil. While the former event was given an official green light last month, Brazil’s round – slated to be hosted at a revamped Brasilia track – was still subject to the circuit being homologated. The event has now been dropped from the latest calendar issued by governing body the FIM. As part of the reshuffle, the Aragon race will now be held one week later on September 28, the date originally given to Brasilia. MotoGP has not raced in Brazil since 2004.

Ducati enticed by MotoGP Open class

February 11th, 2014

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Ducati has admitted taking an active interest in MotoGP’s Open class as it evaluates whether to remain a factory entrant in 2014. Speculation that the Italian marque could make a radical switch ahead of this year’s championship was instigated when new Ducati Corse general manager Luigi Dall’Igna said the Open class was “the future of MotoGP“. Ducati’s MotoGP project manager Paolo Ciabatti said the team was not dismissing the possibility of running in the sport’s second class, and bringing its status as a factory effort to an end. He said Aleix Espargaro’s pace on the Open class Forward FTR-Yamaha had been particularly compelling, after the Spaniard finished fourth overall in pre-season testing at Sepang. “Obviously the option of the Open class is an interesting one,” Ciabatti told the official MotoGP [...]

Ezpeleta downplays Honda exit threat

February 7th, 2014

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MotoGP chief Carmelo Ezpeleta has played down the chances of Honda quitting the series, insisting common ground can yet be found. HRC team principal Shuhei Nakamoto warned at the end of last season that Honda will almost certainly quit the sport if control ECUs are made mandatory, a move series promoter Dorna has been pushing for. But while Dorna and Honda both appear to be entrenched in their positions, Ezpeleta says he is confident a deal can be brokered and the stand-off diffused. “First of all I must say I’m in fine relationships with Shuhei Nakamoto, and I’m saying this because I realise that’s what we are talking about,” Ezpeleta told Motosprint. “Since 1992 I’ve met many HRC bosses, and I’ve had a good understanding with some and less with [...]

Rossi already ‘stronger’ than in 2013

February 7th, 2014

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Valentino Rossi says three days of MotoGP pre-season testing at Sepang were enough to convince him he has made significant strides over the winter. After a disappointing 2013 campaign with Yamaha, when he was outclassed by team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, Rossi said the first six races of 2014 would determine whether he retires at the end of the year. He began preparations for that six-race trial in style, outpacing Lorenzo on all three days at Sepang and ending with the second fastest time overall, less than two tenths down on last year’s champion Marc Marquez. Rossi said that lap time, allied to genuine improvements on the bike, were a cause for optimism. “I’m very happy about the test, because I improve a lot compared to last year,” he said. “I improved [...]

Marquez fastest again on day two

February 5th, 2014

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Marc Marquez continued his strong start to his MotoGP championship defence by topping the second day of 2014 pre-season testing at Sepang. The Honda rider, who was comfortably fastest on day one, flew to a new benchmark of 1m59.926s, leaving him the only rider to crack the 2m00s barrier. Last year’s pole time at the Malaysian track was a 2m00.011s, set by Marquez’s works team-mate Dani Pedrosa. The Spaniard was Marquez’s closest challenger, but was still more than four tenths of a second off. Stefan Bradl meanwhile ensured a top three lockout for Honda, going third fastest – just three thousandths of a second down on Pedrosa – for the LCR satellite squad. Yamaha’s works duo Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo wound up fourth and sixth respectively, both men finishing [...]