Motorsport News 101 | Your weekly digest from the motorsport world
Last week, the realm of motorsport was filled with all kinds of highs and lows. On one hand, Ducati locked in a victory on their home soil, Misano, in the hands of Italian rider Francesco Bagnaia. This was more than just a victory for Ducati since their last victory at Misano was in 2018. On the other hand, Indian DTM driver, Arjun Maini, had to endure a tough weekend in DTM Assen after scoring no points in the two races. So, without much further ado, let us dive into the top stories from the motorsport world.
1. Francesco Bagnaia wins two races in seven days
Francesco Bagnaia makes it two victories in MotoGP in a span of seven days. After winning at Aragon, Bagnaia had the momentum with him as he entered Misano. Right from the get-go, Bagnaia proved that he had the pace to be a contender for pole. And he did. Bagnaia set a blistering lap time during qualifying which was unmatched by the rest. In the race, he got a good launch from holeshot and from then on, no one could show the back of their wheel to him for the rest of the race. The Italian was far ahead in the lead for most of the race and was only reeled in by Fabio Quartararo in the final stages. But Bagnaia fended off the attacks from the Frenchman and came home victorious for the second time in seven days.
With Quartararo 48 points ahead in the championship from Bagnaia, the Frenchman almost has a hand on the title. What will be interesting to see is if Ducati and Bagnaia can carry this momentum forward and deny Quartararo and Yamaha the title in the remaining four races of the 2021 season.
To read the full MisanoGP report, click here.
2. A weekend to forget for Arjun Maini
Arjun Maini experienced the rougher side of DTM at Assen after not scoring points in the two races. The Indian faced a retirement at the first race after crashing into Vincent Abril on the rolling start. The mistake for the crashes was pointed towards Liam Lawson as he failed to commence the race with a clean start. But it meant that Maini was out of the race even before it started.
Things didn’t turn out to be in his favour for the second race as well. Even after Maini qualified only 0.220 seconds behind the pole-sitter Lucas Auer, he started from P8 on the grid. But after a bad start, he fell to P19 and from then on, it was pretty much damage control for the young Indian. He finished the race in P13, but his drive resulted in a weekend with no points.
Maini still stands P14 on the grid with 17 points and has said that he will bounce back in the races to come in DTM.
To read the full DTM Assen report, click here.
3. Romain Grosjean takes podium in Indycar
Ex-Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean finished third in Indycar Laguna Seca after a blistering drive from P13 on the grid. The Frenchman pulled off some daring and also some questionable moves on the other drivers to grasp his third podium finish of the season. To put things into perspective of how hard Grosgean’s race was, here’s a stat. Grosjean had to pass 27 cars in total over 95 laps to achieve his podium finish.
In the race, Grosjean had a collision with seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson in the closing laps of the race. The Frenchman closed in on Johnson in Corkscrew and while Grosjean took the inside line to the turn, he failed to stop the car and shunted the side of Johnson’s car. Grosjean called the move a ‘Zinardi’, paying homage to Alex Zanardi’s move on Bryan Herta at the Corkscrew in 1996. However, Grosjean was not penalised for the move and he went ahead to cross the finish line in third.
4. New qualifying and race format for MotoE 2022
The 2021 season of MotoE came to an end last week with Jordi Torres taking the world championship or in this case, the world cup title with 97 points. The races this year were more competitive than ever and with the innovation of Enel X and JuiceRoll Race Edition, the mechanics on the track were able to charge these two-wheeled monsters within minutes for the sessions. Now, speaking of sessions, there has been an overhaul of the MotoE weekend for the 2022 season and from now on, the session will look something like this.
The MotoE sessions for the 2022 season will look more attuned to the other Moto classes. The new format will feature two practise sessions and qualifying on Friday, followed by two races divided between Saturday and Sunday. The qualifying format will be just like MotoGP where riders will be divided between Q1 and Q2 according to their lap times in the two free practice sessions. Each qualifying session will be 10 minutes long and will decide the grid for the race.
The following decision was taken on September 17 between the MotoE Grand Prix Commission which composed of Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Paul Duparc (FIM), and Herve Poncharal (IRTA) over an electronic meeting.
To know all about MotoE, click here.
5. ACI Rally Monza confirmed for 2021 WRC finale
The ACI Rally Monza has been confirmed to be the season finale for the 2021 WRC calendar. This also makes Rally Monza’s second season as a calendar finale for WRC. Rally Monza will replace Rally Japan as it was cancelled due to the pandemic conditions in Japan. The event will take place from November 19 to November 21 at the famous Autodromo Nazionale de Monza race circuit near Milan. The rally will feature stages that will include famous Monza corners such as Michele Alboreto, Lesmo and Curva Grande.
WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel said “There were plenty of thrills and spills at last year’s rally when wintry conditions played a crucial part”. He added, “This year’s event will be held earlier, but the ‘Temple of Speed’ allied with tough roads in the foothills of the Alps will ensure the action will be equally breathtaking.”
Even though Rally Japan will be dearly missed this year, we are certain that Rally Monza will fill that gap in every rally fan’s heart.
This weekend we have the Round 15 of Formula 1 taking place in Sochi Autodrom, Russia. But that’s not all. Formula 1 also brings Formula 2 and Formula 3 at the weekend and that will make it something to wait for. Indycar will also host its final race of the season in Long Beach, USA on September 26. Last but not the least, WSBK will race at Jerez this weekend. With all that said, it's safe to conclude that there is an action-packed weekend ahead of us. So stay tuned to evo India for news and updates from the motorsport world!