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Mena, Goncalves finish on the podium in Stage 2 of Silkway Rally

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New Delhi: Hero MotoSports Team Rally riders continued their good performance at the Silkway Rally 2019, with a fantastic run today to tame Stage 2 with great authority, breaching the top three rankings.

Oriol Mena in particular was on a roll today, relentlessly pushing ahead to catch several riders ahead of him. His performance resulted in a second-place finish for him, enabling him to climb up to sixth position in the overall rankings. Paulo Goncalves was not the one to be left behind, as he too, made a blazing run to get another solid stage under his belt. With a third-place finish today, he moved up by a few of places to third place in the overall rankings, breaking into the top three early in the rally.

The first in the series of long stages of the Silkway Rally covering 411.5 kms including a special stage of 212kms was held from Baykalsk to Ulan-ude.

The stage offered fast navigation in a diverse set of landscapes to the competitors, starting with a stony broken road section filled with water holes, then following it up with an endure style special section passing through the forest, river bridges, Siberian hills ending in a fast dash to the finish line across steppe plateaus.

Paulo Goncalves (Comp No: 4):”It was a good stage for me today. There were a lot of stones and water fills in the beginning but 90% of the stage was in the forest terrain. Towards the end it became a bit slippery but the bike handled superbly. It’s just the beginning of the rally so my focus is on closing all the stages in the same way for the rest of the rally.”

Oriol Mena (Comp No: 25): “I rode really well today and am quite happy with the results. It was a fast stage today with muddy holes to start with. I rode carefully in this section to avoid any crashes. After about a 100kms the terrain changed into a fast piste and hard ground. Finally after 150 kms of eating a lot of dust at the back of the lead pack, I pushed hard and managed to overtake the rider in front of me.  I am feeling good on the bike and quite confident, so happy to see the back of one more day.”

Provisional Rankings of the Stage 2

  1. Sam Sunderland              Redbull KTM                                   02h 20m 30s
  2. Oriol Mena                       Hero MotoSports                           +39s
  3. Paulo Goncalves             Hero MotoSports                            +50s
  4. Kevin Benavides              Monster Energy Honda                +01m 07s
  5. Joan Barreda                   Monster Energy Honda                 +02m 40s

 

Overall Rankings at the end of the Stage 2

  1. Kevin Benavides              Monster Energy Honda                  02h 52m 28s
  2. Sam Sunderland              Red Bull KTM                                  +08s
  3. Paulo Goncalves             Hero MotoSports                             +01m 19s
  4. Luciano Benavides         Redbull KTM                                    +02m 25s
  5. Joan Barreda                   Monster Energy Honda                 +02m 39s
  6. Oriol Mena                       Hero MotoSports                            +03m 03s

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Leclerc fends off Mercedes drivers to end Ferrari’s Monza win-drought

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Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclrec. Text and Photo: Formula 1

Monza (Italy): A battling performance from Charles Leclerc saw the Monegasque claim his second win in as many weekends, taking a brilliant Italian Grand Prix victory for Ferrari, the Scuderia’s first at Monza since 2010, as he saw off a late-race push from Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.sports news in english

Leclerc became a first-time Grand Prix winner last weekend in Belgium. But while that victory would undoubtedly have been special, winning at Monza in his first race here as a Ferrari driver – claiming the Scuderia’s first Italian Grand Prix win since Fernando Alonso’s victory nine years ago – will doubtless have turned the 21-year-old Leclerc into a national hero in Italy.

For the majority of the race, it appeared as though Lewis Hamilton would once again deny Ferrari home glory. But once the five-time champion’s tyres went off in the closing stages of the race, it was left to team mate Bottas to launch a late, and ultimately unsuccessful assault, on Leclerc.sports news in english

Bottas therefore came home second, while Hamilton completed the podium – with Sebastian Vettel having dramatically spun his Ferrari out of contention for the second consecutive Italian Grand Prix early on in the race.

A fantastic day for Renault saw Daniel Ricciardo claim a season’s best fourth place ahead of team mate Nico Hulkenberg in sixth.

Despite starting eighth – rather than 17th last weekend – Red Bull’s Alex Albon ended up one place lower than he had done in Spa, coming home in sixth, ahead of the Racing Point of Sergio Perez, who just managed to hold off Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who ended up eighth having started P19.

Antonio Giovinazzi chose an opportune moment to score just his second points-finish of the year, coming home ninth for Alfa Romeo, while Lando Norris completed the top 10 for McLaren.

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Moto GP: Marc Marquez claims 50th career win in Czech GP

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Honda's Marc Marquez claims 50th career win in rain-lashed Czech Grand Prix.

Brno: Honda’s Marc Marquez averred his 50th career race triumph with victory at the Czech MotoGP on Sunday after the race had originally been delayed by 45 minutes due to rain. sports world

Earlier, Marc’s brother Alex also made the most of pole position to dominate the Moto2 to register his fifth win of the season.

Defending champion, Marc defeated Ducati’s Italian Andrea Dovizioso by 2.4sec to extend his advantage at the top of the riders’ standings to 63 points with his sixth triumph of the season.

Eight-time world champion Valentino Rossi was sixth and trails Marquez by 110 points in the overall standings.

Australian Jack Miller declined Alex Rins to the third spot for his second podium of the campaign in a race cut by one lap due to adverse weather conditions. sports world

“This is definitely the better one (podium), it was nice to fight at the end,” Millar said. sports world

Alex Marquez, 23, crossed the line more than three seconds up on Italy’s Fabio Di Giannantonio with Enea Bastianini in third. sports world

“I was really concentrating from the beginning because there was some wet patches on turn one but I decided to start and keep my rhythm. I saw ‘Dovi’ was behind me and I kept pushing and pushing and pushing,” Marquez, 26, told broadcaster BT Sport.

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Hamilton edges Verstappen in Hungary F1 thriller

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Lewis Hamilton leads the drivers championship by a big margin.

Beijing: A bold strategy call from Mercedes helped Lewis Hamilton snatch the lead of the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen with just three laps to go, with the Briton taking his eighth victory of the 2019 season. latest sports news headlines

In an entertaining race, the leading two were in a class of their own all day, with Verstappen seizing the initiative from his maiden pole position and Hamilton settling into second place.

The Briton pushed hard after both drivers had made their pit stops, and briefly took the lead after the pair went wheel-to-wheel at turn four on lap 39, but ran wide on the corner exit and was obliged to give the position back to Verstappen.

Realizing that their man would be unlikely to overtake Verstappen on track, Mercedes elected to pit Hamilton for another set of new tyres on lap 48, in the hope that the fresh rubber would allow him to quickly close the gap to the Dutchman.

Shifting to a two-stop strategy worked a treat, with Hamilton not losing his second place and setting several lap records as he closed on Verstappen at over a second per lap, ultimately taking the race lead on lap 67 of 70 as the Red Bull’s badly worn tyres rendered the Dutchman defenseless.

Speaking after the race, Hamilton paid tribute to his team’s role in securing the victory. “I’m really grateful for the team for believing in me and always pushing to the limits and taking a chance. This wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of everyone at the factory. I was on the limit all the way. I didn’t know if I could overhaul a 19 second gap. It was like [doing] qualifying laps every lap.”

Despite losing the lead so late in the race, Verstappen was magnanimous in defeat. “We were not fast enough,” the Dutchman lamented.

“We tried everything, but it was not enough, but I think it was a good weekend overall. Congratulations to Lewis. He was pushing me hard, and I like that.”

Behind the leading two, Sebastian Vettel took advantage of a similar strategy call to overtake teammate Charles Leclerc for third place, though Ferrari may be concerned at their lack of pace relative to the leading two, with their cars finishing over one minute adrift of Hamilton.

It was not a good day for Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas, who finished only eighth after having to pit for a new nosecone following contact early in the race, and suffered the ignominy of being lapped by his teammate.

After crashing out at the previous race in Germany, the Finn’s recent displays will do nothing to quieten the rumors that Mercedes are set to replace him with Esteban Ocon for 2020. latest sports news headlines

Elsewhere, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz took a fine fifth place, ahead of Verstappen’s stablemate Pierre Gasly in another underwhelming performance.

Having failed to register a top-three finish so far this season, the Frenchman is another whose drive is reported to be under threat. latest sports news headlines

Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen finished a solid seventh, Sainz’s teammate Lando Norris took ninth, and Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon rounded out the points positions in 10th place.

Hamilton’s win sees him extend his championship lead to 250 points, with Bottas second on 188 and Verstappen close behind on 181. latest sports news headlines

In the constructor’s standings, Mercedes remain out in front on 438, with Ferrari some way back with 288, and Red Bull on 244. latest sports news headlines

Following a four-week mid-season break, the 2019 Formula 1 season resumes on September 1 with the Belgian Grand Prix.

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