Spares Box Presents the Weekly Motorsport Wrap-up: “Che Gara???!!!!!”
The land Down Under did not fail to deliver on thrills, with the Phillip Island Grand Prix not only playing host to what many are calling the race of the season, but possibly producing one of the most breathtaking, thrilling and memorable races in the recent history of MotoGP. An intense afternoon of riding came to pass – including a total of 52 passes made by the top four riders, one very dead seagull, and an exhilarating final lap where everything was put on the line.
An incredible battle for the top four places essentially started from lap 1, with the immensely powerful Ducati of Andrea Iannone getting off the line the best to lead into turn one, and by the end of lap 2 – a lap which infamously featured the demise of one very unfortunate seagull – the lead had already changed four times. Valentino Rossi, who started the race in 7th, moved his way up the pack and threw himself into the mix as the fourth driver battling for the lead by the end of lap 4.
From then, an immense battle followed, and up until the chequered flag waved the identity of the race winner was completely unpredictable. Less than a second separated the top four riders as they crossed the line to complete the final lap, and the racing only ramped up in intensity. Jorge Lorenzo, who had taken the race lead with 7 laps to go, had his victory amazingly snatched away by Mark Marquez, who saved his best for last to produce not only the fastest lap of the race, but also an incredible move at turn 10 of the final lap to take the lead. Meanwhile, Rossi and Iannone produced a rousing duel in contending for the final podium place, with Iannone emerging the victor after fighting past his compatriot through Lukey Heights.
As the four riders crossed the finish line less than a second separated them, with Marquez becoming the first rider to take 50 GP victories. Lorenzo, who came home second, reduced the gap between he and championship leader Rossi down to just 11 points with two races to go. Truly a race to bring a tear to the eye of many a motorsport fan, and considering that the F1 season is all but wrapped up, maybe it could be time for people to turn their attention to racing of a more two-wheeled nature.
In response to the pulsating racing coming out of Philip Island over the weekend, some of the world’s most insane cars decided to truly turn it up at the World Time Attack Challenge at Eastern Creek. It was Garth Walden who came out with bragging rights, setting a staggering lap time of 1:23.777 in his Tilton Racing Mitsubishi Evo. Shane Van Gisbergen came home second in his MCA Suspension Nissan Silvia, and the Scorch Racing Silvia of Under Suzuki rounded out the Pro Class in third. It was a day where many an Evo ruled, with a Mitsubishi taking bragging rights in in the Pro-Am class, and finishing second in the Open class.
Heading out of Australia and into America’s south, Joey Logano took the spoils in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Hollywood Casino 400. Surging past Matt Kenseth with 7 laps to go to further consolidate his place at the top of the Sprint Cup Standings as the play-offs loom. Also looming in the distance…
Is the Crash of the Week!
And who else could it go to but Andrea Iannone, who found himself in contact with the aforementioned hapless seagull on lap 2 of Sunday’s Australian MotoGP. Crashes don’t come much more Aussie than this.
[YouTube – Colin Marshall]