Monday Recap: Three Michelin series in action

March 11, 2019

Monday Recap: Three Michelin series in action

March 11, 2019

Three of Michelin’s global motorsport championships were in action on the second weekend of March. MotoGPTM kicked off its 2019 season in Qatar. The FIA World Rally Championship headed to Mexico for its third round of the season. And the ABB FIA Formula E Championship celebrated its 50th race in its history in Hong Kong.

Additionally, the FIA World Endurance Championship had a two-day test at Sebring International Raceway in advance of this week’s 1000 Miles of Sebring on Friday.

Here’s the Michelin Motorsport global channel recaps from the
MotoGPTM , WRC and Formula E races.

Finish shot with Dovizioso (No. 04) ahead of Marquez (No. 93). Photo: Michelin

Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso led a pair of Hondas, Marc Marquez (Repsol) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR), to the flag in the VisitQatar Grand Prix in Losail, Qatar.

The Italian and the Spaniard exchanged the lead on the final lap before Dovizioso emerged victorious at the event for the second straight year.

Alex Rins (Suzuki) and Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) ensured four different brands finished in the top five. Rossi’s teammate, Maverick Viñales, won the pole but fell to seventh.

Most riders opted for Michelin’s medium compound tire for the race under the Qatar lights.

The full MotoGPTM release is here.

Ogier and Citroen won again. Photo: Michelin

A sea change both of location and conditions – literally – greeted the FIA WRC contingent in Mexico. The series shifted from the icy and snowy Rally Sweden to Mexico’s hot, dusty gravel layout for Round 3. Most rally drivers started on Michelin’s medium compound but switched to the hard as the day went on.

Citroen’s Sebastien Ogier claimed his second win of the season (Monte Carlo), ahead of Rally Sweden winner Ott Tanak, who drove a Toyota.

The full WRC release is here.

Formula E
Serge Grisin, FIA Formula E manager, Michelin with the Michelin Man and Alejandro Agag, chairman, Formula E.

Formula E’s 50th race meeting had everything, which played to the strengths of the Michelin Pilot Sport all-weather tire. Rain struck qualifying before halting before the race start. Alas, a drying but still slippery track surface met competitors for the race. And the for the second straight season in Hong Kong, a Formula E race winner changed after the checkered flag fell.

Last season, Daniel Abt lost his maiden victory to Felix Rosenqvist following a technical infringement found in post-race inspection. This weekend, series officials assessed Sam Bird a post-race time penalty for contact with Andre Lotterer. That promoted Edoardo Mortara to the win.

Funnel effect down to first corner in Hong Kong. Photo: Michelin

Bird’s clash with Lotterer saw the Virgin driver docked five seconds, and demoted from the win on the road down to sixth place. Mortara, meanwhile, inherited both his and the Venturi Formula E team’s first victory. This comes in only the fifth race of the new season with new team principal Susie Wolff.

Interestingly, Mortara’s misfortune in season four is what led to the Abt/Rosenqvist post-race win swap last year. Mortara led most of the race before spinning out. Abt and Rosenqvist passed the stricken Mortara before he resumed on the road in third. That became second after Abt’s penalty.

Also worth noting in the Hong Kong weekend was Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s second successive 1-2 sweep in the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Series. Katherine Legge and Bryan Sellers finished in that order last time out at Mexico; Legge became the first woman to win an professional electric car race. In Hong Kong, the two swapped, with Sellers winning and Legge second.

The full Formula E release is here.

What’s Next
  • MotoGPTM : March 31, Argentina
  • FIA WRC: March 28-31, Tour de Corse
  • Formula E: March 23, Sanya, China

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