Not long after winning last year’s title alongside Naoki Yamamoto for the Kunimitsu Honda squad, Makino was struck by a bout of meningitis that left him hospitalised for a month. The 23-year-old missed the start of the SUPER GT season at Okayama and the opening two races of the Super Formula campaign at Fuji and Suzuka. Hideki Mutoh replaced Makino alongside Yamamoto at Okayama, but for this week’s second round at Fuji – which will be run over 500km instead of the standard 300km – all three drivers will be sharing the #1 Honda NSX-GT . Read Also: Opinion: Why Honda will be green with substitution envy While three driver line-ups are relatively common in the GT300 ranks for longer races, the Fuji round marks the first time since the 2017 Suzuka 1000km that a GT500 team has elected to run three drivers. Speaking after setting the third-fastest time in opening practice, Makino told Motorsport.com that he expects to complete a full stint in the race based on his … [Read more...] about Makino “feeling good” after “struggling” on test return
What depression feels like
Aprilia has scored just six top six finishes in the modern MotoGP era. The latest of those came two weeks ago in Portugal, courtesy of an in-form Aleix Espargaro aboard an RS-GP that looked like a genuinely competent package for the first time. A strong Friday showing at Jerez for the Spanish Grand Prix, which Espargaro ended third fastest, teases the prospect that for the first time the Spaniard could make a legitimate challenge for the podium on Sunday. “I’m satisfied about day one, but the good thing is it looks like Aprilia and Aleix is working well everywhere we go,” Espargaro enthused when Motorsport.com asked if the Spanish GP could be ‘the big one’ for Aprilia. “So, it’s not about one single track. The track is a bit slippery, so after all first day, all riders in every single track will put more rubber down on track. I think the things may change a little bit, but why not [aim for the podium]? I feel good, so let’s see.” It’s not the first time Espargaro has … [Read more...] about Can MotoGP’s underdog spoil Yamaha’s party at Jerez?
The Canadian star won races in Formula BMW, Formula Atlantic, GP3, Formula 3, A1GP, Formula 2 and won the Formula Renault 3.5 Series which earned him a Formula 1 testing role. However, without the necessary funding to become an F1 test driver, Wickens stepped off the open-wheel ladder to spend six seasons in the DTM series (where he scored six wins) before joining the IndyCar Series for 2018. Belying his rookie status, he scored a pole and four podium finishes in his first 13 races, took Rookie of the Year honors at the Indy 500, and lay sixth in the championship when a horrific crash in the 14 th round at Pocono in August left him with a thoracic spinal fracture, fractures to both legs, both hands, a forearm, an elbow and four ribs. Wickens was second at Mid-Ohio in 2018, his final completed IndyCar Series race. Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images Today Wickens tested a racecar for the first time since the accident , which occurred when he was 29, … [Read more...] about Wickens still aims to return to “elite level” of motorsport
The Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet driver, who last year finished fourth in his first full season in IndyCar, nailed his first win at this level with victory in the second round of Texas Motor Speedway’s double-header on Sunday. O’Ward, who turns 22 tomorrow, was asked afterward if his triumph might help IndyCar return to his homeland. “I sure hope so,” said the 2018 Indy Lights champion. “I don't think just one win will do it. I think if we're consistently championship contenders, if we win a couple more, I think that will definitely help the chances of a bit more. That's the goal. “I always tell everybody, ‘If we go back to Mexico, it's going to be a sold out event and it's going to be awesome!’ We just have to get into the process as soon as we can.… “I feel like there is nothing better than the Mexican fans. There is so much life and energy, especially for their fellow countrymen. It's really cool. “We always want to see more. I feel like we have so much potential … [Read more...] about O’Ward: A Mexican IndyCar race would be “sold out”
The six-time MotoGP world champion broke his right arm at Jerez last season, which ultimately forced him out of the entire 2020 campaign and meant he would not race again until the Portuguese GP two weeks ago. Marquez qualified sixth and finished as top Honda in seventh despite his 265-day absence from MotoGP, with many of his rivals expecting him to be stronger come this weekend’s Jerez round. However, Marquez says the main goal is to get through the weekend in a better physical state and insists he still needs more time on the bike before thinking about results. “Yeah, of course Portimao was a special weekend in all sides,” he said. “But here I feel like everything is more quiet and this is important. “It feels like a normal weekend. I don’t feel like my physical condition is very different, it’s very similar. “I hope to ride in a better way from FP1, my target is try to be more stable with my physical condition all weekend in a circuit that I know, at a circuit … [Read more...] about Marquez has “no clear target” for Jerez MotoGP round