A quick look around the world of racing …
All the keeners have already watch the race, but if you didn’t get around to it, we finally got the answer: Is Honda’s Marc Marquez going to return to his race-winning form?
Marquez returned at Portimao this weekend, and did well in the FP1 session and topped the Q1 session in his first GP appearance in almost a year (he’s been off recovering from injuries to his right arm). He was mostly top-10 elsewhere, and when race day approached, some wondered if he’d go right back to winning everything.
He didn’t. Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo won the race, his second in a row, followed by Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia and then Suzuki’s Joan Mir. Marquez was seventh, but at least he beat teammate Pol Espargaro (DNF) and brother Alex Marquez (eighth overall for LCR Honda).
(By the way—the pandemic is still very much a problem for the GP circus, as Joan Mir’s crewchief had to miss the race due to being infected).
Marquez was very emotional about his return; all along, he’s been saying he wouldn’t be winning right off the beginning of his comeback. He still showed he’s capable of being scary-fast, and we’d expect that from him in the near future, as his recovery continues.
Is World Superbike ever going to start racing? Normally by now, they’d be weeks into their season, as they typically get an early start in Australia, so as not to conflict with MotoGP’s schedule.
Well thanks to COVID-19, we’re still waiting for our first race, but at least we’ve got an updated provisional schedule:
2021 World Superbike provisional schedule (updated)
- May 21-23, Aragon
- May 28-30, Estoril
- June 11-13 Misano
- July 2-4, Donington Park
- July 23-25, Assen
- August 20-22, Navarra
- September 3-5, Magny-Couers
- September 17-19, Catalunya
- September 24-26, Jerez
- October 1-3, Portugal
- October 15-17, Argentina
- November 12-14, Indonesia
- Australia TBD
Note that all the non-Euro dates are stacked at the end, trying to work around the pandemic, and Australia is listed as being subject to the contract being worked out. Indonesia is subject to FIM homologation, but officials have been working on hammering out those details, and no doubt they’d love to get that track nailed down on the schedule for the future.
Also note the jammed-up dates. Races 1 and 2 directly follow each other, as do Races 8-10. There isn’t much room for error here.
One other piece of info: The WorldSBK and WorldSSP (1000 cc and 600 cc) classes are the only ones to do the overseas visits this year.
Endurance World Championship
The EWC championship was supposed to open this weekend with the Le Mans 24 Hrs Moto. That didn’t happen, as local health officials couldn’t guarantee the racers’ safety and access to health care in event of an emergency. So, it was all postponed. Now, the Le Mans race is scheduled for June 12-13 … and it’s still going to be the season opener. The 8-Hour Oschersleben race in Germany would have been first on the schedule, with its May 23 date, but that had to be canceled. Now they’re trying to jam that race into the schedule somewhere else …