Formula 3 adds South Arabia race to 2018/19 calendar

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Formula E and the FIA have announced the calendar for the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship, which gets underway in Saudi Arabia on December 15.

The calendar features 13 races in 12 cities across four continents – starting in Diriyah and coming to a close in New York with a double-header on July 13 and 14.

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship returns to a number of existing venues and locations including Marrakesh, Mexico City and Hong Kong, which moves to a later date in March.

Formula E cars will tackle a number of cities spanning the continent, with the European leg comprising of races in Rome, Paris, Berlin and Zurich, in addition to visiting the streets of Monaco for a third time on May 11 – appearing on the calendar on a bi-annual basis.

And in a bid to promote a mixture of strategic options it will be mandatory for drivers to use two different power modes over a race distance this season.

Drivers will be able to access 225kW of power in a higher mode – as opposed to the standard 200kW available during the race – once they’ve passed through a single activation zone.

The activation zone will be clearly visible and marked out on the circuit for fans trackside and those watching on TV.

The two power modes on each car will be indicated using different colours on the innovative LED system on the halo head protection device.

Drivers will also be able to activate FANBOOST – the unique interactive voting mechanism that allows three drivers to receive extra energy – only when the cars are running on a higher power mode, taking the maximum power available to 250kW.

Other alterations include changes to the number of cars making it through to the super pole shoot-out, in order to accommodate the larger grid of 22 cars.

The new qualifying format now sees the top-six fastest drivers after the group stages battle it out to secure Julius Baer pole position.

Race distances will no longer be measured using a pre-defined number of laps, but will instead run to a strict time limit of 45-minutes plus one lap to reach the chequered flag.

Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO of Formula E, said: “The ABB FIA Formula E Championship has always produced highly competitive and unpredictable racing. Formula E is synonymous with innovation and pioneering technology – that’s exactly what we’ll be seeing again next season with the step-up in performance and efficiency of the futuristic next generation car, as well as trialling unique and radical concepts to usher in a new era of Formula E.

“The new format and split levels of power being introduced for season five will add an extra strategic element and continue to offer intense and exciting competition between some of the most talented drivers and biggest brands in motorsport. I’m looking forward to seeing the new cars and format in action against the backdrop of iconic city skylines – starting in Ad Diriyah in December.”

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Jorge Lorenzo registers first win with Ducati at Italian GP as Marc Marquez crashes

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Jorge Lorenzo cruised to what was his first MotoGP win for Ducati on Sunday after world championship leader Marc Marquez crashed in the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.

Lorenzo, who started from second, dominated the race as his Ducati partner Andrea Dovizioso finished second and Valentino Rossi, who began from pole position ended third.

Marquez meanwhile, while trying to put pressure on Lorenzo, slid into the gravel on the fifth lap and then had trouble in restarting his Honda.

He did manage to finish in 16th position to remain on top of the championship standings after six races but his lead has been cut.

Rossi has now moved to the second spot and is 23 points behind Marquez with Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales, who finished eighth, in third position.

Lorenzo is now at 10th place after his win and has 41 points to his name in the standings.

“Today no one could catch me, I was in control and to win here with Ducati is like a dream,” he said.

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A day to remember as Valentino Rossi smashes lap record to claim pole position at Italian MotoGP

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Home sweet home for Valentino Rossi

Veteran rider Valentino Rossi claimed his first pole since October 2016 when he set a new track record at the Italian MotoGP on Saturday.

The Yamahan rider clocked 1min 46.208 seconds on the Mugello track to edge Jorge Lorenzo and his Spanish compatriot Maverick Vinales, who completed the front row for Sunday’s race.

It was the first pole position for the 39-year-old former seven-time world MotoGP champion since the Japanese Grand Prix more than a year and half ago.

“I’m very happy, it’s a surprise,” said Rossi.

“In the last free practice session we tried harder tyres but I was in trouble, with the medium tyres it was better, the bike was good and when I saw the time of 1’46.2 I thought ‘It could be …’ It was very emotional.

“Tomorrow will be a bit harder, but for now I enjoy the moment.”

The Italian veteran also shaved 0.231 off the new lap record which had been achieved earlier in the day by Spanish world champion Marc Marquez of Honda.

Championship leader Marquez will start from sixth on the grid with Italy’s Andrea Iannone (Suzuki) and Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) in fourth and fifth position.

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