Francesco Bagnaia Closes the Gap on Fellow Monster Fabio Quartararo With Thrilling 2nd Place Finish
The MotoGP World Championship points chase just got a lot closer between the Monster Energy-backed No. 1 and No. 2 road racers in the world after a thrilling Spanish Grand Prix at the legendary Gran Premio Animoca Brands de Aragon.
Capitalizing off point leader Fabio Quartararo's (Monster Energy/Yamaha) DNF after a crash involving former champion Marc Marquez (Honda), Monster Energy’s Francesco "Pecco" Bagnaia (Ducati/Lenovo Team) raced to a 2nd place finish behind fellow Italian Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing), and in doing so cut Quartararo’s once sizable point lead down to a mere 10 points, 211-201, with five rounds remaining.
With Bagnaia leading the field from the pole position to start the Spanish GP, Marquez, who’d moved up from 13th to 6th on the opening lap, slowed uncharacteristically while exiting Turn 3 and, unfortunately, Quartararo had nowhere to go and smashed into the back end of Marquez — and was thrown from his YZR-M1 to the ground.
With Quartararo’s day over, No. 2 point man Bagnaia engaged in an epic battle with his fellow Ducati pilot and countryman Bastianini, exchanging the lead multiple times and putting up some lap times the rest of the MotoGP field could not answer. Separating from the pack, with Pecco leading through Lap 18, Bastianini would get the measure of Bagnaia on Turn 7 of the final lap, making the pass stick and holding on for another unbelievably close finish from the two Italians – 0.042 seconds apart.
Said Bagnaia of the battle to the checkers with Bastianini: “It was very important in the last lap to finish the race. When I see and feel that Enea was too close to me, I just tried to be relaxed, be calm, and I thought that if he overtakes me I will not take any risk – I will just finish the race in the best way possible. If I saw some errors in the last lap, I would try (to overtake Bastianini). But he didn’t in the last laps, so finally I am happy with the result. I gave my best today and I think we did a big difference compared to the others today.”
Next up on the MotoGP schedule is the Japanese GP, Sept. 25.
Dan Bewley Sweeps All Five Races to Become British Speedway Champion
Monster Energy’s Dan Bewley rebounded from a tough go at FIM Speedway GP’s round in Malilla, Sweden, on Friday, hustling over to the Sports Insure British Final Championship at Belle Vue Stadium in Manchester, England, to win his first-ever British Speedway Championship. The SGP rookie racer, who’s won twice on the world’s premier speedway tour (Cardiff, Wales & Wrocław, Poland), swept all five races, taking a maximum 15 points — and with it the British title.
Bewley’s 15-point effort topped a field of British racers that featured six former champions, going undefeated on the day and winning the Grand Final over Tom Brennan (Bewley’s ’21 Speedway of Nations teammate), Craig Cook and Danny King.
In the Swedish GP two days earlier, Monster Energy’s "Fast" Freddie Lindgren wowed his hometown fans with a silver medal effort on his home GP track. Battling injury and illness for much of the ’22 speedway season, Lindgren’s podium effort moved him up the charts to 6th place overall in the FIM Speedway GP Championship – just one position back of Bewley in 5th.
“I’m over the moon,” said Lindgren. “I have struggled a lot over the last couple of weeks in the GP series. I haven’t performed very well and my league form has been down a bit as well. I’ve been struggling with a lot of health issues off the track, and it was very emotional for me tonight because I have been so down for some period of time now. So to be able to come here in front of my home fans and sponsors and perform like I did today, getting back to myself and the way I know I can ride, is a nice feeling.”
Next up on the FIM Speedway GP Championship tour is Torun, Poland, Sept. 30.
Monster Still Standing on Podium After a Punishing Baja 400
Battling conditions and elements that laid waste to more than 30 percent of the competition field, Monster Energy’s off-road contingent stepped up and conquered the best of what the famed Baja off-road had to offer, scoring a podium runner-up finish and multiple top ten overall class finishes in the third running of the Baja 400 in Mexico, presented by VP Racing Fuels, where Monster Energy is the Official energy drink of the 2022 SCORE World Desert Championship.
Some 394 miles of torturous racing greeted competitors from 22 U.S. states and more than a dozen countries. And when the dust finally settled, just 136 of the 197 total field of competitors were left standing — proud they’d survived one of the most challenging off-road events on the planet.
Leading Monster Energy with a 2nd place finish in the PRO UTV FI (Forced Injection) class was Rodrigo Ampudia. The 37-year-old from Ensenada, Mexico, ran the No. 2910 Can-Am X3 XRC Turbo RR UTV in a time of 09:46:34 to climb the class podium.
Other Monster Energy racers scoring well-earned Top Ten positions at the SCORE Baja 400 include Alan Ampudia (4th) and Cameron Steele (7th) in Trophy Truck; Pierce Herbst (7th) in Trophy Truck Spec; and Matt Burroughs (4th), Marc Burnett (5th) and Justin Lambert (9th) in Pro UTV FI.
Chelsea DeNofa Snags Podium at Grantsville's Brand New Track
Saturday night in Grantsville, Utah marked round number seven of the 2022 Formula Drift Championship and the asphalt wrinkling, tire boiling, wild eyed Formula D contingent provided a frantic introduction to a new track purpose-built for full-on sideways action. And all things considered, it was certainly safe to say Monster Energy – powered Chelsea DeNofa lit up the Utah faithful on the night, topping 110+mph per hour in his potent RTR Motorsports Ford Mustang during his final four battle with Fredric Aasbo.
Chelsea would ultimately leave Utah with a fiercely fought third overall podium finish in the inaugural event. With the 3rd place score, the Philly native now moves to third overall in the Formula D championship standings with one event remaining: Irwindale, California and the House of Drift on October 14 and 15, 2022.
MOUNTAIN BIKE – ENDURO
Jack Moir Takes All Five Stages to Win Enduro World Series #7 in Switzerland
Reigning Champ Jack Moir convincingly won the Enduro World Series Round 7 in Crans-Montana, Switzerland this weekend. The 28-year-old Aussie proved too fast for the field as he continues to push toward the end of the season, winning all five stages and taking home gold. He now sits in fifth place for the overall series rankings.
Following a turbulent season of injuries and mishaps, Moir decided to go for broke at Crans-Montana after seeing his overall series title chances evaporate due to a flat tire at the EWS Round 6 event in Sugarloaf, Maine — which took him from third place for the overall series rankings to eighth place. With nothing left to lose, the Aussie charged hard and managed to put an eight-second lead on his nearest rival, including three seconds on the “pro stage” on Saturday afternoon.
MOUNTAIN BIKE – DOWNHILL
Queen of Downhill Camille Balanche Wins Swiss DH Champs in Home Country
Monster Energy’s Camille Balanche proved her Swiss roots — and her status as Queen of Downhill — as she won the Swiss Downhill Champs in Val d’Anniviers at Bikepark St-Luc this weekend.
Having already claimed the overall title at the World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy, the 32-year-old from La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, continued her winning streak with yet another top of the podium finish.
Luca Shaw takes 2nd at U.S. Open of Mountain Biking Downhill in Vermont
Monster Energy’s 25-year-old team rider Luca Shaw from North Carolina secured an impressive 2nd place at the U.S. Open of Mountain Biking Downhill at Killington Resort, in Vermont this weekend.
Shaw’s runner-up spot earned him $7,500, having finished with just a 2.435-second gap behind Norton Dakotah, who took 1st.
“I am happy to end up in 2nd at the U.S. Open this year,” said Shaw. “It was a really tricky race, and the track was slippery and hard to attack. I had a wild run and made a couple of little mistakes, so I was glad to get to the bottom in one piece. It was a good way to wrap up the year, and I am already looking forward to a good off season and getting ready for next year.”