Francesco Bagnaia Breaks Record with Fourth-Straight MotoGP Victory at Misano
On his home course, in front of his hometown fans, Monster Energy’s Francesco Bagnaia (Lenovo Ducati) recorded a record-setting 4th-straight MotoGP victory for the Factory Ducati program, topping fellow Italian and Ducati teammate Enea Bastianini (Gresini Ducati) by 300ths of a second in a spectacular finish at the famed Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
The blistering final lap of the 27-lap race saw Bastianini put up the day’s fastest lap in pursuit of Bagnaia – a 1:31.868 — to seemingly catch Bagnaia, both with throttles wide open, only to lose to the Monster Energy racer at the tape by 0.034 seconds.
With four laps to go, it was obvious the Italians – Bagnaia and Bastianini – were going to take the San Marino GP down to the wire. Bastianini would blink first, almost coming together with Bagnaia on Turn 4. Bastianini recovered quickly and held it open through the checkers, but countryman Bagnaia was just too fast and too smart, covering his fellow Ducati racer in each nail-biting corner until the last second before beating Bastianini at the line.
“I’m very happy,” said Bagnaia: “A great race because I struggled at the start because the grip was not so high, so I struggled a bit to find some grip, some traction. But then, I started to feel that the fuel was going down a bit and my feeling with the tires was even better and better, lap by lap. So, in the last laps, I was trying to push, to open a gap. But Enea was too fast. I’m very happy to win today. It wasn’t the best start from P5, but we did it. So I’m very happy.”
With the victory, Bagnaia moved past Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) into 2nd place in the overall MotoGP standings, 30 points back of leader current point leader and defending MotoGP champion, Monster Energy’s Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha).
George Russell Takes 2nd in Controversial Dutch Grand Prix
The legendary Zandvoort Circuit was the site of Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix and it was there that George Russell and his V6 Turbocharged Mercedes-AMG E Performance Silver Arrow finished in second after a controversial race strategy with teammate Lewis Hamilton, who fell into fourth place despite leading late. The medium tire proved to be too offset for Lewis, and he was passed by those behind on the soft tire, finishing P4 while George moved up to P2 – his highest finishing position for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team.
“It’s been an incredible reception here, a special feeling for all of us drivers to come racing in Zandvoort and in Holland,” offered Russell afterwards. “As a team, we showed incredible pace today, I know the team result wasn’t quite what we hoped for, but this gives us a lot of confidence and a lot of faith going forwards. It’s incredible to see three different teams on the podium, and we as Mercedes are slowly getting closer to that top step, so let’s keep on pushing.”
“Not an easy decision for the team to make with the final safety car – when you’re in front with track position, you’ve got a shot to go for the win which is what we did. But this is what we as Mercedes are here to do, we’re here to win. And the 2000 people back in the UK, at Brackley and Brixworth, are all working to get us that win, so today we took a decision to give us the best chance of that. But from race one in Bahrain, being a second off, to this weekend and having the fastest race car is incredibly impressive and everyone in the team should be very proud.”
Added seven-time F1 World Champion Hamilton: “Today we were really challenged with the VSCs and Safety Cars. I think the strategy and the car had been so good up until that point, the pit stops were fantastic, the best I think we’ve had all year and it was really getting me up. Especially after such an up and down year, we’ve not had a win since Saudi Arabia last year. So, it was finally there, within our grasp but of course then the safety car really didn’t help.”
“But the guys were really, really on it, we were all on it and I really was hopeful that we were going to get a 1-2 together as a team. Without the safety car I think we’d have been challenging them for the win at the end on the one-stop which I don’t think the others could do. So many great things to take from this weekend - the car was finally working. If this can be the same in the future races, we’re going to be continuing to breathe down their necks and we’re going to get that win.”
Jago Geerts Heartbreakingly Pipped in Championship Finale to Finish 2nd
They battled for 18 rounds and 36 races. And when the dust finally settled on the closely-fought 2022 FIM Motocross World Championship’s MX2 class, Monster Energy’s Jago Geerts (Yamaha) finished as the runner-up in the class – as he had in 2021 and ‘20. The Belgian Geerts, a former 125cc Junior World Champion, went 2-2 on the day at Afyonkarahisar, racing – and leading – eventual winner Tom Vialle (KTM) at several points in the motos before ultimately scoring the runner-up position.
In the opening moto, Geerts overcame a mid-race crash to climb all the way back to 2nd place, passing the Netherlands’ Kay de Wolf (Husqvarna) late in the contest. In the second moto Geerts would lead early, but wound up going down three times (to Vialle’s once) in the tricky conditions. Geerts would actually catch and pass Vialle twice in the second moto, but was unable to make the passes stick and had to settle for 2nd.
In MXGP class, Monster Energy claimed both podium top spots in Turkey, with Maxime Renaux (Yamaha) and Romain Febvre (Kawasaki) winning Moto 1 and Moto 2, respectively. With the championship already wrapped up, Renaux came out strong by winning the opening moto, topping his Monster Energy teammate Jeremy Seewer (Yamaha) and newly crowned MXGP champion Tim Gajser (Honda) in 3rd. In the second moto Febvre was victorious, but, along with Renaux, wasn’t able to put together two strong motos.
Placing 2nd overall in Turkey with a 2-3, Seewer claimed the MXGP championship runner-up slot.
Brittany Force Grabs Second Consecutive Podium Finish in Indianapolis
Brittany Force and the Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster team recorded their second consecutive runner-up finish on Monday afternoon at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Force and her nitromethane-burning 11,000-horsepower Monster Energy dragster were side-by-side with the three-time champion Anton Brown but came up just short at the finish line: Brown would go 3.706-seconds at 321.65 mph to defeat Force’s 3.714 at 333.00 mph.
“Overall, not a bad weekend for this Monster Energy team. We can’t complain,” Force said. “We qualified No. 1, ran for the Pep Boys Callout money, got beat in the final. Race day, Monday had another final round appearance. So, it’s positive all around.”
“Our biggest objective coming in was leaving with the points lead, and we did just that. Everything resets in the Countdown but we’re in the position we want to be in, and we head to Reading, Pennsylvania next.”
CJ Greaves Takes Incredible Seventh Championship; Teenage Gray Leadbetter Wins First ACOR Title
Championship weekend for the AMSOIL Championship Off-Road (ACOR) series at the famed Crandon International Raceway in Wisconsin came to a crescendo as Monster Energy’s CJ Greaves grabbed his class-leading sixth win – and seventh PRO 4 championship, including back-to-back titles — in taking the checkers in PRO 4’s main event. CJ Greaves’ win completed a Monster Energy sweep of the premier PRO 4 class overall podium with Kyle LeDuc taking 2nd place and Johnny Greaves, CJ’s father, taking 3rd.
Said CJ of the season’s wild finale race (in which he was as far back as 9th place): “First things first, we had to go out there and make sure we got clean laps to score our points. After that I just kept playing it cool. I know these PRO 4 classes are crazy and sometimes it’s down to the end of who’s surviving. I don’t think you could script it any better than what just happened.”
CJ benefitted from having a number of racers, including race leader Andrew Carlson, leave the race with some sort of issue.
Another overall championship for Monster Energy came in the highly competitive ACOR PRO SPEC class where teenage sensation Gray Leadbetter edged out Nick Visser by one point for the title. Leadbetter won on Friday at Crandon, then placed 3rd on Saturday to secure the championship – her first in ACOR racing.
And in PRO STOCK SXS racing at Crandon, CJ Greaves would again run victorious, topping defending champion and current point leader Brock Heger on Saturday for his fourth win of the season.
MOUNTAIN BIKE - DOWNHILL
Monster Energy’s Amaury Pierron and Camille Balanche Claim Overall Elite Men and Women's Titles in 2022 Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup
Monster has two brand new World Champions! Amaury Pierron and Camille Balanche claimed the respective Elite Men’s and Women’s titles at the 2022 Mercedes-Benz UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup this weekend.
In the season’s final race in Val Di Sole, Italy, 26-year-old Pierron from Brioude, France, claimed the title on the strength of 1253 points. In the Elite Women division, 32-year-old Balanche from La Chaux-de-Fond, Switzerland, clinched the overall title with 1465 points — even after fracturing her collarbone less than four weeks ago.
The winners were crowned at the final and most challenging race of the season: the legendary downhill track in Val Di Sole. The day was won by 26-year-old Monster Energy team rider Loris Vergier, from Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, whose 3:39.774 finish time secured him second place in the overall rankings with 1008 points. An unfortunate crash left Pierron in 53rd on the day, but no one could touch his overall points lead. Likewise, Balanche’s 5th place finish on the day was enough to secure the overall championship.
Also finishing the 2022 Mercedes-Benz UCI Downhill Mountain Bike World Cup season on a strong note was 18-year-old team rider Izabela Yankova from Teteven, Bulgaria, who finished the season in third place overall in the Junior Women division at 295 points.