The local heroes on Xabi Fernández’s MAPFRE were a popular winner in the first point scoring race of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Fernández and his team made a bold call at the start to duck behind the entire fleet in order to sail up what turned out to be the favoured right hand side of the course, coming from behind to earn a narrow lead at the first gate.
Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Johann Zarco delivered a master class performance today to clinch a superb second pole position in his rookie MotoGP season. The French star progressed through to Q2 courtesy of his FP2 time, and here, he battled against the drying yet slippery track, before storming to the top on his penultimate lap. Tomorrow, the highly impressive rookie seeks to scoop his second podium of the year at Yamaha’s home Grand Prix.
The first official racing of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race will take place on Saturday afternoon with the MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante, marking the first point-scoring competition of the event.
The starting gun will fire at 14:00 local time (12:00 UTC) with seven of the best sailing teams in the world pushing hard to lay down a marker in the first competitive confrontation with points on the table.
New Zealander Brendon Hartley will race for Scuderia Toro Rosso at the next round of the Formula 1 World Championship, the USA Grand Prix in Austin, as Pierre Gasly will be racing in Japan for the last race of the Super Formula Championship in Suzuka.
Scuderia Ferrari comes away from Japan with the points for fifth after Kimi made up that same number of places off the grid. From the outset, Sebastian Vettel was robbed of any chance to fight for the win, when a spark plug on one cylinder failed. After Belgium Grand Prix for Ferrari began the problems and now what will happen in the next races?
It feels amazing! We’ve had a great season overall, and on the performance side we have always been very, very quick, and the only low on the performance side was the qualy in Monza and that was my fault because I wasn’t good enough in that session. But apart from that I think we have always been on top and this feels really great.
The final Malaysian Grand Prix was won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen from the second row of the grid, after stopping just once to change from supersoft to soft tyres. This was the strategy that was adopted by all the frontrunners, with the notable exception of Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, who staged a brilliant fightback to fourth from last. The German chose to start the race on the soft tyres to try and gain track position, switching to the faster supersoft tyres on the same lap that Verstappen pitted from the lead to change from supersoft to soft. Vettel was then able to use the extra speed of the supersoft to make his way into the top four places.