Joan Mir will not return to action at the British Grand Prix, with test rider Sylvain Guintoli taking his place, Team Suzuki Ecstar have confirmed.

Mir missed the Austrian Grand Prix following a crash in testing that left him with a pulmonary contusion.

The Spaniard had been expected to return to MotoGP at Silverstone, yet he has not made a full recovery and, with his training also limited, his team announced via a statement Mir will sit out.

"In the end, I am not able to be in Silverstone for the next race and it is a real pity," Mir said. "But that's how things are, and the first priority has to be my health.

"After the accident, I spent several weeks resting, first in the hospital and then at home.

"I have started to walk but, after the tests, it seems that I am still not 100 per cent, so the doctors have determined that it is better to continue with my rehabilitation."

Denny Hamlin reigned supreme as he denied Matt DiBenedetto at the NASCAR Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.

It was almost a Cinderella story at Bristol Motor Speedway, where DiBenedetto was less than 10 laps away in the gruelling 500-lap event from the first win in his Cup Series career, but it just was not meant to be.

Hamlin stayed hot and came back from an early bump with Jimmie Johnson to earn his fourth win of the season and his fifth straight finish inside the top three on Saturday.

"I just want to say sorry to Matt DiBenedetto and [his crew chief] Mike Wheeler," said Hamlin. "I hate it. I know a win would mean a lot to that team, but I've got to give 110 per cent to my whole team. Just, sorry."

DiBenedetto received terrible news this week as it was announced he would not be returning to Leavine Family Racing and he was so close to claiming just a taste of redemption at Bristol, but he came up just a little short.

But his second-place finish was his fourth top-10 spot in his last eight races and could be a sign of good things to come even if he has to do it in another ride.

 

 

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family are safe after being involved in a plane crash in Tennessee on Thursday.

Earnhardt's sister Kelley confirmed that a plane carrying the retired NASCAR driver, his wife Amy and their daughter Isla crashed near Bristol.

She said the family and their two pilots were taken to a hospital but are "safe" after the incident.

"Everyone is safe and has been taken to the hospital for further evaluation," she wrote, in part, on Twitter.

"We have no further information at this time. Thank you for your understanding."

NBC Sports released a statement confirming Earnhardt will not be in the broadcast this weekend as he takes time to recover.

"We're incredibly grateful that Dale, his wife Amy, daughter Isla, and the two pilots are safe following today's accident," the statement read.

"After being discharged from the hospital, we communicated with Dale and his team, and we're all in agreement that he should take this weekend off to be with his family. We look forward to having him back in the booth next month at Darlington."

Jack Miller has signed a new one-year contract with Ducati satellite team Pramac Racing - just days after fearing his place was under threat.

The 24-year-old Australian has had two podium finishes in MotoGP this season while proving himself a consistently strong performer.

However, Miller was wary he might lose his ride when rumours began to swirl that three-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo could return to the Ducati fold.

With Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso locked in for the factory team next season, speculation suggested Lorenzo could join the Pramac ranks and Miller said he thought there was "some truth" to the claims.

He was therefore relieved to tie up a new deal for the 2020 season, securing his future.

Miller, who sits eighth in the championship standings, said: "I am very happy to have reached this agreement. Pramac Racing is a team that made me feel comfortable right from the start and the relationship with Ducati is very close.

"I will have again the official bike at my disposal and will do my best to achieve great results. I would like to thank Ducati and my team for the great work they have done so far."

Team manager Francesco Guidotti said: "Jack is proving to have great talent and his current position in the riders’ standings is confirmation of this. We are proud to have him with us also next season and we will now stay focused on our work to achieve even greater results in 2019."

Max Verstappen says he does not care who his fellow Red Bull driver is but wants the team to perform better.

Red Bull made a huge call on Monday by replacing Pierre Gasly with Alexander Albon, sending the Frenchman back to Toro Rosso.

Star driver Verstappen, third in the championship with two wins, feels for Gasly but just wants the team to improve.

"Of course, it is a pity for Pierre, but personally I don't care who my team-mate is," he told De Telegraaf.

"The point is that we perform better with the other car and thereby gain more points for the team."

Gasly is sixth in the drivers' standings but has failed to register a podium all season.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner will "use the next nine races to evaluate Alex's performance" before deciding on their 2020 line-up.

Red Bull have promoted Alexander Albon to drive alongside Max Verstappen, with Pierre Gasly returning to sister team Toro Rosso.

Gasly is currently sixth in the Formula One drivers' standings, three places and 118 points behind Verstappen. 

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner had claimed the team would keep Gasly in the seat until the end of the season, but the Frenchman has now been demoted back to Toro Rosso.

Albon will now be Verstappen's colleague from the Belgian Grand Prix as Red Bull look to assess their options ahead of 2020.

A team statement read: "Red Bull are in the unique position of having four talented Formula One drivers under contract who can be rotated between the team and Toro Rosso.

"The team will use the next nine races to evaluate Alex’s performance in order to make an informed decision as to who will drive alongside Max in 2020.

"Everyone looks forward to welcoming Alex and supporting him during the next phase of his F1 career."

Red Bull performed a similar switch of drivers in 2016, with Verstappen handed his opportunity when Daniil Kvyat was sent back to Toro Rosso four races into the season.

Albon has just 12 F1 races under his belt, with the 23-year-old having claimed 16 points and a best finish of sixth, which came at the German Grand Prix in July.

Kevin Harvick came away with the chequered flag at the Consumers Energy 400 after he chased down Joey Logano in the final laps on Sunday.

It was Harvick's second win of 2019 while Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson placed second and third respectively.

Logano ultimately finished in 17th place after dealing with fuel issues, which forced him to make a late pit stop.

Harvick had the fastest car over the last run of the final stage to make it back-to-back wins at the race.

"[It] takes a lot of people to make these cars go around, and winning races is what it's all about," Harvick said, via Yahoo Sports.

"[I] just can't do it without all you guys. I mean, to come here to Michigan and win for Ford, and I know how much Mobil 1 likes to beat that Shell car [Logano], so that was cool."

Looking ahead to the 16-driver play-offs, Daniel Suarez and Jimmie Johnson are just below the cut line.

Three winless drivers, Erik Jones, who finished 18th, Ryan Newman (12th) and Clint Bowyer (37th), all padded their distance between the cut-off position.

Paul Menard ranks 19th in the standings, only 40-plus points behind Suarez and Johnson. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is also close in 20th place, but still probably too far behind at this point.

There are three races remaining before the play-offs begin at Las Vegas on September 15. Bristol is next weekend, followed by Darlington and Indianapolis.

Andrea Dovizioso conceded his thrilling last-ditch pass of Marc Marquez to seal MotoGP glory in Austria was "crazy".

Marquez, whose lead in the riders' standings was narrowed to a still-imposing 58 points, was involved in a gripping duel with Dovizioso that reached its remarkable conclusion on the final corner at the Red Bull Ring.

Ducati's Dovizioso ducked down the inside of Repsol Honda's Marquez to overtake him and spark wild celebrations in the paddock.

"When I arrived there [at the last corner] I did not feel I can enter in that corner because I can't brake in the same place as Marc," Dovizioso said following his team's fourth consecutive win in Austria.

"But it was the last corner. I had to try, I wanted it. If I arrive too late, I can finish second easily.

"I feel so strong in that moment. It is something in the past I always think about but I did something crazy and sometimes it works."

Marquez was not too disheartened, revealing an errant tyre choice could have led to a far less productive result.

"I'm happy because we did a big mistake with the rear tyre," Marquez said. "Immediately I saw when I got out, all soft tyres had better grip and even consistency in the end.

"Anyway, I try because I am Marc and I need to try. This second place, of course missed the last corner, but I was sliding a lot at the rear.

"Dovi did an incredible job. At the moment we are leading by 58 points so we continue on the same way."

Andrea Dovizioso claimed a dramatic MotoGP victory in Austria as he passed Marc Marquez on the final corner at the end of an enthralling battle at Spielberg.

Marquez started on pole for the third successive season at the Red Bull Ring but is still waiting for his first win in Austria after Dovizioso stole top spot on the podium from the defending champion right at the death.

Repsol Honda rider Marquez still has a commanding 58-point lead at the top of the riders' standings but Dovizioso's wild celebrations were no more than the Ducati rider deserved after one of most memorable triumphs of his career.

Fabio Quartararo took the lead on the opening lap as Marquez and Dovizioso tangled and almost collided, the Spaniard dropping down to fifth.

However, they each got past the Frenchman, who went on to finish third, with 23 laps to go, setting the stage for an absorbing duel.

Marquez looked to have reassumed control of the race after hitting the front once more, and he responded quickly after Dovizioso passed him on the start-finish straight at the beginning of lap 19 to seemingly put him on course for a seventh win of the season.

Yet Dovizioso was the quicker in the final turns and that extra pace helped him provide the sting in the tail as he dove down the inside of Marquez on the last bend to take maximum points and give Ducati a fourth straight win in Austria.

The Monster Energy Yamaha duo of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales took fourth and fifth ahead of Suzuki Ecstar's Alex Rins. 

Marquez's quest for a sixth premier class title continues at Silverstone in two weeks' time.

Marc Marquez has been labelled "Houdini" by Cal Crutchlow after romping to a record MotoGP pole position at the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Repsol Honda star, a five-time world champion and leader of the 2019 standings, claimed his 59th career pole on Saturday and third in a row, his latest effort sealing the outright record in the premier class.

Marquez moved clear of Mick Doohan, whose total of 58 he had matched last week, with a stunning lap of 1:23.027, which was 0.434seconds clear of Fabio Quartararo in second.

"From my eyes, Marc's got a trick everywhere," LCR Honda's Crutchlow, who qualified ninth in Spielberg, told reporters per Motorsport. "He's like f*****g Houdini. He just vanishes in thin air - you see him one minute and he's gone the next.

"It's not like he has a trick in one sector, I think he has a trick in all the sectors. He's riding amazing, it's as simple as that."

Briton Crutchlow feels it is hard for riders to explain the brilliance of the rival they are trying to catch in Marquez.

He added: "Even as a rider, you can't give this guy enough credit. What he's doing, with the bike that he has, is something very, very special.

"It's clear he has an advantage over everyone else - but why, I have no idea. If I could go as fast as him, I would. 

"What he's doing different is nearly every corner, every braking, every acceleration. The laptime I did in qualifying, he did about 15 of them this morning [in FP3].

"But he's not just making me look average - if you put most of the other guys on my bike, they're not going to be as fast as I am. Everyone's trying their best, trying to match him - especially me because I'm on the same manufacturer - but at the moment it's not possible."

The Red Bull Ring is the only circuit where Marquez is yet to register a MotoGP win, Ducati having won in each of the last three years. It is a stat the in-form Spaniard is desperate to end on Sunday.

Marquez said: "When I saw the gap, I was surprised because I expected that everybody would be a little bit faster or closer.

"The track was very slippery in FP4 and qualifying. When it is slippery it is one of my strong points. I am able to stop the bike by sliding with both wheels and then I can brake later than the others sometimes. 

"It was a really good lap but I was looking for the 1:22! But I did a mistake in the last sector and I went too wide in turn 10. Apart from that we had a great rhythm. It was a great day, everything and everyone in the team was working so well. 

"We just need to understand the best tyre for Sunday. We know the race pace is not a four-tenths [advantage], it is much closer. We will try to fight until the end and see what happens."

Marc Marquez claimed a record 59th premier class pole at the Austrian Grand Prix, but Andrea Dovizioso believes he is still in the picture.

Reigning MotoGP champion and 2019 leader Marquez set himself up for another successful weekend with a fastest time of 1:23.027 in qualifying.

Dovizioso, third on the grid, acknowledged the Spaniard is "so fast" but insists he will fight Marquez all the way on Sunday.

"We work really hard for the race, we are quite consistent, but Marc is so fast with every tyre, in every practice," Dovizioso told a news conference.

"But we are there. We work so hard and I think we are ready to fight. There are still some things that I can prove and that's a positive.

"We'll see the conditions and we also have the warm-up to be working on that."

Marquez delighted in his performance on Saturday but similarly acknowledged Dovizioso could yet come back on race day.

"Already, before, I saw that it was maybe possible [to get one minute and] 22 [seconds], but in the end 23.0 is a good lap," Marquez said.

"Most important is that we feel good on the bike and the confidence is really high. All weekend with the Repsol Honda team, we've worked in the best way with the correct steps.

"But tomorrow the most important day is coming and this guy on my left [Dovizioso] is not far away. He is consistent and, especially with the used tyre, he has a good pace."
 

'TOUGHEST RACE OF THE SEASON'

Fabio Quartararo, rather than Dovizioso, was closest to Marquez's time, but the qualifying specialist was less confident of a genuine race challenge.

"Normally I always set myself a goal in terms of position, but I think this race will be the toughest one of the season," Quartararo said.

"This is a track that, for Yamaha, does not suit us really well. But tomorrow is a race where we need to learn from the riders, take experience here from a track where we need to manage the tyres at the begininning of the race.

"We will give 100 per cent and enjoy the race."


THE GRID

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
2. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha)
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati)
4. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha)
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing)
6. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda)
7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar)
8. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing)
9. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda)
10. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha)
11. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
12. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati)

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2018: Jorge Lorenzo
2017: Andrea Dovizioso
2016: Andrea Iannone

TITLE STANDINGS

Riders

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 210
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 147 (-63)
3. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 129 (-81)
4. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 114 (-96)
5. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 91 (-119)

Teams

1. Repsol Honda 216
2. Ducati 177 (-39)
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 163 (-53)
4. Suzuki Ecstar 131 (-85)
5. KTM 61 (-155)

WEATHER FORECAST

Light showers are anticipated in Spielberg on Sunday morning, but the track may well dry out by the time Marquez and his rivals are in action, giving the pole-sitter the opportunity to ride to an uneventful victory.

Marc Marquez claimed a record-breaking MotoGP pole position at the Austrian Grand Prix to continue his sensational run of form.

The five-time world champion and 2019 standings leader claimed his 59th premier class pole on Saturday, giving him the record outright having equalled Mick Doohan's mark last week.

Marquez obliterated the field in Spielberg, his time of 1:23.027 topping qualifying specialist Fabio Quartararo by 0.434 seconds on Saturday.

It is the Repsol Honda rider's third pole in a row and seventh of the season. He will now seek a race victory at the Red Bull Ring, the only circuit he is yet to win at in his MotoGP career.

Andrea Dovizioso completes the front row after taking third for Ducati, who have won this race in each of the last three years.

Monster Energy Yamaha's Maverick Vinales came fourth, with Francesco Bagnaia of Pramac Racing and LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami impressing to join him on the second row.

Alex Rins, Jack Miller and Cal Crutchlow are on row three, with Valentino Rossi 0.790s off the pace in 10th.

Danilo Petrucci will start 12th behind Pol Espargaro after a Q2 crash ended his hopes of moving up the grid.

Marquez had earlier dominated practice and ended FP3 with an advantage of over three tenths on the other big names to move straight into Q2.

Crutchlow and Bagnaia emerged at the top of the Q1 timesheets to join the top 10 in Q2, while Franco Morbidelli – who will start 14th – was among the riders to miss out on the second session.


PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda): 1:23.027
2. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha): +0.434s
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati): +0.488s
4. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha): +0.496s
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing): +0.625s
6. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda): +0.642s
7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar): +0.654s
8. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing): +0.661s
9. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda): +0.727s
10. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha): +0.790s
11. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing): +0.839s
12. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati): +0.937s

Repsol Honda chief Alberto Puig has revealed there have been no discussions with Jorge Lorenzo over his future with the MotoGP team.

Three-time MotoGP champion Lorenzo swapped Ducati for Honda at the end of last season, but has struggled to find any form so far in 2019.

Currently injured, Lorenzo sits 16th in the standings, 191 points behind team-mate and runaway leader Marc Marquez. 

Reports have emerged linking the Spaniard with a return to Ducati, but Puig insists his team expect the 32-year-old to be competing for them in 2020.

"I don't think about it because I only know what we know, and we know that we have a contract with him for two years, that ends in 2020," Puig said ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

"So I really don't know what the paddock rumours are or what people are saying, but I can only stick to our plan and the Honda plan which is to have him for this year and next year."

Puig did concede, however, that the situation could change before the end of the campaign.

"In this paddock you are never surprised. I'm used to being in this environment and I know these [rumours] can happen," he added.

"But for me, the only important thing is when the rider comes to you and tells you what he has in his mind.

"I never had any information like this from him, so I have to believe that things are okay. I'm not even thinking if he will leave."

Marc Marquez set the pace on day one of practice for the Austrian MotoGP and Andrea Dovizioso suffered a rare crash pushing for quick time late in FP2.

Dovizioso went quickest in the opening session at the Red Bull Ring on Friday, but the championship leader hit back to top the timesheets.

Italian Dovizioso pipped the Spaniard in FP1 before the Repsol Honda rider turned the tables on his nearest rival with a lap of one minute and 23.916 seconds.

That gave Marquez an advantage of 0.066 over compatriot Maverick Vinales, with Ducati's Dovizioso 0.117 adrift of the three-time defending champion in in Spielberg.

Dovizioso found himself on the deck as he strived to go top of the timesheets, losing control at Turn 3 in the first red sector.

Takaaki Nakagami moved up from ninth in the first session to fourth ahead of Fabio Quartararo and Jack Miller.

Miguel Oliveira, Danilo Petrucci, Cal Crutchlow and Pol Espargaro rounded off the top 10.

McLaren have confirmed they will be returning to full-time IndyCar competition in 2020.

The constructor last ran a full season in IndyCar in 1979 but will feature next year under a new partnership with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chevrolet.

McLaren began its current venture into the American single-seater series when it combined with Honda and Andretti Autosport for Fernando Alonso's entry into the 2017 Indy 500.

But McLaren failed to qualify for this year's event after returning as a standalone team with Chevrolet power.

A deal with Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson to create Arrow McLaren Racing SP for 2020 was announced on Friday, with Gil de Ferran to oversee the programme.

"IndyCar has been part of McLaren since our early years of racing," chief executive officer Zak Brown said.

"The series today provides not only a commercial platform to continue to grow our brand in North America, but competition with some of the best teams in international motorsport.

"I'm absolutely delighted that we will expand our relationship with Arrow Electronics across both F1 and IndyCar, while renewing our long affinity with Chevrolet as our engine partner.

"We come to IndyCar in full respect of the sport, our competitors, the fans and the task ahead. At our core, we at McLaren are racers and where there's competition that puts us to the test, we will race. IndyCar provides such a challenge."

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