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INTERNATIONAL WRAP: MOTOGP ASSEN & AUSSIES OVERSEAS

Valentino Rossi wins in Assen - Photo: LAT

Valentino Rossi wins in Assen – Photo: LAT

MOTOGP – ASSEN/DUTCH GP – ROUND 8

Valentino Rossi won his 115th MotoGP race, taking out the Dutch GP at Assen.

Pole sitter Johann Zarco lead from the start, but on lap 8 Rossi got the better of the Yamaha Tech 3 rider to steal the lead for the factory Yamaha team.

However it was when the rain started, with just eight laps left, that the race got thrown into chaos. Rossi and Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci diced for the lead on a dampening track, while Zarco and Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo stopped to swap over to a wet bike.

Opting to stay out on a dry setup bike, turned out to be the right strategy with Rossi and Petrucci swapping the lead a couple of times before Rossi again cleared out to take a comfortable victory on the final lap.

The battle for third saw Marc Marquez, Cal Cructchlow and Andrea Dovizioso jostling for for the final spot on the podium with Marquez getting the upper hand as all three bikes crossed the line within a fraction of a second of each other.

Aussie Jack Miller was the next bike to cross the line, finishing in sixth place on his Marc VDS Honda.

Championship leader Maverick Vinales crashed out early in the race, handing the points lead to Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso. Vinales now sits in second with a slender three point lead over Yamaha team mate Valentino Rossi.

INDYCAR – ROAD AMERICA, WISCONSIN – ROUND 10

Scott Dixon scored his first Road America win - Photo: LAT

Scott Dixon scored his first Road America win – Photo: LAT

Kiwi Scott Dixon, took out the honours in the IndyCar race at Road America overnight.

The win, his first of 2017 and the 41st of his career, was his first at the Elkhart Lake circuit, putting him one race win shy of Michael Andretti for third on the all-time winners list.

Dixon started fifth, but used a slightly different strategy and a decisive move during the restart on Lap 31 to claim the lead of the race from Josef Newgarden. Then held off all four Penske cars to take out the win.

“We raced as hard as we could,” Dixon said. “We had a little bit of luck go our way, we had good strategy, the pit stops were fantastic. These are the days you have to capitalise on.

“This is huge for Honda at a track that doesn’t suit our configuration, but the power and the (fuel) mileage really performed today. I’m just happy to be in winner’s circle for the first time this year. At Road America, that’s mega.”

Aussie Will Power finished the race in fifth after starting second on the grid.

It was a good race for Dixon championship lead, extending his gap to 34 points over last year’s champion Simon Pagenaud.

NASCAR – SONOMA – ROUND 16

Kevin Harvick wins at Sonoma - Photo: LAT

Kevin Harvick wins at Sonoma – Photo: LAT

Kevin Harvick had to stretch his fuel to finish the final 40 laps of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway overnight to score his first win of the season.

Harvick, who only lead 24 laps of the 110 race, lead home a Ford 1-2-3, with Stewart Haas team mate Clint Bowyer in second ahead of Penske’s Brad Keselowski.

The race had an eventful start. On Lap 14 Pole sitter, Kyle Larson, was among several cars collected in an incident that also involved Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick. All three cars would continued to be caught up in yet another incident on Lap 30, but would still finish the race.

Early race leader Martin Truex Jr. was one of the few retirements of the race, stopping with engine issues on Lap 86.

“I am so excited,” Harvick said after the race “I think as you look at it, getting our first win with Ford, this has been a great journey for us as an organisation and team.”

AUSSIES OVERSEAS

Matt Simmons scored his best finish of the 2017 Blancpain GT Endurance Cup to date - Photo: Nissan Australia

Matt Simmons scored his best finish of the 2017 Blancpain GT Endurance Cup to date – Photo: Nissan Australia

BLANCPAIN GT ENDURANCE – PAUL RICARD

Matt Simmons along with NISMO Team RJN Motul team-mates Matt Perry and Straun Moore recorded their best result of the 2017 Blancpain GT Endurance Cup campaign over the weekend with a solid 11th place finish in the Paul Ricard 1000km.

“We finished 11th, so it is kind of a happy result, because it has been a great recovery from where we started,” said Matt Simmons.

“I was P32 after lap one, so to make up 21 positions in a grid like that, there’s a lot of positives to take away.”

“We feel good as a team and we’ll move forward to Spa and keep pushing on. We’ll take this all in our stride and work towards the 24 Hours of Spa next month.”

Meanwhile fellow Aussie, Caitlin Wood’s race was over before she got a chance to get into the car. Her co-driver having a big accident on lap 14, putting the car out of the race.

PRO MAZDA – ROAD AMERICA

Anthony Martin scored a win and a second place in the two Pro Mazda races at Road America. In the first race, Martin started from second on the grid and held off challengers to maintain that spot for the finish.

In the second race Martin started from pole position, where he survived multiple challenges as well as two red flag interruptions to score the win. The win was the third for the Aussie in a successful start to his rookie season in Pro Mazda that sees’s him sit second in the Pro Mazda series after six races.

Anthony Martin scored a win and podium at Road America - Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Anthony Martin scored a win and podium at Road America – Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

ADAC ACAS H&R-CUP

Matt Campbell, competing to earn a full license to race at Nurburgring, finished third in class and 59th outright during the 4 hour ADAC ACAS H&R-Cup race. Racing in V5 Class ProSport Porsche Cayman with German driver Dominik Schöning, he clocked up precious laps around the Green Hell in preparation for more races as part of the Porsche Junior Program.

BLANCPAIN GT ASIA – SUZUKA

Nick Foster scored a podium at Suzuka on his debut in the Blancpain GT Asia series. Partnering with Brit Devon Modell in the Craft Bamboo Porsche 911 GT3R, the Aussie finished second in the first of two one hour races in Japan after starting seventh.

The duo wasn’t as fortunate in the second race in tricky wet conditions. While they moved up from eighth to fifth during the Foster’s opening stint, a seven-second success penalty added to their pitstop after the podium in the first race, relegated them back down the order to recover to eighth.

MOTO2 – ASSEN

Remy Gardner made another sensational start from 21st on the grid to moved up to 14th on opening lap. He would eventually drop back two places, to 16th, falling out of point scoring position.

Remy Gardner racing in Moto2 at Assen - Photo: LAT

Remy Gardner racing in Moto2 at Assen – Photo: LAT

For a more detailed analysis of the weekends international motorsport, pick up the next issue of Auto Action Magazine. In the mean time make sure you follow Auto Action on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest updates.