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Motorsport | General

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Motorsport: the year in review

In 2017 the racing action on show was the perfect advert for motorsport the world over.

Formula 1 had its most hotly contested, between drivers from different teams, championship since before the start of the Mercedes dominance over the sport.

Ferrari really came to the party in 2017 and Sebastian Vettel was in pole position of the fight for the driver title before the mid-season break.

Vettel won the season opener in Australia before Hamilton opened his account with victory in China. Vettel picked up his second win of the season in Bahrain before Valtteri Bottas notched up his first ever GP win in Russia. Vettel then got his third win of the season in Monaco and Hamilton claimed his second maximum in Canada.

Action then headed to Azerbaijan where Daniel Ricciardo broke the Ferrari-Mercedes monotony, but the Red Bull victory is not what the race will be remembered for. An angry altercation between Vettel and Hamilton saw the Ferrari man drive into the back of the Mercedes behind the safety car. Vettel then proceeded to pull-up alongside and then barge into the side of Hamilton in frustration for the ‘break-check’ which caused the initial contact. The German copped a 10s stop-and-go penalty which saw his hope of victory go up in smoke. Hamilton was denied a victory when a loose headrest forced him to make an unscheduled stop and he eventually finished fifth behind Vettel.

Mercedes then picked up a pair of victories in Austria (Bottas’ second win of the season) and Silverstone (a record equalling fifth win for Hamilton on home soil).

Next up was the Hungarian Grand Prix, the last race before the three-week summer break, and a fourth victory of the season saw Vettel take a 14-point lead over Hamilton in the driver championship into the summer break.

After the rest and recuperation Hamilton came out like a house on fire and racked up five wins in six race to effectively end the title race as a competition, though Ferrari themselves conspired to hand the Brit his fourth world championship.

Back-to-back victories for Hamilton and Mercedes in Belgium and Italy brought the F1 roadshow to Asia where the tracks favoured the Prancing Horses however things went horribly wrong for the men in red.

Vettel snatched pole for the Singapore Grand Prix but in desperation to cover Max Verstappen at the start of the race caused a three car pile-up that saw both Vettel, Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen retire from the race, which helped Lewis cruise to victory.

Next up was Malaysia and Vettel looked in sublime form in Free Practice however turbo issues forced him into an engine change between FP3 and Qualifying but the mechanics couldn’t quite get the job done and Vettel was knocked out in Q1 and was forced to start the race, which Max Verstappen won, at the back of the grid.

Japan was another disaster for the team from Marranello with a faulty spark plug ending Vettel’s participation in the race which Hamilton won to take a 59-point lead in the drivers’ championship with only four races left, effectively ending it as a competition.

Mercedes then wrapped up their fourth consecutive Constructors’ championship after Hamilton’s victory at the Circuit of the Americas and the victory left the Brit on the cusp of lifting his fourth drivers’ title.

Lewis headed to Mexico needing just a fifth place finish to win the drivers’ championship but Vettel did all he could in qualifying to take pole and keep his hopes alive. However the start was disastrous for Ferrari as the German damaged his Ferrari at the first sequence of corners, in an incident with Hamilton. Vettel finished fourth and Hamilton sealed his fourth driver’s world championship with a ninth place finish which made the final two races dead rubbers.

Vettel ended the Brazilian Grand Prix on the top step of the podium as Felipe Massa said a second farewell to F1 at his home Grand Prix with a fantastic seventh place finish, a much more fitting ending to the race than he had in 2016 when he crashed out of the race in the rain.

The finale in Abu Dhabi saw Valtteri Bottas close out the 2017 season with the third victory of his career ahead of Hamilton and Vettel.

All-in-all the season was everything fans could have hoped for and with Red Bull joining Ferrari and Mercedes in the hunt for race victories the 2018 season is probably the most anticipated season in recent memory.


Marc Marquez shook a an indifferent start to the 2017 MotoGP season to fend off the attentions of Andrea Dovizioso and claim his fourth MotoGP crown in just his fifth year in the premier class.

Maverick Vinales inserted himself as the early title contender picking up three victories in the first five races of the season before Andrea Dovizioso emerged as the real pretender to the crown with back-to-back victories in Mugello and Barcelona.

Heading into the last race before the summer break Marquez had only won once and was fourth in the riders’ standings, 11 points behind Dovizioso (115 points) who was a four points clear of Vinales and Valentino Rossi (who picked up his first win of the season in the previous race in Assen).

Marquez held off the attentions of Local Jonas Folger to win in Germany and take five-point lead into the five-week break.

Marquez then won in Czech Republic to extend his lead to 14 point over Vinales before Dovizioso again claimed two wins on the trot in Austria and Great Britain, opening up a gap in the world championship was to nine points over the Honda rider.

Marquez’s victory in San Marino saw him sit level on 199 points with Dovizioso atop the standings. Disaster in Aragon for Dovi and victory for Marquez saw the gap extend to 16 points in favour of the Spaniard but Dovi fought back to win ahead of Marquez in Japan to cut the gap to 11.

Australia was where the championship was ultimately decided in Marquez’s favour as he won with Dovi finishing down in 13th which saw the gap open to an almost unassailable 33 points with only two races remaining.

Dovi kept his slim mathematical hopes alive with victory in Sepang but heading into the final race of the season Marquez needed just an 11th place finish to seal the title.

In typical Marque fashion the young Spaniard was fighting for the race victory in Valencia and n pushing himself and his bike nearly crashed out of the race. He managed to stay on his bike but dropped behind Dovizioso in the running order but Italian Ducati rider himself made a mistake and crashed out of the race allowing Marquez and comfortable end to the final race of 2017 season which saw him pick up his fourth MotoGP title.


Jonathan Rea romped home to his third consecutive World Superbike championship in emphatic style.

The Brit opened the season with seven victories in the opening eight races, with Chaz Davies the only rider to have beaten Rea.

Davies won twice more and Tom Sykes got on the board before Rea won again. Sykes then claimed his second victory before Marco Melandri joined the winners circle.

Davies and Rea won a race each in the USA before Davies did a double in Germany.

Rea went on another blitz and ended the season in the same way he started it, winning seven of the last eight race, again with Davies the only one to beat him.

In the end the Brit won the title by a mammoth 153 points which should really hurt his rivals and motivate them for the 2018 season.


Stéphane Peterhansel claimed his 13th Dakar title, winning three stages in the 2017 edition.

This is his seventh victory in a car surpassing the six times he won the race on a bike.

South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers finished a disappointing fifth, his lowest finish since 2010.

Sam Sutherland claimed his first Dakar triumph on the bikes, Sergey Karyakin won the quads category, Eduard Nikolaev topped the tucks standings and Leandro Torres was victorious in the UTV section of the race.


Supersport.com launched a new digitally exclusive motorsport show which saw their presenters pushed to the edge of their comfort zones as they sought local experiences relating to countries that played host to either the MotoGP or Formula 1 races for the upcoming weekend.

It came as a huge surprise that there was such a wealth of diverse cultural experiences on their doorstep in the city of Johannesburg.

The presenters were pushed to their physical limits with such activities as running with the bulls, wind surfing, wrestling, skiing and capoeira among other but were also rewarded with VIP treatment at the places like the German restaurant – Schwarbinger Stuben – in Randburg, the Jimmy Choo store on Sandton City’s Diamond Walk and the Geldof Chocolate factory in Strijdom Park.

Overall it was an amazing adventure that highlighted just how multicultural the city of Johannesburg is and how many new and exciting experiences are on offer for those who are willing to look for them.

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