Fernando Alonso to Drive for McLaren at This Year’s Indy 500

Fernando Alonsois back in the race…

The 38-year-old Spanish race car driver will race at this year’s Indy 500 with McLaren‘s new IndyCar team.

Fernando Alonso

It’ll be Alonso’s third attempt to win the famous race, the final part of a ‘Triple Crown,’ which includes the Monaco Grand Prixand Le Mans 24 Hours. He has won both the other events on two occasions.

Were Alonso, who won the Formula One World Championshipin 2005 and 2006 for the Renaultteam, to achieve the feat, he would become just the second driver to do so, following Graham Hill‘s success in the 1960s.

Alonso drove for McLaren’s Formula Oneteam on two occasions, in 2007 and an infamously uncompetitive stint between 2015 and 2018. He stepped away from F1at the end of the latter spell and is yet to return.

“I am a racer and the Indy 500 is the greatest race in the world,” Alonso said.

“I have maximum respect for the race and everyone who competes in it, and all I want is to race against them and give my best.”

Alonso attempted to win the Indy 500 with a poorly-managed McLaren entry last year. A catalogue of errors culminated in the two-time F1 champion failing to qualify for the event.

He fared better on his debut in the race in 2017, qualifying fifth and leading a chunk of the race until an engine issue ended his race prematurely.

McLaren has stepped up its involvement in the series, entering a full-time outfit called SP Arrow McLaren for 2020. Alonso will partner the team’s full-time drivers, Pato O’Ward and Oliver Askew, for the event.

Alonso will race the team’s Chevrolet-powered car, having been blocked in his attempts to race for aHondaoutfit. 

Alonso was scathingly critical of the Japanese manufacturer during his final stint at McLaren and it has since decided he will never race one of their cars — he since won the Le Mans 24 Hours and World Endurance Championshipwith Toyota, a Honda rival.

Fernando Alonso Open to Returning to Formula One in 2021

Fernando Alonsoisn’t ruling out a comeback…

The 38-year-old Spanish racing driver, regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers in the history of the sport, says he’d be open to a return to F1 in 2021 if the right opportunity came along.

Fernando Alonso

The two-time World Champion, who contested 17 seasons of Formula One, left F1 at the end of 2018 after four frustrating years at McLarenwithout a victory or podium appearance. 

Alonso has turned his attention to other pursuits outside of F1 since, winning the Le Mans 24 Hourswith Toyotain 2018.

Alonso is set to take part in the Dakar Rallyin January 2020 and will then set his sights on winning the Indy 500on his third attempt — he led for a spell on his debut at the Brickyard in 2017, but ultimately failed to finish following a Hondaengine issue. On his return last year a catalogue of McLaren errors in the build-up meant he failed to qualify for the race itself.

In an interview with Sky Sportsahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Alonso said he’s still happy to consider a return to the F1 grid.

“I’m doing Dakar in January which is a big challenge and next year hopefully Indy is in the plan again,” he said. “I’ll try and do a little bit better than this year!

“We will keep it open in the future, maybe Formula One in 2021, maybe hyper car in the WEC [World Endurance Championship.]

“I think in 2021 that is the reason why I keep open the possibilities. Maybe things mix up with the new rules so let’s see if an opportunity comes.”

Marc Marquez Wins Australian Grand Prix

Marc Marquez is one step closer to another MotoGP world title…

The 24-year-old Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle racer claimed a brilliant win at the Australian Grand Prix, scoring his sixth win of the season.

Marc Marquez

With the victory, Marquez, a three-time MotoGP world champion, opened up a 33-point lead on main rival Ducati Team‘s Andrea Dovizioso, who finished 13th.

The Repsol Honda star took the lead at Phillip Island with seven laps to go and never looked back.

Movistar Yamaha pair Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales finished second and third respectively.

Pole-sitter Marquez led into turn one, but Jack Miller soon made his move and was a surprise race leader on his Marc VDS Honda for nearly five laps.

A lead group of eight riders battled it out throughout the enthralling race with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Racing) Vinales and Rossi also leading at different stages.

Marquez Wins German MotoGP for Seventh Straight Year

Marc Marquez is once again the MotoGP meister

The 23-year-old Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle road racer opened up his lead at the top of the MotoGP standings with his fourth straight victory from the pole position at the German Grand Prix in Sachsenring.

Marc Marquez

With rain falling before the race, pole-sitter Marquez struggled from the start and dropped down to fifth – with his Honda unable to keep up with the Italian pair of Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi at the front of the field.

However, with the track drying out the Spaniard came into the pits for slick tires and it proved to be the catalyst for what, across all class of racing, was his seventh consecutive victory at the Sachsenring.

The afternoon proved to be a good one all round for Marquez, whose main title challenger Jorge Lorenzo took one point, with the reigning champion finishing down in 15th on his Yamaha.

It was better news for Britain’s Cal Crutchlow who, like Marquez, made plentiful progress in the wet conditions and collected his first podium of the season by guiding his Honda to second place. 

The third step on the podium went to Dovizioso but it was Marquez who was left celebrating yet again in Saxony as he stretched his lead in the championship to 48 points ahead of the next race at Austria’s Red Bull Ring next month.

The next race takes place on August 14 in Spielberg, Austria.

Tidal to Livestream Lovato & Nick Jonas’ Tidal X: Honda Civic Kick-Off Show

Prepare for a tidal wave of Demi Lovato music…

Tidal has announced plans to livestream one of the 23-year-old part-Mexican American singer/actress’ about-to-launch Honda Civic Tour with Nick Jonas.

Nick Jonas & Demi Lovato

On Wednesday, June 29, Jay Z‘s streaming service will livestream the Atlanta kick-off date of the Future Now tour. The Tidal X: Honda Civic show will air at 8:00 pm ET.

It will be free for members and non-members.

Click here for more information on the livestream.

Márquez Pulls Off Stunning Last-Lap Win at the Australian MotoGP

He may be the reigning MotoGP world champion but Marc Márquez is still registering firsts in his career…

The 22-year-old Spanish motorcycle road racer pulled off a spectacular final lap to take the lead from Jorge Lorenzo three corners from home on Sunday for a thrilling victory at the Australian MotoGP, his first-ever win at Phillip Island.

Marc Márquez

The race featured repeated changes of placings among the leaders: Marquez, his Spanish compatriot Lorenzo, Italy’s Andrea Iannone and overall championship leader Valentino Rossi.

Marquez, on a Honda, wrested the lead from Lorenzo with 10 laps remaining but Lorenzo, riding a Yamaha, reclaimed first place three laps later and seemed bound for a win which would have slashed Rossi’s championship lead.

But Marquez ducked through on the inside at the bottom of Lukey Heights on the last of 27 laps and went on to win by 0.25 seconds from Lorenzo, Iannone and Rossi.

Marquez had struggled with an overheated front tire and had fallen almost a second behind Lorenzo at the start of the last lap. But the Spaniard, whose Repsol Honda had been fastest in all four practice and qualifying sessions leading into the Grand Prix, produced a track record 1 minute, 29.280 second final lap to charge into the lead.

Lorenzo held on for second, 0.7 seconds ahead of Ducati rider Iannone who produced the best race of his short career to keep Rossi off the podium.

Rossi’s overall championship lead was cut to 11 points with two races remaining, at Sepang, Malaysia next weekend and at Valencia, Spain on November 8.

Marquez is a further 63 points behind Lorenzo in third place and may surrender his world title, though he was delighted to celebrate his first win in Australia.

“During the race I felt well but at the beginning there were many overtakes between me, Valentino, Andrea and Jorge who opened some gaps,” Marquez said. “Then I pushed a little bit to catch Jorge and it looks like I overheated the front tire.

“I had a lot of movement when I tried to open a gap and I tried to cool down but it was not there. In the last lap I said `okay, I will push’.

“Andrea did overtake me and then on the last lap I pushed 100 percent. I didn’t expect to overtake Jorge but I’m really happy with this victory because we’ve pushed really hard and the races are not coming but this victory is really nice for us.”

Lorenzo was struck by a seagull during the race but continued to push hard for the win.

“I spent some laps behind Marc and I saw he had some problems of traction in some areas,” he said. “So I thought if I push very hard he might make a mistake.

“But he made an unbelievable last lap, he made a record of the track and I tried to close the door on the last braking but he was too good.”

 

Lorenzo Wins Czech Grand Prix to Tighten MotoGP Championship Fight with Valentino Rossi

It’s Czech Mate for Jorge Lorenzo.

The 28-year-old Spanish motorcycle road racer won the Czech Grand Prix on Sunday for his fifth triumph of the season to tighten the MotoGP championship fight with Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi.

Jorge Lorenzo

Lorenzo and Rossi lead the overall standings with 211 points and seven races to go. Defending champion Marc Marquez is 52 points back.

Lorenzo with the Movistar Yamaha team covered 22 laps of the 5.403-kilometer (3.358-mile) Brno circuit in 42 minutes, 53.042 seconds for his 38th overall MotoGP victory.

With a perfect start from pole, Lorenzo took the lead, followed by Marquez, and gradually sped away, steadily stretching his advantage throughout the race.

“Luckily, I had a little bit more pace than Marc and I could win this very important victory … because now I’m leading the championship with Valentino,” said Lorenzo, the 2010 and 2012 MotoGP champion. “For Marc, it’s now more difficult to recover.”

Marquez finished second, 4.462 seconds behind and is 52 points back in the standings.

Marquez, who won the last two championships, finished second, 4.462 seconds behind.

“I just tried to keep the distance from Valentino,” the Spaniard said. “Today, I did the maximum. I’m happy for the result.”

Starting third on the grid, Rossi dropped to fifth after the start before quickly rallying to third. He crossed the line 10.397 back. Andrea Iannone on a Ducati was fourth followed by Dani Pedrosa, the Honda Repsol teammate of Marquez.

The next race is the British Grand Prix on August 30.

Messi: The Highest-Ranking Latino on Forbes’ World’s Highest-Paid Athletes List

Lionel Messi is rolling in the deep dough…

The 27-year-old Argentine soccer star is the highest-ranking Latino on Forbes magazine’s 2015 list of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes with $73.8 million in salary/winnings and endorsements.

Lionel Messi

Last year, FC Barcelona awarded their record four-time Ballon d’Or, FIFA’s Player of the Year, winner with a $9 million a year raise in his seventh contract since 2005 to bring his take home pay to $50 million a year through 2018.

Messi now holds the records for all-time all-game goals for Barcelona, most goals in La Liga competitions, most goals scored in a calendar year and most hat tricks scored.

Messi’s superhuman talent is why sponsor Samsung cast him as superhero Iron Man in their ad to promote the Avengers film. It’s also why his main sponsor Adidas launched a Messi icon line of shoes and apparel, which has exceeded company sales expectations, including in the U.S. In all, he earned $22 million in endorsements.

But Messi isn’t the only Latino athlete to make the list.

Fernando Alonso ranks No. 17 on Forbes’ world’s highest-paid athletes roster with combined earnings of $35.5 million.

The 33-year-old Spanish Formula One driver and a two-time World Champion secured another massive payday when he negotiated a return to McLaren-Honda, where he raced during the 2007 season. The two-year deal is worth more than $30 million annually.

Alonso finished second in the F1 standings in 2012 and 2013, but dropped to sixth last year in his final year with Ferrari. Alonso failed to secure a single point in the first five races of the 2015 F1 season. Alonso partnered with UAE sport investment firm Novo last year to establish a professional cycling team in the future.

Next on the list, Rafael Nadal, who comes in at No. 22 with earnings of $32.5 million.

The 29-year-old Spanish tennis star, who has struggled with injuries after a colossal 2013 season, saw his prize money drop by $10 million to $4.5 million in the latest 12 months.

He was the No. 1 player in the world as recently as June 2014, but sits at No. 10 a year later. He even lost at the French Open in the semifinals after winning 66 of his previous 67 matches and nine titles at Roland Garros.

Nadal did sign two new endorsements deals, with Tommy Hilfiger and Spanish communications giant Telefonica. Kia Motors also renewed its contract with Nadal in May for five years through 2020. They first partnered in 2004.

Nadal’s $73 million in career prize money ranks third all-time behind Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

Other Latino athletes making the Top 30 on Forbes’ list are soccer phenom Neymar at No. 23, NBA star Carmelo Anthony at No. 25 and World Cup standout and Google god James Rodriguez at No. 27.

Here’s a look at the Latino athletes who made this year’s list:

No. 4 Lionel Messi, Soccer, Argentine, $73.8 Million
No. 17 Fernando Alonso, Racing, Spanish, $35.5 Million
No. 22 Rafael Nadal, Tennis, Spanish, #32.5 Million
No. 23 Neymar, Soccer, Brazilian, $31 Million
No. 25 Carmelo Anthony, Basketball, Half-Puerto Rican, $30.5 Million
No. 27 James Rodriguez, Soccer, Colombian, $29 Million
No. 30 Robinson Cano, Baseball, Dominican, $27.6 Million
No. 38 Radamel Falcao, Soccer, Colombian, $25.9 Million
No. 38 Albert Pujols, Baseball, Dominican, $25.9 Million
No. 43 Miguel Cabrera, Baseball, Venezuelan, $25.1 Million
No. 45 Sergio Aguero, Soccer, Argentine, $24.9 Million
No. 60 Felix Hernandez, Baseball, Venezuelan, $22.9 Million
No. 67 Tony Romo, Football, Mexican American, $22 Million
No. 69 Adrian Gonzalez, Baseball, Mexican American, $21.5 Million
No. 73 Luis Suarez, Soccer, Uruguayan, $21 Million
No. 79 Cesc Fabregas, Soccer, Spanish, $20.3 Million
No. 79 Hanley Ramirez, Baseball, Dominican, $20.3 Million
No. 87 David Ortiz, Baseball, Dominican, $19.7 Million

Click here for the complete list.

Coma Rides His Way to Fifth Dakar Rally Title

Make that five Dakar Rally titles for Marc Coma

The 38-year-old Spanish rally racing motorcycle rider captured his fifth Dakar Rally title in the motorcycle class on Saturday, completing the 13 stages in a time of 46:03:49.

Marc Coma

Coma, who races for KTM, had a big lead heading into Saturday’s 174-kilometer (108-mile) final stage, which was interrupted by rain, and coasted to victory in the general classification ahead of Portugal’s Paulo Gonçalves (Honda) and Australia’s Toby Price (KTM).

The Spaniard also won the Dakar Rally in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2014.

The Dakar Rally, which has been held in South America for the past seven years, started in Buenos Aires province on January 4 and traversed parts of Argentina, Chile and Bolivia before finishing up in Baradero, for a total distance of 9,000 kilometers (5,600 miles).

Marquez Wins the Malaysian Grand Prix to Equal Mick Doohan’s MotoGP Record

Marc Marquez is back to his winning ways…

The 21-year-old Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle racer, who won his second MotoGP championship title in as many seasons three races ago in Japan, came in first on Sunday in a tight race at the Sepang Circuit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Marc Marquez

Marquez has struggled in the last couple of months, but managed to return to the top of the podium after a hard-fought victory.

Marquez’s 12th win of the season ties him with legendary Australian Mick Doohan, who won 12 of 15 races in 1997. Marquez has won 12 of 17 races this season, with only Valencia left to close out the schedule on November 9.

“I’ve equaled Mick Doohan’s record,” he told reporters after the race. “With one race left, maybe I can beat it. If I had a bad result here the pressure in Valencia would be more.

“But now I am free in Valencia and I can do well for my fans and just enjoy it.”

The Honda rider fell back as far as ninth at the start, but was back up to third by the second of 20 laps around the 3.4-mile track. He pulled away from Yamaha teammates Valentino Rossi of Italy and Jorge Lorenzo of Spain to cruise to a comfortable 2.445-second winning margin.

With Marquez’s victory, Honda claimed its 21st Contructor’s Championship at motorcycle racing’s premier level for road bikes.