Fernando Alonso topped the test day time sheets at Le Mans in the Toyota.
Fernando Alonso topped the test day time sheets at Le Mans in the Toyota.

The Italian leg of the Moto GP Championship unfolded at the Mugello race circuit this past weekend, which once again proved to be a riveting race for competitors and spectators alike.

With excellent weather on race day, it was a tight jostle for position in the top-tier Moto GP class, which saw Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati) deliver a superb ride to finish on the top podium spot ahead of teammate Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) and the legendary Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), who proved that he still has some mojo in him in front of his home crowd.

The Moto 2 class saw Miguel Oliviera (Red Bull KTM) romping to first place, chased by Lorenzo Baldassari (Pons HP40 Kalex) and Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex). South African rider and former Moto3 champion Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) came sixth overall as he continues to find pace in this class.

Meanwhile, in the Moto 3 category Del Conca Gresini Honda rider Jorge Martin proved the man to beat as he raced his steed to claim victory. He was chased down by Marco Bezzecchi (Redox Pruestel GP KTM) in second and Fabio Di Giannantoni (Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda) in third. The next race will take place in Barcelona, Spain on June 17.

As preparations for the WEC (World Endurance Championship) Le Mans 24 Hours race in France draw closer, many teams took part in the official test day recently. Following its one-two victory in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season opener at Spa-Francorchamps, Toyota Gazoo Racing again set the pace at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France this past weekend.

Fernando Alonso, who shares a car with Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, set the fastest lap of the day for LMP1 cars, 0.614 seconds quicker than the second-fastest Rebellion team’s car, while the other Toyota team of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez ended in third.

In total the two Toyota TS050 hybrid cars completed 202 laps — 2,752km — on a day of trouble-free running despite three red flags and multiple safety car periods.

"It was a good day for us," said Alonso. "We obviously prepared this test in the best way possible before the big race in two weeks’ time. The car felt good from the first lap and everyone was happy straight away. Then it was about getting familiar with the circuit; I have been in the simulator and studied onboard laps from previous years but it’s always different on the real track which feels perfect for these cars. It was a lot of fun."

Other big names in Formula One that were present at practise days were former drivers Jenson Button and Juan-Pablo Montoya, who will both be competing in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours race. Another highlight will be BMW’s return to the discipline with its M8 in the LM GTE Pro class.

As the excitement towards the event on June 16 mounts, it looks like this year’s race will once again be one to watch.

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