Sunday 23 July 2017

In brief: Massa sets pace in Jerez test

Formula 1

Ferrari's Felipe Massa set the benchmark on the opening day of the Formula One pre-season test in Jerez.

A total of 12 drivers took to the track on the first of four days' action at the 2.8-mile circuit in southern Spain. The new McLaren turned a wheel for the first time in anger following its launch in Berlin last week, with Lewis Hamilton taking the MP4-26 to fifth place on its maiden outing.

But it was the Ferrari which looked immediately at home on the twisty Andalucian circuit, with Massa's best time of 1min 20.71secs over seven-tenths of a second quicker than Sauber's Sergio Perez.

The new Ferrari -- which was yesterday renamed the F150th Italia in an effort to head off a potential court date with Ford over the previous use of the F150 moniker -- ran quickly and reliably, completing 101 laps.

The Red Bull of Mark Webber took third, a tenth of a second shy of Mexican rookie Perez, while Toro Rosso test and reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo was fourth.

Hamilton's best mark of 1min 21.91secs was over a second down on Massa, but the team were nevertheless happy with their progress, having run with a modified version of last year's car at the previous test in Valencia.



  • Doctors treating Robert Kubica are hoping to carry out all remaining surgeries on the Polish driver today.

The 26-year-old was yesterday moved out of intensive care at the Santa Corona hospital to their trauma ward as he continues to recover from the horrific injuries he suffered in a crash on the Ronde di Andora rally last Sunday.

Cycling

Mark Renshaw timed his sprint to perfection to win the fourth stage of the Tour of Qatar yesterday and take over the yellow jersey with one stage remaining.

The HTC-Highroad rider drove for the line with 200 metres remaining, edging out Leopard-Trek's Daniele Bennati and Tom Boonen of Quick-Step to win the 153.5kms stage in 3 hours, 12 minutes, 36 seconds.

Renshaw took the yellow jersey from overnight leader and fellow Australian Heinrich Haussler, who could only manage fourth yesterday.

"I am glad I had the power to hold off Tom (Boonen). I am happy," Renshaw said. "(The yellow jersey) is definitely a bonus for me."

Haussler won the second and third stages but finds himself trailing Renshaw by six seconds going into the final day.

Tennis

Andy Murray put his singles disappointment to one side as he teamed up with brother Jamie to claim a doubles win at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam yesterday.

The Scottish pair beat the French team of Julien Benneteau and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 6-3 in the first round, performing so strongly they did not face a single break point and wrapped up victory inside an hour.

Irish Independent

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