Marc Marquez: On pole for the French MotoGP at Le Mans Championship leader Marc Marquez has secured pole position for Sunday’s French MotoGP at Le Mans.
The Spaniard edged out compatriot and reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo by just 0.03 seconds to claim his second pole in the elite class and the 30th of his career.
Andrea Dovizioso completed the top three as he landed his first front row since joining Ducati and a first since the Malaysian GP last season.
Britain’s Cal Crutchlow crashed out in the fourth practice session but still came close to earning a spot on the front row, eventually having to settle for fourth, six one hundreths behind Dovizioso.
Germany’s Stefan Bradl finished in fifth, with Dani Pedrosa back in sixth on his factory Honda.
Marquez currently leads fellow Spaniard Pedrosa by three points in the overall standings ahead of Sunday’s race, which is the fourth of the season.
Martin Smolinski: In great form for Birmingham A final heat maximum from Peter Karlsson and Davey Watt gave Lakeside Hammers a 48-42 victory over Birmingham Brummies.
The Brummies took the meeting to a last-heat decider after they took their own maximum from Heat 14.
Score and scorers: LAKESIDE 48 Davey Watt 13+1, Lewis Bridger 10+1, Peter Karlsson 9+2, Richard Lawson 6, Piotr Swiderski 5, Kim Nilsson 4+1, Robert Mear 1 BIRMINGHAM 42 Martin Smolinski 12+1, Jason Doyle 11, Daniel King 7+1, Ben Barker 5, Nicolas Covatti 3+1, Chris Harris 2+1, Josh Auty 2+1 However, Karlsson and Watt were on hand to claim the win for Lakeside – although Birmingham did enough to take a point.
Lakeside were led home by Davey Watt with paid 14, whilst Lewis Bridger enjoyed one of his best night of the season with paid 11.
The evening’s top scorer was the Elite League form man in the shape of Birmingham’s Martin Smolinski with 12+1, whilst Jason Doyle – another in-form Brummie – scored 11.
One man who was way off form was Birmingham number one Chris Harris, who came home with a dismal paid 3.
Toumani Diagouraga: Hoping it’s second time lucky Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Toumani Diagouraga has an extra incentive to impress when Brentford head to Wembley for the League One play-off final.
The 25-year-old’s family will travel over from Paris to see him play at Wembley just as they did two years ago – when he was sent off as the Bees crashed to a 1-0 loss against Carlisle in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.
“I don’t think it can get any worse than that, so hopefully it will be better on Sunday,” he said.
“I’ve got a few people coming over, hopefully I won’t disappoint them this time.
“My mum said ‘please don’t get sent off again’.”
Tony Pulis: Stoke boss confident he is staying put Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Tony Pulis has reiterated that he does not see himself leaving Stoke City this summer.
Doubts have been raised over Pulis’ future after a season which has seen them flirt with the Premier League relegation battle.
But Pulis – who has been in charge at the Britannia Stadium for six years – says he is confident that club owner Peter Coates won’t be looking to replace him.
Pulis said: “As far as I am concerned, I will be manager here next season.
“I spoke to Peter and once we have got the game over we will meet up and he will take me out for dinner.
“I enjoy being a manager and I enjoy this club.
I was proud to be manager when I came here and I’m still proud now.”
Nicolas Colsaerts: Beat Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano to reach quarter-finals Nicolas Colsaerts survived a late wobble to beat Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in the last 16 of the Volvo World Match Play Championship and will now face Graeme McDowell in a rematch of last year’s final.
The big-hitting Belgian took an early stranglehold on his match with Fernandez-Castano as he won the first five holes, the Spaniard making four bogeys in that stretch.
Colsaerts retained that commanding advantage and had a putt to win the match on the 13th green but, having missed it, then saw his opponent win four holes on the spin to ensure the match went down the 18th.
The Belgian eventually got the job done with a birdie at the last to complete a 2up victory and told Sky Sports afterwards: “I made a bit of a mess of it, but thank God it’s over.” McDowell also saw a healthy lead evaporate in his match as America’s Bo Van Pelt came from four holes down to take their contest to the final hole.
Indeed, the American had a putt to extend it, but saw his birdie try just break past hole leaving a relieved McDowell to comment: “I was fully prepared to go to the first tee there, I expected him to hole that.” Elsewhere, South Africa’s Branden Grace ended Brett Rumford’s hopes of joining Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo in the record books by making it three European Tour victories in a row as he comprehensively beat the Australian 4&3.
Grace next faces England’s Chris Wood who was an emphatic 5&3 victor over another South African, Richard Sterne.
Francesco Molinari’s impressive form continued as he thrashed Carl Pettersson 6&4, next up for the Italian is Thomas Aiken who beat Shane Lowry at the first extra hole after the Irishman put his ball in the water.
The final quarter-final pairing sees Scott Jamieson go head-to-head with Thongchai Jaidee.
The Thai needed three extra holes to get the better of Sweden’s Peter Hanson, while Jamieson holed an excellent putt on the final green to beat Chile’s Felipe Aguilar 1up.
Giorgos Karagounis: Set to leave Fulham Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Fulham boss Martin Jol has confirmed that Giorgos Karagounis and Simon Davies are set to leave the club this summer.
The contracts for both midfielders are due to expire this summer, and they are not being offered fresh deals.
36-year-old Karagounis joined the club on a free transfer in September and has played over 20 league games, becoming a firm fans favourite.
But Jol has confirmed that he will not be staying and confirmed Sunday’s game at Swansea would be his last.
“It is most likely that Sunday will be the last game that Giorgos will play for Fulham,” said Jol.
“He’s had a terrific year and the Premier league was a great experience.
There would be options for him to stay in England and would consider any challenges that may be available.
“It’s very good that the fans of Fulham have recognised his contributions this season to vote him as the second best player and he will always have them in his heart.” Davies, 33, is moving on after six successful seasons at Craven Cottage which have seen him play over 150 games – but recently he has been dogged by injury.
“The thing with Simon is as long as I was here he was never fully-fit for more than two or three weeks, and that’s a problem,” said Jol.
“When he was fit he was a wonderful player but if he’s not fit we’ve got a problem, so we’ve got to sit down with him and talk about it.
“We will look after Simon and, of course, he can stay here as long as he needs to get fit, but it’s about him as well.
He has to make his mind up about his own fitness and if he wants to play again.” Fulham have already moved to bring in new midfield reinforcements as they are set to confirm the signing of Ghana international Derek Boateng on a free transfer.
Alexander Povetkin: Moves on to a potentially huge payday against Klitschko Alexander Povetkin warmed up for a fight with Wladimir Klitschko by stopping Andrzej Wawrzyk in the third round in Moscow.
Povetkin, who holds the WBA’s ‘regular’ heavyweight title, has been Klitschko’s mandatory challenger for some time and they will finally get it on in October.
The 33-year-old may have been expecting, indeed hoping, for a better opponent than the one that showed up, with Wawrzyk the latest heavyweight to bring a padded 27-0 record to the ring.
After a pedestrian first round Povetkin dropped his opponent with a hard right hand in the second, Wawrzyk jumping up at the count of two but clearly dis-orientated.
He made it to the bell but the third round proved to be the last, Povetkin going for the finish after looking for an opening early on.
The Pole took a count after he was held up by the ropes and although the action continued a couple of left hands put Wawrzyk on his back, this time for good.
The win keeps Povetkin on course for a huge payday against Klitschko after promoter Vladimir Hyrunov won a purse bid of $23.
Sir Alex Ferguson: Amazed by Roberto Mancini’s sacking Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he was “amazed” by Manchester City’s decision to sack Roberto Mancini.
Mancini was relieved of his duties a year to the day since he guided City to last season’s Premier League title.
The club’s owners spoke of a desire for a more “holistic approach” but Ferguson believes it was the wrong decision.
“It is quite amazing,” said the Manchester United manager, who retires after Sunday’s game at West Brom.
“He has won the FA Cup, been in the final, second in the league and won the league and it’s not good enough? “I was surprised, but actually no, you can’t say you are surprised not with some owners today.
You can’t be surprised, but I still don’t think it was right.
“I was with the chief executive of Liverpool at our reserve game the other night and he told me that Brendan Rodgers, who has not been in the job a year, is the 30th longest-serving manager in the country.
That’s incredible.” Meanwhile, Ferguson says that he is no longer interested about the future of wantaway striker Wayne Rooney and admits that it is up to his successor, David Moyes, to decide on whether the player stays at Old Trafford.
He said: “I have not spoken to David about Wayne; I’m sure he will address it when he gets here.
I have no idea why Wayne wants to leave, it is not my department.
I am no longer interested in that.
“David is going to deal with that and, quite rightly, he wants to deal with it.”
Larne Patrick of the Huddersfield Giants scores a try against Widnes Vikings Huddersfield Giants completed a Super League double over the Widnes Vikings with their 36-22 success strengthening their position in second place in the table.
The Giants recorded their first win at Widnes since 2004 as they added another victory to their comprehensive 62-6 thumping of the Vikings in Huddersfield last month.
The Giants outscored the home side six tries to four and were always in control despite a plucky effort from the Vikings to get back into it.
Brett Ferres and Larne Patrick both scored two tries for Huddersfield, with Danny Brough, who also made five kicks, and Aaron Murphy crossing for the other two scores.
Stefan Marsh grabbed a brace himself for the Vikings and Lloyd White and Paddy Flynn also made it over the whitewash but they could never really threaten.
After exchanging early tries, Huddersfield pulled away with four tries in 16 minutes and those unanswered points gave them a commanding 30-6 lead at the half-time interval.
Widnes made a real game of it just after the break though with Marsh and White going in to make it 30-16 and threatening a miraculous comeback.
A second Ferres try ten minutes from time put a stop to any thoughts of that though, and Marsh’s second try late on was merely a consolation.
Hull put an end to their Halliwell Jones hoodoo with a superb 26-16 come-from-behind win over Warrington.
Tom Briscoe and Richard Whiting both crossed twice and Tom Lineham also grabbed a try as the Black and Whites clinched just their second win at the home of the Wolves in their last 10 trips.
Ryan Atkins’ try early in the second half had at one stage put the hosts 16-6 ahead, only for them to then concede 20 points without reply.
more to follow…