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Fabio Quartararo extended his MotoGP championship lead with victory at the German Grand Prix, where Francesco Bagnaia suffered yet more disappointment by crashing out.

Bagnaia had won twice in his past four races and set a scorching pace to claim pole at Sachsenring, but he was overtaken by Quartararo on Turn 1 and lasted three more laps.

In an attempt to reclaim first place from reigning world champion Quartararo, Bagnaia lost the rear end of his GP22 when coming through Turn 1 on lap four and left the track.

Bagnaia was unhurt physically, but his furious reaction said it all, with last year's runner-up now 91 points behind Quartararo and surely out of title contention for another year.

It was the fourth abandonment of the season for the Ducati rider, which is two more failures than he suffered throughout last year's 18-race campaign.

Adding to his victory at the Catalan Grand Prix last time out, Quartararo had no trouble in retaining his lead in Germany to move 34 points in front of Aleix Espargaro in the championship.

Monster Energy Yamaha's Quartararo is the first MotoGP rider other than Marc Marquez to win on this track since 2012, with the Spaniard missing this race due to injury.

Pramac Racing's Johann Zarco stayed safe in second place, 5.3 seconds behind the race winner, while Jack Miller did brilliantly to pip Espargaro to a place on the podium.

Luca Marini and Zarco's team-mate Jorge Martin completed the top six, with the latter returning to action after a period out following hand surgery.

Elsewhere, Maverick Vinales was forced to retire with 13 laps to go due to his rear ride-height device jamming. Joan Mir and Pol Espargaro were also among those not to finish.


TOP 10

1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha)
2. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) +4.939s
3. Jack Miller (Ducati) +8.372s
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) +9.113s
5. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46) +11.679s
6. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) +13.164s
7. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) +15.405s
8. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini) +15.851s
9. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM) +19.740s
10. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) +21.611s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Riders
1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) 172
2. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) 138
3. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) 111
4. Enea Bastianini (Gresini) 100
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) 82

Teams
1. Monster Energy Yamaha 197
2. Aprilia Racing 184
3. Pramac Racing 172
4. Ducati 162
5. Red Bull KTM 146

Matt Fitzpatrick heads into the final round of the U.S. Open with a share of the lead and the confidence of a previous win in Brookline.

The 27-year-old, who recorded the best major result of his career last time out with a tie for fifth at the US PGA Championship, shot a 68 on Saturday to join Will Zalatoris on four under for the tournament.

Saturday's third round was a tricky one for most of the rest of the field, with only nine players now under par.

But Fitzpatrick knows exactly how to succeed at this course, having won the U.S. Amateur in Massachusetts in 2013.

He could now follow in the footsteps of the great Jack Nicklaus, who repeated his U.S. Amateur triumph at Pebble Beach in 1961 by winning the U.S. Open at the same course 11 years later.

"I certainly think it gives me an edge over the others," Fitzpatrick said, looking forward to Sunday's action. "I genuinely do believe that.

"It's a real, obviously positive moment in my career. It kind of kick-started me.

"To come back here and play so well again, it just gives me growing confidence round by round."

But Fitzpatrick knows he will not have it easy, with his experience of a tough final day at the US PGA – which he entered in second place – fresh in his mind.

"I think up until Southern Hills, I didn't really appreciate how hard it is actually to win a major," he said. "I've not challenged really up until then.

"I think, myself included, people on the outside maybe think it's easier than it is.

"You just have to look at Tiger [Woods]. He knocked off so many in such a quick span. That's why I think people think, 'oh, it's a piece of cake; it's like a regular Tour event'. But it's not.

"It brings a lot more to the mental aspect of the game than other regular events, and for me, I think it's been a big change from US PGA to come here to a golf course I know so well, and it's given me extra confidence."

Fitzpatrick might not get a better chance to land his first major win, and he accepts: "Would my career be incomplete if I didn't have one? Sure, yeah.

"I would be disappointed if I didn't, yeah. I genuinely would be disappointed if I didn't.

"I feel like certainly now these last two majors, I feel so much more comfortable out here. My game has changed for the better. I've given myself more chances.

"I definitely feel like I have much more of a chance now to win a major than I ever have done in my career, obviously."

Andrew Wiggins hopes to keep playing for the Golden State Warriors and keep "proving the doubters wrong".

Wiggins had a vital role in the Warriors' NBA Finals victory over the Boston Celtics.

It was the Warriors' fourth title in eight years but a first for Wiggins, who arrived from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a February 2020 trade.

The former first overall pick has faced plenty of questions in his NBA career so far, but he answered plenty of them against the Celtics.

Wiggins played more minutes than any other Warrior (235) and also led the way in rebounds (53) and blocks (nine) as he had a huge impact on the defensive end.

On offense, he trailed only Finals MVP Stephen Curry in points (18.3 per game) and made field goals (45), shooting 44.6 per cent.

"There was a lot of talk, people have something to say about every little thing, but now I'm happy that I made it here," Wiggins said.

"People didn't think I could ever be in this position or even be helpful on a championship team. But I'm proving the doubters wrong, and I'm going to keep it going."

And he plans to keep going on the Warriors, having been linked with trades almost since he arrived two years ago.

"I would love to stay here," said Wiggins, who will earn $33.6million next year before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

"Being here, this is top-notch. The way they treat the players... we're all one big family. I feel like a lot of places may say that, but [the Warriors] show it through their actions."

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos was still coming to terms with a franchise record loss after the two-time defending champions were drubbed 7-0 in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Colorado Avalanche.

Three days on from a close-fought Game 1 loss, the Florida outfit were soundly smashed at Ball Arena as they capitulated to leave an arduous path back to a third consecutive title.

After an overtime clash before that indicated a tight postseason battle for hockey's biggest prize, the Lightning were no match for the Avs, suffering their largest ever playoff defeat.

"Am I shocked that we lost seven-zip?" Stamkos stated. "I mean, I don't think we saw that coming.

"We have a game plan, and it's trying to neutralise their speed and their forecheck. And we've gotten away from it a little bit at times, and it cost us."

Stamkos in particular said the team owed an apology to goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who suffered a torrid night as the Avs ran rampant.

"We left him out to dry tonight," he added. "He's been our backbone for years and years and years. We owe it to him to have a better game next game. By no means is this on him tonight."

This was just the fifth instance of the defending Stanley Cup champions falling 2-0 behind in a Finals series, with only the 1966 Detroit Red Wings recovering to take the title again.

Meanwhile, the 1980 New York Islanders are the sole team to have allowed 11 or more goals through two games and still won the Finals.

But with two games back home to restore parity, the Lightning are adamant that they are not out of the picture yet.

"It takes a great team to realise the mistakes that we've made," Stamkos added. "And I have full confidence in this group that we'll have a much better effort.

"Listen, people are going to be watching this game tonight and probably think the series is over. But we're a very resilient group. We were in this position last round.

"So, whether it's 1-0 or 7-0 or 10-0, it's a loss in the playoffs. We've got to man up as a team. Let's get back home in front of our fans, and let's see what we're made of."

Defenseman Victor Hedman added: "At the end of day, we lost the game, not the series."

Mookie Betts is headed for the injured list with a cracked rib, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has revealed.

Outfielder Betts sustained the injury when he collided with Cody Bellinger in the first inning of Wednesday's 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

The five-time All-Star subsequently missed the first two games of the Dodgers' series against the Cleveland Guardians.

And after the second game, a 7-1 victory on Saturday, Roberts announced the results of an MRI, confirming Betts would be moved to the IL on Sunday with no return date specified.

"You're taking one of the best players in baseball out of the lineup," Roberts said.

"It's a big blow, but at least we know what we're dealing with, and we're going to get him back sooner rather than later."

Betts, the 2018 American League MVP while on the Boston Red Sox, is batting .273 this season with 17 home runs and 40 RBIs.

The Colorado Avalanche took complete control of the Stanley Cup Finals with a sensational 7-0 win in Game 2 that coach Jared Bednar considered almost flawless.

The Avs had beaten the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in overtime in the series opener, but there were no such fine margins on Saturday.

Colorado put seven past Andrei Vasilevskiy, marking the fourth time this postseason they have scored seven in a game. Only the Edmonton Oilers (six games in both 1984 and 1985) have topped that feat.

This was also just the third instance in Finals history of a team winning by seven or more goals while registering a shutout, following the 1919 Seattle Metropolitans' 7-0 Game 1 win over the Montreal Canadiens and the 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins' clinching 8-0 Game 6 win over the Minnesota North Stars.

It was little surprise then that Bednar was left struggling to identify ways in which his dominant Avs team could improve.

"It was certainly as close to perfect of a game as you can get from your players," he said.

"Coming out of Game 1, we were dangerous offensively, but I thought there was another step for our group. We evaluated that, we showed them some things, and they did a nice job.

"And on the defensive side, we were way better tonight. It wasn't even close.

"I thought we made some big mistakes that led to goals against in Game 1. We got better in those areas, amongst others."

Goaltender Darcy Kuemper joined his team-mates in impressing, but he faced only 16 shots – the fewest the Lightning have generated in a playoff game this year.

"[We are] hungry on the defensive side of things, trying to win as many races as we can, as many battles as we can, getting above pucks and making it difficult," Bednar added.

"It's part of our identity and who we are. Our guys have been doing it all year, and they're continuing to do it. Tonight, they did it better than we usually do."

The New York Yankees extended their winning streak to nine games on Saturday, shutting the Toronto Blue Jays out 4-0 on the road.

Jameson Taillon was in impressive form on the mound for the Pinstripes against their divisional rivals, allowing only four hits and striking out eight and managing 14 first-pitch strikes out of 22 batters faced over 88 pitches.

Allowing all four runs and six hits in just over five innings for the Blue Jays, walking one and striking out five, Alek Manoah lost for the first time in 16 career home starts.

Aaron Hicks gave the Yankees important early momentum with a three-run drive off Manoah in the second inning, in an otherwise off night for the top of the batting order.

Improving to 49-16 for the season – leading the Blue Jays by 12 games in the American League East - the Yankees will next face Blue Jays left-hander Yusei Kikuchi, who also ended their 11-game win streak in May.

Willson wins in Contreras match-up

Willson Contreras led the way for the Chicago Cubs against younger brother William and the Atlanta Braves, with the Cubs winning 6-3.

Both starting at catcher on Saturday, the two brothers embraced at home plate before Willson's first at-bat, in what was their first meeting in the major leagues. The older Contreras went on to claim three hits and a stolen base in the win.

Kyle Wright gave up a career-high 11 hits, a day after the Cubs snapped the Braves' 14-game winning streak, which broke their own sequence of 10 consecutive losses.

Freeman the fuel as Dodgers hit 40

Freddie Freeman had three hits and Trea Turner homered for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who secured a 7-1 victory over the Cleveland Guardians.

Julio Urias pitched solidly for the Dodgers, giving up only two hits and two walks while striking out six over 87 pitches in six innings to secure his first win since May.

The Dodgers became the fifth team to reach 40 wins for the year, taking a lead of half a game in the National League West over the San Diego Padres.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez conceded it was driver error that forced his crash in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix, which will see him start from a lowly 13th on Sunday's race in Montreal.

Perez, who sits second in the driver's standings behind team-mate Max Verstappen, put his Red Bull into the wall at turn three during Q2 on Saturday, forcing out the red flag and ending his hopes of a front-row finish.

Verstappen handled the wet conditions best, meanwhile, finishing almost seven tenths of a second quicker than Fernando Alonso, who qualified second in his Alpine.

After a disappointing qualifying finish, Perez claimed Sunday's race will be about damage limitation from his standpoint.

"I did a mistake from my side, so I'm very sorry for my team," Perez told Sky Sports F1 post-qualifying. "I let them down unfortunately, but I'm going to already be thinking on tomorrow, and hopefully I'm able to recover and get into strong points.

"I wasn't struggling with the brakes, I think they were on the cold side. I had a lock-up into turn 10 the lap before. I flat-spotted them, and it probably meant that I was a bit out of shape and going into turn three I just became a passenger. As soon as I touched the brake, it was a bit too much.

"It can be tricky and difficult, but it was just a mistake from my side. Tomorrow I will just try to minimise the damage and just attack from lap one onwards, and see where we end up."

On the other hand, Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer cited driver quality as the reason Alonso was able to qualify in second amid tricky conditions.

Both Alpine cars progressed to Q3, with Esteban Ocon also finishing in seventh but he was out-qualified by nearly two seconds by Alonso, who was without fear in the wet.

"We've had good pace here all weekend," Szafnauer told Sky Sports F1. "We had decent pace in Baku too, so we keep working on the car, but Fernando's experience and skill shone through today, and put it on the front row.

"He's always been really, really good at adapting very quickly, so he's always on the pace very quickly. When you have changeable conditions, that ability to adapt quickly shines through."

Scottie Scheffler is enjoying the tricky conditions at this year's U.S. Open, sitting two strokes from co-leaders Will Zalatoris and Matthew Fitzpatrick heading into Sunday's final round.

Despite a strong start, the world number one could only manage a one-over 71 at The Country Club on Saturday, finishing on two-under after 54 holes.

In windy and overcast conditions, only seven players posted scores under par on moving day in Brookline, with nine under par for the tournament after three rounds.

After his round on Saturday, Scheffler was far from bemoaning the difficulties he or the field has faced, insisting it is why he is playing the tournament.

"I think the U.S. Open is very taxing, mentally and physically," he said. "I think that's all part of what this makes this tournament so fun. You're going to get tested all different kinds of ways, whether it be physically, mentally, whatever it is. This golf tournament is going to test you.

"That's why I show up here. I think that's kind of the fun of it. If every golf tournament was like this, it would be in for a long season for all of us. A few times a year I think it's a ton of fun."

After a spectacular eagle on the par-five eighth to go three-under over the front nine, the conditions bit Scheffler hard, posting a double bogey and then three consecutive bogeys between 11 and 14.

A birdie on the 17th was followed up with a massive par save on the final hole after finding the bunker, and the usually stoic 25-year-old let out a rare show of emotion, triumphantly pumping his fist after a tough one-putt.

"It was good because I hit my second shot, and I hit it exactly where I wanted to," Scheffler said. "It got gusted, and it came up short. Where we thought the ball was going to end up was right on top of the bunker where I had no stance.

"So, a hole in which I really thought after a good shot on the second round I was going to walk away with five, to get out of there with four was definitely a big boost.

"I knew how hard the putt was, and that's why I was so frustrated because I had a chance to get it somewhat close, and I didn't hit a great shot."

While seven of the top 12 players heading into Saturday’s third round at the U.S. Open made at least one double bogey in strong wind and cool temperatures, Rory McIlroy was not among them.

The 2011 U.S. Open champion and four-time major winner made just one birdie in his score of three-over 73 on moving day at Brookline, but his putter provided salvation late. 

He was able to keep himself within striking distance with a string of par saves, to sit three shots back from co-leaders Will Zalatoris and Matthew Fitzpatrick heading into the final round on Sunday at The Country Club.

"It was one of the toughest days on a golf course I’ve had in a long time,” McIlroy said afterwards.

"I just needed to grind it out, and I did on the back nine. To play that back nine at even par today was a really good effort, I thought. Just kept myself in the tournament. That's all I was trying to do. Just keep hanging around.

"I had some really good putts for pars coming in, 13, 15, great up-and-down on 16, good putt on 17. Then was really fortunate at the last to get that drop from the grandstand and be able to hit it on the green from there."

With only nine players under par for the tournament, blustery and overcast conditions provided palpable difficulty on Saturday.

"I know guys aren’t going to go out there and shoot the lights out," McIlroy said. "I mean, 67 from Will out there today is unbelievable. Such a good score. 68 from Fitz as well.

"I certainly thought I was going to be a few shots further back than I was at the end of the day, but Jon [Rahm] struggled there coming in.

"Even though it was such a tough day and feel like I battled well and whatever, to still only be three back going into tomorrow is a good thing for me."

Jon Rahm remains upbeat coming into the final round at U.S. Open, after a difficult Saturday saw him finish one stroke from tied leaders Will Zalatoris and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

The world number two held the outright lead approaching the 18th hole at Brookline, but a double bogey put him on one-over for the day and three-under after 54 holes.

Blustery and overcast conditions made moving day at The Country Club more about survival, and Rahm remains within contention despite his disappointing finish to the round.

"Good round of golf," he said afterwards. "It was obviously extremely difficult conditions, the wind being a little bit higher and stronger than the last few days, a different direction. Then the course being a little bit firmer, right, that's just a recipe for difficulty.

"Obviously, I think a lot of people are just thinking about 18. The truth is, 18, it was six good shots. Unfortunately, it added up to 6, but it was all good swings.

"If anything, it was maybe a choice or a decision on the fairway bunker, but swings were good, so execution was proper. So I'm happy about that in that sense."

The defending champion hit the bunker with his tee shot on the 18th and compounded that by hitting its lip and staying there, before finding another bunker with his next shot and two-putting for the double bogey.

It came after three birdies between 14 and 17 to put him on five-under, momentarily moving ahead of Zalatoris and Fitzpatrick as conditions dramatically cooled, placing further difficulty on shot and club selection.

"After I hit the shot, I realised the ball was a little bit deeper in the sand than I could really truly see," he said.

"But I think I got maybe -- tried to be a little too perfect with the shot. I had a 9-iron in hand. That's plenty to get over that lip.

"It is what it is. I think I got a little bit too cute with the shot."

Will Zalatoris and Matthew Fitzpatrick share the lead coming into the final round at the U.S. Open, finishing a tough Saturday on four-under par at Brookline.

Only nine players at this third major of the year have scores under par after 54 holes at the Country Club, and the tied lead between Zalatoris and Fitzpatrick only came after Jon Rahm's dreadful final hole in overcast and blustery conditions.

The world number two had the outright lead coming into his final hole on moving day, but three consecutive bunker shots and a two-putt led to a double-bogey on the par-four 18th and three-under after 54.

Zalatoris and Fitzpatrick have not won as professionals in the United States, with the former agonisingly finishing second at the 2021 Masters and this year's PGA Championship.

With Zalatoris finishing his round earlier in the day, Rahm finished as the conditions further cooled, placing particular difficulty on the approach to the green with club selection.

A visibly frustrated Rahm was able to compensate with some exceptional putting on the back nine, however, sinking a long birdie putt on the 14th to put him level with the two leaders. Three birdies between 14 and 17 were undone by the last hole, however.

Scottie Scheffler recovered from a double-bogey and three consecutive bogeys between 11 and 14 to finish Saturday on two-under, securing a birdie on the 17th before a massive par save on the last after hitting the bunker.

The usually stoic Scheffler did not hide his emotions with a triumphant fist-pump after the save, which left the world number one tied with Adam Hadwin and Keegan Bradley.

Joel Dahmen and Collin Morikawa fell down the leaderboard after opening Saturday with the lead on five-under. Morikawa's natural left-to-right game particularly suffered, shooting a seven-over 77.

Dahmen is joined on one-under by Sam Burns and Rory McIlroy, who only made seven greens in regulation but stayed in contention with a string of saves on the back nine.

 

Shot of the day

After two birdies and a bogey through his first seven holes, Scheffler really shone on the eighth.

His stunning eagle on the par-five hole saw him leap into a two-shot lead at the summit of the leaderboard.

Player of the day - Will Zalatoris

In a day characterised by survival in blustery conditions at Brookline, Will Zalatoris was one of the few on Saturday who thrived.

His ball-striking shone on an overcast day, scoring only one bogey as the rest of the field struggled to find the green.

 

Chipping in

Zalatoris: "Yeah, that was brutal. When I made a mistake, I made sure I was on the fat side of the green or having room where I could maybe at least chip one up there from eight to 10 feet."

Scheffler: "There's a lot of trees on this golf course, and it's gusty as well. So it's definitely unpredictable. I think that's what happens when you get these foresty golf courses, and then with the gusts, I mean, that little golf ball is just getting thrown around all over the place." 

 

A little birdie told me...

- Victory on Sunday would see Fitzpatrick emulate Jack Nicklaus, winning the U.S. Open at the same course he won the U.S. Amateur, after beating Oliver Goss at the Country Club in 2013.

Lewis Hamilton felt "amazing" to have clinched P4 in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix, though he warned there is still work to do for Mercedes.

Hamilton has endured a frustrating season in 2022, with the seven-time world champion struggling to adjust to his new car.

On Friday, after a poor practice session, Hamilton said "it's like the car's getting worse".

However, Hamilton will now look to build on Saturday's impressive qualifying display after securing fourth on the grid in Montreal for Sunday's race - his best qualification result of the season.

After finishing behind Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz, Hamilton told Sky Sports F1: "I feel amazing, so happy – P4 has never felt so good to be honest.

"Maybe in my first year of racing, in 2007, when I got my first P4 it probably felt great then, I think this probably feels like that. Particularly because it’s been a really difficult year, to go through what we were faced with today, it was difficult for everyone out there.

"I'm so happy to put us in a position, because everyone's working so hard, constantly facing these challenges with this car.

"We did a lot of work yesterday to try and get the information. The car didn't feel that great, so tomorrow should be a much better position. Hopefully I can try and hold position at least."

Saturday has not altered Hamilton's disappointment with his car, however, but he has full faith in the Mercedes engineers to get things clicking.

"With this car you need everything and more to come together," added the 37-year-old, who is sixth in the drivers' standings.

"I like to think that I have rhythm, and on this track in particular you have to have rhythm. I feel this car works on a completely different beat.

"It doesn't work on the normal beat so that's been difficult to get used to. The rain makes it much different, if it was dry I don't know if we'd have been in this position but the rain opens up opportunities and I love this track.

"It's been a struggle so far, there's still a lot of work to do, but I hope all the team are feeling positive. Please continue to push, I need you, we need you, we're all working as hard as we can and I believe in them so much, I hope at some stage we can stop this bouncing and move forwards."

Hamilton's team-mate George Russell endured a frustrating Q3, however.

Russell went out on slick tyres, but that decision backfired when he lost control and ultimately had to settle for P8.

He told Sky Sports F1: "It was high risk, high reward. It was literally just turn one, I think had that been as dry as the other corners we could have been in a really good place.

"Surprised my lap was only half a second off P4, so it shows the strong pace today, but as I said on the radio I'm not here to settle for P4, P5 – we need to try things.

"At the end of the day the points are tomorrow, I’m glad we tried something different."

Justin Thomas says he is relishing the tough U.S. Open conditions despite seeing his chances of winning back-to-back majors surely disappear.

The 29-year-old, who won the US PGA Championship last month, carded a third-round 72 on Saturday to leave him on three over par going into the final day.

Thomas had no complaints over the set-up at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, where the wind made life difficult for the best players in the world once again.

"I played really, really well," he told a media conference. "It was very difficult out there. I just didn't get anything out of it.

"I fought back and stayed very patient for having some things not go my way. It's a bummer to finish with a bogey on 18, but I really played solid today.

"I hit it really well. I drove it well. Hit my irons really well. Just had a hard time saving pars when I missed greens, but yeah, tee to green I played beautifully.

"I said to Bones [his caddie Jim Mackay] walking up 18, this is how a U.S. Open should be. It's very difficult. Par is great score on a lot of holes. Bogeys aren't going to kill you.

"We don't do this very often, and I think it's very, very fitting and totally acceptable to have this kind of test and this difficult setup for a U.S. Open, and it's strictly because of conditions.

"The greens are getting firm. It's windy, and it should be tough."

Will Zalatoris moved into the lead on four under with with a hugely impressive three-under 67 and he Matthew Fitzpatrick joined him when he birdied the 15th.

Scottie Scheffler had been two shots clear before a double bogey at 11, followed by another three dropped shots in as many holes.

 

Max Verstappen clinched pole position for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix and Fernando Alonso secured an unlikely spot on the front row in Montreal.

Alonso, who set the pace in the final practice session, claimed second place in tricky, wet conditions in Saturday's qualifying session.

That hands the 40-year-old Spaniard his first front-row start in Formula One since he won from pole position at the German Grand Prix just under 10 years ago.

The two-time world champion, racing for Alpine, was the recipient of a huge ovation from the crowd as he celebrated his supreme qualifying performance, clocking up a time of 1:21.944 behind championship leader Verstappen's 1:21.299.

"It feels great. It was an unbelievable weekend for us so far, we’ve been competitive in free practice – which we normally are on Friday but on Saturday we seem to lose a little bit of pace – but in wet conditions today the car was mega, I was so comfortable driving this car and I think the fans gave me a push," a jubilant Alonso said.

When asked what his approach will be on Sunday, Alonso quipped: "Let's see, I think I will attack Max on the first corner."

Verstappen's pole ended the day on a high note for Red Bull, with team-mate and fellow title contender Sergio Perez set to start in 13th place after crashing out in Q2.

In difficult conditions, the reigning world champion – who will be further buoyed by title rival Charles Leclerc having to start at the back on Sunday due to Ferrari changing his entire power unit – was delighted with the composure shown by his team.

"Of course I still expect it not to be a straightforward race, today with tricky conditions, we stayed calm and we made the right calls in Q3 so of course, super happy with that to get pole position here and to be back in Montreal and great to see all the fans," he said.

"You really get that go-karting sensation back on this track with proper curves. We always enjoy driving here and I’m looking forward to tomorrow."

Carlos Sainz looked poised to push Verstappen, but a mistake on the final corner cost the Ferrari driver, who will start third on the grid. An incident involving the Spaniard and Esteban Ocon was investigated, but the stewards decided no further action was required.

Sainz said: "I was feeling quite okay with the car, especially in the full wet. In that lap I knew I had lost a bit too much, I tried to do a very quick last corner but it didn't pay off and it cost me half a second. I ended up with three for that mistake. I think it's going to be a good fight with Max up front and Fernando has been fast all weekend."

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton – who did not hide his frustration with his car after struggling in practice on Friday – was lifted by claiming fourth.

Mercedes team-mate George Russell had to settle for eighth, however, after a decision to go on slicks in Q3 failed to pay off.

Kenny Atkinson is no longer accepting the head coaching job with the Charlotte Hornets, choosing instead to remain an assistant with the Golden State Warriors, ESPN reported on Saturday.

It had been reported earlier in June that Atkinson and the Hornets had agreed in principle to a four-year contract, but the deal was never signed.

After further talks with Charlotte, Atkinson opted to stay with the new NBA champions, becoming Steve Kerr's top assistant after Mike Brown left to become the head coach of the Sacramento Kings.

Atkinson compiled a 118-190 record leading the Brooklyn Nets from 2016-20 before he took assistant jobs in consecutive years with the Los Angeles Clippers and the Warriors.

The Hornets fired James Borrego in April following a 43-win season with two years remaining on his contract. He went 138-163 during his four seasons as head coach, and Charlotte were routed in the play-in tournament in each of the last two.

Atkinson was chosen to replace Borrego after a seven-week search. The other candidates from that process were longtime NBA coach Mike D'Antoni and former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts, ESPN reported.

Daniil Medvedev set up a Halle Open final meeting with Hubert Hurkacz, overcoming home favourite Oscar Otte to reach his second grass-court final in as many weeks.

The world number one was forced to save a set point in a tight opener before rallying in a tie-break and sailing through the second set in a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 win. 

Despite falling to a shock defeat to Tim van Rijthoven in 's-Hertogenbosch last week, Medvedev is now 14-2 on grass since a first-round exit at Halle last year, and was delighted to make up for 2021's performance on one of his favoured surfaces. 

"I didn't play well in Halle last year, so I'm happy that this year I managed to raise my level," he said after the win.

"As I've always said, I love playing on grass, so I'm happy to show to myself that I'm capable of being in the final of one of the greatest tournaments, especially on grass, and of course I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

Standing between Medvedev and the second grass-court title of his career is Hurkacz, who required two tie-breaks to edge a thrilling contest with Nick Kyrgios, winning 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4).

Elsewhere, last year's Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini remains on course for back-to-back titles at the Queen's Club Championships after a straight-sets win over Botic van de Zandschulp in the final four.

Berrettini overcame a rain stoppage to secure his eighth consecutive victory, securing a 6-4 6-3 win, and delighted after triumphing in challenging conditions.

"It was a really tough match. We stopped for the rain. I had a lot of chances. It was windy again and really tough to play, but I definitely think it was the best match of the week, so I am really happy and looking forward to the final," the Italian said. 

Berrettini will face world number 48 Filip Krajinovic in Sunday's final, after the Serb cruised past 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic 6-3 6-3.

Charles Leclerc's Formula One world championship hopes have been dealt a blow after it was confirmed he will start at the back of the grid in Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix.

The title-chasing driver was already handed a 10-place grid penalty on Friday for changing his electronics control unit, following two power unit failures in the last two races that have dealt a significant blow in his push for the championship.

Leclerc's task in Montreal will now be one of damage limitation and Ferrari have elected to give him an entirely new power unit – a new internal combustion engine, turbo, MGU-H and MGU-K.

Drivers are only allowed to use three of each component over the course of a season but Leclerc will now use his fourth in Canada, while the ECU change leads to his third unit of the campaign when only two are allowed.

Leclerc's bad luck has led to an 80-point swing in the drivers' standings in favour of Red Bull's defending champion Max Verstappen, with his team-mate Sergio Perez also climbing above the Ferrari driver last weekend.

Two engine failures in back-to-back races have both come when Leclerc was leading the race, while he also lost the lead in Monaco after a team error in the pit lane saw him slip to fourth.

Leclerc had won two of the opening three races of the season to hold a 46-point lead over Verstappen, who had to retire in both of the events where the Monaco driver was victorious.

Rafal Majka won stage four of the Tour of Slovenia, but had to come out on top in a game of Rock Paper Scissors against Tadej Pogacar to do so.

It was not quite a case of the fastest rider over the line in stage four of the race on Saturday, with the victory instead settled by a jokey game between the two UAE Team Emirates riders.

Majka, who has helped Pogacar take the lead in the general classification standings, plucked for paper. His team-mate went for rock.

It resulted in a second stage win of the race for the Pole, who is three seconds behind Pogacar in the GC heading into Sunday's final stage.

The pair celebrated as they cruised over the line, with Majka leading the way.

"He [Pogacar] said, 'ok you go for the stage'," Majka laughed. "We did a small bit, but he still tells me: you can win today. I'm still really happy, and this is good before the Tour de France."

Pogacar is in line to compete at the Tour de France, which starts on July 1 in Copenhagen. The Slovenian is aiming for a third successive title.

UAE Team Emirates have dominated the Tour of Slovenia, with Majka's two stage wins added to by Pogacar claiming victory on Friday.

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