Lotus owner Lopez laments lost victory in Spain

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Lotus owner Gerard Lopez believes that the team was unfortunate not to win last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, lamenting traffic which stopped Kimi Raikkonen’s charge early on.

Raikkonen utilized a three-stop strategy at the Circuit de Catalunya in order to jump the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa during the race, but he still finished a full 9 seconds behind race winner Fernando Alonso on Sunday. However, Lopez has great faith in the team following a strong start to the season.

“We thought there was a way to win it. We lost the race right at the beginning when Fernando and Vettel were able to jump Hamilton and we got stuck a couple of times in traffic. That’s where we lost the race, and other than that, it was very good,” Lopez told Adam Cooper. “The car is super consistent, and it was fast on both tyres.”

When asked about the rest of the field, Lopez highlighted Ferrari as being the front-runners following their fine performance at last weekend’s race, and he also revealed his surprise at Red Bull’s form in Spain.

“I was a bit surprised by the Red Bulls. Spain was an important race, everybody’s going to throw what they have at the car.

“I think Mercedes we expected to be fast on one lap. The Ferrari is probably the strongest car right now. Red Bull maybe a little bit below where we expected them.”

Lotus has certainly made a good start to the season, currently sitting P3 in the constructors’ championship and Kimi Raikkonen leads their drivers’ title charge, just four points behind Vettel at the top. Lopez has every reason to be pleased with his team, and they will be keen on continuing this form into the rest of the season.

Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list; Musquin remains out

Shimoda injured
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.

“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”

Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.

The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.

Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.

Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.

Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.

Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.

Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”