Alonso: My strategy flattered Ferrari’s pace

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Fernando Alonso believe that he was only able to challenge for a place on the podium due to strategy in the German Grand Prix this afternoon, stating that the Ferrari car is not quick enough to do so under normal circumstances.

The two-time world champion started on the medium compound tire, effectively giving him the reverse strategy to that of Sebastian Vettel and Romain Grosjean who finished 1st and 3rd respectively. Alonso did close on Grosjean on the final lap, but he could not find a way past and he is still pleased to have finished as high as 4th.

“It was very good the strategy,” Alonso said after the race. “I think with this strategy we have had the possibility to fight for the podium. We were not quick enough today, we didn’t have the pace, and even then we fight for the podium and we were very close to the leading group.

“It’s hard for me to imagine if we start 5th and we do soft-hard-hard-hard as the main competitors, I don’t think that I finish four seconds behind them or I fight with them, because we are slower than them. We were fighting with them thanks to the strategy.”

Alonso finished just 7.7 seconds behind race winner Sebastian Vettel despite starting the race down in P9. However, the gap between him and Vettel has grown to 34 points as we come towards the halfway point in the season.

Supercross: Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll and Malcolm Stewart out with injury

Swoll Stewart injury
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.

“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”

The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.

Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.

Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.

He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.

Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.

Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.

Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.

Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.

The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.

Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.

Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.