Vettel praises championship rivals

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Sebastian Vettel says he struggles to comprehend how he’s won four world championships against the strong field Formula One has today.

Vettel singled out Fernando Alonso for praise, the Ferrari driver having finished runner-up to him in two of the last three seasons and is currently second again.

“I was watching Formula One when Fernando started to win races and now I’m racing Fernando,” said Vettel yesterday. “He’s been my toughest opponent for the last couple of years.”

“I think he’s extremely talented, very gifted behind the wheel, for sure. He’s Spanish, he’s very passionate, one way and the other.

“To race people like him, race people like Lewis [Hamilton] who I think has an amazing level of natural talent, to race people like Mark [Webber] who I rate the same way, like Nico [Rosberg] who I think is underestimated… a lot of guys, you know: Kimi [Raikkonen], Jenson [Button]- to win four titles, I don’t know, it’s just a big number you know? Four titles.”

Vettel has became the fourth driver in F1 history to claim the crown, putting him in a very select group of drivers. “To join people like that: Michael [Schumacher], [Juean Manuel] Fangio, [Alain] Prost is very difficult to put into perspective,” he said.

“I’m way too young to understand what it means. I might be sixty one day, maybe then I will understand but nobody cares any more. I care, it’s difficult to realise something that nobody can take away from you, basically.”

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.