This weekend in Brazil, the competitors in Felipe Massa’s “Desafio Internacional des Estrelas” karting event took a moment to support Formula One legend Michael Schumacher, who remains in critical condition and in a medically induced coma after suffering a severe head injury during a skiing accident late last month.
According to an English press release from XYZ Live, all 24 racers gathered in the middle of the track’s infield to pray for Schumacher’s recovery and then hold up a banner with the words “Força Schumi” – Stay Strong, Schumi in Portuguese. The same Portuguese message was also on stickers that were put on the front nose of all the karts.
As for the race itself, the field was mostly made up of Brazilian competitors including Massa, Schumacher’s old Ferrari teammate, Rubens Barrichello, and IndyCar racers Ana Beatriz and Felipe Giaffone (2001-2006).
However, it was an Italian and Swiss 1-2 in the end, as former F1 pilot Vitantonio Liuzzi took the checkered flag by six seconds over current Red Bull tester Sebastien Buemi, who logged the fastest lap of the race.
Massa, preparing to begin a new chapter in his career at Williams this season, nabbed the last spot on the podium at 10.6 seconds behind Liuzzi.
“It was a wonderful weekend,” Liuzzi said according to the release. “The kart was pretty good after a few adjustments we made between FP2 and qualifying. Definitely, we found the best set up. I made a good start and was able to pull away from the battles behind me and that was the key to [the] win.”
Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.
Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.
The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.
In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.
Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.
Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.
Last Five Seattle Winners
450s 2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto