After closing out the first practice session as the fastest driver on Friday morning, Fernando Alonso is looking to double up in FP2 in China as Ferrari begins life after Stefano Domenicali who resigned as team principal on Monday.
The first session at the Shanghai International Circuit on Friday saw limited running at times due to the low track temperature that made running less representative than normal. Mercedes opted not to push as much as normal, and despite finishing behind Alonso, Nico Rosberg is undoubtedly in the running to claim his second win of the season this weekend.
Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton hit trouble at the end of the first practice session, meaning that he could only finish down in eighth place. The team opted to end his session early in order to get the car fixed in time for the second session.
Red Bull will also be hoping to bounce back from a mixed first session, but Sebastian Vettel is only betting on a top five finish this weekend despite having history in China.
Benny Bloss will race for the factory Beta Motorcycles team in 2024 as that manufacturer joins SuperMotocross as the ninth brand to compete in the series. Beta Motorcycles will make their debut in the Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California in January.
“The wait is over and we can finally share everything we have been working towards,” said Carlen Gardner, Race Team Manager in a press release. “It has been a great experience being a part of this development and seeing the progression. The only missing part was finding a rider that would mesh well with our Beta Family.
“After a one phone call with Benny, we knew it would be a good fit for him, and for us. We are happy to have him on board for the next two years and can’t wait to see everyone at Anaheim in January.”
Bloss has a pair of top-10 rankings in the division with a sixth-place finish in the Pro Motocross Championship in 2016 and a seventh in 2018. His best Supercross season ended 15th in the standings in 2018.
“I’m extremely excited to join the Beta Factory Racing team,” Bloss said. “It’s cool to see a brand with such a rich history in off-road racing to come into the US Supercross and Motocross space. I know this team will be capable of great things as we build and go racing in 2024.”
Bloss is currently 22nd in the SuperMotocross rankings and has not raced in the first two rounds of the Motocross season.
Testing for Beta Motorcycles is scheduled to begin in August and the team expects to announce a second rider at that time.
The family-owned brand adds to the international flare of the sport. The company was founded in Florence, Italy in 1905 as Società Giuseppe Bianchi as they built handmade bicycles, The transition to motorcycle production in the late 1940s.
Beta Motorcycles competed and won in motocross competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s with Jim Pomeroy and other riders.