Lewis Hamilton surprised by winning streak

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Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he never expected to enjoy such a successful start to the season, having won the last four races, but he has no plans of stopping any time soon as the Formula 1 circus heads to Monaco next weekend.

The British driver took the lead of the drivers’ championship in Spain after defeating teammate Nico Rosberg by just 0.6 seconds, and he is hoping for a repeat result around the streets of Monte Carlo at F1’s blue riband event.

“Monaco is just incredible to drive and any driver will tell you that’s the race they want to win,” Hamilton said. “So many great names become legends around this circuit. It’s an honor to fight for your place amongst them and a real test of your skills behind the wheel.

“The last few races have been just incredible. I honestly never expected I’d win four consecutive grands prix in my career and I’d love to continue that run here.”

Hamilton still believes that there is room for improvement with the car, and felt uncomfortable throughout the Spanish Grand Prix weekend despite secure pole position and the win.

“I’ve had some work to do in terms of getting the car exactly as I want it after the weekend in Spain,” he said. “It was so close between our cars at the end and I need to keep pushing to find any extra edge I can.

“The car has been strong at every race so far and I’m sure it’ll be the same in Monaco, so we should be set for an entertaining weekend.”

Given Mercedes’ dominance of the season so far, it is hard to bet against the team winning once again at a track it traditionally excels around. Hamilton and Rosberg have amassed 197 of 215 possible points so far this season, but they are separated by just three in the drivers’ championship, meaning that once again we could be set for an enthralling battle between the Silver Arrows.

Supercross: Haiden Deegan debuts in 250s at Houston, Justin Cooper graduates to 450 class for Star Yamaha

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Rising star Haiden Deegan will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut in Houston, Texas with Yamaha Star Racing while the 2021 250 West champion Justin Cooper graduates to 450s.

Deegan, the son of motocross and off-road legend Brian Deegan and brother of NASCAR Truck Series driver Hailie Deegan, made two starts in the Pro Motocross outdoors season last year. He finished 31st overall at the Ironman Nationals in Crawfordsville, Indiana and was 13th at Fox Raceway in the season-ender at Fox Raceway in Pala, California, but the overall results did not necessarily reflect how well he ran. In both events, he challenged for top-10s during portions of the week and actually finished 10th in one of the Pala motos.

Last week, Haiden finished fifth in the Supercross 250 Futures in Anaheim 2.

“We’re really excited to get the season on the East Coast started,” said Monster Energy Team Manager Jensen Hendler in a press release. “It’s also exciting to have Haiden move up to join our pro program this season and to have Justin make his debut on the 450. The guys have been working hard and are looking forward to seeing what they can do this weekend in Houston.”

After scoring a 250SX Futures podium, Talon Hawkins gets 250 East ride.

Deegan will join Nate Thrasher and Jordon Smith in the 250 East division this week.

Cooper moves into the 450 class this weekend. According to Supercross rules, after winning the 2021 championship, he had one season to defend his title and then would be required to move up a class. Cooper missed all of last year to injury.

Cooper was healthy when the outdoor season started and he earned five podiums and nine top-fives in 12 rounds. Three of these races ended in runners-up finishes, at Hangtown, in Rancho Cordova, California, Washougal, Washington and Unadilla, New York.

Cooper joins Eli Tomac and Dylan Ferrandis in the 450 class and will race select events.

Justin Cooper learned to temper aggression with speed

Cooper’s Houston attempt will be the first of an undisclosed number of races he will compete in during the 2023 season.

“It’s been about two years since I’ve lined up for a supercross, and now it’s in a new class with the best guys, so I’m excited to just get out there,” Cooper said. “I’m looking to get back under the lights and learn what I can. Overall, I’m just really excited to be in the position to be out there, so I’m going to make the most of it and enjoy it!”

Deegan and Cooper will be part of a seven-rider Supercross lineup for Yamaha Star Racing. Nick Romano will debut in the 250 East division later this year.