Bottas and Massa delighted to lock out second row

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Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa are both delighted to have qualified on the second row of the grid for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix, and are looking to translate it into a strong result for Williams that could elevate the team to third place in the constructors’ championship.

Bottas will start the race at Monza from third place on the grid, having finished as the ‘best of the rest’ behind the two Mercedes drivers at the front of the field.

The Finn’s long run pace during practice on Friday suggests that he could even be in the running to claim his maiden grand prix victory, and he hopes that he can give the Silver Arrows something to worry about on Sunday.

“I really hope so,” said Bottas when asked if he could challenge for the race win. “From Friday to today they [Mercedes] seem to have a bit more pace. In qualifying we expected that maybe we could be a little bit closer to them today but yeah, I really hope so.

“I think we have solid race pace and it just depends how much more pace they have left than on Friday.”

For Massa, fourth place is a great result, and the Brazilian hopes that he can carry this form over into the race. However, he does not think that this is his last chance to win a race in 2014.

“I don’t think this is the way I need to think about it,” he said. “Maybe it’s a track we can have good pace, and we need to try to do the best we can.”

With a good points haul this weekend, Williams could move up to third place in the constructors’ championship ahead of Ferrari, who endured a difficult session on Saturday afternoon.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.