Rosberg frustrated to fall 0.007 seconds short of pole

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Nico Rosberg has made no secret of his frustration after falling just 0.007 seconds short of pole position during qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix today.

The German driver posted a fastest lap time 1:45.688 to secure provisional pole with his final lap in Q3, only for teammate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton to go seven-thousandths of a second faster to secure his sixth pole position of the season at Marina Bay.

Upon learning that he was P2, Rosberg shouted “dammit!” over the radio back to his engineer, and summed up his feelings in the post-session press conference on Saturday.

“Yeah, because seven-thousandths, when I think back on the lap, seven-thousandths is nothing you know!” he said. “A little bit here or there, I’m like ‘come on, I could have done it!’

“But that’s the way it is, and Lewis did a good job to get pole, so fair play and second place is okay. Obviously first would be better, but still it’s a long race ahead, and that’s fine.”

Rosberg struggled for most of the qualifying session in Singapore, and only managed to find his feet in the final part of Q2 and in Q3 after a number of setup changes on his Mercedes car following practice on Saturday evening.

“We changed brakes going into qualifying, and I got into rhythm with the other brakes, so that was a challenge,” he explained. “We expected it to be, so it took me some time to get into qualifying and the balance was also very different because the track had cooled down relative to the session before qualifying when it was hotter, there was a lot more understeer now and the rear, we had a lot more grip so we had to completely adapt the settings and it took me some time to get into qualifying.

“So that’s why I’m pleased that in the end I was able to push flat out and get a good lap time.”

Rosberg will be gunning to secure his first race win since the German Grand Prix tomorrow, but the winner of the Singapore Grand Prix has won from pole position on four out of six occasions, suggesting that it will be an uphill struggle for the championship leader.

So what does 0.007 seconds look like in real terms?

If it’s that close on Sunday, we’re in for a thriller of a grand prix.

You can watch the Singapore Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7.30am ET tomorrow.

Beta Motorcycles joins SuperMotocross in 2024, Benny Bloss named first factory rider

Beta Motorcycles 2024 Bloss
Beta Motorcycles

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.

Benny Bloss finished among the top 10 twice in Pro Motocross, in 2016 and 2018. – Beta Motorcycles

“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 debuted in the 450 class in 2015 with a 15th-place finish overall at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

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.

Beta will join Triumph Motorcycles as a second historic brand to join the sport in 2024. First established in 1902, Triumph has won in nearly every division they have competed in, dating back to their first victory in the 1908 Isle of Man TT. Triumph will debut in the 250 class in 2024 and plans to expand into 450s in 2025.