Qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix is always an exciting affair under the lights, but today’s session could be particularly enthralling given that, for the first time this season, Mercedes appears to have a genuine challenge on its hands in the fight for pole position.
In the final practice session at Marina Bay on Saturday evening, it was Fernando Alonso who rose to the top of the timesheets ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, while Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton could finish just third and sixth respectively. Were they sandbagging? Or is Mercedes in trouble?
After topping the second free practice session on Friday, Lewis Hamilton was quick to stress that Mercedes’ weekend was still a “work in progress”, and that securing pole position would be crucial on Saturday. If his final form in FP3 is anything to go by, the Briton may be facing yet another fightback in the race on Sunday.
Of course, the Silver Arrows are likely to still be in the fight for pole, but they may not enjoy as much of an advantage as we have seen of late in qualifying. Either Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg has started on pole position for all but one race this season – Felipe Massa was the only man to break the silver cycle in Austria when both of the title contenders came unstuck.
Fernando Alonso will know that this weekend’s race marks his best chance of a big result this season, and if he were to stick his Ferrari on pole position, it would be his first in over two years – you have to go back to the 2012 German Grand Prix for the last time he started from first place on the grid.
The stage is set for an open fight under the lights on Saturday in Singapore. Make sure you join us at 9am ET on CNBC and Live Extra for all of the action from Marina Bay. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.
Adam Cianciarulo (450) and Dylan Ferrandis (250) swept both motos of their divisions Saturday in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship event at Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota, significantly impacting the points standings.
“Man, what a dream come true,” Cianciarulo said. “I really wanted to go 1-1 last round at RedBud and had that silly mistake. Today, we got the job done and made it happen. Two consecutive victories in the 450 Class just feels really good. I just want to keep the ball rolling.”
With three rounds remaining, Cianciarulo is ranked second in the standings at a 15-point deficit to Zach Osborne, who won three of the first five rounds.
In the 250 standings, Dylan Ferrandis jumped ahead of Jeremy Martin (who won three consecutive events earlier in the season) by three points (257-254).
Ferrandis beat third-ranked RJ Hampshire in the first moto and nipping Martin by 0.4 seconds in the second.
“That was a difficult race in the second moto and the pressure was on,” Ferrandis said. “It was really good for me to have that battle and come out on top in the second moto. The championship is really close and I think that we were able to put on a good show for everyone today. Jeremy [Martin] and I have a good relationship I think and we congratulated each other and talked about the battle after the race.”
NEXT: The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will hold its seventh round Sept. 26 with the Geico Motorcycle WW Ranch National at Jacksonville, Florida.
Thor Spring Creek National (Spring Creek MX Park, Millville, Minnesota)
450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (1-1)
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (2-2)
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (5-4)
Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (8-3)
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (6-5)
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (3-10)
Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda (7-6)
Joey Savatgy, , Suzuki (9-7)
Max Anstie, United Kingdom, Suzuki (10-8)
Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (4-16)
450 Class Championship Standings
Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 235
Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 220
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 215
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 196
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 194
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 190
Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 173
Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda – 141
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha – 134
Joey Savatgy, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki – 122
250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (1-1)
Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda (5-2)
Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki (4-4)
Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (3-6)
Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (9-3)