Extreme physical demands of Singapore take their toll on drivers

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The Singapore Grand Prix is one of the most physically demanding on the calendar. Lasting two hours at the hottest time of the year, it is not a race for the faint hearted, and unsurprisingly a number of drivers were left parched following the race today.

Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat were the only two drivers not to have raced in Singapore before, and both soon learned just how tough the conditions are.

Magnussen battled through to finish 10th and score a point, but he was severely dehydrated after the race as his water bottle had become too hot, preventing him from drinking.

“It was a very, very tough grand prix,” the Dane said. “During the race, I don’t know if there was something wrong with the car, but my seat started getting very hot, which made things extremely uncomfortable for me.

“Without that, I think we could have done better than 10th, but at least we got that one point. It’s better than nothing.

“It was the hardest point I’ve ever earned.”

Rookie driver Daniil Kvyat also struggled in the extreme heat when his water bottle also became overheated, crying over the radio: “Oh my God. Without the drink, I’m dying here!” Despite requesting to retire, the Russian youngster battled on to finish the race down in 14th position.

“It was a very tough race today in which I had to fight more with myself than with the cars around me,” Kvyat said. “The car was quite difficult to drive and it was sliding a lot. It was also hard work to take care of the tires.

“Unfortunately I also had a problem with my drink system, so I was without water for the whole race, which definitely made it a much tougher race. I think points could have been possible, so well done to JEV, who did a great job today!” Vergne came home in sixth place for Toro Rosso.

Sebastian Vettel said on the podium that he was relieved for the cool champagne, but he reportedly had to cancel some of his post-race engagements as he was feeling nauseous due to the humidity.

Fernando Alonso finished the race in fourth place for Ferrari, and tweeted a picture of his feet after two hours in the “car/sauna”.

At the front, Lewis Hamilton managed to keep his cool to win the Singapore Grand Prix for the second time and regain the lead of the drivers’ championship.

Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list; Musquin remains out

Shimoda injured
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.

“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”

Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.

The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.

Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.

Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.

Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.

Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.

Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”