Hamilton and Rosberg delighted with Mercedes’ Suzuka pace

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Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have been quick to heap praise upon Mercedes after finishing over one second clear of the rest of the field during practice for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka today.

Although Mercedes has been the dominant force within Formula 1 across the course of the 2014 season, it is looking particularly omnipotent in Japan this weekend, and has an outside chance of securing its maiden constructors’ championship.

Mercedes will win the teams’ title on Sunday if it can outscore Red Bull by 41 points on Sunday, which may be a tall order, but a one-two finish is certainly the target for the Silver Arrows.

Rosberg and Hamilton produced their normal trick of sharing the spoils on Friday, each finishing fastest in one session and second behind their teammate in the other. However, Hamilton is keeping one eye on the weather as typhoon Phanfone threatens to quite literally rain on F1’s parade this weekend.

“The gap changes from track to track between us and other cars but it looks pretty good so far this weekend,” Hamilton said. “To come here at one of the most demanding tracks for downforce and to be that competitive is fantastic. It’s amazing what this team has done.

“Qualifying is going to be very important as it’s quite difficult to overtake here. We don’t know what’s going to happen with the weather this weekend; it’s such a challenging circuit but we always come to the weekend prepared for everything. I just want to race.”

Rosberg was equally as enthusiastic about the weekend ahead, but still feels that there is plenty of work to be done to ensure that another race win is not lost at Suzuka.

“That was a very, very good day for us,” the German driver said. “Thank you to the team for this great car, we are very quick on one lap and also on high fuel levels. My long run was very good this afternoon, so I’m quite confident for a good race here.

“There is still a lot of work to do tonight to find the perfect balance for this great old school track. It was a real pleasure to drive this fantastic track here today. Also the atmosphere is great, lots of fans are here already and they are very enthusiastic.”

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.