Lewis Hamilton has closed out practice for the Russian Grand Prix as the fastest driver, finishing two-tenths of a second clear of the field at the Sochi Autodrom on Saturday morning.
However, the Briton was lucky not to crash out in FP3 for the second weekend in a row after a spin at turn 17 in the final few minutes of the session.
Thanks to the luxury of the run-off area at Sochi, Hamilton managed to keep his car out of the wall and avoid giving his mechanics a major repair job ahead of qualifying. It did deny him the chance to extend his lead at the top of the timesheets, though.
Throughout the session, Hamilton laid down an impressive pace that none of his rivals could match. Championship rival Nico Rosberg finished second, 0.290 seconds down on his teammate, with Valtteri Bottas finishing third for Williams. The Finn looks set to be in the running for another podium finish this weekend.
Kevin Magnussen’s session came to an early end due to a gearbox failure. The McLaren driver was lucky not to crash, but his stoppage did bring out a red flag during the first half of the session. He is likely to take a five place grid penalty as a result.
Red Bull finally woke up after a disappointing showing on Friday, with Daniel Ricciardo finishing fourth. Sebastian Vettel continued to struggle down in 11th place, though.
Daniil Kvyat continued to impress in front of his home fans, finishing sixth for Toro Rosso ahead of qualifying later today.
At the front though, Hamilton looks set to secure pole position, but with Rosberg and Bottas in close company, it may not be such a foregone conclusion.
You can watch qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7am ET today.
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)