Sauber signs Marcus Ericsson for 2015 F1 season

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Sauber F1 Team has confirmed that it has signed Swedish driver Marcus Ericsson for the 2015 Formula 1 season.

Ericsson made his F1 debut at the beginning of the 2014 season, racing for Caterham and matching the team’s best-ever finish of 11th at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

However, he was sidelined for this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin when the team entered administration following a turbulent year dogged by financial uncertainty after Tony Fernandes sold the team back in July.

After a difficult few weeks, Ericsson finally has something to smile about after Sauber announced today that he would be joining the team for the 2015 season.

“Fresh from a very turbulent week, I was suddenly given my best early Christmas present ever,” Ericsson said. “The Sauber F1 Team has put its trust in me for 2015, and it makes me proud, as Sauber is known to be one of the best teams in developing young drivers.

“It will be a great challenge. I will give my very best to develop both as a driver, and to be part of the challenge to put the Sauber F1 Team back closer to the front where it belongs.”

Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn was also pleased to announce the news in Austin, believing that he has not yet shown his true colors in Formula 1, fighting at the back of the grid with Caterham.

“We are pleased to announce this cooperation,” Kaltenborn said. “We have got to know Marcus as a highly motivated driver. He did not have an easy rookie season this year in Formula 1, however, he kept calm and improved continuously, mainly in the last races.

“We are convinced that signing Marcus can give the team a fresh impetus.”

This news means that both current drivers Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil are at risk of losing their seats for the 2015 season, with reserve driver Giedo van der Garde and Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin also in the running for the one remaining seat at Hinwil.

After a difficult debut campaign with Caterham, Ericsson will be hoping that his move to Sauber will give his F1 career new life and allow him to show his true quality.

Eli Tomac, Ken Roczen’s two-man battle in Motocross provides surprises

Rich Shepherd, ProMotocross
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The 2019 Motocross season is one-third in the books and the title battle may have already come down to a two-man contest, while the pair of contenders might just be a little surprising in their own way.

Strictly by the numbers, no one can count Eli Tomac’s early season charge of first- and second-place finishes shocking, but threepeating in Motocross is such an incredibly difficult feat that no one would have been surprised to see him struggle out of the gates either. And in fact, that is precisely what happened.

Tomac came out of the gates slow in Round 1 and was seventh by the end of Lap 1 of Moto 1 – hardly the auspicious start he hoped for. He rebounded only as far as fourth and that ultimately cost him a chance to win the overall. Tomac won Moto 2 to claim second overall.

In Round 2, Tomac found his rhythm and won both Motos and grabbed the red plate. For the moment, he had the momentum with three consecutive Moto wins.

Tomac stumbled again in Round 3 – this time finishing only fifth in Moto 1 and earning only 16 points to dig a deep hole that eventually surrendered the red plate to Ken Roczen.

It was at Thunder Valley in Round 3 that a pattern emerged. Tomac would not make it easy on himself early in the day, but was more than capable of winning the second Motos to overcome his deficit.

That Roczen has won this season is also not a surprise in itself. Many believed his ascent to the top step of the podium was way overdue.

That he has run so well, however, was not entirely expected at the start of the season. Since injuring both arms in a pair of accidents, Roczen came tantalizingly close to snapping his winless streak a dozen times. He won heat races during the Supercross season and finished second at Anaheim I, Minneapolis, Dallas, and Seattle earlier this year.

He just couldn’t secure the overall win.

Roczen’s Moto 1 victory at Hangtown might have been the precursor to another disappointing weekend, but once Tomac got into the lead, Roczen zeroed in on the Kawasaki’s back tire and finished second in route to the overall victory.

Roczen lost the overall and the red plate to Tomac in Round 2 at Pala, but he stood on the podium in both Motos. Roczen podiumed twice again in Round 3 while taking that overall victory to regain the red plate in what has become a seesaw affair in the early part of the 2019 season.

Last week, Roczen looked more like Tomac with his desperate struggle in Moto 1 and sixth-place finish. That was the first (and so far only) time this season that he failed to stand on the podium.

Roczen’s Moto 2 win last week was just enough to put him second overall with barely enough points to force a tie at the top of the leaderboard with 176 points apiece.

Meanwhile, Tomac failed to win either Moto with a third in the first race and runner-up finish in the second.

The moral victory and advantage may shift to Roczen this week.

As they have swapped the victory in the first four rounds with Roczen winning the odd-numbered events, he sees this weekend’s Round 5 as an opportunity.

“I’m looking forward to next weekend’s race,” Roczen said in a team press release. “The track is sandy. It’s very similar—actually almost identical—to what I ride on a regular basis at home.”

Tomac and Roczen enter Round 5 with a 32-point advantage over two riders tied for third in the standings.

So far Zach Osborne and Jason Anderson have not been in the same league as the leaders, but it only takes one slip of the wheel to fall out of the points in in a race and allow these racers to close the gap.

Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.

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