Hamilton completes “2012 encore” en route to popular, historic USGP win


AUSTIN – Interestingly, Lewis Hamilton made an impromptu appearance at the COTA Fan Fest in downtown Austin on Saturday night, asking fans to wish for a “2012 encore” on Sunday.

Less than 24 hours later, he got it.

The Mercedes driver qualified second yesterday – as he did then, except in a Mercedes-powered McLaren – and would require a move for the lead on the run down to Turn 12 in order to make it back to the front.

MORE: Watch a full replay of the U.S. Grand Prix

So as he did to Sebastian Vettel that year, Hamilton did to his teammate Nico Rosberg on Sunday after hounding him and reeling him in following the first round of pit stops.

Hamilton maximized his run on Pirelli’s soft tires in the opening stint, failing to lose too much time to Rosberg. Even though he had a microscopically slower first stop – 3.1 from his Mercedes crew compared to Rosberg’s 3.0 – he was able to begin reeling him in.

And it all built to the crescendo of that move, on Rosberg’s inside on the run down to Turn 12. Hamilton got the run, moved to the inside and completed the outbraking maneuver.

“It’s a very good circuit to be able to follow, but it’s not easy,” Hamilton explained. “It’s hard to stay close through the middle sector, but I wanted to be in the DRS zone. I felt confident – there was a bit of a headwind into 12 and I was just close enough to throw it up the inside. You have to decide how much of a risk you’re willing to take, but Nico didn’t full defend. I may have caught him unaware.”

That put him in position, and from there, he was able to bring it home en route to his fifth straight win – the first time in his career he’s been able to achieve that illustrious feat. It’s his tenth this season and 32nd of his career, the latter of which is a new record for British drivers and also puts him equal with Fernando Alonso all-time.

The win was a case of Hamilton overcoming the braking issues that plagued his qualifying session on Saturday. He spoke of the team’s improvement to get the issue sorted.

“We had some problems but corrected them today,” he said during the post-race press conference. “I pushed as hard as I could in the first stint. The second stint, I seemed to be even quicker. Once I got past, it was about controlling it.”

Hamilton spoke of what his third win in the U.S. meant, considering how much he’s been embracing this week in the States.

“I just went into the race with the belief I could win it,” he said. “From New York, I felt I could win it. There’s been tons of flags, caps, shirts. Great weather, fantastic circuit. I’m so grateful for the support in the U.S.

“I said need another race like 2012, and I was catching exactly at the same points as I did to Sebastian. There wasn’t a portion in the race where I didn’t think I could get him. It’s such a great feeling when you have a race like that.”

The win also puts him 24 points up heading to Brazil next week.

Eli Tomac wins Houston Supercross: Hunter Lawrence takes early 250 East lead


With his 47th career victory and third of the 2023 season in Houston, Eli Tomac closed to within one win of tying Ricky Carmichael for third on the all-time Monster Energy Supercross list.

Tomac rebounded from last week’s crash by earning the holeshot in both his heat and the Main. At the start of the big show, he couldn’t shake Aaron Plessinger in the first four minutes and actually was in the process of losing the lead as a red flag waved for a crash involving Tomac’s teammate Dylan Ferrandis when he overjumped an obstacle and landed on Ken Roczen’s back fender as they raced for eighth.

“That was a tough race,” Tomac told NBC Sports’ Will Christien, referencing his loss to Chase Sexton in the heat. “And honestly, I was just beat down after that heat race and was searching quite a bit and was basically losing speed everywhere. I just rode better, straight up in the Main. I felt better.”

In their heat, Sexton passed Tomac at the two-minute mark and then simply rode away from the field. At the end, he had an almost eight-second gap on Tomac.

“It wasn’t great by any means,” Sexton told Jason Thomas. “I feel like the strengths I had all day, I really lagged in the Main event between the whoop and the sand section. I think I could have walked through it faster. It was still a good ride; it wasn’t great. I expected after the heat race he would be fired up.”

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Anaheim 2

Jason Anderson scored his second consecutive pole, but he was not happy to finish third behind the two points’ leaders.

“We should be thankful every time we get to be up here,” Anderson said. “They’re making it tough on me, but all I can do is give my best.”

Tomac had to withstand a red flag and the distant second place finish in his heat to win the Houston Supercross race. In the post-race conference, he indicated that he did not make any changes to the bike and simply rode better.

Aaron Plessinger and Cooper Webb rounded out the top five.

Ferrandis was fitted with a neck brace, but still able to walk to the medical cart. He was still being evaluated by the medical staff as the night came to a close.

In 250s Hunter Lawrence entered the 250 East opener as the consensus favorite to win the championship this year with Christian Craig making the move into 450s and his brother Jett Lawrence in the West division. He answered quickly with a huge lead in Heat 1, but it almost went awry in the Main.

Lawrence got a good start, but he was passed early in the race by two-time MXGP champion (2020, 2022) Tom Vialle, who was making his Supercross debut this week. Vialle passed Lawrence on the first lap. When Lawrence tried to pass him back, Vialle scrubbed speed off a jump and pushed Lawrence wide, over the Tuff Blox.

Championships are made out of Lawrence’s response. He kept his composure and did not overcorrect before methodically working his way to the front.

“We had a little off track excursion. I wasn’t sure how hard across Tom was coming so I thought I’ll just go left, but then saw that was the side of the track. Thankfully I didn’t hit the Tuff Blox and got back on track safely. … Good start; put myself in position.”

Click here for full 250 East Main Results

Making a move from the 450 class to 250s, Max Anstie had immediate success. He finished second in his heat behind Jordon Smith and lined up with a great gate pick. He had to overtake Vialle in the opening laps and lost ground on Lawrence, that cost enough time to keep him from pressing Lawrence. This is Anstie’s first podium in the United States

“Honestly, I’ve dreamed of this for a long time to come up on these steps and man it’s a great feeling. I’ve really enjoyed the day and being on this 250, I feel like an 18-year-old kid. Everyday I’m learning.”

Smith backed up his heat win with a podium finish.

“It feels good to be back up here again,” Smith said. “It’s been a long time; a lot of injuries.”

Haiden Deegan proved the hype surrounding his debut in the 250 class was not unfounded. He finished fourth in his heat to advance to directly into the Main. During the early laps, he was circling the track in a podium position until a minor mistake sent him off the box. In the closing laps, he narrowly made an aggressive pass on Jeremy Martin and narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place finish.

Martin held on to round out the top five.

Vialle was running in a podium position when went down with a 1:30 left on the clock. He ended his night seventh.

Chance Hymas was also making his 250 debut and scored a top-10 in eighth.

2023 Race Recaps

Anaheim 2: Triple Crown produces new winners Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen
San Diego: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

Houston coverage

Houston by the numbers
Supercross unveils 16th edition of a Ricky Carmichael designed Daytona track
Power Rankings after week 3
Malcom Stewart out for “extended duration” after knee surgery
Haiden Deegan makes Supercross debut in Houston, Justin Cooper to 450s
Talon Hawkins set to relieve injured Jalek Swoll in Houston
Jalek Swoll out for an indefinite period with broken arm
Ken Roczen urgently needed a change
Chris Blose joins Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 250 East opener
Seth Hammaker to miss Houston with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list