Rosberg closes out Brazilian GP practice fastest


Nico Rosberg has sent out a statement of intent ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix by completing a clean sweep in practice and topping the third and final session on Saturday morning.

Rosberg posted a fastest lap time of 1:10.446 to edge out his Mercedes teammate and championship rival in the final classification by one-tenth of a second, continuing his form from Friday that saw him finish fastest in both FP1 and FP2.

Overnight rain had washed away much of the rubber that had been laid down during practice on Friday, meaning that grip levels were low once again. At the start of the session, a number of drivers enjoyed off-track excursions including Hamilton and defending world champion Sebastian Vettel as the first runs on the medium tire were completed.

Both Mercedes drivers opted to bide their time and focus on race runs on the prime compound, ranking towards the bottom of the timesheets as the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas set the pace.

Once Rosberg and Hamilton made the switch to the soft tire though, the usual status quo was restored as both drivers dipped below the record pole position time set by Rubens Barrichello at Interlagos ten years ago.

Massa and Bottas managed to keep up their good pace to finish third and fourth for Williams ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull. In what could be his penultimate F1 race, Jenson Button finished sixth ahead of the two Ferrari drivers, with Fernando Alonso having to bring his session to an early end due to a lack of power on his engine.

Once again though, it was Rosberg on top, suggesting that he will be the man to beat in qualifying later today. However, as he proved himself in Austin, just because you trail in practice means very little when it comes to qualifying, and if rain does fall, Hamilton will be gunning to deny his teammate back-to-back poles.

You can join us for qualifying live on CNBC at 11a ET today.

Beta Motorcycles joins SuperMotocross in 2024, Benny Bloss named first factory rider

Beta Motorcycles 2024 Bloss
Beta Motorcycles

Benny Bloss will race for the factory Beta Motorcycles team in 2024 as that manufacturer joins SuperMotocross as the ninth brand to compete in the series. Beta Motorcycles will make their debut in the Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California in January.

Benny Bloss finished among the top 10 twice in Pro Motocross, in 2016 and 2018. – Beta Motorcycles

“The wait is over and we can finally share everything we have been working towards,” said Carlen Gardner, Race Team Manager in a press release. “It has been a great experience being a part of this development and seeing the progression. The only missing part was finding a rider that would mesh well with our Beta Family.

“After a one phone call with Benny, we knew it would be a good fit for him, and for us. We are happy to have him on board for the next two years and can’t wait to see everyone at Anaheim in January.”

Bloss debuted in the 450 class in 2015 with a 15th-place finish overall at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Bloss has a pair of top-10 rankings in the division with a sixth-place finish in the Pro Motocross Championship in 2016 and a seventh in 2018. His best Supercross season ended 15th in the standings in 2018.

“I’m extremely excited to join the Beta Factory Racing team,” Bloss said. “It’s cool to see a brand with such a rich history in off-road racing to come into the US Supercross and Motocross space. I know this team will be capable of great things as we build and go racing in 2024.”

Bloss is currently 22nd in the SuperMotocross rankings and has not raced in the first two rounds of the Motocross season.

Testing for Beta Motorcycles is scheduled to begin in August and the team expects to announce a second rider at that time.

The family-owned brand adds to the international flare of the sport. The company was founded in Florence, Italy in 1905 as Società Giuseppe Bianchi as they built handmade bicycles, The transition to motorcycle production in the late 1940s.

Beta Motorcycles competed and won in motocross competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s with Jim Pomeroy and other riders.

Beta will join Triumph Motorcycles as a second historic brand to join the sport in 2024. First established in 1902, Triumph has won in nearly every division they have competed in, dating back to their first victory in the 1908 Isle of Man TT. Triumph will debut in the 250 class in 2024 and plans to expand into 450s in 2025.