Ricciardo’s points streak ends in Brazil due to suspension failure


Daniel Ricciardo’s Brazilian Grand Prix came to an early end today after a front suspension failure forced him to retire from the race, ending his 15-race run of top ten finishes.

After qualifying ninth in Brazil, Ricciardo made a good start to get into a battle with Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, which eventually settled down as the race wore on. Running net seventh, the Australian looked set to claim a good haul of points until the problem emerged on lap 40 of the race.

“When I went into turn one, the car went to the right and I knew there was a problem,” Ricciardo explained. “I came into the pits and the team told me it was suspension failure and we retired.

“It had been a bit of a boring race, we were close to everyone but not close enough to have many fight. I would have liked to have had a bit more fun, but it didn’t really happen.

“It’s a shame, but I had a pretty good run until now, so I can’t be too greedy. It would be good to finish on the podium at the final race of the season.”

Ricciardo has been one of the breakout stars in Formula 1 this year, claiming three victories in a year that has been dominated by Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said that the root of the issue will be investigated following the race, but he was pleased with the end result as, with Vettel finishing fifth, the team secured second place in the constructors’ championship.

“With Daniel, unfortunately we had a front suspension issue,” Horner said. “He thought it might be a front brake, but in the end it turned out to be the front suspension that had failed so we need to investigate what happened.

“Despite all that, we managed to secure second in the constructors’ championship which, considering where we started the season, is a huge credit to the entire team for the fight back that we put up this year. We now look forward to the last race in Abu Dhabi.”

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.