MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: Abu Dhabi GP


ABU DHABI – After 18 races and some frenetic battles at the front of the field, the 2014 Formula 1 championship will finally be decided in Abu Dhabi this weekend. Just as it has been all season long, it will be Lewis Hamilton versus Nico Rosberg at the front of the field, only this time, it is the final battle for the world championship.

Hamilton enters the final race of the year with the upper hand, leading Rosberg by 17 points. However, with double points on offer for the final race of the year, there is still plenty to play for.

As things stand, Hamilton only needs a top two finish to be sure of the title, with Rosberg seemingly pinning his hopes on trouble striking his teammate’s Mercedes. However, after two more troublesome title tilts in 2007 and 2008, Hamilton will know to take nothing for granted.

This weekend’s race sees a number of ‘lasts’ take place: Sebastian Vettel’s last race for Red Bull; Renault’s last race powering Lotus; Mercedes’ last race powering McLaren; Kvyat’s last race for Toro Rosso; Gutierrez and Sutil’s last race for Sauber – and probably the last time we will see Fernando Alonso driving a Ferrari, and perhaps even the last time Jenson Button will be racing in F1.

This is also the last set of MST predictions for this season – so be sure to check out what our writers think will happen under the lights in Abu Dhabi.

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race winner: Nico Rosberg. This race should see Nico pick up the maximum score of 50 points and put the pressure on Hamilton for the title. Lewis doesn’t have to win in Abu Dhabi – he just has to finish second. My reckoning is that Nico will cross the line first, but with his teammate in hot pursuit just behind him.

Surprising finish: Caterham. Surprising in the sense that the team will actually race in Abu Dhabi. It’s a turn of events that very few could have seen coming, but alas, the team will line up on the grid on Sunday.

Most to prove: Lewis Hamilton. A controversial choice? Perhaps. After losing out in 2007 and 2010, Hamilton has his best chance yet of winning the championship heading into the final race of the year. It’s time for him to make it count and become a two-time world champion.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race winner: Lewis Hamilton. This is one of Hamilton’s best tracks, and armed with the best car in the field, I think Lewis makes it an emphatic 11th win of the season and confirms his second World Championship, first with Mercedes.

Surprising finish: Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn spoke of a better balance with the front end of his Ferrari in Brazil, and will be poised to be closer to his 2012 form than a year ago, when he retired from the race in what was ultimately his final start for Lotus.

Most to prove: Kevin Magnussen. McLaren is deciding its driver lineup post-Dec. 1. Even if Magnussen is retained into 2015, the youngster has been outshone of late by Jenson Button, who could well be headed for the exits. There’s many drivers uncertain of their 2015 plans and K-Mag could use a run to book-end the season that was as dynamic and outstanding as his Melbourne podium debut.

Christopher Estrada (@estradawriting)

Race winner: Lewis Hamilton. Nico Rosberg put in a superb effort to beat back Hamilton in Brazil, but it’s still the Briton’s World Championship to lose in Abu Dhabi. After everything Hamilton has done this season, he can’t cough up the title now.

Surprising finish: Romain Grosjean. Lotus believes that their E22 will be a better match for the Yas Marina Circuit, and with their Frenchman talking of upgrades and more power this week, I figure he’ll be keen to take advantage of that.

Most to prove: Nico Rosberg. With double points on offer for this final battle, he still has a chance to snatch the title away from Hamilton. But he can’t worry about him. All he can – and must – focus on is winning this race.

Jerry Bonkowski (@JerryBonkowski)

Race winner: Lewis Hamilton. After an absolutely dominant season, there is no way Hamilton is letting the championship slip through his fingers in the season finale at Abu Dhabi. Admittedly, he has struggled in the last two races at Abu Dhabi after winning there in 2011, but with the championship on the line, Lewis is the man to get it done.

Surprising finish: Sebastian Vettel. Having won three of the first five Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, including last season, Vettel would likely love to finish off the season on a high note. That’s particularly significant since Vettel has not won a race this season. If anyone is to beat Hamilton, which we still feel unlikely, it’ll be Vettel.

Most to prove: Nico Rosberg. While he still has a shot at the championship, and has a strong past record at Abu Dhabi, Rosberg will come up short in Sunday’s season-ending race. Still, Rosberg has nothing to hang his head about. He’s enjoyed his best F1 season to date and presented a formidable challenge to his teammate. We foresee even bigger and better things ahead for Nico.

Motocross 2023: Results and points after season opener at Fox Raceway


It was not the first time it has been done, but a rider winning in his Motocross debut is rare as the results show Jett Lawrence swept the motos at Fox Raceway in Pala, California and took the early points lead.

Dylan Ferrandis may not be quite 100 percent yet, but he was good enough to finish on the podium at Fox Raceway – Align Media

Lawrence became the 16th rider to win in his Motocross debut and was the 10th rider to do so in the season opener, At 19, he wasn’t the youngest to perform the feat; Rick Johnson was 17 in 1982 when he won the lidlifter at Hangtown, the site of next week’s race, but Lawrence’s inaugural win bodes well. The last time a rider performed this feat, Dylan Ferrandis went on to win the 2021 Motocross championship as a rookie in 2021.

Ferrandis did not sweep the motos that season while Lawrence’s performance on Saturday was perfect. He paced both practice sessions, earned the holeshot in each race and finished first in both motos after leading every lap to score maximum points. Lawrence started the weekend needing 85 points to climb into 20th in the combined SuperMotocross standings for the 450 class. Earning 50 with his perfect Motocross results at Fox Raceway, he is nearly 60 percent of the way to his goal.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Results; Click here for 250 Results

Chase Sexton was second across the board. He qualified in the second position and finished 2-2 in his motos. In the first race, he was a relatively distant runner-up behind Lawrence, crossing the finish line a little more than 10 seconds ahead. He got a great start in Moto 2 and pushed Lawrence for the entire race, never getting further back than three seconds. He tried to pressure Lawrence into making a mistake, but both riders hardly put a wheel wrong and they finished within a second of one another.

Returning from a concussion suffered in the Houston Supercross race earlier this season and exacerbated at Daytona, Ferrandis finished third in both motos to take third overall. His most important task at hand this week was to avoid trouble and start the Motocross season healthy at Fox Raceway so he can begin to accumulate strong results and move up in SuperMotocross points.

Ferrandis entered this round 25th in the standings and left Pala in 19th. With that position, he has an automatic invitation to the feature starting grid in the SuperMotocross World Championship as long as he does not fall back.

Click here for 450 Moto 1 [Lap Chart] | Moto 2 [Lap Chart] | Consolation Race

Aaron Plessinger and Cooper Webb both ended the race with 34 points, but Plessinger had the tiebreaker with a better finish in the second race. Notably, both riders sustained injury sometime during the season, but Plessinger had an advantage by coming back a week sooner in Salt Lak City for the Supercross finale. He finished second in that race.

Webb was cleared late in the week by doctors after being on concussion protocol from a vicious strike to his helmet in a Nashville Supercross heat race late in the season. He made a beeline to the track to run the Motocross opener. After missing last year’s outdoor season, he wanted to make certain that did not happen again. He still has a solid opportunity to catch Sexton for the No. 1 overall seed in the SuperMotocross standings., but he will need to make up 78 points.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

For the first time in history, Pro Motocross results from Fox Raceway show brothers as winners on the same day.

Battling a rib injury suffered practicing earlier in the week, Hunter Lawrence got a poor start to Moto 1 and had to overcome his 10th-place standing at the end of Lap 1. He methodically worked his way toward the front but might have settled for a position off the podium if not for heavy traffic in the closing laps. Lawrence was able to get through the field quicker than Justin Cooper and Jo Shimoda to finish third.

Hunter Lawrence overcame sore ribs to score the overall 250 win at Fox Raceway – Align Media

Lawrence’s second moto was much stronger. He earned the holeshot and led all 15 laps of the race to win by a more than eight seconds.

Haiden Deegan didn’t feel any pressure heading into this round. No one expected much in his third Motocross National and he would have been happy with anything in the top five. At least that’s what he said in the post-race news conference. Deegan said similar things after finishing fourth in his first Supercross race this season. In a stacked field of 40 riders at Fox Raceway, “Danger Boy” finished sixth in Moto 1 and second in Moto 2 for the second-place finish overall.

Click here for 250 Moto 1 [Lap Chart] | Moto 2 [Lap Chart] | Consolation Race

In only his third Pro Motocross National, Haiden Deegan finished second overall. – Align Media

RJ Hampshire had an eventful weekend. He dominated Moto 1 and won by a healthy margin, making a statement about how he will race now that Jett Lawrence is no longer in the field. He was a victim of mayhem in Turn 2 of Moto 2, which forced him to the ground. Another crash on an uphill portion of the track later that same lap put him in 39th. Hampshire salvaged as many points as he could and finished 11th in the second race to stand on the final box of the podium.

Tom Vialle came within a lap of scoring his first career podium. He had the position based on a tiebreaker over Justin Cooper and Maximus Vohland until Hampshire passed two riders on the final lap and earned one point more than that threesome. Instead, Vialle settled for his first podium in an individual moto with a 7-3 in the two races. More accustomed to this style of racing, Vialle will be a factor in the coming rounds.

Click here for 250 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

Cooper finished with a 5-4 in the two motos to sweep the top five and take fourth-place overall. Cooper started five rounds in the 450 class in Supercross this season and none on a 250, so he is starting with zero points in the SuperMotocross seeding, but with runs like this it won’t take long to make up the 89 he needs to climb to 20th.

One of the best performances of the weekend was put in by Vohland. He finished second in Moto 1 and had to withstand pressure from Lawrence in the closing lap. A poor start of 16th in the second race forced him to play catchup and he could only climb to ninth at the checkers.

2023 Supercross Results

Round 17: Chase Sexton, Jett Lawrence win
Round 16: Chase Sexton, RJ Hampshire win
Round 15: Chase Sexton, Hunter Lawrence win
Round 14: Justin Barcia, Max Anstie win
Round 13: Chase Sexton, Hunter Lawrence win
Round 12: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 11: Eli Tomac bounces back with sixth win
Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Eli Tomac, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 16: Chase Sexton takes SX title
Week 15: Eli Tomac is back on top
Week 14: Justin Barcia, most of top 20, hold steady
Week 13: Barcia leapfrogs the Big Three
Week 12: Eli Tomac gains momentum
Week 11: Cooper Webb, Tomac overtake Chase Sexton
Week 10: Sexton leads with consistency
Week 8: Sexton unseats Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s