Caterham banks a 100-lap day with Will Stevens Tuesday in Abu Dhabi

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The fact Caterham made it to Abu Dhabi was intriguing enough, and now the team has stayed for the postseason test several days later.

There may be some late season sneaky level of speed and reliability in the Caterham CT05-Renault package, after all. Kamui Kobayashi posted the 13th fastest lap on race day, only 0.007 in arrears of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari, per veteran F1 reporter Adam Cooper.

Today, Kobayashi’s Abu Dhabi teammate Will Stevens was in the car, and the Englishman had a successful day of running. He banked 102 laps and ended sixth on the charts, a respectable result ahead of fellow Renault-powered entries from Lotus and Toro Rosso (albeit suspension issues delayed STR’s Max Verstappen).

“Today’s been a really good day, I’m very pleased with myself,” Stevens said in the team’s release. “We got through everything we needed to do and we completed more than 100 laps, which is excellent not only for me to get more mileage under my belt but also to show that the car is reliable. Overall we got close to the pace we had in qualifying at the weekend. My last run got compromised a bit because of the red flag, but it’s been a very good day.”

After essentially being thrown in at the deep end for his Grand Prix debut, Stevens performed well in comparison to some other recent debuts and said he felt much more at home Tuesday having been through the rigors of a GP weekend.

“I feel completely different in the car now – every time I leave the garage I know exactly what I need to do, where everything is and I’m much more confident than at the beginning of the race weekend,” he said. “I feel very comfortable and I can now focus 100% on the driving side of things.”

The team listed a quote from Gianluca Pisanello, the team’s head of engineering operations, as the technical quote for the day: “It’s been a very useful first day of testing here at the Yas Marina circuit. We were able to follow the program as planned and Will did a very solid job, completing many laps and providing the team with valuable feedback while gaining experience. It was also very interesting to test the 2015 Pirelli tires for the first time and compare them to this year’s and the data we already have from the season that ended on Sunday. Trouble-free days like today are always what the engineers hope for at a test; let’s hope for the same tomorrow.”

There’s still much to sort out as it relates to Caterham’s future in F1 beyond this test, but for one day at least they could take comfort in a solid day of testing.

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points

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Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

450s
2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

250s
2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Detroit
Indianapolis
Daytona
Arlington
Oakland
Tampa
Houston
Anaheim 2
San Diego

More SuperMotocross coverage

How to Watch Seattle Supercross
Dylan Ferrandis may return before SX finale
SMX develops “Leader Lights”
Power Rankings after Detroit
Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan
Results and points after Detroit
Chase Sexton wins in Detroit, penalized seven points