Sainz makes strides, gains, in second Red Bull run


In July 2013, Carlos Sainz Jr. made his testing debut in Red Bull’s then all-conquering RB9 chassis at Silverstone. It was a day to learn the car and introduce his name to the Formula One world at large, and he did a good job of it, ending just a tenth off Sebastian Vettel.

Today, Sainz Jr. had his second run in the team’s 2014 chassis, the RB10. This year’s test carries a bit more significance. Sainz is fresh off winning the World Series by Renault title and earned the test as a result of that.

Crucially, of course, he remains in the frame as one of the top candidates for the vacant Toro Rosso seat alongside Max Verstappen in 2015. If chosen, it would make for an all-rookie lineup.

Sainz banked 100 laps today and ended fifth on the timesheets, top of the Renault-powered drivers. Feeling more comfortable than he did his first go-around, despite the year-plus gap between tests, Sainz had a number of positives to take away from the afternoon.

“It felt really good to be honest,” he said, via the team’s website. “Obviously I had a reference from the test at Silverstone last year in the RB9 and I could build up little by little, as it was a long day and I think I did 100 laps. From the first lap I felt comfortable and felt at home, so I was able to push.”

Red Bull’s race engineering coordinator Andy Damerum praised Sainz’s feedback.

“A very busy day in which I think we got through a total of 26 outings,” Damerum said. “Some of those were obviously conditional on the red flags we saw today, but Carlos got through 100 laps, which is great for a rookie. He tested for us at Silverstone last year and since then he’s been in our simulator.

“His feedback is excellent and I think he has improved again over the past year. He’s obviously familiar with our car in the virtual world but it’s always a very different prospect on track and today he handled that really well.”

It remains to be seen whether Sainz will get the call-up for 2015, but he didn’t do himself any harm today. Daniel Ricciardo takes over the car on Wednesday.

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


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

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

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

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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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