Meeting of champions: Kurt Busch, Lewis Hamilton take part in Monza rally show (PHOTOS)

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Normally the home of Formula One’s Italian Grand Prix, La Pista Magica – Monza – played host to something a bit different this weekend.

The non-championship Monza Rally Show took place over three days, and the event attracted an assortment of top-flight talent from multiple disciplines. One of those drivers was former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch, who finished 32nd in his rallying debut.

But while the Outlaw couldn’t find the top of the leaderboard, he was able to meet up with newly-crowned Formula One champ Lewis Hamilton, who did not compete in the main rally but in a special ‘masters show’ on Sunday:

As for Busch’s thoughts on the event, he said in a release from sponsor Monster Energy: “It’s a blast to race in a foreign country and race against some of the world’s best. In the Masters’ Show, I surprised myself in it and I think I closed out my Sunday very strong.”

Hamilton also said that he had a great time, adding that he wanted to “work with my guys to get a car together so I can come back and compete next year – to do some rallying would be great.”

Also among the main rally competitors at Monza were MotoGP icon Valentino Rossi and Red Bull Global Rallycross star/Gymkhana creator Ken Block:

In the end, former F1 pilot Robert Kubica won the rally over Rossi in come from behind fashion. He was down 5.1 seconds to “The Doctor” entering the final stage, but Kubica finished with a flourish and ultimately beat Rossi by 12.5 seconds.

“We took the same tires but I knew already after the first loop that I was quicker than him, for some reason he did not have the same pace as before,” Kubica said in a team release. “I’m very pleased to win, especially for all the guys at the A Style team.

“Yesterday we took the wrong tire choice, which was too hard, but today it was just right. Throughout this rally, the tire choice was very complicated because of the mixed conditions but we managed to get it right most of the time and enjoy a really good fight against a fantastic driver like Valentino, so I am very happy.”

Some more photos from the event:

source: Getty Images
Kurt Busch puts his Ford Fiesta through its paces at Monza. Photo: Getty Images.
source: Getty Images
Kurt Busch tackles one of the old Monza’s legendary banked turns. Photo: Getty Images.
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New F1 champ Lewis Hamilton greets the Monza fans. Photo: Getty Images.
source: Getty Images
Ken Block, Head Hoonigan in Charge, coming through. Photo: Getty Images.
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Valentino Rossi – he’s not bad on four wheels, either. Photo: Getty Images.
source: Getty Images
Your winner of the Monza Rally Show, Robert Kubica. Photo: Getty Images.

Supercross points leader Eli Tomac finds silver linings in interruption

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Though his Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship charge was put on hold, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a silver lining for Eli Tomac.

Off the road while the season was postponed for nearly three months, the points leader was able to be present as his girlfriend, Jessica, gave birth to their daughter, Lev, on April 26

“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.

NBCSN

“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”

But there also could be more good fortune for Tomac as the series resumes Sunday at Salt Lake City, Utah (3-4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, 4-6 p.m. on NBC).

The final seven events will be held over 22 days in Rice-Eccles Stadium, which sits at just over 4,000 feet.

The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).

COVID-19 TESTING REQUIRED: Supercross outlines protocols for last seven races

“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.

“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”

Supercross will race Sunday and Wednesday for the next three weeks, capping the season with the June 21 finale, which also will be shown on NBCSN from 3-4:30 p.m. ET and NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. ET.

Tomac, who holds a three-point lead over Ken Roczen (who also recently visited “Lunch Talk Live”), told Tirico he had been riding for 90 minutes Thursday morning on a track outside Salt Lake City.

“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”

Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:

  • Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
  • Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).
Eli Tomac rides his No. 3 Kawasaki in the Feb. 29 race at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia (Charles Mitchell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).