Maldonado fastest again on penultimate day of second test


Pastor Maldonado continued his impressive form in F1 pre-season testing on Saturday by topping the timesheets for Lotus ahead of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

The Venezuelan driver finished as the fastest driver on the first day of testing in Barcelona, and managed to repeat this feat when he returned to the car on Saturday by posting a fastest lap time of 1:24.348.

The third day of running in Barcelona saw teams work on their long-run race simulations and qualifying pace, with the super-soft tires being used for the first time in testing so far.

Toro Rosso youngster Verstappen had been the man to beat for much of the morning session, but he ultimately had to settle for second place as Maldonado went three-tenths of a second faster halfway through the afternoon running. His day then came to a premature end when his STR10 car ground to a halt at pit exit with 20 minutes remaining.

Lewis Hamilton completed his final running of the test for Mercedes despite still not feeling 100% following a fever earlier in the week. The defending world champion finished third in the final standings, 1.7 seconds down on Maldonado after setting his fastest time on the medium compound tire.

After missing the morning session for Sauber, Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a productive afternoon to complete 51 laps and post a time good enough for fourth place in the final standings. The Swede finished ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, whose day started with a bizarre spin on his very first lap, bringing out a red flag.

Following in the footsteps of Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat managed to complete a full race simulation on Saturday and over 100 laps in total. Although he could only finish sixth, the young Russian got plenty of mileage under his belt in the RB11 and will hope to continue this on Sunday.

Williams’ day was less about pace and more about pit stop practice. Felipe Massa took part in the morning session, completing 55 laps before handing the reins over to Valtteri Bottas. The Finn only recorded a flying lap time in the final five minutes of the day, finishing down in ninth place.

It was a difficult Saturday for McLaren, though, as the problem that had cut short Jenson Button’s test on Thursday reared its head once again. A problem with the seal on the MGU-K in the power unit caused him to stop out on track in the morning, leaving the team with a lengthy repair job.

Although Button did eventually get out again, he only finished with 24 laps on the board, some 1.8 seconds behind Force India’s Pascal Wehrlein who finished eighth for Force India.

Tomorrow will be the fourth and final day of running at the second test, with the final pre-season running kicking off in Barcelona next Thursday.

Barcelona Day 3 – Final Classification

1. Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:24.348 (104 laps)
2. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:24.739 +0.391 (129)
3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.076 +1.728 (101)
4. Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:26.340 +1.992 (53)
5. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:26.407 +2.059 (105)
6. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:26.589 +2.241 (112)
7. Felipe Massa Williams 1:26.912 +2.564 (55)
8. Pascal Wehrlein Force India 1:27.333 +2.985 (81)
9. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:27.556 +3.208 (49)
10. Jenson Button McLaren 1:29.151 +4.603 (24)

Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”