F1 rookie Carlos Sainz Jr. feels that his confidence has been boosted after enjoying a productive final run in winter testing today in Barcelona.
The Toro Rosso driver will make his F1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix on March 15, but has endured a mixed winter testing programme that has seen him lose track time on a number of occasions.
In Barcelona on Saturday, the Spaniard managed to complete 132 laps in spite of a late stoppage, and with a full race simulation now under his belt, he feels confident ahead of his first race in two weeks’ time.
“This was the sort of day we needed and it went really well,” Sainz said. “It means we can go to Melbourne with a boost to our confidence.
“This afternoon was particularly productive, after we had a couple of minor difficulties in the morning. The race simulation went well and overall we did a high mileage, which is obviously the most important thing.
“I’d like to thank the team for all their efforts during this pre-season period, as they helped me learn a lot every time I jumped in the car.
“Two weeks from tomorrow I will take part in my first grand prix. I am looking forward to it and I feel ready, especially after this test. Clearly, I’m very excited that it’s all about to start.”
Sainz’s teammate, Max Verstappen, will close out winter testing for Toro Rosso on Sunday in Barcelona.
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.
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