MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: Malaysian GP

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The first round of the 2015 Formula 1 season ended up being rather anti-climatic. After being hyped up throughout the winter, the end result was more of the same from 2014: Mercedes dominance and political disarray.

Lewis Hamilton sent out an early statement of intent in his bid for a third world championship by outclassing Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in Australia, making his victory – which was only by 1.3 seconds at the flag – look rather easy.

However, the two drivers are set to battle for supremacy once again in Malaysia this weekend, with the stage set for a thrilling battle in the heat of Kuala Lumpur.

With rain forecast across the three days of running, the pecking order could be set for another shake-up this weekend, making our task of predicting the results all the more difficult.

Nevertheless, here are the MST picks for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race WinnerLewis Hamilton. Again, you can’t really bet against Lewis Hamilton when he is in this kind of form. Rosberg was soundly beaten once again in Australia, and it is difficult to see anything changing without some divine intervention in Malaysia. Expect Lewis to bag his second Sepang win on Sunday.

Surprising FinishFelipe Nasr. After scoring the best debut result for a Brazilian driver in F1 history last time out, Felipe Nasr heads to Malaysia looking to continue his strong start to life in the sport. The pace of the Sauber took me by surprise, and if he can pick up another strong score in Malaysia, it would go a long way to helping the team.

Most to ProveManor. After failing to reach the grid in Australia, Manor really does need to get out on track this weekend. Even just taking part in practice would be a good step, but another ‘did not participate’ would not go down well.

Additional Storyline to WatchMarciello’s Malaysia bow. A bit of a different one, but keep an eye out for Sauber reserve driver and Ferrari junior Raffaele Marciello during practice on Friday. He’s a star in the making and has a very bright future ahead of him. A solid display in Felipe Nasr’s place in FP1 would certainly further these credentials.

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race WinnerLewis Hamilton. Ride the hot hand at a hot track. Hamilton and Mercedes are showing no signs of slowing down and a two-for-two start early in 2015 will already leave Nico Rosberg feeling vulnerable as the season progresses.

Surprising FinishKimi Raikkonen. At a track where he has traditionally gone well, I’d look for Kimi to get on par with Vettel from a results standpoint early on. A top-five finish is possible.

Most to ProveRenault. In the wake of the Australian Grand Prix fiasco, subsequent Red Bull pullout threats and the pair of mechanical failures that took Daniil Kvyat and Max Verstappen out of the race, is Renault set to withstand the heat and offer up a challenge to Ferrari for second best engine on the grid? Or will they fall further behind? It’s early in the season, but Renault-powered teams can’t afford to lose too much further ground.

Additional Storyline to WatchFernando Alonso’s return. All eyes will be on the Spaniard this weekend from both a health and performance standpoint, and whether he can bring his traditional exceed-the-car flare to the thus far down on pace McLaren Honda. It’s rare that the heat gets overshadowed in Malaysia, but Alonso is more than worthy of doing so.

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Felipe Massa Williams

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For full broadcasting details for the Malaysian Grand Prix, click here.

Eli Tomac wins Houston Supercross: Hunter Lawrence takes early 250 East lead

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With his 47th career victory and third of the 2023 season in Houston, Eli Tomac closed to within one win of tying Ricky Carmichael for third on the all-time Monster Energy Supercross list.

Tomac rebounded from last week’s crash by earning the holeshot in both his heat and the Main. At the start of the big show, he couldn’t shake Aaron Plessinger in the first four minutes and actually was in the process of losing the lead as a red flag waved for a crash involving Tomac’s teammate Dylan Ferrandis when he overjumped an obstacle and landed on Ken Roczen’s back fender as they raced for eighth.

“That was a tough race,” Tomac told NBC Sports’ Will Christien, referencing his loss to Chase Sexton in the heat. “And honestly, I was just beat down after that heat race and was searching quite a bit and was basically losing speed everywhere. I just rode better, straight up in the Main. I felt better.”

In their heat, Sexton passed Tomac at the two-minute mark and then simply rode away from the field. At the end, he had an almost eight-second gap on Tomac.

“It wasn’t great by any means,” Sexton told Jason Thomas. “I feel like the strengths I had all day, I really lagged in the Main event between the whoop and the sand section. I think I could have walked through it faster. It was still a good ride; it wasn’t great. I expected after the heat race he would be fired up.”

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Anaheim 2

Jason Anderson scored his second consecutive pole, but he was not happy to finish third behind the two points’ leaders.

“We should be thankful every time we get to be up here,” Anderson said. “They’re making it tough on me, but all I can do is give my best.”

Tomac had to withstand a red flag and the distant second place finish in his heat to win the Houston Supercross race. In the post-race conference, he indicated that he did not make any changes to the bike and simply rode better.

Aaron Plessinger and Cooper Webb rounded out the top five.

Ferrandis was fitted with a neck brace, but still able to walk to the medical cart. He was still being evaluated by the medical staff as the night came to a close.


In 250s Hunter Lawrence entered the 250 East opener as the consensus favorite to win the championship this year with Christian Craig making the move into 450s and his brother Jett Lawrence in the West division. He answered quickly with a huge lead in Heat 1, but it almost went awry in the Main.

Lawrence got a good start, but he was passed early in the race by two-time MXGP champion (2020, 2022) Tom Vialle, who was making his Supercross debut this week. Vialle passed Lawrence on the first lap. When Lawrence tried to pass him back, Vialle scrubbed speed off a jump and pushed Lawrence wide, over the Tuff Blox.

Championships are made out of Lawrence’s response. He kept his composure and did not overcorrect before methodically working his way to the front.

“We had a little off track excursion. I wasn’t sure how hard across Tom was coming so I thought I’ll just go left, but then saw that was the side of the track. Thankfully I didn’t hit the Tuff Blox and got back on track safely. … Good start; put myself in position.”

Click here for full 250 East Main Results

Making a move from the 450 class to 250s, Max Anstie had immediate success. He finished second in his heat behind Jordon Smith and lined up with a great gate pick. He had to overtake Vialle in the opening laps and lost ground on Lawrence, that cost enough time to keep him from pressing Lawrence. This is Anstie’s first podium in the United States

“Honestly, I’ve dreamed of this for a long time to come up on these steps and man it’s a great feeling. I’ve really enjoyed the day and being on this 250, I feel like an 18-year-old kid. Everyday I’m learning.”

Smith backed up his heat win with a podium finish.

“It feels good to be back up here again,” Smith said. “It’s been a long time; a lot of injuries.”

Haiden Deegan proved the hype surrounding his debut in the 250 class was not unfounded. He finished fourth in his heat to advance to directly into the Main. During the early laps, he was circling the track in a podium position until a minor mistake sent him off the box. In the closing laps, he narrowly made an aggressive pass on Jeremy Martin and narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place finish.

Martin held on to round out the top five.

Vialle was running in a podium position when went down with a 1:30 left on the clock. He ended his night seventh.

Chance Hymas was also making his 250 debut and scored a top-10 in eighth.

2023 Race Recaps

Anaheim 2: Triple Crown produces new winners Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen
San Diego: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

Houston coverage

Houston by the numbers
Supercross unveils 16th edition of a Ricky Carmichael designed Daytona track
Power Rankings after week 3
Malcom Stewart out for “extended duration” after knee surgery
Haiden Deegan makes Supercross debut in Houston, Justin Cooper to 450s
Talon Hawkins set to relieve injured Jalek Swoll in Houston
Jalek Swoll out for an indefinite period with broken arm
Ken Roczen urgently needed a change
Chris Blose joins Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 250 East opener
Seth Hammaker to miss Houston with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list