Hamilton delighted with first Bahrain pole, but fears Ferrari will be hard to beat


Lewis Hamilton was delighted to claim his first pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix during Saturday’s qualifying session, but feels that Ferrari will pose a very serious threat to Mercedes from second and fourth place on the grid in tomorrow’s race.

Hamilton secured his fourth pole position of the season on Saturday, but will start the race at the Bahrain International Circuit from P1 for the first time in his F1 career.

The Briton laid down an impressive pace during qualifying to beat Sebastian Vettel by four-tenths of a second in the final part of the session, and explained that he feels very comfortable with the Mercedes W06 Hybrid.

“I feel great, I feel very happy,” Hamilton said after the session. “Obviously coming into the weekend that was our target, to really kind and try and master this track and get the car into an area that I’m comfortable with.

“That’s generally how the weekend has gone. Really grateful to have this beast underneath me with which I can really attack these corners with.

“I think last year I wasn’t comfortable with the car to be able to do so, so it’s a great feeling.”

After displaying a strong race pace during practice on Friday, Vettel will be hoping to spring another surprise on Mercedes like he did in Malaysia to claim a second win of the season for Ferrari.

Hamilton explained that the team had been over its defeat to Ferrari a number of times, but still thinks that the Italian marque will be tricky to beat in the race on Sunday.

“We’ve gone over it tons of times already about what we have learned, but it doesn’t get us away from the fact that they are very quick this weekend and they are going to be very hard to beat tomorrow,” Hamilton said.

“They’ve got great race pace. Hopefully with our positioning, that does help, and we’ll be taking all measures that we can to make the tires go as long as they do.

“But I think we’re in a good position, so I’m looking forward to the fight.”

The Bahrain Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 10:30am ET on Sunday.

Beta Motorcycles joins SuperMotocross in 2024, Benny Bloss named first factory rider

Beta Motorcycles 2024 Bloss
Beta Motorcycles

Benny Bloss will race for the factory Beta Motorcycles team in 2024 as that manufacturer joins SuperMotocross as the ninth brand to compete in the series. Beta Motorcycles will make their debut in the Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California in January.

Benny Bloss finished among the top 10 twice in Pro Motocross, in 2016 and 2018. – Beta Motorcycles

“The wait is over and we can finally share everything we have been working towards,” said Carlen Gardner, Race Team Manager in a press release. “It has been a great experience being a part of this development and seeing the progression. The only missing part was finding a rider that would mesh well with our Beta Family.

“After a one phone call with Benny, we knew it would be a good fit for him, and for us. We are happy to have him on board for the next two years and can’t wait to see everyone at Anaheim in January.”

Bloss debuted in the 450 class in 2015 with a 15th-place finish overall at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Bloss has a pair of top-10 rankings in the division with a sixth-place finish in the Pro Motocross Championship in 2016 and a seventh in 2018. His best Supercross season ended 15th in the standings in 2018.

“I’m extremely excited to join the Beta Factory Racing team,” Bloss said. “It’s cool to see a brand with such a rich history in off-road racing to come into the US Supercross and Motocross space. I know this team will be capable of great things as we build and go racing in 2024.”

Bloss is currently 22nd in the SuperMotocross rankings and has not raced in the first two rounds of the Motocross season.

Testing for Beta Motorcycles is scheduled to begin in August and the team expects to announce a second rider at that time.

The family-owned brand adds to the international flare of the sport. The company was founded in Florence, Italy in 1905 as Società Giuseppe Bianchi as they built handmade bicycles, The transition to motorcycle production in the late 1940s.

Beta Motorcycles competed and won in motocross competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s with Jim Pomeroy and other riders.

Beta will join Triumph Motorcycles as a second historic brand to join the sport in 2024. First established in 1902, Triumph has won in nearly every division they have competed in, dating back to their first victory in the 1908 Isle of Man TT. Triumph will debut in the 250 class in 2024 and plans to expand into 450s in 2025.