Tost backs Kvyat following tough start to life with Red Bull

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Scuderia Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost has tipped former driver Daniil Kvyat to bounce back after struggling to make much of an impact in his first five races for Red Bull Racing.

Kvyat raced for Toro Rosso in 2014 as a rookie, but made enough of an impression to secure himself a seat at Red Bull as four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel’s replacement.

Red Bull has struggled at the beginning of the new season with its car, the RB11, and its Renault power unit which has taken the brunt of the team’s criticism.

Questions have been raised about Kvyat, though, given that he has scored just five points in the opening five races, finishing no higher than ninth on track.

Speaking to the official Formula 1 website, Tost was quick to back his former driver, believing that Kvyat will soon respond and prove his ability.

“It takes time to mature in an F1 car,” Tost said. “That is why I say that I want to work with drivers for three years – and then hand them over.

“Daniil had only one year with Toro Rosso. He is facing car troubles and is simply not as experienced as Daniel Ricciardo, who was with us for three years and had half a year with HRT.

“Daniil is a very highly skilled driver and I am convinced that if his car is reliable he will be very fast. He will have a successful future.

“He is very, very skilled – he has the champion gene.”

Kvyat heads to next weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix with every hope of turning his season around, and spoke earlier this week about the importance of confidence when racing around the famous streets.

“It’s a real ‘confidence’ circuit,” he said. “You need to be in tune with it. You need to find yourself, find the flow, you need to find the right approach mentally and with the car and then you just have to make it happen.”

Motocross: Chase Sexton to miss Hangtown after midweek practice crash

Sexton Hangtown practice crash
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Chase Sexton announced on Instagram he will sit out this weekend’s Pro Motocross race at Hangtown in Rancho Cordova, California after a practice crash on Tuesday left him with a concussion.

Sexton’s crash on Tuesday happened during a test session at Fox Raceway.

“Bummed to make this post but I’ll be sitting out this weekend,” Sexton said. “As you guys saw I had a big one during qualifying at Pala, then another one on Tuesday this week that banged me up pretty good. Nothing broken just need a few days to get back to 100%.”

Despite his crash in the first qualification session in Pala, California, Sexton mounted up for both motos and finished second in each race behind his teammate Jett Lawrence, who was making his Motocross debut and won with a pair of first-place finishes. Sexton padded his SuperMotocross points’ lead over the injured Eli Tomac, who is still second in the combined Supercross and Motocross standings despite missing the SX finale at Salt Lake City and the outdoor opener with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Sexton has an advantage of 78 points over Cooper Webb and cannot give up his SMX lead by missing this round.

At stake, however, is the risk of losing ground to Lawrence in the Pro Motocross championship. Sexton currently trails his teammate by six points and is liable to lose significant ground this weekend.

In addition to his concussion, Sexton has also been diagnosed with mononucleosis and the combination of the two conditions caused the team to make the difficult decision to keep him out of the lineup at Hangtown.

“I’m super-bummed to miss this weekend’s race,” Sexton said in a press release. “I feel like I rode well at Pala, and I was really looking forward to Hangtown because it’s a good track for me. Unfortunately, I was already pretty banged up from my qualifying crash on Saturday, and now with mono and Tuesday’s concussion on top of it, I want to do the right thing and hopefully be back on the track soon.”

A return date for Sexton has not yet been announced.

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