Hamilton fastest before crashing in wet Canada FP2 (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton endured a mixed second practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix on Friday afternoon, finishing as the fastest driver but without an intact car after crashing in wet conditions.

The Briton set the pace with a fastest lap of 1:15.988 for Mercedes in a dry early part of the session on the super-soft tire, but ended the day in the wall at the hairpin.

With rain forecast for later in the session, all of the teams opted to run a shortened FP2 programme in the first half an hour with a series of quick laps and heavier fuelled runs on both tire compounds.

After topping FP1 earlier in the day, Hamilton remained the man to beat in FP2 by finishing ahead of Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg half a second back in fourth place.

When the showers did hit the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, most of the teams opted to end their running and pit, given that the rest of the weekend is set to be dry and there was little to learn.

However, Mercedes bucked the trend by sending both Hamilton and Rosberg out on the intermediate tire in the wet conditions, only for the Briton to aquaplane into the wall at the hairpin.

A red flag was issued whilst Hamilton’s car was recovered, but even when the track was declared green again, none of the teams dared to make a similar mistake and spin off in the wet conditions.

Lotus once again enjoyed a strong session as Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean finished in fifth and seventh place respectively. Williams’ Valtteri Bottas split the pair in sixth place, whilst his teammate Felipe Massa finished eighth. Red Bull drivers Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top ten in P9 and P10 respectively.

The drivers will head back out on track for FP3 on Saturday morning ahead of qualifying later in the day. You can watch all of the sessions live this weekend, with full broadcasting information available here.

Hunter and Jett Lawrence walk a delicate balance between winning races and favoring the fans

Hunter Jett Lawrence fans
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ANAHEIM, California – Hunter and Jett Lawrence are two of the most popular riders on the Monster Energy Supercross circuit, with fan bases that established and grew immediately when they came to America to ride for HRC Honda. Connecting with those fans came naturally for the charming Australian brothers, but it has not come without cost.

“It’s cool they’re there and it’s one of the things we try to do is give the fan that interaction,” Hunter told NBC Sports during Supercross Media Sessions ahead of the 2023 season. “It’s why we do ride days, meet-and-greets, press conferences  – all that stuff, because it’s exciting for them. We are trying to bridge the gap so they get personal interaction. Because that’s all they’re after. It’s all about getting that fan to think, ‘I know that guy. I didn’t meet him, but I get him. I get his humor.’ ”

There is no artifice in either brother. Their fan appeal is directly attributable to who they are at their core. And it’s that very genuineness that has throngs of fans standing outside their hauler, waiting for just a moment of their time.

“It’s about being yourself – talking to people,” Hunter said. “It’s not like I turn it on or turn it off; it’s just about being yourself. This is who we are, this is who you get and this is how it will be. You can’t portray something you’re not. If you keep saying you’re an orange, but apples keep popping out, it’s only a matter of time [until they figure it out].”

The key word is ‘throngs’, however. One person wanting just a few moments of time is incidental. Dozens are an entirely different matter.

“It’s tough in Supercross because it’s such a long day,” Hunter said. “The recovery side of it’s tough to do everything. We get stuck outside the grid; we can’t be there for like 10 minutes. We’re stuck there for like an hour. It gets overwhelming at times.

“You feel bad because you want to sign everything, but you’re still here for a job. Every race day is like that. We do the best we can, but there are so many people who wait out front. They’re screaming for you. Even when we’re coming off the sessions, they’re already yelling before you put your bike on the stands. You don’t even get time to take you helmet off.”

It can be a double-edged sword. Personality is only one part of the equation. A much bigger part of the brothers’ fan appeal comes because of their success. Hunter finished second in the last two Supercross 250 West title battles and third in the past two Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships.

Jett won the last three titles he competed for, including last year’s 250 East Supercross Championship and the last two Motocross contests.

“I think they expect me to have nothing else to do on a Saturday and that I have unlimited energy,” Jett said. “But, I’m trying to recover for the next race.”

It’s a matter of timing. Jett has gained a reputation last year for handing out hundreds of donuts before the races during Red Bull fan appreciation sessions. And after the race, once the business at hand has been settled, Jett is equally available to the fans.

“After the race it’s fine; I’ll stay behind.” Jett said. “My job is done on the racing side of things, but until that last moto is done, my main thing is dirt bikes. The fans come along with it. The fans are part of the job, but main job at hand is the racing side of things. After the race, I’ll stay there for an hour or so. It’s a lot calmer.”