MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: Hungarian GP

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The Formula 1 paddock rolls into Budapest this weekend with a heavy heart following the death of Jules Bianchi last Friday at the age of 25.

Tributes to the popular Frenchman have poured in from all over the world and will continue to do so across the course of F1’s first race weekend in three weeks.

Lewis Hamilton arrives at the Hungaroring with a 17 point lead over Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg at the top of the drivers’ championship, and goes in search of a fifth win at the circuit this weekend.

Ahead of what is set to be an emotional weekend, Luke Smith and Tony DiZinno make their predictions for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race WinnerLewis Hamilton. The Hungaroring has been a very happy hunting ground for Hamilton over the years. Given his dominant display at Silverstone and excellent record at the track, I’m tipping him to become the first five-time winner of the race this weekend.

Surprising FinishMcLaren. At a track where engine ability isn’t so much of a big deal and with a fresh power unit in the back of both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button’s cars, this weekend may not be so miserable for McLaren. More points would be a great success for the British team.

Most to ProveNico Rosberg. This time last year, Rosberg was coming off the back of an emotional home win in Germany and appeared to have control of the championship. Now? He’s staring down the barrel of a growing deficit to Lewis Hamilton. A second straight defeat heading into the summer break would leave him with plenty to dwell over – and we all know what happened last time he did that.

Additional Storyline to WatchForza Jules. As I wrote in my preview for this weekend, all storylines or talking points in Hungary are nothing but side-stories. The F1 paddock continues to send our support to his family at this tough time, and it would be great to pay tribute with an exciting, entertaining and safe grand prix on Sunday.

Predict the Podium

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

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race WinnerLewis Hamilton. Feel like I’ve written this before but it’s a track that suits him and the car both. Will no doubt be keen to avenge his frustration at Monaco, the closest mirroring circuit to the Hungaroring, this week.

Surprising FinishDaniel Ricciardo. The Hungaroring masks the Renault power deficiencies and here’s hoping the likable Australian and defending race winner can get his first podium of the year. That’s probably not realistic on paper but a top-five could be possible.

Most to Prove: Williams. After what many viewed as a strategic gamble gone awry in Silverstone and with their Monaco no-points debacle the closest reference point for them on this circuit, Williams has to do a better job this weekend.

Additional Storyline to Watch: First race post-Bianchi’s passing. The obvious story heading into the weekend is how the paddock will hold up, and how the emotions will be, after Jules Bianchi’s passing last week. It’s a first for F1 since Monaco 1994. Undoubtedly there will be a different tone, a more somber feeling, even though there is the last race to run before the traditional – and needed – summer recess.

Predict the Podium

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

The Hungarian Grand Prix is live on CNBC and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.

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.

Other 2023 Injury News

450 riders
Eli Tomac, Achilles tendon | It was just a freak deal
Justin Barcia,
collarbone and shoulder
Jason Anderson, vertebrae
Christian Craig, elbow
Marvin Musquin, wrist
Malcolm Stewart, knee | Signs two-year extension
Aaron Plessinger, hip | returned at Salt Lake City
Dylan Ferrandis, concussion | Will not return until Motocross
Cooper Webb,
concussion | returned at Pala

250 riders
Nate Thrasher, hip
Stilez Robertson, leg
Cameron McAdoo, shoulder
Seth Hammaker, arm and wrist
Austin Forkner, knee | Injury isn’t the hardest part
Jo Shimoda, collarbone | returned at Atlanta
Jalek Swoll, arm | returned at Pala