Rosberg hoping to take advantage of new start rules at Spa

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Nico Rosberg hopes that he can take advantage of the new start rules in Formula 1 after failing to put up much of a fight to Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Hamilton stormed to his tenth pole position of the 2015 season by almost half a second as Rosberg struggled to contend with the pace of his championship rival.

The German driver will start tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix from second place on the grid, and made no secret of his disappointment in the post-qualifying press conference.

“Yeah, for sure, [I’m] disappointed,” Rosberg said. “I lost a bit this morning in free practice, we went the wrong way, but then came back really nicely though.

“I had a good balance in qualifying so I was happy with that, good team effort, thanks for that [I] got my balance back so I could push well.

“And yeah, Lewis was too quick at the end. Just found quite a lot extra that I didn’t have in my pocket, so that’s it. So of course, disappointing.”

Rosberg believes that he can take advantage of the new start rules in F1 that have come into force for this weekend’s race at Spa-Francorchamps.

Drivers will be unable to get feedback on their practice starts from engineers, nor will they be able to change the bite point on their clutch before the beginning of the race.

After seeing Hamilton make a poor getaway in both of the last two races, Rosberg hopes that this new rule could give him the opportunity to jump his teammate off the line.

“With the new start situation where we’re having to do everything ourselves now, there’s a lot more opportunity tomorrow,” Rosberg said.

“At the start and the run down to turn five, here it’s possible to overtake. We’ve seen that many, many times, so my hopes are for sure still high.”

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

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.