Lotus confirms Pastor Maldonado for 2016 season

© Getty Images
1 Comment

Lotus F1 Team has confirmed that Pastor Maldonado will remain at Enstone for the 2016 season.

In a statement issued on Sunday night following the conclusion of the Singapore Grand Prix, the British team confirmed that Maldonado’s tenure would extend into a third year in 2016.

“It’s great that the team can confirm my position as race driver for 2016,” Maldonado said. “Obviously, there has been a lot of speculation about the future and whilst I have remained focused on my job on track it is also positive to know that my future is confirmed.

“This season has presented us with some challenges but the quality of the squad at Enstone is clear to see. I really feel part of the family at Enstone and I’m looking forward to building on the work done this year to deliver better results in 2016.”

Lotus has been subject to speculation about a possible takeover by French manufacturer Renault for 2016, with talks currently ongoing. The team is known to be dealing with a number of financial issues at the moment, which will most likely be aided by the sizeable sponsorship that Maldonado offers.

“It’s a positive for the future of Lotus F1 Team that we are able to confirm publically that Pastor remains with us for next season,” team principal Gerard Lopez said.

“Everyone at Enstone will testify that Pastor is a terrific person to work with and we all know the performances he is capable of on track.

“Pastor joined us with a multi-year deal so this confirmation is a reiteration of our belief in him. We hope to be able to make further positive announcements regarding the team in the near future.”

The fate of Maldonado’s teammate, Romain Grosjean, is still uncertain, with recent speculation linking the Frenchman with a move to the newly-formed Haas F1 Team for its debut season in 2016.

Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list; Musquin remains out

Shimoda injured
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
0 Comments

Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.

“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”

Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.

The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.

Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.

Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.

Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.

Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.

Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”