Rossi: Brazil beckons for my final F1 race of 2015

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Next up, Interlagos, Brazil! A circuit I know well and where I won twice in 2008 Formula BMW. I’m seriously looking forward to the weekend ahead, and as I explained in my last blog for NBC Sports, I’ve criss-crossed the Atlantic to go back to Spain to prepare for the Bahrain and Abu Dhabi GP2 rounds with Racing Engineering.

But for this week, it’s about F1 and doing the best job I can for the Manor Marussia F1 Team and the people there that support me.

I’ve accomplished a lot in the past two weeks since Mexico and I’m feeling really good, both physically and mentally, even with all the travel over the past 10 days. Things are moving in exactly the right direction for next year, and to sign off my 2015 F1 races at Interlagos just feels right.

For everyone involved in F1, including the fans, Sao Paulo is a really big one. Yes there are some dangerous aspects to the city, but there are a few good F1 traditions that everyone looks forward to. Food and dinners out with friends and teammates beckon for most in Sao Paulo, and as a reserve driver in F1 these past years I’ve been to a few of these dinners in Brazil.

The culture and atmosphere is a lot of fun and it’s also a chance for the whole team to bond and to celebrate the work they’ve put in all year. Of course Carlos, my trainer and I will arm wrestle over the meal selection, but normally I’ll reluctantly concede, unless it’s Sunday night! If you’re an F1 fan who has made the trip to Brazil for the race you should head to one of the Fogo de Chao restaurants on most nights of race week – you’ll be pretty certain to see some famous faces amongst the guests, and you’ll definitely have a meal you’ll remember for all the right reasons, but I wouldn’t know too much about that!

Obviously F1 and Brazil go hand in hand. Sao Paulo is the home of Ayrton Senna and with so many Brazilians having raced in our sport, past present and most likely future, you know you’re in a motorsport heartland. While in Brazil most drivers are asked about Senna and what he meant to us. Senna was a great driver in every way! While I remember watching replay races of Senna, I never watched a race live, as he passed when I was three years old. I like the way he had to fight so hard for what he achieved, with passion, commitment and tenacity. A sure love for the sport!

This work ethic and tenacity is something I can relate to, as you never arrive nor do you ever give up. With that I am always aware of what it means to be part of the sport that so many other heroes helped make famous worldwide. Without Senna and the greats before and after him, I may not be afforded the opportunity to race this weekend in Brazil, a privilege that I do not take lightly.

As a circuit, Interlagos is awesome! The pits are new and the paddock has been redone a bit for this year, so I’m sure the teams will appreciate that a lot. The circuit runs anti-clockwise, unlike most of the tracks we compete at, and that puts a different strain on muscles than we have used for most of the rest of the year. I’ve trained specifically for this and most drivers do – if you’re not ready and can’t cope with it you probably shouldn’t be racing at the top level!

The circuit is a great mix of fast and slow sectors that really challenge the engineers and drivers on setup. The elevation changes see the cars go up and down the contours of the hillside that the track is built on and the atmosphere is incredible, especially on Sunday when it doesn’t matter what culture or part of the world you are from, you feel the energy throughout.

The trick to good laptime at Interlagos is to let the car flow from corner to corner – you need to find a rhythm that keeps the car balanced through each corner, something that will be particularly important with the current generation of power units as all that torque can unsettle a car. There’s no real substitute for actual track time to really extract maximum performance from the package you’re working with but my previous four F1 races with Manor have gone well and as planned and we look forward to continuing this trend this weekend in Brazil.

After Sao Paulo, it’s directly to Bahrain Sunday night and 100% focus on GP2. We’re five points away from tying up second place in this year’s championship, preferably in Bahrain so it’s done and we can really enjoy Abu Dhabi. I had a very good week back in Spain with the guys at Racing Engineering and we’re absolutely ready for the last two races this year.

As excited as I am about F1 in Brazil, the opportunity to get back into a GP2 car and win more races in this year would be awesome. The team and I did a lot of good preparations for Bahrain and Abu Dhabi that means we’ll hit the ground running next week.

For now though, my focus is my F1 team and Interlagos circuit, building on what we’ve achieved with Manor Marussia F1 Team since joining the team back in September. I have learnt a lot in the past eight weeks since being announced in F1. I cannot wait to continue that process in the future and finish my 2015 F1 season in the same style as we’ve finished the previous four. Then it is on to 2016, which cannot come soon enough.

Thank you for your support and you’ll hear from me again this time next week.

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Detroit: Chase Sexton narrowly leads Cooper Webb


For the fifth time in 10 rounds of the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross season, the three riders at the top of the championship standings shared a podium and while those points tell one story, the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Detroit tell a slightly different tale.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Detroit
Cooper Webb is peaking at the right time. – Feld Motor Sports

Chase Sexton has been all but perfect during the past 45 days with podium finishes in each of his heats and Triple Crown features. His only stumble during this period was a 10th-place finish in the Indianapolis Main. Last week, Sexton was perfect with wins in both his heat and the feature, although he needed a little help from an Aaron Plessinger mistake to take the top spot on the podium at the end of the night.

Cooper Webb finished fifth at Houston and was beginning to worry ever so slightly about his position in the points. Prior to the race in Tampa, he told NBC Sports that it was time to win and like Babe Ruth pointing to the outfield fence, Webb went out and captured it. Following that race, Webb has swept the podium and earned the red plate two weeks ago in Indianapolis. At Detroit, he added two more points on Eli Tomac as the season begins to wind down.

Tomac struggled with a stiff neck at Indianapolis and after a modest third-place showing in Detroit, he revealed he was still suffering a little. Webb and Sexton have been able to close the gap on Tomac in the past 45 days, but one of the main reasons he is so close in the points was a pair of wins that started the year. Seattle is going to be important for the defending champion because Tomac cannot afford to lose any more momentum with seven rounds remaining.

MORE: Chase Sexton inherits the win in Detroit

It appeared Jason Anderson was turning things around. He earned his fifth heat win at Detroit, which was also his sixth consecutive race (including features) in which he scored a top-five. A fall in the Detroit Main dropped him a lap off the pace and sent him home with a season-worst finish of ninth, causing a ripple effect in the SuperMotocross Power Rankings.

Justin Barcia was a huge part of the show last week in Detroit. He swapped positions with both Webb and Tomac in the middle stage of the race, which allowed Sexton to close the gap. Barcia finished fourth in that race to earn his third consecutive top-five. He’s been outside the top 10 only once in the first 10 rounds.

Adam Cianciarulo had a great start to the Main. He led a couple of laps before losing a lap and slipping back to eighth in the final rundown. That run was strong enough to elevate him three positions in the SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Detroit.

450 Rankings

Driver Percentage
1. Chase Sexton
[2 Main, 6 Heat wins]
87.00 1 0
2. Cooper Webb
[2 Main, 1 Heat win]
86.71 2 0
3. Eli Tomac
[5 Main, 6 Heat wins]
84.57 3 0
4. Jason Anderson
[5 Heat wins]
80.71 4 0
5. Ken Roczen
[1 Main, 1 Heat win]
80.50 5 0
6. Justin Barcia
[1 Heat win]
79.07 7 1
7. Aaron Plessinger 77.14 6 -1
8. Adam Cianciarulo 69.75 11 3
9. Christian Craig 68.86 10 1
10. Justin Cooper 63.90 9 -1
11. Justin Hill 58.57 15 4
12. Dean Wilson 51.50 12 0
13. Colt Nichols 51.25 13 0
14. Shane McElrath 46.86 17 3
15. Josh Hill 46.79 16 1
16. Benny Bloss 45.31 18 2
17. Jared Lesher 39.00 NA
18. Joey Savatgy 38.63 14 -4
19. Cade Clason 37.50 21 2
20. Grant Harlan 35.54 23 3

Supercross 450 Points

The NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings look at the past 90 days in the 250 class in order to have a balanced comparison between the East and West divisions and Hunter Lawrence has been all but perfect this year. At Detroit, he earned his fifth win of the season and kept alive a streak of podium finishes in six rounds. He tied his brother Jett Lawrence with 10 250 wins one week before the West riders take to the track for back-to-back races at Seattle, Washington and Glendale, Arizona.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Detroit
Nate Thrasher is settling into a comfortable role as ‘best in class’. – Feld Motor Sports

The Lawrence brothers are dominating the points in each of their respective divisions, which means the remainder of the field is battling to be best in class.

In the East, that rider is Nate Thrasher, who beat Hunter in a head-to-head matchup in their heat only to finish second in the main when the majority of points were awarded. Thrasher seems to have accepted his position in the championship standings, but that doesn’t mean he won’t keep trying for wins.

Haiden Deegan showed a lot of aggression in his heat last week. He threw a couple of block passes at his teammate Jordon Smith and set up a series of events that kept Smith from making the big show while Deegan settled into second in the preliminary. Deegan was unconcerned about how he raced his teammate and would not let a little controversy keep him from celebrating his second career podium in Detroit.

Supercross 250 Points

Jeremy Martin just keeps clicking off solid results. He won his heat last week by making a pass on Deegan and Smith while they were in the heat of their battle. Martin finished fourth in the Main, which means he continues to have only one finish worse than sixth in any of the features or mains.

Smith fell one position in the points standings, but the damage was even worse in SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Detroit. Crash damage in his heat contributed to a last-place finish in that race, for which he earned minimal points. He was not able to advance from the Last Chance Qualifier after stalling his bike in heavy traffic.

250 Rankings

Rider Power
1. Hunter Lawrence – E
[5 Main, 5 Heat wins]
90.43 1 0
2. Jett Lawrence – W
[3 Main, 3 Heat wins]
90.30 2 0
3. Nate Thrasher – E
[1 Main, 3 Heat wins]
84.00 5 2
4. Cameron McAdoo – W
[1 Heat win]
79.80 9 5
5. Haiden Deegan – E
[1 Heat win]
78.21 7 2
6. Jeremy Martin – E
[2 Heat wins]
78.00 8 2
7. Jordon Smith – E
[3 Heat Wins]
76.77 4 -3
8. Levi Kitchen – W
[1 Main]
75.30 3 -5
9. Mitchell Oldenburg – W 75.20 11 2
10. RJ Hampshire – W
[4 Heat wins]
74.50 17 7
11. Max Anstie – E 74.43 6 -5
12. Tom Vialle – E 72.07 12 0
13. Max Vohland – W 71.56 10 -3
14. Stilez Robertson – W
[1 Heat win]
69.22 14 0
15. Chris Blose – E 67.43 18 3
16. Chance Hymas – E 67.10 15 -1
17. Enzo Lopes – W 66.00 20 3
18. Michael Mosiman – E 65.80 16 -2
19. Pierce Brown – W 65.78 13 -6
20. Phil Nicoletti – W 59.25 21 1

* The NBC Power Rankings assign 100 points to a Main event winner and 90 points for each Heat and Triple Crown win, (Triple Crown wins are included with heat wins below the rider’s name). The points decrement by a percentage equal to the number of riders in the field until the last place rider in each event receives five points. The Power Ranking is the average of these percentage points over the past 45 days for the 450 class and last 90 days for 250s (because of the split nature of their season).

POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 8 AT DAYTONA: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 7 AT ARLINGTON: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 6 AT OAKLAND: Perfect night keeps Tomac first
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 5 AT TAMPA: Sexton, Cooper Webb close in
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 4 AT HOUSTON: Tomac rebounds from A2 crash, retakes lead
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 3 AT ANAHEIM 2: Consistency makes Ken Roczen king
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 2 AT SAN DIEGO: Roczen moves up, Sexton falls
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 1 AT ANAHEIM 1: Tomac, Jett Lawrence gain an early advantage