McLaren struggles made Button consider quitting F1

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Jenson Button has admitted that he did consider retiring from Formula 1 at the end of the 2015 season amid McLaren’s troubles.

McLaren toiled to its worst finish in the constructors’ championship in over 30 years in 2015, finishing last but one as issues with the new power unit supplied by Honda left it struggling for pace all season long.

Button, 35, had been tipped to retire in the lead-up to the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, only for McLaren CEO Ron Dennis to announce that the team had passed on its option to terminate his contract.

Confirmation soon followed that Button would be remaining with McLaren for 2016, partnering Fernando Alonso once again.

However, in an interview with British broadcaster Sky Sports, Button admitted that he did consider walking away from F1 for fear of another year of strife with McLaren battling at the back of the field.

“Last year I wasn’t sure if I’d be racing and it wasn’t my choice. This year it was totally my choice and there was a moment where I thought ‘I’m not sure I want to do this anymore and be where we are’,” Button said.

“Obviously, if we are where we are right now next year, it is not going to be that enjoyable.  I spent a lot of time with the engineers and the aerodynamicists and I spoke more with Ron in the two months when I was trying to decide what to do next year than I have in my whole time at McLaren.

“We went through a lot of ideas for next year and spoke to the aerodynamicists and the engineers and got a real direction and understanding of where we are going and with Honda as well.

“So that got me excited. That got me pumped for next year knowing that there are big improvements on the horizon, and we need them.”

Beta Motorcycles joins SuperMotocross in 2024, Benny Bloss named first factory rider

Beta Motorcycles 2024 Bloss
Beta Motorcycles

Benny Bloss will race for the factory Beta Motorcycles team in 2024 as that manufacturer joins SuperMotocross as the ninth brand to compete in the series. Beta Motorcycles will make their debut in the Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California in January.

Benny Bloss finished among the top 10 twice in Pro Motocross, in 2016 and 2018. – Beta Motorcycles

“The wait is over and we can finally share everything we have been working towards,” said Carlen Gardner, Race Team Manager in a press release. “It has been a great experience being a part of this development and seeing the progression. The only missing part was finding a rider that would mesh well with our Beta Family.

“After a one phone call with Benny, we knew it would be a good fit for him, and for us. We are happy to have him on board for the next two years and can’t wait to see everyone at Anaheim in January.”

Bloss debuted in the 450 class in 2015 with a 15th-place finish overall at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Bloss has a pair of top-10 rankings in the division with a sixth-place finish in the Pro Motocross Championship in 2016 and a seventh in 2018. His best Supercross season ended 15th in the standings in 2018.

“I’m extremely excited to join the Beta Factory Racing team,” Bloss said. “It’s cool to see a brand with such a rich history in off-road racing to come into the US Supercross and Motocross space. I know this team will be capable of great things as we build and go racing in 2024.”

Bloss is currently 22nd in the SuperMotocross rankings and has not raced in the first two rounds of the Motocross season.

Testing for Beta Motorcycles is scheduled to begin in August and the team expects to announce a second rider at that time.

The family-owned brand adds to the international flare of the sport. The company was founded in Florence, Italy in 1905 as Società Giuseppe Bianchi as they built handmade bicycles, The transition to motorcycle production in the late 1940s.

Beta Motorcycles competed and won in motocross competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s with Jim Pomeroy and other riders.

Beta will join Triumph Motorcycles as a second historic brand to join the sport in 2024. First established in 1902, Triumph has won in nearly every division they have competed in, dating back to their first victory in the 1908 Isle of Man TT. Triumph will debut in the 250 class in 2024 and plans to expand into 450s in 2025.