Q2 exit continues “bloody frustrating” Chinese GP weekend for Grosjean

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Romain Grosjean made no secret of his frustration after being eliminated in the second stage of qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix on Saturday thanks to a late red flag.

Grosjean came close to scoring the new Haas Formula 1 Team’s first Q3 berth in Bahrain, and had hoped to qualify inside the top 10 in Shanghai on Saturday.

However, a red flag caused by a loose wheel on Nico Hulkenberg’s car meant that none of the drivers could improve late on in Q2, with the session being called early.

As a result, Grosjean was left down in P14, continuing what has been a difficult weekend for the Frenchman thus far.

“It’s bloody frustrating!” Grosjean told NBCSN after qualifying.

“Almost unfair, you want to go for your lap and there’s a red flag and you know there’s not enough time to restart the new thing.

“All weekend has not been going our way so far. FP1, no running because of red flags. FP2, one car. FP3, wet. It’s been tricky to find the right setup.

“Hopefully tomorrow in the race we are better and we can have a good race from there.”

Grosjean has been struggling with the tire pressures on his Haas VF-16 car in China, and said that he was still finding it difficult to drive.

“It’s still gonna stay the same. I was a bit frustrated yesterday,” Grosjean said.

“It’s still hard to drive the car, it’s like they are on ice. It’s not what you want from a Formula 1 car.

“I’ll do my best. It’s up to me, so I’ll try.”

The Chinese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30am ET on Sunday.

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

Shimoda injured
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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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.”