Rosberg braced for ‘big battle’ with Ferrari, Red Bull in Singapore

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Nico Rosberg is braced for a “big battle” between Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull in this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix after Friday’s closely-fought practice running.

After seeing Max Verstappen head up a Red Bull one-two in FP1, Rosberg responded in second practice by topping the timesheets for Mercedes.

Each of the three leading teams enjoyed spells at the head of the field and set a similar long-run pace, stoking the fire nicely for a scrap between them in Singapore.

“It’s really close between ourselves, Red Bull and Ferrari,” Rosberg acknowledged after the session.

“Much closer than at some other tracks for sure, so it looks like a big battle ahead.

“I’m looking forward to it.”

Rosberg’s Friday did not go by without one issue, though, after a mistake in FP1 saw him hit the wall and damage the front-end of his Mercedes W07 Hybrid car.

“The first session was going OK until I hit the wall at Turn 18,” Rosberg explained.

“That wasn’t ideal, but luckily the impact wasn’t too heavy, so I managed to get the car back to the pits and the guys had it ready in time for FP2.

“The second session felt better but we still have some room for improvement.

“It’s been a solid start to the weekend. Definitely better than last year.”

Rosberg enters the Singapore weekend trailing Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by just two points at the top of the drivers’ championship.

Qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix is live on CNBC and the NBC Sports app from 9am ET on Saturday.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.