MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: 2016 Japanese GP

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Formula 1 makes its annual visit to Suzuka this weekend for the Japanese Grand Prix as title rivals Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton look to continue their ongoing brawl.

Hamilton looked poised to reclaim control of the championship when he enjoyed a 20-second lead over the field in Malaysia last weekend. After Rosberg was tagged at the first corner and left to fight his way back up the order, everything appeared to be ‘coming up Milhouse’ for Hamilton.

Alas, it wasn’t to be. An engine failure with 17 laps remaining forced Hamilton to retire from the race, while Rosberg finished third to extend his points lead to 23.

With five races to go, the battle for the title is finely poised, making the MST picks as devilishly difficult as ever.

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race Winner: Nico Rosberg. I’ve backed Hamilton for the last few races, believing that he will dig himself out of his rut and finally return to the top step of the podium. He didn’t put a foot wrong in Malaysia, yet I believe that with the scars of that defeat still fresh, he’ll falter at Suzuka. Rosberg for victory.

Surprise Finish: Sebastian Vettel. Seb always goes well at Suzuka, having won the race four times in the past. That said, it’s perhaps a rather damning reflection of Ferrari’s season that picking Vettel to finish third may be deemed a surprise…

Most to Prove: Lewis Hamilton. Time is running out in the title race…

Additional Storyline: Haas’ ongoing malaise. A double DNF in Malaysia was a tough pill for Haas to swallow, particularly when it came as a result of two mechanical failures. The pointless run dating back to Austria is still going, while the Japanese Grand Prix marks three years since Esteban Gutierrez’s last F1 point. Time for those droughts to end.

Predict the Podium

1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race Winner: Lewis Hamilton. After engine failure in Malaysia, the champ makes an important bounce back weekend, which is needed to sustain any realistic title hopes. This is a pivotal weekend for him with Austin to come after this.

Surprise Finish: Jenson Button. This is a spiritual home race for Button given his ties to Japan and long-standing relationship with Honda. So I’ll peg him for a strong points finish here.

Most to Prove: Sebastian Vettel. Vettel’s inconsistency this year in the wake of Kimi Raikkonen’s consistency hasn’t helped matters in terms of the constructors’ championship. Rare to ever need to put the 4-time World Champion under the microscope but he needs a good weekend here.

Additional Storyline: The rain. Suzuka’s often entertaining anyway and more rain would only serve to spice it up.

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Seattle


The final results from the Monster Energy Supercross race in Seattle suggests the season is turning into a two-rider battle as Eli Tomac scored his sixth win of the season to tie Cooper Webb for the points’ lead and Chase Sexton crashed in yet another race.

Tomac downplayed the neck strain that caused him to lose the red plate for two weeks, but without that holding him back, it would appear it might have been a bigger problem than he admitted. Despite finishing on the podium in Detroit, Tomac has not shown the late-race strength everyone has come to expect. He was in a slump after scoring a season-worst in Indianapolis and described his sixth win as a “bounce back”.

With this win, Tomac tied James Stewart for second on the all-time list with 50 career Supercross victories. Six rounds remain and there is no sign that Tomac is slowing down. Jeremy McGrath’s 72 wins remains untouchable, for the moment at least.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Overall Results; Click here for 250 Overall Results

Cooper Webb was disappointed with second-place, but he recognized the Supercross results at Seattle could have been much worse. He rode in fifth for the first nine laps of the race, behind Tomac and Sexton. When Sexton crashed from the lead and Tomac took the top spot, Webb knew he could not afford to give up that many points and so he dug deep and found enough points to share the red plate when the series returns in two weeks in Glendale, Arizona for a Triple Crown event.

Justin Barcia scored his third podium of the season, breaking out of a threeway tie of riders who have not been the presumed favorites to win the championship. Barcia scored the podium without drama or controversy. It was his fourth consecutive top-five and his 10th straight finish of eighth or better.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Jason Anderson kept his perfect record of top-10s alive with a fourth-place finish. Tied for fourth in the standings and 49 out of the lead, his season has been like a death of a thousand cuts. He’s ridden exceptionally well, but the Big Three have simply been better.

Sexton rebounded from his fall to finish fifth. He entered the race 17 points out of the lead and lost another five in Seattle. Mistakes have cost Sexton 22 points in the last three races and that is precisely how far he is behind Tomac and Webb. Unless those two riders bobble, this deficit cannot overcome.

The rider who ties Anderson for fourth in the points, Ken Roczen finished just outside the top five in sixth after he battled for a podium position early in the race.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

The 250 West riders got back in action after four rounds of sitting on the sideline and Jett Lawrence picked up where he left of: in Victory Lane. Lawrence now has four wins and a second-place finish in five rounds. One simply doesn’t get close to perfection than that.

Between them, the Lawrence brothers have won all but two races though 11 rounds. Jett failed to win the Anaheim Triple Crown and Hunter Lawrence failed to win the Arlington Triple Crown format in the 250 East division. In two weeks, the series has their final Triple Crown race in Glendale. When he was reminded of this from the top of the Seattle podium, Jett replied, “oof”.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

RJ Hampshire finished second in the race and is second in the points. This is fourth time in five rounds that Hampshire finished second to Lawrence. If not for a crash-induced 11th-place finish in the Arlington Triple Crown, he would be much closer in the points standings. With that poor showing, he is 23 points behind Lawrence.

Cameron McAdoo made a lot of noise in his heat. Riding aggressively beside Larwence, the two crashed in the preliminary. McAdoo could never seem to get away from Hampshire in the Main and as the two battled, the leader got away. It would have been interesting to see how they would have raced head-to-head when points were on the line.

Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 West Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points

The Supercross results in Seattle were kind to a couple of riders on the cusp of the top five. Enzo Lopes scored his second top-five and fourth top-10 of the season after crossing the finish line fourth in Seattle.

Tying his best finish of the season for the third time, Max Vohland kept his perfect record of top-10s alive. Vohland is seventh in the points.

2023 Results

Round 11: Eli Tomac bounces back with sixth win
Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Tomac, H Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, J Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 10: Chase Sexton leads with consistency
Week 8: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Cooper Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s