Red Bull Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen felt he was on course to finish Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix in second place before a brake failure ended his race.
Verstappen ran fourth for Red Bull in the early part of the race before pitting on Lap 11 in a bid to get the undercut on the Mercedes drivers ahead.
While a similar tactic allowed Sebastian Vettel to move into the lead en route to his second win of the season, Verstappen ended his race in the wall after suffering a brake failure on his out lap.
“I hit the brake pedal, lost all the rear pressures, only had the fronts left and couldn’t stop the car,” Verstappen told NBCSN after the race.
“It’s very disappointing. We would have been second if we could have just run. We would have undercut the Mercedes. The car held on really well. That’s a side of motorsport I guess.”
Red Bull looked more competitive in both qualifying and the early part of the race than it did in either Australia or China, with Verstappen putting it down to the tire strengths of the RB13.
“We definitely improved the car but this track is hard on tires and our car is good on the tires,” Verstappen said.
The result marks Verstappen’s first DNF of the season following runs to fifth and third in Australia and China respectively.
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.”