Buemi captures first Formula E pole of season in Monaco

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MONACO – Defending Formula E drivers’ champion Sebastien Buemi swept to pole position for Saturday’s Monaco ePrix after edging out perennial rival Lucas di Grassi in qualifying.

Buemi made a perfect start to the year by winning the first three races, only to finish a lowly 14th last time out in Mexico City, allowing di Grassi to cut the gap in the drivers’ standings.

The Swiss driver finished third in the opening heats as Jean-Eric Vergne topped the timesheets, but Buemi dug deep and turn in a best lap of 53.313s in the Super Pole shootout to take pole position.

The result marked Buemi’s first pole since last year’s London ePrix, and is the first time that he has shared a front row with di Grassi since their infamous clash at Battersea Park.

Nelson Piquet Jr. put in an impressive display for NextEV NIO, taking third on the grid, while Vergne and Venturi’s Maro Engel ended the session fourth and fifth respectively.

Street circuit specialist Felix Rosenqvist narrowly missed out on a place in the Super Pole shootout, finishing sixth for Mahindra, with teammate Nick Heidfeld two places further back in P8. DS Virgin Racing drivers Jose Maria Lopez and Sam Bird were seventh and 10th respectively as Daniel Abt slotted into P9.

Recent Formula 1 driver Esteban Gutierrez’s second qualifying session saw him finish within a second of teammate Vergne, yet this was only good enough for P14 due to the close-knit nature of the field. Adam Carroll, Nicolas Prost and Jerome d’Ambrosio all encountered issues, leaving them to fill out the bottom three positions on the grid.

The Monaco ePrix takes place at 4pm local time in Monaco (10am ET) today.

Supercross: Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll and Malcolm Stewart out with injury

Swoll Stewart injury
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Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.

“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”

The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.

Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.

Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.

He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.

Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.

Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.

Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.

Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.

The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.

Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.

Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.