Hamilton hails Canadian GP pole lap as a ‘sexy lap’

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The specifics of Lewis Hamilton’s staggering 1:11.459 lap to qualify on pole for the Canadian Grand Prix got lost in the emotional and historical aspects, which were intertwined.

His 65th career pole of his Formula 1 career equalled him with the late Ayrton Senna, and for his efforts he was rewarded with one of Senna’s race-worn helmets as a gift from the Senna family after the session was complete.

But the lap itself to get there was a special one, because that 1:11.459 was more than three tenths quicker than what was already the fastest lap of the weekend, a 1:11.791 on his first run.

As it turned out, the Mercedes AMG Petronas driver needed that second lap because Sebastian Vettel found six one-thousandths of a second (1:11.795 to 1:11.789), which would have been enough to beat Hamilton for the pole.

Hamilton described the two laps afterwards to NBCSN’s Will Buxton, who conducted the post-qualifying interviews at Turn 2, in front of throngs of fans at Montreal.

“Today I can’t believe it,” he admitted. “It was a close battle with the Ferraris, they were so quick. I was pushing, and gunning for it. I wanted a good lap and got it.

“It was a sexy lap! It was a great lap. I can’t believe it came together so well. Just managed to be a bit up on each section. We really built up for this race. A big thank you to everyone at the factory.”

The pole comes at an important time for Hamilton, who enters Sunday’s race 25 points behind Vettel for the championship. This is his sixth Canadian Grand Prix pole and he’s in search of his sixth Canadian Grand Prix win.

Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix rolls off at 2 p.m. ET on NBC.

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.