Force India’s Perez, Ocon’s war continues with two Spa clashes (VIDEO)


A pair of incidents between Sahara Force India teammates Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon occurred in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix, the latest for the two drivers that had also clashed in Montreal and Baku earlier this year.

On the start of the race, Perez moved to the right without checking his mirrors on Ocon, when trying to pass his old Force India teammate and now Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg.

Perez told NBCSN’s Will Buxton post-race he was entirely at fault for that incident. The start of the race is linked below.

However it was the second incident between the two of them that was the more important clash.

On the run out of La Source into Eau Rouge, Perez moved from the outside to the inside in the natural racing line, but Ocon saw a gap and went for it to Perez’s outside ahead of Eau Rouge.

That nearly put Ocon directly into the barrier and saw a collision between the two where Ocon’s left front wing end plate was sheared off and pierced Perez’s right rear tire, causing a puncture.

Both drivers spoke to NBCSN’s Buxton in the media bullpen. Here’s their comments:

Perez: “The first one was totally my fault. I didn’t select the start mode so didn’t have all the power on straight. Good start, then battling Hulkenberg, but I only had 50 percent of the power. So I thought I had a good margin and moved to right without looking at mirrors. 100 percent my fault. Really apologize for that one.

“The second one was a bit too optimistic for him to go there and make that maneuver. Both of us misjudged it a bit and ruined the race for the team. In the end I had massive damage and my car was too difficult to drive.

“(On the second incident), I saw him, he was there, but many drivers protect the line – that’s what I did. There was no room for him to go anywhere. We touched.

“I think today was a very ‘particular’ race. We definitely have to rewatch the incident. Mainly the second one, because the first one was totally my fault. It was not my best race. Otherwise not much to say.”

Ocon: “Well the first one I accepted. It’s start. It’s three-wide. Even if he saw me. The second one was way too much.

“Yeah. That’s just how not professional he is recently. I’ll speak to him. He thinks I’m a rookie and will stay behind. We risked our own lives for no reason.

“For sure not. It’s clear he didn’t leave me the space. It’s 300 kph… but put me into the wall. It’s clear to me. It’s clear to everyone else.

“He took a five-second penalty for the overall race and how aggressive he was. I will go man to man to see him and tell him the truth. I’m not going to be scared of him.

“It’s over out of the car, that’s for sure. In the car we race for Force India and we have to be professional drivers.”

Force India COO Otmar Szafnauer told Sky Sports in-race that after these two collisions, team orders are likely to be enforced going forward unless exceptional circumstances allow: “In the future they will never have that opportunity again.”

While both drivers sit seventh and eighth in points and the team is fourth in the Constructor’s Championship, this was not a good day for the team.

Ocon wound up finishing ninth, scoring two points, while Perez retired late with car damage.

Further videos will come shortly.

Chase Sexton wins Triple Crown Anaheim 2 Supercross: Levi Kitchen unseats Jett Lawrence in 250s

Supercross Anaheim 2
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Chase Sexton won two of the three races in the Monster Energy Supercross Anaheim 2 Triple Crown, which was enough to overcome a fifth-place finish in Race 2 and give him the overall victory. It was the second Supercross win of his career.

“Super big night for me,” Sexton told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “After last weekend with that being a struggle, I just need to come out here and stop the bleeding a little bit and I did that tonight.”

Sexton suffered a crash on Lap 1 of his heat, sending him into Last Chance Qualifier. The bad gate pick put him in a difficult position to start the race and he was able to climb to only fifth at the checkers.

At Anaheim 2, three riders entered the final race of the Triple Crown in a winner-take-all scenario. Sexton, Jason Anderson and Eli Tomac each had a shot at victory. It raised the intensity level for all riders in an evening that featured a lot of comers and goers.

Jason Anderson took the early lead in Race 3, which set him up for the overall victory. Sexton stalked and passed him midway through the race and then a minor mistake late allowed Webb to slip around as well. Anderson’s 5-1-3 gave him second overall.

“I had a tough couple of rounds, getting off that Anaheim 1 crash and then last week weekend I fumbled a little bit, but I’m excited to get back on the box and start moving forward,” Anderson told Jason Thomas.

Anderson finished seventh in the first two rounds of 2023.

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Anaheim 2

Ken Roczen was the model of consistency in the opening rounds and at Anaheim 2. In three races so far this year, he’s gotten progressively better each time with a fifth in A1, a fourth last week in San Deigo and a third this week.

With results of 2-3-4, he earned his first podium of the season, which lands him fourth in the standings.

“This was hard earned,” Roczen said after the race. “I completely botched the start and then to have to work my way up. I only happen on the very last lap to step up here on the podium.”

Webb’s solid second-place finish in the third race allowed him to leapfrog several riders and finish fourth overall, but a seventh in Race 1 kept him off the podium. He improved in each race in Anaheim, however, with a 7-4-2.

With a 4-6-5, Dylan Ferrandis rounded out the top five.

The intensity of the race was a little too much for Tomac.

While battling side-by-side with Webb in Race 3 at the one-third mark, Tomac jumped wide and crashed hard. He fell to 14th, doing some damage to his bike in the process. He advanced only one position in that race to 13th. His first two races, a third and second, were strong enough to give him sixth overall. He retains the points lead, but it has shrunk to a gap of only four over Sexton and Webb.

Malcolm Stewart injured late in the week and was not able to mount.

Levi Kitchen became the first rider to unseat Jett Lawrence in the Triple Crown format at Anaheim 2 and won the overall with consistency. In his three races, Kitchen finished 4-2-2 to narrowly edge the winner of the first two races.

“This whole day; this is unbelievable. I took a few good slams in practice and I was down on myself,” Kitchen told NBC Sports Jason Thomas afterward. “The first moto I got a good start and got shuffled back, then I knew I just needed to be consistent.”

Jett Lawrence saved his best for last – which wasn’t hard given the struggles he experienced in the first two races.

Despite those problems, he entered Race 3 of the Triple Crown three points behind Kitchen after suffering a pair of disappointing races by his personal measuring stick. In the first and second 250 races of the night, Lawrence hit the ground. He dropped to the final rider in the running order in Race 2 with a Lap 1 fall. But in both races, he was able to overcome his mistake and close the gap so that he had a chance to take his first Triple Crown win of his career.

Click here for full 250 West Main Results

Lawrence rode to third in Race 1 and sixth in Race 2. In the final race of the night, Lawrence did all he could. He earned the holeshot, but when Kitchen fell in behind him, Lawrence’s fate was sealed. His 3-6-1 tied him in points with Stilez Robertson, but the tiebreaker goes to the final round and his win secured second-place.

“I can definitely say Triple Crowns are not my thing,” Lawrence told NBC Sports Will Christien. “We have one more to try and fix this, so hopefully we can get that done.”

Lawrence will move into the 450 class for the Lucas Oil Motocross outdoor season and his 250 record book will be closed.

The best news for Lawrence is the other riders who entered this round in the top three had a worse night, so Lawrence leaves Anaheim with a 16-point gap on Cameron McAdoo and 17 over RJ Hampshire.

Roberston finished 6-1-3 to take the final step of the podium.

“Getting that win in the second Main meant a lot,” Roberston told Thomas. “I wish I could have done a little better in the third one, but we’re still up here on the box.”

Mitchell Oldenburg used consistency to earn fourth in the overall. He finished 5-4-6.

After missing the Main last week in San Diego, Max Vohland finished 7-8-4 to round out the top five.

RJ Hampshire set himself up as the early favorite with his Race 1 win. In Race 2, it all fell apart. He fell in the sand section and damaged his bike, finishing last in that race. The final event of the night for the 250s provided only a 13th-place finish, leaving Hampshire deep in the points.

Cameron McAdoo hard crash in qualification, which was scary news for a team that has seen three of their riders sidelined with injury. McAdoo was never quite able to get his rhythm with an 8-7-5.

2023 Race Recaps

San Diego: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

Anaheim 2 coverage

Power Rankings Week 2
SuperMotocross tightens playoff schedule
Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence go two-for-two in San Diego
Results and points after San Diego
Seth Hammaker to miss 250 E season opener with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner with injury
Injury sidelines Austin Forkner for remainder of 2023 SX