Lando Norris to make Formula 2 debut in Abu Dhabi

McLaren/LAT
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McLaren youngster Lando Norris will make his Formula 2 debut in Abu Dhabi at the end of this month ahead of a possible full-time move into the series for 2018.

Norris, 17, won the FIA European Formula 3 title in his rookie year in 2017, as well as enjoying an impressive maiden Formula 1 test with McLaren in Hungary.

The Briton will take part in the Pirelli tire test in Brazil over the next two days for McLaren before entering the Macau Grand Prix at the weekend, with a final outing in Abu Dhabi following one week later.

Norris will race with the Campos team in the double-header round at the Yas Marina Circuit, as confirmed by on Monday morning.

“Having won the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at my first attempt this year, I will either step up to Formula 2 or Super Formula in 2018 towards my goal of one day racing in Formula 1,” Norris said.

“To get the opportunity to contest the last two races of this year’s F2 season is therefore a bonus whichever category I ultimately chose.

“It’ll be the first time I’ve ever competed in a race that includes a compulsory pit-stop and so this will also be a new experience for me.

“I’ll be signing off from F3 this weekend and having won the Euro F3 title at my first attempt this year, it would be great to go back to Macau and win – it would be an awesome end to what’s already been an amazing year.

“But it’ll be tough as in addition to the high-class field and the nature of the uncompromising track, I’m missing practice which isn’t ideal but Macau is a race I really want to go back and do with the Carlin guys – even with that disadvantage.”

Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list; Musquin remains out

Shimoda injured
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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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.”