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Magnussen, Grosjean lament missed opportunity for Haas F1

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For the Haas F1 Team, Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix is a classic case of “What might have been.”

A stellar qualifying on Saturday saw both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean advance into Q3, with the duo eventually qualifying sixth and seventh respectively, and Daniel Ricciardo’s five-spot grid penalty moved them up to fifth and sixth on the grid.

The race start saw even more good fortune as Magnussen moved into fourth in Turn 1 and stayed there for the opening stint, while Grosjean eventually worked himself into fifth after a spin by Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen.

However, the wheels, almost literally, came off of their weekend during the first round of pit stops, with both drivers exiting the pits with loose wheels – the left-rear for Magnussen and the left-front for Grosjean – and both cars retired within a handful of laps of each other.

What’s more, the team was fined for a pair of unsafe pit releases, adding insult to injury on a day that began with so much promise.

Magnussen seemed particularly frustrated and kept his post-race comments very short.

“Tough one to swallow. Not only for me, but the whole team, losing both cars in such a good position. Tough one to swallow, but we’ll fight back,” he told Formula’1 Will Buxton in the post-race edition of F1 Paddock Pass.

Grosjean echoed similar disappointment, highlighting their strong pace as evidence that a good result slipped through their grasp.

“It’s not the easiest moment, you know, especially for the first race of the season, the first time we’re running fourth and fifth with the cars and doing a great job. We had good pace,” he said to Buxton during the aforementioned Paddock Pass.

However, Grosjean also asserted a sense optimism for Haas’ outlook in the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, given how well they looked at the opening round in Australia.

“I’m sure we’re going to come back stronger, we always bounce back,” he asserted. “(In the race) we lost a lot of points. But, if the car is as good as it was today for the rest of the season, we’re going to be like ‘We’re going to forget that one.’ If it’s not the case, it could be a bit more painful. I’ve got good hope that the car is going to be good and that we can keep up our showing.”

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Supercross: Tomac, Roczen square off in Arlington; Webb gives chase

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The Monster Energy Supercross championship battle remains tight after Eli Tomac took the lead from Ken Roczen just last week at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Now the series heads to Arlington, Texas, and the AT&T Stadium for Round 8. (Watch on NBCSN or stream live.)

Tomac’s third win of the 2020 season and Roczen’s third-place finish at Tampa gives Tomac a four-point advantage in what is essentially a wide-open title fight with three races on tap in Arlington.

And while it is still much too early to call this a two-man battle, Cooper Webb is 11 points back with Justin Barcia 20 points out and Adam Cianciarulo 27 points in arrears – and all three cannot afford to lose any ground this week.

Tomac has the momentum. He allowed the field to get a jump after finishing seventh at Anaheim in the season opener, but finished fourth or better in the remaining events.

Roczen also got off to a slow start in Anaheim 1 with a sixth-place finish. He seemed to have a firm grasp on the red plate with four consecutive podium finishes until he slipped to sixth for a second time at San Diego.

Webb is coming into his own with three consecutive podiums in the last three events. If not for a 12th at St. Louis, he would be in immediate contention for the red plate.

This week is the second Triple Crown race of the season and Roczen hopes he has the same success as he did at Glendale. He won all three Mains that weekend and easily walked away with the overall victory. Tomac finished 2-2-3 for second overall. It is going to be imperative that a rider takes the early lead.

Blake Baggett qualified for last week’s Main, but chose to sit it out after experiencing sever muscle spasms. He will ride in Arlington.

Henry Miller will return to riding at Arlington after breaking a scapula in Australia.

Subscribe to the Supercross Pass for complete qualification and race coverage of the 2020 season.

For the third time in his career, Shane McElrath started the season with a victory. He won the season-opener in 2017 and 2018 in the West division at Anaheim, but failed to lock down a 250 title. His seventh career win moved him to 25th on the chart, however, with Travis Pastrana, Trey Canard, and a host of others.

Chase Sexton got his title hunt off to a strong start last week as well. He finished second to earn his 10th podium in 19 starts, but he will be hungry for a win. Despite the fact that he won last year’s 250 West championship, he has only one race victory to his credit.

Last week, Jeremy Martin looked like he had not been off his bike for more than a year. Returning from a 2018 injury, Martin snagged a podium finish in his first race back.

Schedule:

Qualifying: 1 p.m. on NBC Sports Gold
Race: 8:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Gold and NBCSN

Last Week:

Eli Tomac beat Cooper Webb and Ken Roczen in the 450 class.
Shane McElrath beat Chase Sexton and Jeremy Martin in the 250 class.

Last Dallas race (February, 2019):

Cooper Webb beat Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin in the 450 class.
Austin Forkner beat Justin Cooper and Chase Sexton in the 250 class.

Points Leaders

450s:
Eli Tomac (155)
Ken Roczen (151)
Cooper Webb (144)
Justin Barcia (135)
Adam Cianciarulo (128)

250 West:
Dylan Ferrandis (135)
Justin Cooper (128)
Austin Forkner (122)
Brandon Hartranft (110)
Alex Martin (98)

250 East:
Shane McElrath (26)
Chase Sexton (23)
Jeremy Martin (21)
Garrett Marchbanks (19)
Jordon Smith (18)

Wins

450

(3) Eli Tomac (Anaheim 2, Oakland and Tampa)
(2) Ken Roczen (St. Louis and Glendale)
(1) Justin Barcia (Anaheim 1)
(1) Cooper Webb (San Diego)

250 West

(3) Dylan Ferrandis (Anaheim 2, Oakland, and San Diego)
(2) Austin Forkner (St. Louis and Glendale)
(1) Justin Cooper (Anaheim 1)

250 East

(1) Shane McElrath (Tampa)

Top-5s

450

(6) Eli Tomac
(6) Cooper Webb
(5) Jason Anderson
(5) Ken Roczen
(5) Justin Barcia
(3) Adam Cianciarulo
(2) Zach Osborne
(2) Blake Baggett
(1) Justin Hill

250 West

(5) Dylan Ferrandis
(5) Austin Forkner
(5) Justin Cooper
(4) Michael Mosiman
(4) Brandon Hartranft
(3) Alex Martin
(1) Christian Craig
(1) Jett Lawrence
(1) Jacob Hayes
(1) Luke Clout

250 East

(1) Shane McElrath
(1) Chase Sexton
(1) Jeremy Martin
(1) Garrett Marchbanks
(1) Jordon Smith

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