Niki Lauda recovering well after lung transplant

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VIENNA — The Vienna hospital where Niki Lauda underwent a lung transplant last week says the three-time Formula 1 champion is breathing without assistance and his condition is improving.

The 69-year-old Austrian received a new lung on August 2 after what the Vienna General Hospital has called a “serious lung illness.”

The hospital says Lauda was fully conscious 24 hours after the operation and is making “very satisfactory” progress and “all organs are functioning well.”

Lauda is a three-time Formula 1 world champion, having won 1975 and 1977 titles with Ferrari, and the 1984 title with McLaren. He also famously came back from serious and life-threatening burns in a crash at the German Grand Prix in 1976, and has twice undergone kidney transplants.

Lauda was appointed as the Mercedes team’s non-executive chairman in 2012, a role he continues to hold, and was involved in signing four-time world champion and current F1 championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

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.