Lewis Hamilton salutes Chadwick Boseman after dominating pole run

Lewis Hamilton Chadwick Boseman
Francois Lenoir/Pool via Getty Images

After a dominating pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix, six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton immediately turned to Chadwick Boseman, the “Black Panther” star who died of colon cancer Friday at 43.

Hamilton radioed his team “that one was for Chadwick. Chadwick Boseman. Rest In peace, mate” on the cooldown lap from thumping the field with a track record 1 minute, 41.451 seconds (more than a half-second better than Mercedes-AMG F1 teammate Valtteri Bottas) on the famed 4.3-mile Spa circuit.

The only Black driver in F1 exited his No. 44 car and honored Boseman with a “Wakanda Forever” salute (from the movie that Boseman made famous).

“Today’s a really important pole for me because I woke up to the saddest news of Chadwick passing away,” Hamilton said after his 93rd career pole position. “It’s been such a heavy year for all of us, and that news really, really broke me.

“It was really not easy to get back in focus coming in today with that kind of hanging on my heart, but I was like I’ve got to go out there and drive to perfection because what he’s done for our people and what he’s done for this superhero shows all the young kids that it’s possible. He was such a shining light. So, ‘Wakanda Forever.’ ”

Hamilton has been an outspoken voice this season for social justice and advocating change in F1, joining a Black Lives Matter march in London and pushing for diversity in the series.

Max Verstappen qualified third, followed by Daniel Ricciardo. Alex Albon, Esteban Ocon, Carlos Sainz Jr. Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and Lando Norris also advanced to the third and final round of qualifying.

The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc continued to suffer through a disastrous weekend at the famed

Beta Motorcycles joins SuperMotocross in 2024, Benny Bloss named first factory rider

Beta Motorcycles 2024 Bloss
Beta Motorcycles

Benny Bloss will race for the factory Beta Motorcycles team in 2024 as that manufacturer joins SuperMotocross as the ninth brand to compete in the series. Beta Motorcycles will make their debut in the Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California in January.

Benny Bloss finished among the top 10 twice in Pro Motocross, in 2016 and 2018. – Beta Motorcycles

“The wait is over and we can finally share everything we have been working towards,” said Carlen Gardner, Race Team Manager in a press release. “It has been a great experience being a part of this development and seeing the progression. The only missing part was finding a rider that would mesh well with our Beta Family.

“After a one phone call with Benny, we knew it would be a good fit for him, and for us. We are happy to have him on board for the next two years and can’t wait to see everyone at Anaheim in January.”

Bloss debuted in the 450 class in 2015 with a 15th-place finish overall at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Bloss has a pair of top-10 rankings in the division with a sixth-place finish in the Pro Motocross Championship in 2016 and a seventh in 2018. His best Supercross season ended 15th in the standings in 2018.

“I’m extremely excited to join the Beta Factory Racing team,” Bloss said. “It’s cool to see a brand with such a rich history in off-road racing to come into the US Supercross and Motocross space. I know this team will be capable of great things as we build and go racing in 2024.”

Bloss is currently 22nd in the SuperMotocross rankings and has not raced in the first two rounds of the Motocross season.

Testing for Beta Motorcycles is scheduled to begin in August and the team expects to announce a second rider at that time.

The family-owned brand adds to the international flare of the sport. The company was founded in Florence, Italy in 1905 as Società Giuseppe Bianchi as they built handmade bicycles, The transition to motorcycle production in the late 1940s.

Beta Motorcycles competed and won in motocross competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s with Jim Pomeroy and other riders.

Beta will join Triumph Motorcycles as a second historic brand to join the sport in 2024. First established in 1902, Triumph has won in nearly every division they have competed in, dating back to their first victory in the 1908 Isle of Man TT. Triumph will debut in the 250 class in 2024 and plans to expand into 450s in 2025.