Aug 24

Rossi Upbeat On Brno Prospects Despite Tough Qualifying Outing

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Valentino Rossi believes he can win his first race in four years at Brno despite a troubled qualifying session that will see him start the Czech Grand Prix from the third row.

Rossi and his factory Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo were overshadowed by British rider Cal Crutchlow who took pole position on the satellite team Tech3 Yamaha.

But Rossi says he is unfazed by braking issues that slowed him to seventh on the grid and he is openly confident that his reputation as a ruthless racer will work in his favour at Brno.

Rossi last won the MotoGP race at Brno in 2009 on a Yamaha.

“This race is open for me because the Brno has a lot of places to overtake and I feel good with my race pace,” said Rossi who is chasing his second win of the season following his DutchTT victory.

Aug 24

Live Updates! Saturday F1 Belgian GP On-Site Coverage


Lewis Hamilton. (Photo: Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton. (Photo: Getty Images

Hamilton surprises with brilliant pole

Lewis Hamilton surprised even himself with by taking a superb pole position in tricky conditions at Spa.

Hamilton, who only just scraped into Q3, was the last car across the line as the track began to dry. Belgium is his fourth pole in a row.

Aug 24

Crutchlow Collects Second MotoGP Pole

Following Friday’s opening pair of practice sessions, Cal Crutchlow had been unhappy with the new fuel tank fitted to his bike, but appeared to rectify this by setting the pace in third free practice on Saturday morning. He would go on to claim his second MotoGP pole in five race weekends, following that of Assen at the end of June.

However, a second career pole looked to be heading the way of Alvaro Bautista after the Gresini rider intelligently picked up Marc Marquez’s slipstream to dip underneath Jorge Lorenzo’s 2012 qualifying record. Following a stop in the pit lane, Crutchlow would go on to beat this by over two tenths of a second thanks to his rapid time of 1’55.527.

With Bautista on the front row for the second time in three races, championship leader – and winner of the last three Grands Prix – Marquez crucially starts ahead of his closest two title contenders, with teammate and last year’s Brno winner Dani Pedrosa only five thousandths of a second in arrears and Lorenzo a further 81 thousandths behind. The reigning World Champion expected more, though, not least after testing at Brno in the mid-season break as well as beginning the weekend as fastest rider.

Aug 24

Hamilton Secures 4th Straight Pole At Belgian GP

(L to R) Mark Webber,  Lewis Hamilton and  Sebastian Vettel after qualifying session at the Spa-Francorchamps. (Photo: Getty Images)

(L to R) Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel after qualifying session at the Spa-Francorchamps. (Photo: Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton surprised even himself after beating both Red Bulls to secure his fourth consecutive pole position in a rain-soaked qualifying session at the Belgian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Mercedes driver is the first Briton since Damon Hill in 1995 to get four straight poles and has set himself up perfectly to keep the pressure on championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who starts Sunday’s race from second ahead of teammate Mark Webber.

“I dropped to five, six seconds back, so I didn’t know what was going on,” Hamilton said. “But I kept pushing … I feel so fortunate to get pole.”

He had expected worse.