May 23

F1: Force India Shows Early Strength In Monaco

Nico Hulkenberg was seventh quickest in Thursday's second practice. (Photo: Getty Images)

Nico Hulkenberg was seventh quickest in Thursday’s second practice. (Photo: Getty Images)

Force India is looking to get both its cars well inside the top 10 in Monaco qualifying after a promising start to the week in practice on Thursday.

In FP1 Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg were eighth and 10th, while in the afternoon they were sixth and seventh, although not all top drivers set representative times.

May 22

Test Drive: 2015 Volkswagen Golf, GTI Debut

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI gets expressive new styling (Photo: Volkswagen)

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI gets expressive new styling (Photo: Volkswagen)

Worldwide, Volkswagen Golf is by far the biggest selling car in Europe and gaining fast in Asian and South American markets. In the U.S., not so much. Here, most drivers hold a grudging dislike for compact hatchbacks, equating them with the late and unlamented econoboxes of past decades.

Which explains why the U.S. launch of the impressive new seventh-generation Golf and performance GTI models comes a full year later than their introduction overseas, where they have succeeded in boosting sales amid critical acclaim. The U.S. intro is important to VW, though, because it wants to raise the profile of what the automaker calls “the heart of the brand.”

May 22

Formula 1: Opposition appears closer to Mercedes in Monaco

Monte Carlo, Monaco. Thursday 22 May 2014. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes F1 W05 Hybrid. World Copyright: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic. ref: Digital Image _R6T8962

Nico Rosberg during Thursday practice in his Mercedes F1 W05 Hybrid in Monte Carlo, Monaco on Thursday, May 22 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic)

It was no surprise when Mercedes set the pace in Monaco today, but all the signs are that Red Bull and Ferrari are a lot closer at a track where the power unit is less critical.

In FP1 Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were just 0.032s apart, although a disjointed FP2 meant that the times were not representative, with Hamilton half a second off Fernando Alonso, and Rosberg was only 20th.

May 22

MotoGP: Rossi on Marquez brilliance and Lorenzo mindset

LE MANS, FRANCE - MAY 18: Valentino Rossi of Italy and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP speaks during the press conference after the MotoGP race during the MotoGp Of France - Race on May 18, 2014 in Le Mans, France.  (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)

Valentino Rossi, who has won nine MotoGP titles since his debut in the 125 class in 1996, speaks during the press conference after the MotoGP race in Le Mans, France. (Photo: Mirco Lazzari/Getty Images)

Valentino Rossi, who will be making his 300th start in his home race at Mugello next weekend, has joked that he wishes he had met Marc Marquez earlier in his career, having witnessed the fantastic form of the current MotoGP™ World Champion.

The seven-time premier class title winner again finished second to the Spaniard in the fifth round of the World Championship at Le Mans in France last Sunday.

May 22

Formula 1: Hamilton sets fastest time Thursday while Alonso tops FP2

during practice ahead of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 22, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

Lewis Hamilton has the fastest time of the weekend so far at a 1:18.271 (Photo: Getty images)

MONACO (AP) — Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso posted the fastest time in the rain-disrupted second practice session at the Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday, with Formula One leader Lewis Hamilton second. Yet Hamilton’s FP1 time remained the fastest time of the day.