Moto2: Canet Capitalises Once More with Pole in the USA

Aron Canet takes his second pole in three races, beating out Fermin Aldeguer and Sergio Garcia for the best spot on the grid for tomorrow’s race. Local rider Joe Roberts was able to qualify in fifth.

Some riders who would have go to through qualifying one were Celestino Vietti, 2023 Moto3 Champion Jaume Masia and FIlip Salac. After the first fast laps, Vietti was the fastest rider on the circuit, even when he had to make his way around other riders who were slow on the track.

Darryn Binder caused a yellow flag at the end of the session and was unable to set a lap time. Because of the yellow flag, Zonta van der Goorbergh’s fastest lap time was deleted. The Dutch rider the fastest through sector one and without the yellow flag could have made it through to the second qualifying session.

The four riders who went through to Q2 were Vietti, Masia, Albert Arenas and Diogo Moreira.

The second qualifying session started, and all the riders went out within the first few minutes except Ai Ogura and Garcia. This was Jake Dixon’s first qualifying session of the season after the injury he sustained earlier in the season.

Canet’s first lap was cancelled due to exceeding track limits at turn one.

The early pace setter was Alonso Lopez who set a 2:08.231 on his Speed Up Racing Boscoscuro motorbike. This was slower than the time set by Vietti to progress from Q1 to Q2.

After the success of progressing to Q2, unfortunately Vietti crashed at turn four causing a yellow flag. Due to this, he was unable to set a lap time. There was also gravel on the track which the riders would need to avoid.

At the halfway point of the session, Canet was at the top of the timesheet from Barry Baltus, Marcos Ramirez and Dennis Foggia.

After finishing first in the second practice session, Arbolino was a lot of people’s choice for pole position, but he crashed at turn 15 causing a yellow flag in the third and fourth sectors. This led to some riders losing their lap times.

Garcia and Aldeguer were going quick following the removal of the yellow flag and at the end of the second sector, both were around two tenths under Canet’s time and went up to the top of the timesheets.

As the only American racer in the field, all eyes were on Roberts also and he set his fastest lap which put him in fourth place but was bumped down by a few riders. He improved on his following lap and jumped up to third place, eclipsing his American Racing teammate, Ramirez.

The checkered flag came out and Canet was on another fast lap that looked as though it would be good enough for pole position and it was. He set a 2:07.631 that was unable to be beaten by any of the other riders, namely Lopez and Ramirez who looked close to setting the fastest time of the session.

For tomorrow’s race, Canet will head up the field from Aldeguer and Garcia. Arenas, Roberts and Ramirez populate the second row ahead of Foggia, Lopez and Gonzalez. Bo Bendsneyder rounded out the top ten.

2024 Moto2 COTA  – Qualifying Results
Pos Rider Nat Team Time
1 Aron Canet SPA Fantic Racing (Kalex) 2m 07.631s
2 Fermin Aldeguer SPA Beta Tools Speed Up (Boscoscuro) 0.109s
3 Sergio Garcia SPA MT Helmets – MSI (Boscoscuro) 0.188s
4 Albert Arenas SPA QJMOTOR Gresini (Kalex) 0.234s
5 Joe Roberts USA OnlyFans American Racing Team (Kalex) 0.237s
6 Marcos Ramirez SPA OnlyFans American Racing Team (Kalex) 0.280s
7 Dennis Foggia ITA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 0.400s
8 Alonso Lopez SPA Beta Tools Speed Up (Boscoscuro) 0.432s
9 Manuel Gonzalez SPA QJMOTOR Gresini (Kalex) 0.443s
10 Bo Bendsneyder NED Pertamina Mandalika GAS UP Team (Kalex) 0.481s
11 Tony Arbolino ITA Elf Marc VDS Racing (Kalex) 0.496s
12 Barry Baltus BEL RW – Idrofoglia Racing GP (Kalex) 0.511s
13 Jeremy Alcoba SPA Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team (Kalex) 0.516s
14 Jake Dixon GBR CFMoto Inde Aspar Team (Kalex) 0.650s
15 Celestino Vietti ITA Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) 0.680s
16 Diogo Moreira BRA Italtrans Racing Team (Kalex) 0.734s
17 Ai Ogura JPN MT Helmets – MSI (Boscoscuro) 0.830s
18 Jaume Masia SPA Pertamina Mandalika GAS UP Team (Kalex) 0.881s
19 Somkiat Chantra THA IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 2m 08.479s
20 Filip Salac CZE Elf Marc VDS Racing (Kalex) 2m 08.599s
21 Deniz Oncu TUR Red Bull KTM Ajo (Kalex) 2m 08.601s
22 Senna Agius AUS Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP (Kalex) 2m 08.617s
23 Izan Guevara SPA CFMoto Inde Aspar Team (Kalex) 2m 08.870s
24 Zonta van den Goorbergh NED RW – Idrofoglia Racing GP (Kalex) 2m 08.930s
25 Mario Aji INA IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia (Kalex) 2m 09.419s
26 Xavier Artigas SPA KLINT Forward Factory Team (Forward) 2m 10.408s
27 Xavi Cardelus AND Fantic Racing (Kalex) 2m 10.735s
28 Alex Escrig SPA KLINT Forward Factory Team (Forward) 2m 11.109s
29 Darryn Binder RSA Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP (Kalex) No Time

Feature Image Credit: Fantic Racing

COTA race preview: SVG and Kobayashi return

The NASCAR Cup Series returns to Circuit of The Americas for the fourth successive year this Sunday for the first road course of the season, in what promises to be another wild and fiercely competitive COTA race, with 2023 Chicago Street Race winner and three-times Supercars champion Shane Van Gisbergen and ex-Formula 1 driver and 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Kamui Kobayashi, both making their first Cup start of the season.

  • Race breakdown
  • Shane van Gisbergen and Kamui Kobayashi return
  • Qualifying
  • Full qualifying results

3 min read

Race breakdown

The EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas will consist of 68 laps (232 miles), broken down into three stages of 15, 15, and 38, around the 3.41-mile 20-turn premiere road course with the race starting at 3:30pm ET/7:30pm UK time.

NASCAR have brought a new race package this weekend for the Cup Series which includes a simplified diffuser and diffuser strake, accompanied by a three-inch spoiler, the shortest spoiler package the Cup Series currently run, all in an effort to take away downforce from the cars.

All three prior COTA Cup races have been wild affairs, with the inaugural race in 2021 seeing a torrential downpour that saw NASCAR’s wettest ever Cup race brawl ensue that saw Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott win.

AUSTIN, TEXAS – MAY 23: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kurt Busch, driver of the #1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, lead the field during the NASCAR Cup Series EchoPark Texas Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on May 23, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

2022 came down to a three-wide wrestle that saw Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain come out on top after moving AJ Allmendinger out of the way to take his first Cup Series win.

Last year featured several manic overtime attempts that saw 23XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick finally take the checkered flag.

AUSTIN, TEXAS – MARCH 26: Tyler Reddick, driver of the #45 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on March 26, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Chase Elliott has the most wins amongst Sunday’s field with seven road course victories. Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, and Kyle Larson have five, four, and four road course victories respectively.

Shane van Gisbergen and Kamui Kobayashi return

Shane van Gisbergen looks set to compete up front again in his third Cup Series start now racing for Kaulig Racing after he stole the show from the Cup regulars, out-braking, and outmanoeuvred all to take the win at the inaugural Chicago Street Course on his Cup Series debut last summer.

Gisbergen also finished 10th in last year’s Indianapolis road course race. He qualified 12th for Sunday’s COTA Cup race.

Gisbergen raced in yesterday’s Xfinity COTA race as part of his full-time schedule with Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity Series this season, and was up front all day long with teammate AJ Allmendinger and was leading when the caution came out with less than four laps to go.

In the final overtime Gisbergen got moved of the way by Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill in turn one, that then saw the No. 17 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Kyle Larson, who was on much fresher tyres, pass both of them on the final lap to take the win away, as Gisbergen got back by Hill in the final corners.

Gisbergen was then penalised for marginally cutting a corner in the esses on the final lap that relegated him to a 27th finishing position.

Kamui Kobayashi is piloting 23XI Racing’s No. 50 Toyota, making his second Cup Series start after making his debut in last year’s Indianapolis road course race, where he finished 33rd one lap down.

Kobayashi who has qualified 25th for the COTA race said: “I’m definitely looking forward to COTA. We’ve had more preparation. I’ve raced COTA five times already in Formula 1 and WEC. I think Indy, it was my first time ever racing there, but at COTA I have more experience, so definitely looking forward to the race.”

Kobayashi will be sporting a Mobil 50th anniversary livery for the Cup race.


Qualifying saw William Byron take his 13th Cup Series pole and fifth on a road course with an average lap speed of 94.696 mph, beating Ty Gibbs by 0.15-seconds, who finished 24th in yesterday’s Xfinity race after being up front up for much of it.

Byron said: “Honestly this has been my first normal week since the [Daytona] 500 and being in my rhythm and kind of in my cocoon and being able to focus on driving the race car. I feel very happy with the way the week has gone and feel very fresh going into this race.”

The EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas starts 3:30pm ET/7:30pm UK time.

Full qualifying results 

  1. William Byron
  2. Ty Gibbs
  3. Tyler Reddick
  4. Christopher Bell
  5. Corey Lajoie
  6. Ross Chastain
  7. Martin Truex Jr.
  8. Denny Hamlin
  9. Chase Elliott
  10. Bubba Wallace
  11. Austin Cindric
  12. Shane van Gisbergen
  13. Justin Haley
  14. AJ Allmendinger
  15. Kyle Larson
  16. Kyle Busch
  17. Alex Bowman
  18. Carson Hocevar
  19. Daniel Suarez
  20. Chris Buescher
  21. Austin Dillon
  22. John Hunter Nemechek
  23. Kaz Grala
  24. Ryan Preece
  25. Kamui Kobayashi
  26. Todd Gilliland
  27. Michael McDowell
  28. Ryan Blaney
  29. Harrison Burton
  30. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  31. Josh Berry
  32. Chase Briscoe
  33. Daniel Hemric
  34. Zane Smith
  35. Joey Logano
  36. Brad Keselowski
  37. Timmy Hill
  38. Erik Jones
  39. Noah Gragson

Featured Image: AUSTIN, TEXAS – MARCH 24: A general view of practice for the NASCAR Cup Series EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on March 24, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Watermelons were smashed: Ross Chastain’s week as a first-time NASCAR Cup winner

Watermelon farmer turned NASCAR Cup racer Ross Chastain smashed out his first career win at Circuit of the Americas in final lap brawl.

On the hottest day of the year just outside of Austin, Texas, the NASCAR race at COTA came down to an overtime finish between Ross Chastain, road-course ringer AJ Allmendinger and Hendrick’s Alex Bowman.

On the final restart, it was Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick who led the field to green with Ross Chastain right beside him in second, but Chastain used the chrome horn and power moved by Reddick in the S’s to retake the lead.

Reddick would fall back to sixth while Chastain would take the white flag and would lead the break away with AJ Allmendinger and Alex Bowman in tandem.

Ross Chastain racing witth AJ Allmendinger right behind him (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Allmendinger closed up to Chastain in the turn 12 heavy braking zone and would continue to fill his mirrors up in turns 13 and 14 before sticking his Camaro up the inside of Chastain in turn 15, consequently pushing Chastain wide after he tried to cover him off.

Chastain would get passed by Bowman too after he dived past him on the inside of 18 while Chastain returned the favour to Allmendinger going into the penultimate corner, using him as a braking block. Allmendinger’s car stepped out on him and flew into Bowman who was alongside him. Allmendinger ended up backwards in the sand while Bowman had to take evasive action to avoid him. Chastain went on to take the checkered flag.

The highly anticipated ritual-like smashing of the watermelon was performed by Chastain on the straightaway from on top of his ONX Homes/iFly Camaro. Chastain was so thrilled he ate the juicy fruit while being interviewed, saying to FOX, “it’s never tasted sweeter.”

Ross Chastain, celebrates further by eating the smashed watermelon (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

It was also Trackhouse Racing’s first Cup win and was quite the birthday present for co-team owner Justin Marks.

Celebrations continued throughout the first half of the week with Chastain’s own Melon Man Brand, a grassroots lifestyle organisation uniting all watermelon lovers, putting up pre-orders for a most appropriate T-shirt on Tuesday to mark the iconic moment.

Co-team owner Mr. Worldwide also put out a congratulatory post to his driver and team.

It was not the end of Ross’s ‘victory lap’ either. On FOX’s own NASCAR Race Hub, Chastain taught Jimmie Johnson’s former crew chief Chad Knaus the arts of watermelon smashing.

Back at the race shop on Tuesday, Team Trackhouse were all bought a celebratory breakfast. Watermelon may or may not have been present.

Back to Sunday’s race, other drivers had found to be fast throughout the race, most notably Team Trackhouse teammate Daniel Suárez, who after starting second would take the lead away from polesitter Ryan Blaney on the opening lap. Suárez would go onto win the first stage of the race. He had a not so fun experience on the restart however, finding himself spinning around while in a five-wide mess in turn one. Denny Hamlin, in desperate need of points, would sacrifice track position and stay out to win stage two.

Daniel Suárez spinning out in turn one (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Ford drivers Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric would also be at the front throughout much of the race but not when Cindric brought out the first non-scheduled caution of the day for spinning coming out of the turn 10 kink, with Christopher Bell narrowly avoiding him by a whisker. The race would go to overtime when Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, and Joey Logano came together in the turn one sandpit.

Bowman, Bell, Elliott, and Reddick made up the top five finishing order.

Featured Image: Ross Chastain, celebrates after winning at COTA (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

W Series: Chadwick seals second title with crushing win in COTA finale

Jamie Chadwick completed her W Series title defence by dominating the final race at Circuit of the Americas, converting pole position into victory while her title rival Alice Powell was stuck in the midfield.

Chadwick got a near-perfect launch from pole to see off any challenge from Abbi Pulling on the front row. Pulling slotted into second place, while Beitske Visser jumped Sarah Moore for third, Emma Kimilainen went from sixth to fourth, and Powell overtook Jess Hawkins to take seventh.

Visser had to take a defensive line into the first corner to see off Kimilainen, who was just too far back to make it three places gained at the start. But Kimilainen kept up the offensive through the opening lap and within a few corners had taken third place from Visser.

By the end of the first lap Chadwick had already pulled out a second in hand over Pulling, who was struggling to get clear of Kimilainen. The Finn lapped within a few tenths of Pulling in the early laps, but Pulling eventually settled into the groove and started to inch clear instead.

As Chadwick kept opening up her lead at the front, Powell was running in seventh behind Belen Garcia and unable to find any way past the Scuderia W car. To deny Chadwick the title Powell needed to outscore her by 10 points, but by lap 7 there were already 12 seconds separating the two of them on track.


After running three tenths behind Garcia, Powell saw an opportunity to take sixth place at the start of lap 9 but braked too late into Turn 1 and let Garcia back through. She tried the same inside move at the start of the following lap, but was too far back to pull alongside Garcia.

Powell eventually got the move done on lap 12 by taking an aggressive entry to Turn 1 and squeezing Garcia to the edge of the track. But by this point there were only five minutes left on the clock, and Chadwick was almost five seconds ahead of Pulling and the rest of the field up front.

Chadwick eventually crossed the line with that five second gap to take the title. Pulling claimed her first W Series podium in second, which left her with enough points to earn eighth in the standings and a guaranteed place in the 2022 championship. Kimilainen finished third, where she also ended in the standings.

Moore recovered after dropping back at the start to take fourth place ahead of Visser and Powell, and Belen Garcia finished seventh. Sabré Cook had been running in eighth place and was on course for her first points of the season, until she came together with Jess Hawkins with six minutes to go. That allowed Nerea Marti, Ayla Agren and Caitlin Wood through to take the final three points positions.

Chadwick, Powell and Kimilainen end the season as the top three in the standings. Marti was fourth in her rookie season, and Moore, Fabienne Wohlwend, Pulling and Visser have secured places on next year’s grid by completing the top eight in the championship.

The decade that was: F1 in the 2010s

A lot can change in a decade. This time ten years ago, Jenson Button and Brawn were the reigning F1 champions, Fernando Alonso was preparing to take on the mantle of Ferrari’s title hopes, and a 12-year-old Max Verstappen was just about to step up to international karting.

As we approach the start of another new year and a new decade, we’ve taken a look back at what’s characterised F1 throughout the 2010s and how these last ten years might be remembered.

Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

The decade of dominance

Let’s deal with the elephant in the room first. When people look back on F1 in the 2010s, they will see one headline figure: that Red Bull and Mercedes cleaned up every available title between them, and won 149 out of the decade’s 198 races. It’s the first time in F1’s history that two teams have had such a stranglehold on the sport—and hopefully the last.

Mark Thompson, Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

The decade of record-breaking

Sebastian Vettel, the youngest-ever World Champion. Lewis Hamilton, the most pole positions. Max Verstappen, the youngest-ever Grand Prix entrant and winner. Kimi Raikkonen, the fastest-ever F1 lap. Mercedes, the most consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships. The 2010s weren’t just about dominance, they were about excellence.

Mercedes AMG

The decade of comebacks

When Michael Schumacher came out of retirement to lead Mercedes in 2010, he probably had no idea he’d started a trend. Before long, Kimi Raikkonen was back in F1 with Lotus, Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan were brought out of the noughties, and Brendon Hartley, Daniil Kvyat and Alex Albon were all given second chances by Red Bull after being dropped from the junior team.

But of course, the biggest comebacks of all have to be Felipe Massa returning after being placed in an induced coma in 2009, and Robert Kubica stepping back into an F1 cockpit this year for the first time since his 2011 rally accident.

Pirelli F1 Media

The decade of rules changes

Fans of F1’s rulebook were treated to an absolute feast over the last ten seasons. After 2009’s massive aerodynamics shift, the tweaks, refinements and total overhauls kept on coming. DRS, stepped noses, the halo. V6 turbos, the virtual safety car, and the fastest lap point. And of course, knockout qualifying and 2014’s double points finale. Not all of them were popular, but they’ve certainly kept us on our toes over the years.

Foto Studio Colombo / Pirelli F1 Media

The decade of silly season

Lewis Hamilton leaving McLaren for Mercedes. Kimi Raikkonen returning to Ferrari, then to Sauber. Sebastian Vettel leaving Red Bull for Ferrari. Fernando Alonso rejoining McLaren. Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement. Red Bull’s midseason merry-go-rounds. F1’s driver market has never been tame, but the 2010s really set it alight.

Mark Sutton, LAT Images / Haas F1 Media

The decade F1 returned to the US

F1 has spent a lot of time since the disastrous 2005 US Grand Prix at Indianapolis trying to repair its relationship with the States. Things started going in the right direction with the return of the US Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas and Alexander Rossi’s brief F1 appearances with Manor in 2015. But now with Haas on the grid and Liberty Media in charge of the sport itself, F1’s standing in the US finally looks to be on the mend.

Foto Studio Colombo / Ferrari Media

The decade of farewells to old friends

Rubens Barrichello. Michael Schumacher. Mark Webber. Jenson Button. Nico Rosberg. Felipe Massa. Fernando Alonso. Robert Kubica. So many key figures of F1’s recent past hung up their helmets over the last ten years. Thank goodness we still have Kimi Raikkonen for another year at least.

What’s been your favourite moment from the last ten years of Formula One? Let us know in the comments below.

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