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Weekend Recap: October 22 - 23, 2022

Published On:: 22/10/2022

Monster athletes are always on the move, check out everything they have been up to in our weekend recap.


Lewis Hamilton Returns to the Podium at U.S. Grand Prix


The opulent Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, hosted the United States Grand Prix of Formula 1 on Sunday afternoon, where Monster Energy's Lewis Hamilton fought fiercely to score a runner-up finish.

After reigning F1 World Champion Max Verstappen tripped-up on a slow pitstop, Hamilton fought his way into the lead of the Lone Star race, but couldn't fend off the Red Bull driver, who pulled off a late overtake to charge to victory. Hamilton, who credited Mercedes' upgrades package delivered this weekend as a key performance gain, acknowledged his disappointment at missing out on a first win of the season, but felt it was a clear sign of progress for his team to gain motivation ahead of its 2023 preparations.

“What I'll take from today is that we had good pace, I am still here, and I know that when they build the car, I will take it to the top. We've just to keep on working,” Hamilton told the racing world afterwards. “I would like to start to say a big thank you to my team, everyone back at the factory is working so hard and it has been such a trying year for everyone. We came here with upgrades, they worked so hard to bring those upgrades in, and it really had an effect, so we were closer today. I am really proud of everybody. Sorry, I couldn't get the win, I gave it absolutely everything.” 

Hamilton believed it was always going to be difficult to defend against Verstappen due to the Red Bull's superior straight-line speed, but still sees his 2nd place and teammate George Russell's 5th place as good points to hunt down Ferrari for second in the F1 World Constructors' Championship.


Monster Energy's Racers Go 1st & 3rd at Petronas Grand Prix of Malaysia


With a speeding bullet start on the opening straight, down to the first turn on the Sepang International Circuit at the Petronas Grand Prix of Malaysia, Monster Energy’s Francesco "Pecco" Bagnaia (Ducati/Lenovo) checked off seven of the world’s top MotoGP racers, moving from 9th to 2nd, then rode an impeccable 20 laps to capture 1st place – and take a 23-point lead into the final round of 2022 MotoGP World Championship.

And making a race of it at the final round in Valencia, Italy, will be the reigning World Champion – Monster Energy’s Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha/MotoGP) – who placed a strong 3rd at Malaysia.

“First off, I want to say I had the best start ever to a race in my life. It was perfect,” said Bagnaia. “I took some risks. Following Jorge (Martin) was a bit too much for the rear tire, and I was starting to stress. But then he crashed, unfortunately, and we did a really good job in terms of the Championship. We can be very happy.”

Added Quartararo: “I gave my maximum today… I couldn’t do better. I’m proud of myself. They (Bagnaia/Ducati) had a good day, but so did we. It was one of my best races of the season. Even if the chance is super small at Valencia, at least we’ve taken it there.”

Neither racer was tabbed for podium finishes at Malaysia following poor qualifying performances on Saturday, which saw Bagnaia crash twice and Quartararo break his finger in a crash. But both rebounded with superior starts and virtually error-free racing on Sunday, setting up what will no doubt have the entire motorsport world’s attention when they line up at for the final round of MotoGP in Valencia, Italy, on Sunday, November 6th.

At Valencia, the math will be quite simple. Quartararo must win and Bagnaia must finish 14th or worse in order for Quartararo to retain his title. And in the event of a tie in points, Bagnaia’s seven victories this year would give him the nod over Quartararo’s four.

Also at Malaysia, Monster Energy’s Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney/VR46 Racing) and Alex Rins (Suzuki/Ecstar), would give Monster Energy four of the top five positions in the MotoGP class – finishing 4th and 5th, respectively.


Jonathan Rea Takes Two More Podiums in Argentina


Monster Energy’s Jonathan Rea  Kawasaki Racing Team/WorldSBK) nailed two podium 2nd & 3rd place finishes in MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship action in Argentina over the weekend, with his Monster Energy-backed teammate, Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team/WorldSBK), finishing just off the podium on Sunday (4th) and in the top five (5th) on Saturday.

Saturday’s Race 1 had Rea locked in an epic battle for 2nd place with Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing), as the two raced tire-to-tire for seemingly the entire 21-lap contest on the Circuito San Juan Villicum, the two crossing the finish line nearly side-by-side behind Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista, to the delight of the Argentinian WorldSBK fans.

Sunday’s Race 2 saw six-time champion Rea share the lead with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) and Bautista, with Rea leading the opening six laps before ultimately finishing 3rd – his second podium of the weekend.

Said Rea on his epic Race 1 battle with Bassani: “Axel started really well. His rhythm was quite strong at the beginning. When Alvaro (Bautista) came past, he capitalized on being able to pass Bassani quite easily. I was stronger in some areas of the track and Axel was stronger in other areas. It was like a concertina effect. I tried a couple of times into the long chicane, but it didn't really work. Axel would get the cut back. I put another move in the penultimate corner and it kind of worked. He came back and went wide into Turn 1. From there it was about doing my rhythm.”

Next up on the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship schedule is the series’ 11th and penultimate round, the November 11-13 running of the Pirelli Indonesian WorldSBK.


Half a Second Puts Ty Gibbs in 2nd in Miami Debut


Monster Energy NASCAR star Ty Gibbs raced to an excellent runner-up finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday afternoon, the Joe Gibbs Racing-backed driver coming up short an eyeblink margin of 0.550s to race winner Noah Gragson in the 200-lap race.

Gibbs’ runner-up finish immediately placed him third in the Championship standings, with next week’s 0.526-mile paperclip Martinsville Speedway race settling which four drivers will be racing for the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series title at Phoenix on November 4.

“We were just battling our race car all day. We made great adjustments, and my guys never gave up,’’ said the 20-year-old Gibbs who was making his debut on 1.502-mile, 20-degree high banks. “We’ll move on to Martinsville. I feel like that’s a place we were really fast at earlier this year and probably had a shot to win it so I’m excited to back there.”

Monster Energy-backed driver Riley Herbst also fared well in southern Florida, the Las Vegas-based charger placing a hard-earned 8th on the day. Next up for the two Monster Energy challengers: Tiny Martinsville Speedway and the Dead On Tools 250.


Adrien Van Beveren Beats Red Bull to Claim Final Round in Andalucia


Monster Energy/Honda HRC’s Adrien Van Beveren won the final stage, and with it, the final round of the FIA-FIM World Rally-Raid Championship – the Andalucía Rally in Spain.


Van Beveren’s first stage victory with Monster Energy/Honda HRC on the inaugural five-round FIA-FIM World Rally-Raid Championship tour, he topped Red Bull/KTM’s Kevin Benavides by 16 seconds to take the 4th stage win (with one stage being cancelled due to dangerous weather in Seville), securing the overall tour stop victory in Spain by 9:58:48 to Benavides’ 10:02:02.

Said Van Beveren: “This is not Dakar, but for me, it was very important to win here in Andalucía. I knew Kevin Benavides would push a lot, so I had to go as fast as I could. I must say this victory goes also to my family that is here today with me. They are always on my back, supporting me. So this is a very emotional day. The Honda CRF450 RALLY is really amazing, comfortable, safe… and it allows me to reach a great performance. I am so happy to deliver this first victory to Honda, since they welcomed me like family. Now I am looking forward to the next Dakar.”

The top overall placer for Monster Energy/Honda HRC at the 2022 FIA-FIM World Rally-Raid Championship was American Ricky Brabec. Running the No. 2 plate, Brabec would place a respectable 8th in the 4th stage (10:19:10), placing him 2nd in the overall motorcycle class standings, one point ahead of Van Beveren, who finished 3rd overall.

Said Brabec: “I am just happy to finish the race safe. Overall, the rally was good, but the first day wasn’t the best for us. We had a lot of trouble in the rhythm. Out here is definitely tough for me. Coming from California, I like the open desert – and here there are a lot of track and small roads. Now I am happy to get home in one piece and start focusing on the Dakar. I am also happy to get the race #2 for two years in a row. The team did a great job and the Honda CRF450 RALLY is really good. Looking forward to the Dakar 2023!”

Also, noteworthy for Monster Energy in the 2022 FIA-FIM World Rally-Raid Championship motorcycle division was that Monster Energy/Honda HRC won the coveted Manufacturers Title, topping Red Bull/KTM 145-90. Pablo Quintanilla (5th) and Jose Cornejo Florimo (6th) joined Brabec and Van Beveren in the top ten overall.


Already-Crowned Lyndon Snodgrass Dominates Final Race at Ironman


Having already clinched the Grand National Cross Country XC2 title the previous week with a victory at the Buckwheat 100 (Newburg, W. VA), Lyndon Snodgrass (Babbitt's Online/Monster Energy/Kawasaki Team Green) captured the final round of the GNCCs on Sunday, winning the XC2 class at the Ironman GNCC, in Crawfordsville, Ind.

Charging through the woods and on a portion of the Ironman’s AMA MX National track, Snodgrass left no doubt as to who was the fastest 250cc racer in the field, besting 2nd place Liam Draper (KTM) by more than a minute.

“Obviously, the goal – starting any championship – is to win it,” said Snodgrass of his title victory. “Lot of things came up along the way, and we had to push through (Snodgrass broke his hand prior to the opening GNCC round in February, then broke his foot at the opening race). I’d kind of healed up, then had the points lead around Round 5. Couple good rounds after that, couple bad… just tried to be consistent.”


Birk Ruud Wins Men's Freeski Big Air Competition at FIS World Cup in Switzerland


The 2022/23 snow sports season is officially underway, and off to a flying start for Monster Energy after Birk Ruud claimed victory in Men’s Freeski Big Air at the FIS World Cup in Chur, Switzerland this weekend.
In the season opening event sanctioned by the International Ski Federation (FIS), the 22-year-old from Baerum, Norway, pulled off a flawless performance in the final.
Ruud stepped to the Big Air ramp as the reigning Olympic champion in the discipline. Continuing his run of dominant performances, he stomped a perfect left double bio 1800 mute – the Norwegian’s signature trick – for an early lead at 93.00 points on the first attempt. For his second attempt, Ruud had a special never-been-done-in-competition trick up his sleeve: A switch double 900 with a tricky pretzel rotation, earning the Scandinavian the highest score of the night session at 95.75 points — and first place in the event.
One of the most decorated athletes on the circuit, Monster Energy’s Ruud earned the Olympic gold medal in Men’s Ski Big Air at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, and owns four X Games medals (2 gold, 2 silver).


Monster Hydro's Keegan Swenson Wins Inaugural Lifetime Grand Prix Overall


Keegan Swenson, America’s leading gravel/endurance mountain bike athlete, opened up an unstoppable gap after dominating the early season races in the LGP. He earned 30 points apiece at Sea Otter, Unbound Gravel, Crusher in the Tushar, and the Leadville 100.

And with a solid 2nd place finish at Big Sugar in Bentonville, AR, over the weekend, Swenson claimed the top step and the overall win in North America’s biggest off-road, multi-discipline cycling race series.

With the explosion in gravel race participation this year, Swenson – Hydro’s marquee athlete — has caught the world by storm and dominated the scene in true Monster fashion. Another Hydro athlete, Adam Roberge, took an impressive 3rd place at Big Sugar, closing out the series with his best performance of the year.