Rosberg takes Sakhir pole
Nico Rosberg planted his Mercedes on pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday after a last-lap error cost teammate Lewis Hamilton his chance of a qualifying hat-trick. Germany’s Rosberg, the F1 championship leader, had been in Hamilton’s shadow throughout practice, but struck when it mattered to secure his first pole since Monaco last year with a best lap of 1 minute, 33.185 seconds. Hamilton, who won in Malaysia last Sunday and was chasing his third successive pole, had to settle for second at the Sakhir desert circuit. Australian Daniel Ricciardo was third-fastest for Red Bull, but carries a 10-place grid penalty from Malaysia, which moves Finland’s Valtteri Bottas up to take the slot for Williams. Mexico’s Sergio Perez of Force India will join Bottas on the second row, while Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso qualified 10th and Red Bull’s world champion Sebastian Vettel qualified 11th, but will start 10th after failing to make the final phase of qualifying for the second time in three races. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen qualified sixth, but moves up to fifth, with McLaren’s Jenson Button alongside and Williams’ Felipe Massa sharing the fourth row with McLaren’s Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen.
Braehmer retains WBA belt
Juergen Braehmer of Germany defeated Enzo Maccarinelli of Wales by technical knockout after five rounds on Saturday to retain his WBA light heavyweight belt. Maccarinelli had his right eye swollen shut by the end of the second round, but said he wanted to continue despite being unable to see “anything.” A doctor examined the eye in the third and fifth rounds, declaring the 33-year-old fit to continue. “When you see it like that, you want to hit it even more. That’s boxing,” Braehmer said. “I caught him well with my left. Then I wanted to be too spectacular. I wanted too much. It was good that it ended then.” Just as the bell rang for the sixth to begin, Maccarinelli’s trainer, Gary Lockett, stopped the bout. “I can’t let him go on. I can’t let him go on,” Lockett said. The 35-year-old Braehmer improves to 43-2 (32 KOs) with his successful title defense.
Bologna draw hurts Inter
Inter twice squandered the lead and missed a penalty as their Europa League hopes were dented by a 2-2 draw at home to relegation-threatened Bologna in Serie A on Saturday. Mauro Icardi scored twice for Inter, but his goals were canceled out by Michele Pazienza and Panagiotis Kone. Substitute Diego Milito had a penalty saved by Bologna goalkeeper Gianluca Curci six minutes from time. Inter, who were booed off the pitch twice, remained fifth in the league, but Atalanta BC could close the gap to one point with a win over US Sassuolo yesterday. Bologna moved level with AC Chievo Verona, who lost a city derby 1-0 against Hellas Verona on Saturday. They are two points above the relegation zone ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures. Verona moved provisionally a point off the Europa League places.
Nixon takes lead in Cadiz
England’s Matthew Nixon shot a seven-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the third round of the EPGA’s Cadiz Open in Spain on Saturday. Nixon had nine birdies to overcome a pair of bogeys in the best round of the inaugural tournament at La Reserva de Sotogrande Golf Club for an eight-under 208 total. Marco Crespi of Italy is one stroke behind Nixon and Chile’s Felipe Aguilar another shot back in third. The third round got under way after 45 golfers finished their delayed second round on Saturday.