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Verstappen matches Senna's record of 8 straight pole positions at track where F1 great died

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Verstappen matches Senna's record of 8 straight pole positions at track where F1 great died
Sport

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Verstappen matches Senna's record of 8 straight pole positions at track where F1 great died

2024-05-19 02:05 Last Updated At:02:10

IMOLA, Italy (AP) — On a weekend commemorating Ayrton Senna, Max Verstappen matched the late Brazilian's record for consecutive pole positions in Formula 1 at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Verstappen made it eight in a row — seven this year — when his Red Bull topped qualifying on Saturday, just ahead of the McLarens of Oscar Piastri and Miami GP winner Lando Norris.

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Red Bull driver Sergio Perez of Mexico gets a pit service during qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, Pool)

IMOLA, Italy (AP) — On a weekend commemorating Ayrton Senna, Max Verstappen matched the late Brazilian's record for consecutive pole positions in Formula 1 at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

McLaren driver Lando Norris of Britain steers his car during qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

McLaren driver Lando Norris of Britain steers his car during qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

McLaren driver Oscar Piastri of Australia sits in his car during the third practice at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Imola, Saturday, May 18, 2024. The Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

McLaren driver Oscar Piastri of Australia sits in his car during the third practice at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Imola, Saturday, May 18, 2024. The Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands celebrates his pole position after qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands celebrates his pole position after qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Formula One drivers pay tribute to the late Formula One Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna at the Tamburello turn, at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack, in Imola, Italy, Thursday, April 16, 2024. The three-time F1 world champion died in a crash at the Imola race track in San Marino. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Formula One drivers pay tribute to the late Formula One Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna at the Tamburello turn, at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack, in Imola, Italy, Thursday, April 16, 2024. The three-time F1 world champion died in a crash at the Imola race track in San Marino. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands steers his car during qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands steers his car during qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands, center, poses with McLaren driver Oscar Piastri of Australia, left, and McLaren driver Lando Norris of Britain after the qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands, center, poses with McLaren driver Oscar Piastri of Australia, left, and McLaren driver Lando Norris of Britain after the qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands steers his car qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, Pool)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands steers his car qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, Pool)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands celebrates after winning the pole position after qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands celebrates after winning the pole position after qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

However, Piastri was later penalized three grid places for impeding Haas’ Kevin Magnussen in Q1 and dropped to fifth, promoting Norris to the front row of the grid.

Verstappen's streak dates to the last race of last season, drawing the three-time defending champion level with Senna on eight consecutive pole positions.

“It’s 30 years since he passed away, so it is very special, and I am very pleased to get pole, and in a way it’s a nice memory to him,” Verstappen said.

“He was an incredible F1 driver, especially in qualifying. A great day for me, a great day for the team. I’m very, very happy.”

Senna's record has stood for 35 years. His streak ran from the final three races of the 1988 season through the first five of the following year.

Senna died in a crash at Imola during the 1994 race and there was a memorial on Thursday, while there have also been other events at the track to mark the 30-year anniversary of the death of the three-time world champion.

Verstappen looked unlikely to match his record when he struggled during all three practices — with his best position fifth in the second session.

However, no one could match his blistering pace in qualifying — although it was closer than it has been recently. Piastri was just 0.074 seconds behind, with Norris only 0.091 adrift.

“I honestly went into qualifying and I was like, ‘Well, if we can get a top five, I would be happy,’ because this weekend has been really difficult,” Verstappen said. "There was really no reference going into qualifying.

“But, yeah, it felt straight away a lot better. I felt more comfortable. I could attack corners finally a bit more and it all started to come together, and it really came together in Q3.”

There was disappointment for Verstappen’s teammate, Sergio Perez, however, as he surprisingly didn’t make it out of Q2.

“What a mess,” Perez said, after finishing 11th.

Verstappen has won four of the six opening races and Norris said it would be “stupid” for someone to doubt the Dutch driver could turn his car's struggles around for the big occasions.

“I mean, you always try and take advantage of other people’s mistakes and struggles," Norris said. "And I know Max hasn’t had the smoothest weekend, but I think if anyone doubted Red Bull or him coming back and doing a good job in qualifying, they’re a bit stupid.

“So, yeah, we expected them to be back on track. Annoying to miss out to him once again in qualifying but we’re close, and I think we’re happy as a team with how we’ve all performed.”

It had been a good weekend for Ferrari as it appeared to have raised its game in front of its home crowd but Charles Leclerc could qualify only fourth, just ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr. They will line up on the second row of the grid following Piastri's penalty.

Future Ferrari driver Lewis Hamilton was eighth, two spots below his Mercedes teammate George Russell, and sandwiched between RB duo Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo.

Fernando Alonso will start in penultimate position following an unusually scrappy day. Even qualifying appeared in doubt after he crashed out of the final practice and sustained significant damage to the rear of his machine.

Only Logan Sargeant will line up behind Alonso after the Williams driver’s best time was deleted for exceeding track limits.

Qualifying was run under dry conditions with similar weather expected on Sunday.

Verstappen leads the F1 standings with 136 points, 33 clear of Perez and 38 clear of Charles Leclerc of Ferrari.

AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez of Mexico gets a pit service during qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, Pool)

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez of Mexico gets a pit service during qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, Pool)

McLaren driver Lando Norris of Britain steers his car during qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

McLaren driver Lando Norris of Britain steers his car during qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

McLaren driver Oscar Piastri of Australia sits in his car during the third practice at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Imola, Saturday, May 18, 2024. The Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

McLaren driver Oscar Piastri of Australia sits in his car during the third practice at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Imola, Saturday, May 18, 2024. The Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands celebrates his pole position after qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands celebrates his pole position after qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Formula One drivers pay tribute to the late Formula One Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna at the Tamburello turn, at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack, in Imola, Italy, Thursday, April 16, 2024. The three-time F1 world champion died in a crash at the Imola race track in San Marino. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Formula One drivers pay tribute to the late Formula One Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna at the Tamburello turn, at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack, in Imola, Italy, Thursday, April 16, 2024. The three-time F1 world champion died in a crash at the Imola race track in San Marino. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands steers his car during qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands steers his car during qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands, center, poses with McLaren driver Oscar Piastri of Australia, left, and McLaren driver Lando Norris of Britain after the qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands, center, poses with McLaren driver Oscar Piastri of Australia, left, and McLaren driver Lando Norris of Britain after the qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands steers his car qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, Pool)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands steers his car qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, Pool)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands celebrates after winning the pole position after qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands celebrates after winning the pole position after qualifying session for the Italy's Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at the Dino and Enzo Ferrari racetrack in Imola, Italy, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays scored on a throwing error by Minnesota 's Royce Lewis with two outs in the 10th inning for a 3-2 victory that stopped the Twins' six-game winning streak on Wednesday night.

The Rays, who improved to a major league-best 25-11 in games decided by one or two runs, won for just the fourth time in their last 12 games.

Jason Adam (4-1) pitched a perfect ninth for the victory. Phil Maton worked a 1-2-3 inning in the 10th for his second save, with closer Pete Fairbanks unavailable after the thumb on his throwing hand was bruised by a comebacker the night before.

Jorge Alcala (1-2) hit Randy Arozarena with a pitch to start the inning. He threw a sinker in the dirt so wildly it ricocheted off the backstop and right to catcher Christian Vázquez for a relatively easy throw-out of automatic runner Jose Siri at third.

Lewis, who snagged Siri’s grounder with the bases loaded in the seventh and beat Amed Rosario to the bag for the inning-ending force out, fielded a sharp chopper by Jonny DeLuca to his left and sent his deep throw sailing past first baseman Carlos Santana that let Arozarena score the go-ahead run.

Lewis went 3 for 4 with a walk and a tiebreaking home run in the fifth inning that broke part of a videoboard at Target Field.

Isaac Paredes hit his team-leading 11th home run in the third off Twins starter Joe Ryan, who sailed through six innings with a 2-1 lead before a bumpy performance by the bullpen. Ryan delivered another bid to make his first All-Star team, allowing one run on six hits and one walk.

Ryan, who was selected in the seventh round by the Rays in the same 2018 draft that fetched Bradley in the fifth round, was traded to the Twins in 2021 for 55 games of veteran slugger Nelson Cruz. The Rays lost in the division series of the playoffs about 2½ months later.

Rays starter Taj Bradley gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings.

Lewis hit his eighth homer in 14 games since returning from a severely strained quadriceps muscle suffered in the season opener. With an exit velocity measured at 108.7 mph, this one ricocheted off the ribbon board that fronts the second deck above left field — and appeared to knock out a long section of LED lights that used to depict the rotating advertisements. The red Budweiser logos that were up at the time wound up with a blank black splotch, as did the rest that followed.

In 90 career major league games including the playoffs, Lewis has hit 29 homers with 74 RBIs.

Cole Sands relieved Ryan for the seventh and surrendered a one-out bloop single to Ben Rortvedt, before pinch-runner Jose Caballero stole second base and took third when shortstop Carlos Correa let the throw bounce out of his glove and into center field.

Yandy Diaz tied the game with the softest of singles, a swinging bunt of sorts that dribbled down the third-base line where Lewis had no play.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Fairbanks played catch without any problems before the game, after his minor injury on Tuesday. He said he feels normal and expects to be available for action by Thursday.

UP NEXT

The Rays will send RHP Zack Littell (2-5, 4.24 ERA) to the mound for the series finale on Thursday afternoon, opposite Twins rookie RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (2-1, 3.29 ERA). Littell made his major league debut with the Twins in 2018, after being acquired from the Yankees in a trade the year before.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Joe Ryan reacts after a solo home run by Tampa Bay Rays' Isaac Paredes during the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 19, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Joe Ryan reacts after a solo home run by Tampa Bay Rays' Isaac Paredes during the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 19, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Tampa Bay Rays' Isaac Paredes gestures while running the bases after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Wednesday, June 19, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Tampa Bay Rays' Isaac Paredes gestures while running the bases after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Wednesday, June 19, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Minnesota Twins' Austin Martin (82) gestures after hitting a single during the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Wednesday, June 19, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Minnesota Twins' Austin Martin (82) gestures after hitting a single during the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Wednesday, June 19, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Taj Bradley delivers during the second inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Wednesday, June 19, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Taj Bradley delivers during the second inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Wednesday, June 19, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Joe Ryan delivers during the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Wednesday, June 19, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Joe Ryan delivers during the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Wednesday, June 19, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

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