More to come from Mercedes in races, says Brawn

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Ross Brawn is clear on where Mercedes need to make progress having set pole position for the last two races without winning them.

“It’s nice to have taken pole position at the last two races, but what really counts is the race itself, and I don’t believe we’re there yet,” said Brawn.

Lewis Hamilton started the Chinese Grand Prix from pole position and Nico Rosberg did the same in Bahrain. But they only led a total of six laps between them as their rivals proved quicker over a race stint.

Brawn credits the progress they have made so far this year to sacrifices made during their 2012 campaign:

“From an engineering perspective, we know what we did 12 months ago is now coming through and giving us a reward.”

“Changes were made back then which were painful at the time, and were part of the reason why we had a poor second half to last season. You have the pain for a while of those changes, which is what we had last year.”

Mercedes endured a five-race streak without scoring any points at the back end of 2012, but have taken away at least ten points from every race so far this year.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.