Nico Hulkenberg may not have started the season as he would have liked, scoring just five points from the first five races, but the German driver is feeling positive ahead of next weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
“In terms of performance, I’m quite positive. We’ve seen that the softer tire compounds suit us quite well, which gives me confidence we’ll have a good weekend,” he said in a team statement.
Sauber has struggled to replicate its 2012 form so far this season. By Monaco last year, the Swiss team had scored 41 points and lay 7th in the constructors’ championship, whereas 2013 has yielded just 5 points in total, but the team is only one position down on 2012. Regardless, it is not the start Hulkenberg may have envisaged, especially after having been linked to Red Bull for 2014.
The German driver is however looking forward to racing at Monaco, with the race being among his favorites.
“I’m really looking forward to the Monaco Grand Prix. The circuit along with the backdrop of the principality are just fantastic, and the atmosphere is one of the best in the season.
“The track is one of a kind with extremely narrow streets that will punish every little mistake. This is a great challenge between me, the car and the track, and I always have a lot of fun driving there.”
In Formula One, Hulkenberg has a mixed record in Monaco. In 2010, he retired early on after a front-wing failure caused him to crash in the tunnel. Last season, when driving for Force India, he impressed many on his way to P8, setting the second-fastest lap of the race. A similar result would be well-received by all at Hinwil, although they will also be keen on Esteban Gutierrez scoring his first points of the season.
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.