Tweets of support flow in for Jourdain from IndyCar community

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It’s hard not to feel for Michel Jourdain Jr. this Monday. Jourdain was the only driver who failed to qualify for this year’s Indianapolis 500, as he battled an ill-handling car all week for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Jourdain is one of the nicest, most genuine people in the IndyCar community, and he has been a great friend for many of the veterans from his full-time years spent in CART from 1996 through 2004.

He won twice in the 2003 CART series, driving for Bobby Rahal, and finished third in the championship, ahead of such luminaries as Sebastien Bourdais, Alex Tagliani, Oriol Servia, Jimmy Vasser, and then-rookie and current IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Indy has bitten some of open-wheel racing’s most successful drivers in qualifying. Just since 2008, the year of open-wheel unification, race winners in CART or the IRL who have failed to qualify include Hunter-Reay, Mike Conway and Patrick Carpentier (2011), Paul Tracy and Jaques Lazier (2010), Tagliani and Buddy Lazier (2009) and Mario Dominguez and Max Papis (2008).

It was no surprise, then, that tweets of support flowed in for Jourdain throughout Sunday and into Monday from the veterans who raced against Jourdain in his full-time years and a year ago at Indy, when he made a comeback to the 500 after a 16-year hiatus.

  • Dario Franchitti (@dariofranchitti): Please spare a though for our friend @MichelJourdain who through no fault of his own missed the race toady.. Feel bad for him and his team
  • Sebastien Bourdais (@BourdaisonTrack): @MichelJourdain I feel for you bud. You didn’t deserve that. I hope to see you around soon and back next year.
  • Scott Dixon (@scottdixon9): @dariofranchitti @MichelJourdain feel really bummed for ya mate! Your a top man!
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay (@ryanhunterreay): Feeling for @MichelJourdain, keep your head up buddy. Not much you could’ve done. You’re only as fast as the horse you’re riding.
  • Graham Rahal (@grahamrahal): Good day for us, bad day for our team. Feeling for @MichelJourdain. His car simply wasnt right. I drove it w/ my setup and it was terrible.
  • Jimmy Vasser (@jimmyvasser): Well said RT @dariofranchitti: Please spare a though for our friend @MichelJourdain who through no fault of his own missed the race toady..

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.