Daniel Ricciardo has spoken of his frustration after failing to score in either of the past two grands prix, which has only been furthered by the good form of Jean-Eric Vergne as the drivers go head-to-head for the second seat at Red Bull in 2014.
“Like any racing driver I’m very highly motivated to compete with my teammate, so having such a poor race when Jev had an excellent one adds to the frustration,” Ricciardo wrote in his blog.
The Australian was quick to praise the team effort, with Toro Rosso currently beating Sauber and Williams in the constructors’ championship.
“But looking past that, his result is really positive for us. The team is really pumped up and we all know that, when everything’s working as it should, we’ve got a really fast car that’s capable of fighting for good points. That’s a nice thought to take away.”
The battle for the second seat at Red Bull has been sparked by the breakdown of Mark Webber’s relationship with the team after the multi 21 fiasco at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Although Ricciardo and Vergne are unquestionably in the running for the drive, Kimi Raikkonen is also thought to be a consideration for the defending world champions.
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.