Mark Webber is delighted to have qualified so well for the British Grand Prix this weekend, although he did state that he felt slightly hard-done-by to have lost out to Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel.
The Australian driver finished just 0.009 seconds behind his triple-champion colleague, but Webber did concede that he had little chance of rivalling the Mercedes drivers on Saturday, who locked out the front row.
“We were up against it to get on the front row against the Mercs, they’re on another level as they have been for the last few events,” Webber explained in a team statement.
“It was disappointing to get pipped by Seb there at the end by a hundredth, it was very close. I was happy with the first part of my lap, but I could have done better in the last sector.”
However, Webber believes that Red Bull have found a happy medium between qualifying and race pace, whereas Mercedes are widely expected to struggle to continue their Saturday form tomorrow.
“We have a good balance for qualifying and race pace in terms of where we prioritised things. It should be an interesting race, we can get a good result from there.”
This will be Mark Webber’s final appearance at the British Grand Prix after he confirmed his retirement from F1 at the end of the season earlier this week.
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.