Teams back down over tires as Ecclestone pushes for Pirelli test

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The three F1 teams who blocked Pirelli’s attempt to introduce a new construction of tire in response to earlier failures say they will no longer oppose the move.

Meanwhile plans are afoot for Pirelli to be granted the chance to conduct two three-day tire tests to prevent a repeat of the potentially dangerous failures seen during the British Grand Prix.

Ferrari, Lotus and Force India previously opposed Pirelli’s plan to switch from tires with steel belts to Kevlar as they claimed it would hand their rivals an advantage. Pirelli wanted to make the change after a series of delaminations occurred earlier in the season.

However in the light of the multiple failures at Silverstone the trio have removed their objections. Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali said: “It’s important to move forward and solve the issue because it’s something that is very important for all of us.” Ferrari were among the teams to suffer a failure on Sunday.

Formula One commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt have agreed to grant an exception to the ban on in-season testing to find a solution to the problem.

“[Pirelli have] said they’d like to sort it out, but they don’t have a chance to do any testing because of these silly restrictions we have,” said Ecclestone.

“But I spoke to Jean Todt over the weekend and he has said ‘Let them test’.

“So he has allowed them to run two three-day tests between now and… well, when they want, to try to do something for next year, as well as this year, so that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”

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.