Webber relishing return to the Nurburgring

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Mark Webber may have confirmed last week that he would be retiring from Formula One at the end of the season, but it is important to remember where his career really began to take off.

In 2009, Red Bull scored their first GP victory at the Chinese Grand Prix through Sebastian Vettel, leaving Webber winless as the season wore on. At the German Grand Prix, he made a good start but was given a drive-through penalty, appearing to scupper all hopes of the Aussie winning for the first time. He rallied though, producing an astounding performance to still win the race, causing a rather memorable radio celebration afterwards.

Ever since, the circuit has remained a favorite of Webber’s, and he is relishing a return to the Nurburgring.

When asked what his favorite memory at the track was, Webber said: “My first Formula One win there in 2009. That’s got to be my best memory from that circuit by far and one of the best of my whole career.

“It was such a special day and to win it in the style that we did that day was incredible.”

It did require a titanic effort from Webber and the entire team at Red Bull to claw their way back into the race, with the dominant Brawns struggling on the Bridgestone tires.

Webber is also happier to be racing at the Nurburgring than at Hockenheim, with the two circuits alternating as hosts for the German Grand Prix.

“I prefer the Nurburgring to Hockenheim; it’s got a bit of character about it, with some old school camber changes and old kerbs. The best part is turns 5 and 6, the fast left which goes into the tight right.”

The circuit is certainly a favorite among fans and drivers, and if the last two races there are anything to go by, we are set for a thrilling race on Sunday.

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.