Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff says the team have some catching up to do with the new tires that are being used this weekend.
“We are under no illusions for the second half of the year and this weekend in Hungary we have a number of challenges to overcome,” said Wolff. “First, we will need to do extra homework on Friday to understand how the new tires work with our car.”
Mercedes were banned from attending last week’s test at Silverstone following the punishment handed down by the FIA International Tribunal. The other ten teams all had the chance to evaluate Pirelli’s revised tires.
The team have struggled all year long with tires overheating and this weekend’s race is expected to be very hot. “We will have to get to grips with the high temperatures, a demanding circuit and the soft and medium compound Pirelli tires,” Wolff continued.
“During the race at the Nurburgring, we were overheating the tires and we want to minimize the chance of suffering a repeat problem in Hungary, where the track temperatures will also be high.
“The team has worked thoroughly since Germany to improve the situation and we will find out how the new tires will affect that situation, too.”
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.