Mercedes make biggest gains since 2012, Williams lose most

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Having been the fifth-quickest team on average last year Mercedes have leaped to the front of the field on pure performance in 2013.

An analysis of the fastest lap times set by all the teams at every track on the calendar so far this year shows Mercedes set the quickest time at eight out of ten races. More often than not they delivered on that potential, setting seven pole positions so far.

On average Mercedes were just 0.05% off the quickest lap time set at every race so far this year. Red Bull are next quickest, 0.3% off, and there’s little to choose between Lotus and Ferrari who have both been 0.66% off the pace on average.

McLaren, who were the quickest team over a single lap on average last year, have slumped to sixth-quickest in terms of pure speed, even falling behind Force India.

But Williams have lost even more performance since last year. They have been almost 2.5% slower over a lap than the pace setters, gaining 1.5% since last year.

The table below shows how far away each team has been from the fastest lap time set at each race weekend this year, as a percentage, and how that has changed since last year:

Team 2013* 2012 Difference
Mercedes 0.05 0.87 -0.82
Red Bull 0.337 0.38 -0.043
Lotus 0.656 0.68 -0.024
Ferrari 0.657 0.75 -0.093
Force India 1.37 1.16 +0.21
McLaren 1.487 0.18 +1.307
Toro Rosso 1.608 1.82 -0.212
Sauber 2.014 1.15 +0.864
Williams 2.467 0.96 +1.507
Caterham 4.25 3.49 +0.76
Marussia 4.322 4.83 -0.508

*First ten races

See the full breakdown of how close to the pace each team has been at each track

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.