Mark Webber is hoping to claim his maiden podium in Italy next weekend as he races a Formula One car at Monza for the final time.
The Australian driver confirmed at the British Grand Prix that he would be walking away from the sport at the end of the season in favor of a move to Porsche’s LMP1 programme that will see him race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans next season. However, he is still focused on finishing his F1 career in the best possible fashion, and a podium at Monza will be another achievement chalked off the list.
“I like Monza a lot because it’s very Formula One in terms of its history and its atmosphere,” Webber said. “All of the greats have raced there and I have an affinity with Italians from my Minardi days. The track is one of a kind, it’s an incredibly fast circuit with high top speeds, so there’s a lot of heavy braking.
“Monza has never been that kind to me; I’ve had a few retirements and have never finished on the podium, so I want to get a good result there this year!”
Webber’s best result at Monza is a lowly sixth place in the 2010 race, with the circuit traditionally being a challenge for Red Bull despite their dominance at other tracks. However, the Aussie will be keen on bettering this result in what will also be his final grand prix in Europe.
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.