Baltimore mayor, race organizers differ on prospects of GPoB return (VIDEO)

3 Comments

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake – perhaps the greatest supporter of the Grand Prix of Baltimore – told reporters last night that she was “cautiously optimistic” about the street race’s return to the Inner Harbor in 2016.

Yesterday, INDYCAR announced that the event would be off the schedule for at least the next two years due to an inability to find a new date for it.

Downtown Baltimore is playing host to a major college football game next Labor Day weekend, and at the same time in 2015, the American Legion will stage a major convention in the area.

But while Blake seemed to think that the Grand Prix could be revived in the future, J.P. Grant of Race On Baltimore (which co-promoted the race alongside Andretti Sports Marketing) was more subdued about his prediction of the event’s future.

“It took us two years to get to this point, and if you take two years off, our sponsors are going to wonder whether we can actually put on an event,” Grant said according to Baltimore news radio station WBAL-AM.

“We had potential title sponsors lined up for next year, and they want three-year commitments, and so if we can’t commit to that, it makes it difficult to put on a race.”

A report from David Collins of Baltimore NBC affiliate WBAL-TV has more reaction from Blake, Grant and city business owners on the cancellation of the event. You can watch it at the top of the post.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media
0 Comments

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.