Lotus gambled to try to beat Red Bull

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Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane said Romain Grosjean lost out to Mark Webber at the end of the race because the team took a gamble on trying to beat both the Red Bulls.

Grosjean led almost half of the race but was passed by both Red Bulls during his final stint.

“What we could have done, and we discussed it at the time, was to forget about [Sebastian] Vettel and assume he was going to beat us anyway so go longer on that second stint,” Permane told Autosport.

“We may then have beaten Mark. But at the time we said, let’s just try and win. Let’s give it a go.”

“To gamble with second and third wasn’t a huge thing for us,” Permane added, because the team were already comfortably out-scoring Mercedes and Ferrari.

It was the second race in a row Lotus have taken points off their closest championship rivals, meaning the contest for second place in the teams’ points is very much a three-way fight. Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus are covered by 33 points with 172 up for grabs before the end of the season.

A key factor in Lotus’s recent gains has been the improving form of Grosjean. He scored podium finish in the last two races and was on course for another in Singapore before suffering an engine problem.

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.