Gamble fails to pay off for Grosjean in qualifying

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Romain Grosjean has said that his early elimination during qualifying for the Indian Grand Prix was nothing more than a gamble that went wrong, with the result bringing to an end a string of excellent performances by the Frenchman.

Lotus opted to send Grosjean out on the medium compound in Q1 in order to try and save a set of option tires for the final session on Saturday. However, this move backfired spectacularly as he dropped from fifth to seventeenth and was eliminated alongside Pastor Maldonado, both Caterhams and both Marussias.

“We took a gamble once again to try just one run on the prime tires in Q1, and although it’s been a successful tactic for us recently it didn’t pay off this time,” Grosjean explained after qualifying. “The times were much tighter than expected and ultimately we made a miscalculation with the cut-off time.”

Like many, Grosjean’s hopes in the race hinge on his strategy, but the Frenchman conceded that from seventeenth on the grid it will take a titanic effort to come away from India with a sizeable haul of points.

“We’ll have to pull off something quite special with the strategy to take anything from there, but of course we’ll analyze the options overnight to see what’s possible,” he explained. “For sure, we won’t be leading after the first corner this time, but we’ll do our best.”

This is the second time in 2013 that Grosjean has failed to make it through to Q2, also missing out thanks to changeable conditions during qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix back in June.

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.