Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery has said that he is disappointed with the teams that chose to ignore the Italian tire supplier’s advice about the longevity of the compounds in India.
Before the race, Pirelli informed teams that they should not attempt to make the soft tires last any longer than fifteen laps and the medium compound any longer than thirty-five laps, believing that the tires could become unsafe. However, in the race, Romain Grosjean and Adrian Sutil both managed to utilize one-stop strategies to finish in the top ten, whilst Kimi Raikkonen also made his mediums last for fifty-one laps. However, Hembery has been dismissive about this after the race in India.
“We saw some very different approaches being taken all the way down the grid, which was roughly split between drivers starting on the soft and the medium tire,” Hembery said. “We also saw many teams split their strategies between both cars, in order to cover every possibility.
“However, we are disappointed to see that some teams went against our recommendations and used the compounds for longer than we advised them to do.”
Raikkonen’s stint on the prime tire was the longest of the race whilst Romain Grosjean also made his mediums last forty-four laps, allowing him to finish on the podium despite starting down in seventeenth place.
This is the latest incident in a turbulent season for Pirelli that has seen the Italian tire supplier have to redesign its tires, face criticism from the teams and, of course, ‘tiregate’ at the British Grand Prix back in June.
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.