Difficult year part of the learning process for Bottas

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Valtteri Bottas has said that although this year has been an incredibly difficult one for Williams, it has allowed him and the team to learn how to deal with a troublesome car and prepare sufficiently for next year’s raft of regulation changes.

Bottas is one of four rookies yet to score a point this season, but teammate Pastor Maldonado has also suffered from the FW35’s lack of pace as he has scored just one point compared to thirty-three by this time last year. However, the young Finn has been mature about the situation, conceding that it is part of becoming a grand prix racer.

“It’s been a challenging year,” he said. “We’ve been learning a lot the whole year as a team. It’s been very tough, so we’re definitely I think going in a good direction. We’re now very focused for next year.”

Bottas has also noted a change in the philosophy at Williams’ headquarters in Oxfordshire, England. With the arrival of Pay Symonds and rumors linking Ross Brawn to the team, the management re-shuffle could see the team reach new heights in 2013.

“The working at the factory is changing,” Bottas explained. “We’ve got some new people and I’ve already seen some good things. I really think the future of Williams will be much better than what we’ve seen this year.”

Regarding his own future, Bottas refused to speculate, instead pointing the media in the direction of deputy team principal Claire Williams. However, with Pastor Maldonado thought to be angling for a move away from the team, the Finn could be secure for a second year of racing in F1.

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.