Grosjean keen on returning to the podium at COTA

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Romain Grosjean has set his sights on returning to the podium at the United States Grand Prix next weekend after narrowly missing out on a top three finish last time out in Abu Dhabi.

The Frenchman has lost his ‘bad boy’ tag thanks to a string of highly impressive performances that has seen him score three third places in the past four races, and he finished in fourth place at Yas Marina last weekend. However, Grosjean was disappointed not to have secured a fourth consecutive podium finish.

“It’s a shame we couldn’t make it four podiums in a row, but when you remember the issues we had in FP2 and qualifying in Abu Dhabi I think to come away with fourth place is a decent result,” he explained. “On race pace alone we could maybe even have pushed Mark [Webber] for second place, but that’s how it goes sometimes and I think we got the maximum we could from the race.”

Like many of his colleagues, Grosjean is looking forward to returning to Austin for the race following the impressive inaugural event held at the Circuit of the Americas in 2012.

“We’re certainly aiming for the best performance we can get, let’s see what happens,” Grosjean said. “Last year we had a reasonable weekend there in what was Formula One’s first visit to the Circuit of the Americas, but this year I think there’s potential for a lot more.

“This year we have all the data from last time, we’re expecting warmer temperatures and I know both the team and myself are working really well together to extract strong performance from the car.”

Grosjean is widely expected to remain at Lotus next season, with either Nico Hulkenberg or Pastor Maldonado set to be drafted in as a replacement for Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen.

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.