Mark Webber has finished his final grand prix in the United States with a podium finish after coming third in today’s race at the Circuit of the Americas ahead of his last outing in Brazil next weekend.
The Australian driver narrowly missed out on pole position yesterday, and he made a poor getaway off the line to drop behind Lotus’ fast-starting Romain Grosjean and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton at the beginning of the race. Webber soon caught and passed Hamilton ahead of the first round of stops to move up into third place before coming into the pits.
When Webber did stop, his team produced a world-record stop that saw his team change all four tires in just 1.95 seconds, allowing him to cut the gap to Grosjean in the race for second place. Despite trying and trying, Webber pushed too hard in pursuit of the Frenchman meaning that his tires soon lost grip and he could not catch the Frenchman in the final stages of the race, eventually crossing the line 2.1 seconds behind Grosjean.
The Australian driver has one final chance to win the tenth race of his career next weekend in Brazil in what will be the final grand prix of his career. However, he promised fans on the podium that he would be returning to the Circuit of the Americas next season with Porsche for the US round of the World Endurance Championship as he begins a new life in sportscars.
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.