Mallya confident Force India will beat Sauber

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Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya believes his team will see off a threat to their sixth place in the constructors’ championship from rivals Sauber in the final race of the season in Brazil this weekend.

The gap between the two teams has swung dramatically in the second half of the year. Sauber took 37 points off them in four races earlier in the season but Force India hit back in the next two races with a 15-point swing pulling them further ahead.

“It was important that we secured such strong results in India and Abu Dhabi,” said Mallya. “As I said before Austin, it gave us some breathing space.”

However sixth place for Nico Hulkenberg at the Circuit of the Americas allowed Sauber to close in by eight more points.

“We are still 24 points ahead of our nearest competitor,” said Mallya. “I think the odds are in our favor, but there’s no room for complacency: we need to make sure we get the job done in Interlagos.”

Mallya said the team wasn’t able to play to its strength in the United States Grand Prix: “In the races leading up to Austin we had done very well with managing tires and pulling off aggressive strategies. Last weekend, however, with the hard compound we weren’t able to manage the tires in the same way and so our attempt with Paul [di Resta] did not pay off.”

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.