Vettel: Webber’s retirement a loss for all at Red Bull

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Sebastian Vettel has said that the retirement of Mark Webber at the end of the season will be a loss to him and Red Bull despite their relationship as teammates being frosty at the best of times.

The two have come together in a number of incidents dating back to Vettel’s Toro Rosso days back in 2007, and the final straw came at this year’s Malaysian Grand Prix when the German driver ignored team orders to pass Webber and take the win. Although he admitted that on a personal level he was not close with Webber, Vettel said that he would miss the Australian driver as a teammate.

“Obviously we didn’t have the best relationship on a personal level but I think in terms of working professionally together for the team it has been very strong,” Vettel said. “Both of us have tried very hard to improve the car and surely the fact that he will not be around next year will be a loss for the team, a loss for myself because it has been always a huge challenge.

“I’ve learned a lot from him and I can stand up straight and say that there were many times and many places where I benefited from him.”

As teammates, Vettel and Webber have claimed four of a possible five constructors’ championships and revelled in a dominance that has only been witnessed a handful of times in the history of the sport. Although the Australian driver has failed to match his younger and now quadruple-champion teammate, his retirement after this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix will leave Red Bull requiring some adjustment in 2014 upon the arrival of Daniel Ricciardo from Toro Rosso.

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.