Jenson Button’s father John dies age 70, from suspected heart attack

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Sad news from the Formula One world this Monday morning, with the news Jenson Button’s father John has died unexpectedly at age 70. According to a BBC report, via a statement issued by Jenson’s agent, the senior Button had a suspected heart attack.

The rest of the statement includes this:

“It is with great sadness and regret that I can confirm John Button passed away at his home in the South of France on Sunday.

“John’s children Jenson, Natasha, Samantha and Tanya and the rest of the family are clearly devastated and ask for their privacy to be respected during this extremely difficult time.”

A fixture in the paddock, often seen on TV broadcasts wearing his trademark pink shirt, John Button was so devoted to his son’s career and a huge part of the F1 world. The celebration between the two reached a fever pitch when Jenson captured the 2009 World Championship driving for Brawn GP.

Thoughts and tributes are already beginning to flow in after this sad news. Here’s a tribute from NBC Sports Group’s F1 pit reporter and insider Will Buxton, on his blog. Also here’s one from former FIA Chief Medical Delegate Gary Hartstein, via his blog.

Meanwhile, here are some other tweets from the F1 community, including from Button’s new McLaren-Mercedes teammate Kevin Magnussen:

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.