Magnussen: Still learning, still “strange” to have McLaren chance

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Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen wowed the Formula One establishment last week at Jerez when he set the fastest time over the four days of testing.

But Magnussen, who already admitted in December he was taking a measured approach to his first season in F1, still admits he has a lot to learn. And he takes confidence from the fact his teammate Jenson Button says he does, too.

“One of the things Jenson (Button) has told me is that he never stops learning,” Magnussen said in a Q&A with F1’s official website. “He’s driven nearly 250 Grands Prix, so it’s quite inspiring to hear him say that. I can definitely learn from Jenson, and, like him, I hope to keep learning.”

Even after the test last week, Magnussen said the feeling of driving for McLaren hadn’t sunk in yet.

“When I got into the car for the first time at Jerez last Thursday, in fact, it still felt a bit strange,” he said. “But I’m a firm believer that there are no guarantees in this world, so I’m now focusing on the work I need to do to justify the privilege of being a Formula One driver.”

He also added lap count, rather than lap times, is more important during the winter in the run-up to the Australian Grand Prix.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media
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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.