Hulkenberg remaining coy about chances in Australia

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Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg is remaining grounded ahead of the opening race of the 2014 F1 season, despite enjoying a successful testing period that suggests he could be one of the men to beat in Australia.

Hulkenberg returns to Force India in 2014 after one year away at Sauber, and the team – along with the other Mercedes-powered outfits – appeared to have the upper hand during testing. Nevertheless, with reliability being such an important factor this year, the German driver is merely hoping to pick up some points in the opening round of the season.

“I feel comfortable, but I think this feeling will grow stronger during the season,” he explained. “It’s a new challenge and it’s difficult to tell just from testing how it will feel during a race weekend.

“Testing only tells you so much, but I think we still have some performance in our pocket. I just hope we are competitive and can race for good points.”

However, Hulkenberg’s first target in Australia is to complete a racing lap, having failed to do so in three attempts. In 2010, when driving for Williams, he was taken out in a large accident also involving Sebastien Buemi and Kamui Kobayashi, whilst a first corner collision also ended his race in 2012.

Last year, he didn’t even make it to the grid as an engine problem on his Sauber stopped him from starting the race.

“It’s been three races in Melbourne and I’ve still not completed a racing lap!” Hulkenberg joked. “They say bad luck comes in groups of three so hopefully attempt number four will work out better!”

With the top engine on the grid and an all-new line-up in 2014, it could prove to be a very exciting and lucrative season for Force India.

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.