WATCH LIVE: Mercedes gunning for pole in Australian GP qualifying


Qualifying for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix is set to get underway at 2am ET LIVE on NBCSN and Live Extra. CLICK HERE to tune in via live stream.

Having dominated much of winter testing, it came as little surprise that Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg both set the pace during practice. The German driver closed out the final session fastest on Saturday afternoon, putting him in good stead to take the fight for pole to his teammate later on today.

However, the Silver Arrows have not had it all their own way. On Friday, Hamilton’s W05 stopped out on track after just five minutes of the session due to an oil pressure sensor issue. Although the team is confident that the problem won’t recur during qualifying or the race, the reliability of the car could stunt any hopes of a front-row lock-out on Saturday.

Should Mercedes falter, the likes of Williams, McLaren, Ferrari and the resurgent Red Bull could be waiting in the wings to capitalize and claim pole position at Albert Park.

Remember, qualifying begins at 2am ET on NBCSN and Live Extra. CLICK HERE to watch the live stream.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media

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.