Rosberg: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya like home

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Formula 1 championship leader Nico Rosberg heads to next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix full of confidence given that the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona is one of his favorites.

The German driver has claimed one win and three second places so far this season, but the momentum lies with teammate Lewis Hamilton who has won the last three races. Nevertheless, Rosberg is hopeful that the upgrades that Mercedes will bring to the race can maintain and extend the advantage it enjoys over the other teams.

“The Spanish Grand Prix is the first race of the season on European soil after four exciting races at various circuits overseas,” he said. “This is where the next phase of the season begins and there is probably no other track in the world that I know as well as the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

“I also have some good memories of race weekends in Barcelona. Last year, for example, I started from pole position so I’m looking forward to going back there again and maybe repeating that particular feat.”

Despite starting from pole last year, problems with tire wear meant that Rosberg quickly went backwards and eventually finished down in sixth place.

With the other teams also bringing major upgrade packages to the race, Rosberg is looking forward to finally gauging just how far ahead Mercedes is of the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari

“It’s also only now that we can slowly begin to get an idea of how the different cars stack up in terms of performance,” the German said. “Each team will have been pushing hard during the break since the last race to find some extra performance from new parts, so it will certainly be an interesting weekend and hopefully an exciting one for the fans too.”

Although we should have some answers as to which team could potentially overhaul Mercedes in 2014, Rosberg should perhaps be more interested in the competition on the other side of the garage as Hamilton chases a fourth straight win in Spain.

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.