Horner: Red Bull plans to keep Ricciardo; managing him vs. Webber a “walk in the park”

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Red Bull Racing almost certainly wasn’t going to be shaking up its Formula One lineup for 2015, and team principal Christian Horner said Thursday that it’s not in the cards.

Daniel Ricciardo’s on a long-term contract anyway, but Horner said the team is sure it will keep the young Australian on board for 2015.

“We have always believed in stability and continuity,” Horner told Autosport’s Jonathan Noble. “Daniel is on a long-term contract with the team and it will be highly unlikely he will be anywhere else next year – unless of course Ferrari are chasing him as well [as rumors it is pursuing Adrian Newey].

“I cannot speak highly enough of what Daniel has done in the first five races.”

Horner did toss out a hand grenade to end the interview though, comparing Ricciardo to countryman Mark Webber in terms of how much easier it is to manage Ricciardo than Webber.

“It is a walk in the park compared to previous years,” Horner quipped.

Ricciardo finally earned his first career podium last weekend in Spain, with third place albeit some 50-plus seconds behind the Mercedes teammates. It was a nice recovery after Melbourne, when he was disqualified from second.

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.