Force India focusing on precision for Monaco

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Both Force India drivers, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, have finished in the points in every race they’ve finished thus far in 2014.

To keep up the streak, as the team currently sits fourth in the Constructor’s Championship, both drivers described how precise you have to be on the streets of Monaco.

“In terms of precision it’s right up there with Singapore as the toughest race of the year,” Hulkenberg said in the team’s pre-race advance. “You never get a break during the lap; you are always working hard because it’s corner after corner. Even the straights are really short and it’s high-speed for such a narrow track. I particularly enjoy the swimming pool area, which is very quick, and the two right-hand corners before the tunnel.”

Added Perez, “It’s a big challenge and I have always believed it’s a circuit where the driver can really make a difference. So you always have the chance to do something special there. It’s not the most difficult lap of the year, but you have to always keep your concentration.”

Hulkenberg enthused about the magnitude of Monaco from there.

“It’s the event of the year. Your heartbeat goes up when you arrive there and walk over the bridge into the pits,” he said. “The place looks amazing with the buildings, the scenery and the mountains. Of course the biggest thrill is driving the track because it’s so unique and gives you the biggest excitement of the year.”

You can see the Monaco Grand Prix weekend starting at 4 a.m. ET, Thursday, with Practice 1 live streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra. Practice 2 is on NBCSN at 8 a.m. ET Thursday.

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.