Formula 1 has arrived in Russia this weekend in a somber state following Jules Bianchi’s horrific accident at the Japanese Grand Prix last Sunday.
The Frenchman remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital in Japan, having suffered severe head injuries in the crash that involved a recovery vehicle being used at the side of the track. He continues to be the foremost thought for the entire F1 community in Sochi.
Qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix should be an interesting affair following three close practice sessions on Friday and Saturday. Lewis Hamilton has laid down an impressive pace, but with the likes of Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas in tow, the Briton may face a challenge for pole position on Saturday.
You can watch qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7am ET. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.
Hamilton’s pace in FP3 was particularly impressive given that we did not see all he was capable of. He was forced to cut his practice session short following a spin in the final complex of corners which ruined his tires. He will not face any action from the stewards for cutting the pit entry, though.
After three consecutive defeats, Rosberg will be gunning to finally get the edge on Hamilton in the race on Sunday, and securing pole position could be critical in making this happen.
Watch the full qualifying session live from Sochi on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7am ET. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.
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.