Maldonado: Lotus has nothing to lose in Abu Dhabi

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Pastor Maldonado is heading into the final round of the 2014 Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi with an open mind, saying that there is nothing to lose for Lotus after a difficult year.

Maldonado has scored just two points so far this season, with teammate Romain Grosjean only picking up another eight to leave Lotus eighth in the constructors’ championship ahead of only Sauber, Marussia and Caterham.

In Abu Dhabi next weekend, double points are on offer, meaning that Maldonado does have a chance of adding to his paltry total before the season is out. However, he is anticipating a tough weekend at Yas Marina due to the style of the circuit.

“I think it’s going to be tough for us in general to be honest but it shouldn’t be too bad,” Maldonado said. “I think it’s crucial that we try and improve our qualifying pace because as soon as we are in the top twelve, things should be on the up and we’ll be in a good position to fight for points.

“We’ve seen that our race pace is quite competitive so it’s all about starting from the highest grid position possible. We know this is an area we need to make big strides forwards and Romain and I are working closely with the engineers to improve our qualifying results.

“It’s the last race of the season so we have nothing to lose and we’ll just be focusing hard on ironing out any issues with next year in mind.”

Abu Dhabi will mark the end of Renault’s 20-year partnership with the Enstone operation that Lotus now occupies, with the team making the switch to Mercedes power units for 2015.

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.