Rosberg closes out Abu Dhabi practice fastest

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ABU DHABI – Nico Rosberg has hit back in the final practice session for this weekend’s title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by beating teammate Lewis Hamilton by three-tenths of a second.

The German driver posted a fastest lap time of 1:41.424 to finish clear of Hamilton, having trailed his Mercedes teammate in both FP1 and FP2 on Friday at Yas Marina.

The final practice session of the year gave the drivers a chance to make sure all of their systems were working properly ahead of qualifying in Abu Dhabi later today, and for Hamilton, it was a chance to press home the issue with Rosberg by claiming a hat-trick of practice sessions.

However, Nico had other ideas. His final lap time in FP3 on the super-soft tire was enough to secure him top spot, with Hamilton losing time on both of his hot laps to eventually finish 0.369 seconds behind his teammate in the final classification.

Once again, the Mercedes drivers were far ahead of the rest of the field, with Felipe Massa a full second down on Rosberg’s time in third place. Fernando Alonso finished fourth despite not setting a time on the faster super-soft tire.

In his final practice session as a Red Bull driver, Sebastian Vettel came home in fifth place ahead of Jenson Button and Daniel Ricciardo. Valtteri Bottas, Daniil Kvyat and Kimi Raikkonen completed the top ten.

At the back, Will Stevens improved once again for Caterham ahead of his maiden F1 qualifying session later today, finishing just 0.9 seconds behind teammate Kamui Kobayashi.

The battle for pole position is set to be an intense one, with Rosberg proving in FP3 that he is not willing to go down without a fight in this title tussle.

Be sure to join us for the final qualifying session of the 2014 Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi, live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 8a ET today.

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.