Rosberg frustrated by tricky driving conditions on Sunday

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Nico Rosberg has been left frustrated after his final day of running in Barcelona was complicated by tricky driving conditions.

A windy and cold day meant that the drivers struggled to keep their cars stable and to get their tires up to temperature at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

For Rosberg, it was a challenging day, but he still feels that the Mercedes team learned a lot.

“It was so windy out there,” Rosberg said. “That made it so difficult to learn anything because the car was all of the place and variable. One corner it’s different to the next depending on the wind direction.

“So that’s really, really challenging, but okay that’s the way it is for everybody. We still learned quite a lot, especially at the end of the day when the wind died down.

“The whole morning, the tires weren’t really working properly, so everything just came together and was really not nice to drive.”

Rosberg said that Mercedes was still able to complete all of the necessary running on Sunday in Barcelona, filling him with confidence ahead of next week’s final test.

“Today we nailed the programme and that’s really good, no major problems,” he said. “At one point we thought we might have to take the gearbox off, but then they were looking at the numbers and they cranked it up in the garage and looked at the data at the same time to see if there’s any disturbances and everything looked okay. So the gearbox stayed on and I went off again, but there was a bit of a hairy moment though.”

Rosberg finished second in Barcelona on Sunday, finishing just two-tenths of a second shy of pace-setter Romain Grosjean despite posting his best lap on the medium compound tire.

“[I’m] confident, yes,” Rosberg added. “We have a great team now, and we’re keeping a close eye on the opposition because there have been some quite strong times from other teams, so it’s not clear cut at the moment but still I think that we’re in a good position.”

Testing resumes at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on 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.