Rosberg struggling with setup despite posting fastest time in Barcelona

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Nico Rosberg may have posted the fastest time of winter testing so far at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but the German driver was left frustrated after struggling with the setup on his Mercedes on Friday.

Rosberg posted a fastest lap time of 1:22.772 on the soft compound tire to finish 1.2 seconds clear of the field, as well as beating Felipe Massa’s fastest time of the test from Thursday.

However, he revealed to the media after the session had ended that Mercedes had struggled to get its setup right all day long, and that he didn’t feel totally comfortable behind the wheel of the W06 Hybrid.

“Today was a difficult day because even though the numbers look like they’re in the right place on the setup, actually the setup was very far away from where it needed to be, and we don’t understand that,” Rosberg explained.

“The whole day, we’ve been chasing the setup and trying to find the right direction and it’s really difficult  to understand where to go.

“We spent the whole day trying to move in the one direction, and then eventually, in the end, it was feeling more decent. And then putting the soft tires on gives us grip anyway. I’m pleased with my laps, they were exactly identical, so a good ending.”

Despite his struggles, Rosberg remains confident that Mercedes can be the team to beat once again in 2015, but is keeping an eye on the other teams as they look to cut into the German marque’s advantage.

“We are confident,” Rosberg said. “We have a great team at the moment, but at the same time we are well aware that the others have been posting some quick times, so we need to keep our heads down and keep working.”

Rosberg will return to the car on Sunday in Barcelona, with Lewis Hamilton enjoying his final day of pre-season running tomorrow.

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.