WRC: Tanak and Molder unhurt after crashing into reservoir at Rally Mexico (VIDEO)

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Ott Tanak and Raigo Molder were lucky to walk away unhurt from a terrifying crash that saw the Ford M-Sport drivers plunge into a reservoir on the second day of Rally Mexico.

Coming through the first stage of the day, Tanak suffered suspension damage that prevented him from turning left, causing the car to career down a steep bank and into a reservoir.

The car soon began to fill with water, but both Tanak and Molder were able to escape in just ten seconds and swim to safety. Within 25, the car had sunk.

“If you are in a lake, close to the limit of your life and fighting for it, when you finally win that fight it’s an amazing feeling,” Tanak explained to wrc.com.

“I opened the seat belts and immediately after opening the door, the car filled with water. Then it went down in a short time.

“It was a bit scary when I got out the car. The intercom wire was still fixed and it was difficult to unplug, so it was dragging me under the water. That was a **** feeling but luckily I had enough force to unplug it. A few seconds later the car was gone.”

Remarkably though, the M-Sport team was able to recover the car – nicknamed the “Titanak” – from the lake and repair it, meaning that the drivers will be able to resume the rally on Saturday.

“This is something that we have never seen before,” Tanak said. “The car has been gone all day, submerged at the bottom of a lake, full of water, and the team had to do a full rebuild in just three hours!

“It was a crazy challenge, but I knew the M-Sport guys would be up for it. I have massive respect for my team. This was a huge task to do, but they have worked as hard as they always do and I am so grateful to each and every one of them.

“To get back out on the stages tomorrow is very important for me and Raigo. We need to rebuild our confidence and get back behind the wheel, and my team have made that happen this evening.”

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.