Malaysian Grand Prix means a lot for Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat

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The Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix can’t get here soon enough for Daniil Kyvat.

Barring anything unfortunate, the race will be Kyvat’s actual first start with Red Bull Racing. The Russian failed to start the opener in Melbourne on March 15 after his No. 26 machine experienced a lack of oil pressure, causing his gearbox to overheat and preventing it from selecting a gear.

“It’s good Malaysia is so soon. After Australia, I wanted to leave the weekend behind me as soon as possible and start focusing on Malaysia,” Kyvat said in a release. “We have good potential which we will be looking to use and hope to extract. It’s an interesting, challenging track. There are some high speed sections, and those high speed sections are the most interesting ones. For me, Malaysia means a lot.”

Kyvat finished 10th in the 2014 edition of the Maylaysia Grand Prix, while driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso. While that was his first F1 start at the track, the 20-year-old Kyvat has a history with the 15-turn course.

“I won my first single-seater race ever there about five years ago I think, and last year, another points scoring race for me, my second race and second points so it (has) very good, good memories, but it’s a tough race and challenging race for a driver because it’s known for being so hot,” Kyvat said of the 56-lap race. Sunday’s forecast is for a high of 93 F/23 C with an 80 percent chance of precipitation.

“This is why we train quite hard and get our arses kicked during the winter season by our trainers!” Kyvat said. “Sepang is one of those races where you see where you are in terms of your physical preparation.”

Kyvatt’s Red Bull teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, compares the racing conditions in Sepang to being in a sauna you can’t get out of.

“Hydration is really, really important and keeps you cooler,” said Ricciardo, who has only finished one of his three Malaysian Grand Prix starts, finishing 12th in 2012. “The more hydrated you are, the more your body dispatches the heat.”

Red Bull Racing has won in Sepang three times, all with Sebastian Vettel, in 2010, 2011 and 2013.

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.