Vettel calls P3 a “great success”, but fails to challenge Mercedes in China

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Sebastian Vettel has called his third place finish at the Chinese Grand Prix a “great success” despite failing to challenge Lewis Hamilton for the race win in Shanghai on Sunday.

Coming off the back of his victory in Malaysia two weeks ago, Vettel had been expected to trouble the Mercedes drivers once again and fight for the race win in China.

Despite keeping within two seconds of second-placed Nico Rosberg during his first two stints, Vettel struggled when he moved onto the prime tire, causing him to drop back and end the race in third place.

“I think it was a good race all in all,” Vettel said. “I think we were a bit closer on the softer compound tires. We were able to put some pressure on them.

“We tried to put more pressure on by stopping fairly early for the last set of tires, but I think on the harder tires they were just that bit too quick so they were able to pull away.

“From then onwards, we tried to control the race, and bring the podium back home which is a great success for us. I’m very happy. Thanks to the team, thanks back to the factory and to all the support here from the fans.”

In third, Vettel continued his 100% podium record since joining Ferrari at the beginning of the season, and once again said how embedded he already felt at Maranello.

“It’s been three out of three [podiums] so far, so it feels pretty good,” Vettel said. “A big change over winter, a lot has changed.

“I feel really happy in the team, the fans are great, so really enjoying the work and hopefully we can get a little bit closer to challenge these two guys.”

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.