Ricciardo disappointed to qualify P10 in Spain

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MONTMELO – Daniel Ricciardo made no secret of his disappointment after qualifying down in tenth place for tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Australian driver has enjoyed a mixed start to the 2015 season, scoring points in every race despite dealing with a number of reliability issues on his Red Bull RB11 car.

Despite bringing a number of updates to Spain for this weekend’s race, Red Bull struggled to fight with the front-runners in qualifying.

Daniil Kvyat finished as the leading driver for the team, qualifying eighth ahead of Ricciardo, who finished Q3 in tenth position.

“I think tenth place must be my worst qualy since I started with the team, so it wasn’t the best day,” Ricciardo said. “I was frustrated mainly in sector three. In Q1 and Q2 I felt it was my strongest sector, but then in the end we lost maybe half a second or more through there, and I don’t really have an explanation for why that happened.

“I am disappointed with the outcome, as I had hoped to be at least P7 or P8. From the long run I did in FP3 this morning, the car performed consistently and the balance was okay, so we should be okay on tires tomorrow.

“We are not really quick enough down the straights, so we need a good start and then we will try and do something with strategy.”

Kvyat did not overplay his own qualifying result, but was pleased to have a clean race weekend after dealing with a number of issues on his car in the first four rounds of the season.

“I did my best and so I can’t be happy with P8,” Kvyat said. “Maybe we have not got the most out of our upgrades just yet, but I’m sure the team can turn things around.

“At least this weekend, we have had a clean free practice and qualifying and, step by step we will get there.

“Nevertheless, tomorrow is the day that matters, the thing we are all fighting for and there is still everything to play for, so I can definitely aim to score some points starting from where I am on the grid.”

The Spanish Grand Prix is live on NBCSN from 7:30am ET 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.