Massa makes his experience count by holding off Vettel for third in Austrian GP

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Felipe Massa’s experience shone through during Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix as he fended off Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the dying stages of the race to score his first podium finish of the season.

Massa had been running in fourth place before the solitary round of pit stops, but moved up into third after a problem in Ferrari’s pit box left Vettel stationary for 13 seconds.

Vettel emerged from the pit lane five seconds behind Massa, and closed to within one second of the Williams driver in the final few laps of the race.

However, Massa managed to hold the position despite being in the slower car, crossing the line with an advantage of 0.6 seconds to secure third place.

“I think it was a fantastic race today,” Massa said. “We managed to get Sebastian with his problem that he had in a pit stop, which I didn’t see. I managed to pass him there.

“Then I understood that maybe at the end of the race he would have be behind me, one or two tenths quicker every lap.

“At the end he got there, and I just managed to keep the line and not make any mistakes, just use a bit of experience.

“So happy, it was an amazing race and a fantastic result for the team. So happy.”

With Williams teammate Valtteri Bottas crossing the line in fifth place, Williams managed to make up some ground to Ferrari in the constructors’ championship, but still sits some 63 points behind the Italian team ahead of the British Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

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.