Rosberg: Pure luck I didn’t crash after tire failure (VIDEO)

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Nico Rosberg believes that it was nothing more than pure luck that stopped him from crashing after suffering a tire failure during practice for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Rosberg finished as the fastest driver in both practices at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Friday, but saw his second session come to an early end after he suffered a scary rear-right tire failure at high speed.

On the fast run up to Blanchimont in the final sector, Rosberg’s tire delaminated, causing the German’s car to spin violently before coming to rest in the run off area.

Although Rosberg himself walked away unharmed, the rear of his car was damaged and debris had been strewn across the track, warranting a red flag period.

“In the second session it was quite a shocking moment for me when my rear tire failed,” Rosberg explained.

“When you are going as fast as 300 km/h and something goes wrong, that’s a horrible feeling.

“I thought I would end up in the wall and, to be honest, it was pure luck that I didn’t. We now need to investigate with Pirelli what happened.”

Mercedes technical team boss Paddy Lowe felt pleased with how his drivers had fared in both practice sessions on Friday as Lewis Hamilton followed Rosberg home in second place, but said that the team would be working closely with Pirelli to work out the cause of the tire failure.

“Today started reasonably well, with P1 running more or less to plan save a small engine problem for Nico which the team turned around very quickly,” Lowe said.

“We tested a few different items before moving on to a standard P2 programme of prime and option runs. This ran smoothly until the long run on options, when a tire failure for Nico brought out the red flags in the final third of the session.

“With one car ruled out of running, we decided not to continue the regular programme with Lewis until we had understood the problem.

“We’ll be working hard with Pirelli this evening to understand what happened and how we can ensure that we’re operating safely for the rest of the weekend.”

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.