FOM satisfied Pirelli not to blame for Spa tire failures

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Formula One Management has issued a statement in support of Pirelli following the tire supplier’s investigation into the series of failures at last month’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Pirelli came under fire in the aftermath of the race at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps after both Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel suffered sizeable tire failures across the course of the weekend.

After launching an investigation into the cause of the blowouts, Pirelli issued a statement on Thursday confirming that they were the result of excessive debris on the track and not a result of a structural shortcoming.

Pirelli’s findings have been supported by the FIA, and has now also been backed by FOM, who also issued a statement on Thursday evening.

Here is the statement in full:

Pirelli has been a first class partner of Formula One during the five seasons in which it has been the Official Supplier of Tires to the FIA Formula One World Championship and we continue to have full confidence in the safety, quality and suitability of its tires.

Within the constraints of safety considerations, which are always paramount, Formula One encourages Pirelli to provide tire compounds with performance limitations because tire degradation contributes to the challenge and entertainment of a Formula One race. When doing so, Pirelli provides strong guidance to competitors about any performance limitations of the tires supplied. Competitors should heed Pirelli’s expert advice when setting their race strategy and tactics, and if they do not, it is at their own risk.

We are entirely satisfied that Pirelli was not at fault for any tire-related incidents during the 2015 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix.

Pirelli has offered to provide to each car a single set of tires to last for an entire Event. While we know that they would be very capable of it, a race with no pit stops would be less exciting.

Thank you, Pirelli, for helping us to deliver excitement to Formula One fans!

Pirelli is currently facing competition from French manufacturer Michelin for the tire tender in F1 from 2017. Michelin is known to favor a more durable tire that would allow drivers to push throughout the race, whilst Pirelli is set to stick to its more variable compound life to create an entertaining race.

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.