Mercedes poised to power Manor in 2016

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Toto Wolff has confirmed that Mercedes is close to agreeing a deal with Manor over a power unit supply for the 2016 Formula 1 season.

Manor currently races with 2014-spec Ferrari engines after emerging from the ashes of the Marussia F1 Team that collapsed at the end of last season.

However, it is close to agreeing a deal with Mercedes that will see the German marque retain its set of three customer contracts in F1. Renault’s impending takeover of Lotus is set to bring Mercedes’ association with the Enstone-based team to an end after just one season.

Speaking on Saturday at Suzuka, Wolff praised the Manor project, and said that Mercedes would be open to supplying the team with engines once its parting with Lotus has been confirmed.

“We like Manor a lot because there is a competitive edge to the whole story,” Wolff said. “If Manor gets the right chassis and the right engine it would be a pretty interesting narrative about how the team develops.

“For us at the moment we are a little bit on standby because we need to understand what happens at Lotus as one of our customers and move from there. Manor needs to know what is happening and we need to know to whom we are supplying engines.”

Wolff’s comments were backed up by the team’s non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, who told Sky Sports that after being approached by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and advisor Helmut Marko about an engine supply, a breakdown in talks with owner Dietrich Mateschitz paved the way for the Manor deal.

“Christian and Helmut wrote us one letter to say they would like engines,” Lauda explained. “I said ‘yes, but first we have to discuss with Mr Mateschitz’.

“Because Mateschitz, for whatever reason, never liked Mercedes There is something in the past which I do not know.

“So I went to see Mateschitz myself because I know him and asked ‘are you really interested?’ and he said ‘yes, but, but, but…’ – and then out of this ‘but, but, but’ we never continued any talks.

“So we had to take a decision as Mercedes. Where did we go with the engines because are Lotus staying or are they not staying? So we then decided to give Manor the engines.”

2016 F1 season – Possible Engine Contracts

Ferrari – 5 (Ferrari, Red Bull*, Toro Rosso*, Sauber, Haas)
Mercedes – 4 (Mercedes AMG Petronas, Williams, Force India, Manor*)
Honda – 1 (McLaren)
Renault – 1 (Lotus*)

* to be confirmed

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.