Hamilton, Verstappen, Mercedes nominated for Laureus Awards

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Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Mercedes have received nominations for the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards following their successes in Formula 1 this year.

The Laureus Awards are held annually and recognize great sporting achievement, with previous winners of the main Sportsman of the Year award including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Lance Armstrong.

From F1, Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher have both been named Sportsman of the Year in the past, while Hamilton lost out to tennis star Novak Djokovic at this year’s ceremony in Beijing, China on April 15.

Earlier this week, Hamilton was named on the shortlist for Sportsman of the Year ahead of the 2016 ceremony following nominations from the world’s media.

Sprinter Usain Bolt, soccer greats Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, basketball players LeBron James and Pau Gasol, British athletic stars Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford, cyclists Chris Froome and Alberto Contador, golfer Jordan Speith, boxer Floyd Mayweather and 2015 winner Djokovic will also be battling for top honors.

Verstappen has been nominated for the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year award, as won by Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo last year, and is up against golfers Jason Day and Brooke Henderson, swimmers Adam Peaty and Alzain Tareq, Australian jockey Michelle Payne and the Chilean men’s soccer team.

Finally, F1 constructors’ champions Mercedes has also received a nomination for the World Team of the Year award, but faces stiff opposition from the New Zealand men’s rugby team, FC Barcelona, the World Cup-winning USWNT, the Kansas City Royals, the New England Patriots, the Golden State Warriors and the Spanish men’s basketball squad.

To see the full list of nominations, click here.

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.