Marko: Renault should prioritize Red Bull over its own F1 team

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Helmut Marko believes that Renault should prioritize its power unit supply of Red Bull over its own team in 2016.

Relations between Red Bull and Renault soured dramatically in 2016 due to the quality of the power unit produced by the French manufacturer.

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz threatened to quit F1 on a number of occasions, while team advisor Marko led the barrage against Renault.

After failing to secure an engine supply from Ferrari, Mercedes, Honda or Volkswagen for the new season, Red Bull ultimately struck a deal with Renault to continue using its power units, albeit rebranded as TAG Heuer.

Coinciding with this was Renault’s decision to return to F1 with a works team for 2016, taking over the financially-stricken Lotus operation in December.

Speaking to Austrian publication Salzburg Nachrichten, Marko said that Red Bull is contractually set to receive equal treatment as Renault’s own operation, but believes that it should be put first.

“We are contractually secure and we have the same status,” Marko said.

“When I look at the current Lotus team, if Renault has any sense, they should concentrate on us.

“With that team and those drivers they will achieve virtually nothing at all.”

Renault could be set to change its line-up for the 2016 season, with Kevin Magnussen widely tipped to replace Pastor Maldonado after talks with the Venezuelan driver’s backer, PDVSA, broke down.

Renault will publicly unveil its new team in a press conference on February 3.

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.