F1 Paddock Pass: Barcelona Test 2, Day 2 (VIDEO)

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BARCELONA – Testing ahead of the 2016 Formula 1 season continued in earnest in Barcelona on Wednesday as the countdown to Melbourne continued.

It proved to be another successful day for Mercedes as both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg once again racked up the miles, but Valtteri Bottas ultimately came out on top for Williams.

The super-soft tire allowed the Finn to finish three-tenths clear at the top of the timesheets, but there were plenty of talking points coming out of the running.

Recapping all of the day’s news, Will Buxton brings you the latest edition of NBC Sports’ original digital series Paddock Pass.

In part one, Buxton discusses the elimination-style qualifying system that will be implemented for 2016, although when it actually debuts remains to be seen. Buxton also chats with three-time and defending World Champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG Petronas about the process he’s going through in winter testing.

In part two, Buxton talks with the ever-smiling Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull Racing, now with its TAG Heuer badged power unit, and also with yours truly as we recap the timesheets and standout performances from the day.

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.