Red Bull in ‘much better position’ than in recent seasons

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Red Bull head of race engineering Guillaume Rocquelin believes that the team is in a stronger position than it has been at this point in recent seasons after Formula 1 testing in Barcelona.

Red Bull endured its worst season since 2008 last year as drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat scored just three podiums in total, taking the team to fourth in the constructors’ championship.

Issues with the Renault power unit have hurt Red Bull over the past two seasons, but Rocquelin thinks that the team is in a better place as it prepares to head into the 2016 campaign.

“We are in a much better position at this point than we have been over the past couple of seasons,” Rocquelin said. “The drivers are happy with the balance of the car, we so far have good reliability and we are happy with all the systems and procedures we need to get right.

“I think we can be satisfied with the work we’ve done during these two weeks and be happy with where we’re at. The team will go to Melbourne in a good frame of mind. As for what the pecking order is, well, we’ll all find out on Saturday in Melbourne.”

Neither Ricciardo nor Kvyat led any of the eight test days in Barcelona, but Rocquelin is unconcerned, saying that Red Bull was not focusing on the optimum lap time in pre-season.

“These tests have always been about to figure out everything we can about the car in order to put us in a position where we can race it in Melbourne or Bahrain or anywhere else,” Rocquelin said.

“It hasn’t been about chasing lap time, which in these conditions is pointless. It’s been about building a platform we can build from and this year I think we have done that.”

The 2016 Formula 1 season begins on March 20 in Australia.

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.