Bottas felt ‘on it’ in Canada as Williams’ podium drought ends

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Valterri Bottas picked up Williams’ first podium finish of the 2016 Formula 1 season on Sunday after perfecting a one-stop strategy en route to third place in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Bottas started seventh in Montreal, but a good start and an impressive pace on the soft compound tire allowed him to get into the fight for the final podium spot.

Red Bull’s decision to bring both of its drivers in for a second stop allowed Bottas to move up into third place, and when the late-charging Nico Rosberg spun while trying to pass Max Verstappen, the result was safe for the Finn.

Third place marks Williams’ first podium of the season and ends an eight-race run without a top-three finish, the last coming in Mexico last year courtesy of Bottas.

“I’m really pleased with today,” Bottas said.

“As a team it was a really strong run for us, really good strategy, really good pit stop. All the timing was perfect.

“The car felt really good today. I felt I was pretty on it today. It’s great to be here.

“Really want to thank Williams, thank you guys, everyone did a really amazing job.”

The result also continued Bottas’ impressive record at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, having also finished third last year and qualified inside the top three in his rookie season.

Bottas’ teammate Felipe Massa was forced to retire early on in Canada, ending his record of scoring every points so far this season.

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.