Kurt Busch turns hot laps in F1-like ride at Abu Dhabi before heading to Sonoma

(Photo courtesy Monster Energy official Twitter page)
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At the rate he’s going, it won’t be long before Kurt Busch runs out of things to check off his bucket list. He certainly checked off quite a few this past week.

During the Sprint Cup off-weekend, Busch visited Lithuania, and then traveled to take in the European Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan.

While there, he had the opportunity to sit in a Haas F1 Team race car. Team owner Gene Haas, who also owns the team Busch drives for in NASCAR, has promised Busch he’ll get a chance to one day drive an F1 car provided one thing: he wins the Sprint Cup championship again.

For now, just sitting in the car was a thrill in-and-of itself.

MORE: Kurt Busch gets acquainted with Haas F1 car in Baku

And then on Tuesday, while heading back to the United States for this weekend’s Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway, Busch took a detour to climb behind the wheel of a GP2 style car – similar, but smaller and less powerful compared to an F1 car – and ran a number of hot laps at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The predecessor to GP2 was the Formula 3000 series, which ran until 2004.

The track, which is the site of the season-ending F1 race, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Nov. 27, refers to the driving experience as Formula Yas 3000. Here’s a video of what Busch went through on Tuesday.

Here’s a number of tweets Busch posted during his excellent overseas adventure:

The Abu Dhabi experience came just after his run in Baku, more tweets of which you can see below.

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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.