Hamilton keen to forget Baku, add Austria to his win list

Getty Images
0 Comments

There aren’t many tracks on the current Formula 1 calendar where Lewis Hamilton hasn’t won, but the Red Bull Ring in Austria is one of them.

Of the 21 tracks on this year’s schedule, it’s only at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, streets of Baku (just completed and of course only had its first race), the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City and Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo, Brazil where Hamilton hasn’t won in his career.

If he can get through a weekend without engine or mechanical gremlins, as has frequently ailed him this season, he should be well suited to tick Austria off his list.

“Baku started out great but, clearly, it just wasn’t meant to be that weekend,” he admitted in the team’s pre-race release. “It’s a shame I wasn’t really in the race – but there’s no point talking about ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. It’s one to put behind me, take the positives in terms points on the board and move on.

“We’ve got an old school track there in Spielberg. It’s fast, with a good flow to it. It’s tough to overtake but there are places you can try something different so that’s a good challenge. It’s definitely a big advantage starting up front there, though, so I need to get back on it in qualifying and do a better job than last time out.

“Austria is a beautiful country and I always enjoy my time there, so it would be great to get a win there and tick it off the list. That’s the aim, as always, so let’s see how it goes.”

Hamilton has finished second to Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg in each of the last two Austrian Grands Prix, his only two starts at the circuit.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media
0 Comments

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.