Rosberg paces second practice in Austria in mixed conditions

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Nico Rosberg completed a sweep of the two free practice sessions for this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, with the second session interrupted by rain before drying back out in the final half hour.

Rosberg paced the session at a 1:07.967 in the Mercedes W07, running on Pirelli’s supersoft, then ultrasoft tires before rain hit and a number of drivers spun off the road.

Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez, Jolyon Palmer and Max Verstappen were among those caught out.

Drivers went out on Pirelli’s green intermediate tires to test conditions before the track began drying out and drivers started shifting back to slicks.

Hamilton got close to Rosberg’s time on a late ultrasoft run, at 1:07.986, but was unable to surpass the German’s best time from earlier in the session.

Nico Hulkenberg was third ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, the latter in his lederhosen overalls this weekend for Red Bull Racing.

Vettel then went off in a spin at Turn 2 at the end of the session, which put the session under Virtual Safety Car conditions.

Times are below:

FP3 is Saturday morning at 5 a.m. ET on the NBC Sports app and live streamed at NBCSports.com.

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.