Gasly ends lengthy win drought in Silverstone GP2 feature race

© GP2 Series

Red Bull junior driver Pierre Gasly scored his first race win for almost three years in Saturday’s GP2 Series feature race at Silverstone.

Gasly’s last win in any category came in September 2013 in a Formula Renault 2.0 race at Paul Ricard, leading to questions about his future on the Red Bull junior program.

Gasly started second at Silverstone on Saturday behind Racing Engineering’s Norman Nato, who held onto his lead with a rocket getaway.

However, an alternate strategy saw Gasly switch from option to prime tires early before whittling Nato’s lead down, meaning that once all of the long-runners had pitted, Gasly found himself in the lead of the race.

After throwing away victory on the last lap in Baku three weeks ago, Gasly ensured that there was no repeat at Silverstone as he eased through the final stages before crossing the line nine seconds clear of the pack.

Gasly’s elation was audible as he celebrated over his team radio, releasing all the pent-up frustration during his 1,015-day stint without a race win.

The result saw Gasly move into the lead of the GP2 drivers’ championship, pulling two points clear of Antonio Giovinazzi who finished the race second ahead of Oliver Rowland.

Mitch Evans finished the feature race in fourth place ahead of Luca Ghiotto, who battled his way up from 21st on the grid to cross the line fifth.

Nobuharu Matsushita returned from his ban in Austria to finish sixth ahead of Nato, while Jordan King secured reverse grid pole by ending the race P8. Raffaele Marciello and Artem Markelov rounded out the points in ninth and 10th respectively.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media

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.