MRTI: Sunday race recaps from Toronto

Thompson wins on home soil. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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TORONTO – Three authoritative performances capped off the weekend for the Mazda Road to Indy, with the second races for the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in Toronto.

In a similar performance to Saturday, talented young Swede Felix Rosenqvist led flag-to-flag from pole in the 45-lap, 50-minute 13th race of Indy Lights in his No. 14 Belardi Auto Racing Dallara IL-15 Mazda. It’s his third win of the season, the first driver to do so this year, but by missing the Road America and Iowa rounds he’s out of the title picture.

Rosenqvist took the victory by 7.2614 seconds over Andre Negrao, who equalled his season-best result in the No. 17 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry in second with Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing) holding off Negrao’s SPM teammate Santiago Urrutia for the final podium position.

After a relatively uncompetitive weekend, Ed Jones finished fifth, but maintains his points lead. The Dubai-based Englishman leads Urrutia by 24 points (268-244).

The driver who had a tough day was Dean Stoneman, with a fuel leak taking the Andretti Autosport car out of the race before it even began.

Felix Serralles, meanwhile, survived a couple punctures to end 10th. Stoneman has 237 points with Serralles on 235 and Kaiser on 233 after his second podium finish of the weekend.

The Pro Mazda race followed a similar script as Saturday as well, with Wisconsinite Aaron Telitz winning his fourth consecutive race for Team Pelfrey.

Teammate Pato O’Ward, who won six of the first seven races this year, returned to the podium for the first time in nearly two months, when he won at Lucas Oil Raceway end of May.

The result leaves the pair of drivers tied on 297 markers heading to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in a couple weeks.

Nico Jamin was third, banking his third straight podium finish for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing.

In USF2000, Parker Thompson snatched the lead from Cape teammate Anthony Martin – racing hurt with a sore left hand – and set sail for his fourth win of the season and a cool one to deliver on home soil.

Saturday winner Victor Franzoni completed the podium for ArmsUp Motorsports while Dakota Dickerson (Afterburner Autosport) and Robert Megennis (Team Pelfrey) banking strong top-five results.

All three series head to Mid-Ohio in a couple weeks for a pivotal weekend. For Pro Mazda and USF2000, it’s the second-to-last weekend of the year while Indy Lights also has Watkins Glen International to run before all three series crown their champions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in September.

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.