The Michelin Alley turns 100 – 100 issues – at Road America

Photo courtesy of IMSA
0 Comments

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – There’s always so many more elements to a race weekend than just the on-track activity itself and one of those is celebrating a key milestone this weekend.

Some 10 years ago, then Michelin motorsports marketing manager Silvia Mammone hatched the idea of Michelin producing an all-inclusive trackside publication to complement Michelin’s trackside activity.

And thus, “The Alley” was born, starting with the 2007 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the first race of that year’s American Le Mans Series season.

While sports car racing, through various teams, series and regulations have all changed over the last 10 years, Michelin, and its trackside publication, have been an enduring constant – one that has served as a perfect trackside compendium since at every ALMS, and then IMSA race since that Michelin has participated in. Michelin currently participates in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s lone class with open tire competition, GT Le Mans.

This weekend, “The Alley” turns 100 with its 100th print edition. The core team of producers include longtime Michelin PR ace John Love (lead writer and editor), along with photographer Rick Dole, creative director Paul Ryan, and Love’s EMC Strategic Communications’ managing editor Barry Cameron. And there’s been a number of longtime writers and reporters within the industry who at one point or another have contributed along the way (myself included, which I’ll expand upon here in a second).

On a personal note, this is a special milestone for me because I’d been brought on by the team when Michelin’s trackside publication took its next step to launch a standalone website as a compendium to the trackside publication. MichelinAlley.com launched in 2010 with both a blog and a separate Twitter account, and serves as the most up-to-date website for Michelin’s trackside activity after the print itself. It was a major step in my career and something that, without it happening, I’m not sure I’d be sitting here writing this today.

But as my mom once famously told me and it’s something I’ve listened to ever since, “Always have a hard copy” – and at every ALMS or IMSA race I’ve been to since it launched, I always make sure to grab at least one hard copy of The Alley.

Here’s two links about The Alley from MichelinAlley.com:

100 editions of Michelin Alley
Michelin Alley 2007 – 2016 (and counting!)

Here’s a link to the 100th edition itself.

And here’s a video linked below:

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.