Norman Nato picked up his second win of the 2016 GP2 Series season on Sunday at Monza as Prema teammates and title rivals Pierre Gasly and Antonio Giovinazzi filled out the podium.
Nato started the sprint race fourth on grid, but a rocket start saw him move into the lead at the first corner ahead of Jordan King.
After seizing the lead, Nato never looked back, leading the remainder of the race to secure his second GP2 win, his first coming in the opening race of the year in Spain.
Drivers’ standings leader Gasly managed to fight his way up to second place, picking off King before setting his sights on Nato at the front of the pack, who had by then already escaped up the road.
Gasly’s points advantage only grew by two points as Prema teammate Giovinazzi fought his way to third place, chalking up more crucial points after his victory on Saturday.
Ahead of the next round in Malaysia next month, Gasly holds a 10-point advantage over Giovinazzi, with third-placed Raffaele Marciello a further 26 points behind with four rounds remaining.
King held on to fourth place at the checkered flag after losing out to Giovinazzi, finishing ahead of Artem Markelov and Alex Lynn. Honda youngster Nobuharu Matsushita was seventh ahead of Nicholas Latifi in P8.
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.