Aaron Telitz brings home the Pro Mazda title for Team Pelfrey

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

MONTEREY, Calif. – One of Team Pelfrey’s aces in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires was going to win the series championship and young American Aaron Telitz was the one to do it with a win in the third and final race of the weekend, and 16th and final race of the season.

Driving the No. 82 Rice Lake Weighing Systems entry, Telitz finally had a trouble-free drive in the 40-minute race from his third successive pole position of the weekend.

Despite a massively furious, late charge from Will Owen in Juncos Racing to close within 1.0543 of a second, Telitz held on for his sixth win of the season – and his 13 podiums to nine for teammate Pato O’Ward was enough to win the title more on consistency. O’Ward won one more race, seven to six, with Nico Jamin (two wins) and Nicolas Dapero (one win) adding the remainder of the wins this year.

Owen was second with Dapero third.

Jamin and Jake Parsons got around O’Ward in the final two laps for fourth and fifth, leaving the young Mexican in sixth after he faded in the waning stages of the race owing to a broken right rear A-frame.

Unofficially, Telitz won the title by 28 points – 421 to 393 – but in truth the year was closer than that between them.

Telitz wins the Mazda advancement scholarship of $600,000 to move into the top rung of the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires ladder, the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, in 2017. Telitz has primarily Wisconsin-based support and also some additional help from the Rising Star Racing initiative.

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.