Vettel fights from last on grid to finish fifth in Singapore

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Sebastian Vettel bounced back from an issue in qualifying that left him last on the grid to finish Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix in fifth position.

Four-time Formula 1 world champion Vettel entered the Singapore weekend targeting Ferrari’s first victory of the season, having won last year’s race at Marina Bay.

However, a rear anti-roll bar failure in qualifying resigned the German to 22nd place on the grid for the start, limiting his hopes of a big result.

Vettel made an aggressive two-stop strategy work perfectly which, combined with some aggressive overtakes around the tight confines of the street circuit, gave him fifth place at the checkered flag.

“Tough day yesterday and a better one today,” Vettel told NBCSN after the race.

“Overtaking here is rare, but I got a couple guys, especially into Turn 7. The fight I had with Esteban [Gutierrez] and Carlos [Sainz Jr.] didn’t last too long. But it was fun! Three cars, together into Turn 9, in end I was happy I came out ahead.

“It was a good race. We were gambling for a safety car starting on harder tires. We didn’t use the pace of the car on the ultra-soft.”

Despite Vettel’s fightback, Ferrari lost yet more ground on Red Bull in the race for second place in the constructors’ championship as Daniel Ricciardo finished the race second.

Vettel feels that Ferrari could have been a match for Red Bull in Singapore, and that the Italian marque needs to wipe away the 15-point gap in the constructors’ over the coming races.

“I think [Red Bull] is a match. The problem is where we couldn’t really show what we could do,” Vettel said.

“It’s nobody’s fault. Sometimes it’s ours. The next couple races we need to get ahead of Red Bull in constructors.

“The season is not over. We’re here to win, [but] we’re far away at the moment. But every race is another opportunity.”

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.