Canadian Grand Prix set to go ahead as planned in 2017

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The Canadian Grand Prix is set to go ahead as planned next year after an agreement was reached between the event organizers and Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone this week.

The race in Montreal had been listed on the provisional calendar as being ‘subject to agreement’ after the promised improvement work at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was not completed. The upgrades are expected to be completed for the 2019 race.

Mayor of Montreal Denis Coderre took to Twitter earlier this week to confirm that an agreement had now been reached for the 2017 event to go ahead as planned on June 11.

“There will be a Grand Prix of Canada in 2017,” Coderre tweeted, adding that there was an agreement in principle between F1 officials and the race promoter, Octane.

“Montreal and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve produce one of the most exciting grands prix of the season,” Octane chief Francois Dumontier added in a statement.

“In 2017, everyone will have even more good reasons to be there to celebrate 50 years of F1 racing in Canada.”

Canadian interest in F1 is set to be boosted next year when 18-year-old Lance Stroll makes his debut with Williams. Stroll will become the first Canadian to race in F1 since Jacques Villeneuve made his final start in 2006.

The final version of the 2017 F1 calendar is set to be issued following the final World Motor Sport Council meeting at the beginning of December in Vienna.

Following Coderre’s confirmation, 19 races are now secure on the schedule, with question marks still lingering over Germany and Brazil’s inclusion.

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.