Antonio Giovinazzi enjoys “emotional” first Ferrari F1 test at Fiorano

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2016 GP2 vice-champion Antonio Giovinazzi enjoyed his first Formula 1 test with Ferrari at Fiorano on Thursday.

Giovinazzi, 23, finished second in last year’s GP2 standings behind Red Bull youngster Pierre Gasly, and stood out as one of the best rookies to grace the series in recent years.

The Italian’s efforts were good enough to land him a role as Ferrari’s third driver for the 2017 season, as confirmed by CEO Sergio Marchionne in December.

Giovinazzi was given his first taste of F1 machinery on Thursday, completing running in the 2015-spec Ferrari F1 car at Fiorano, its private test track.

According to Ferrari, Giovinazzi “ran a test program, approved by the FIA, aimed at making a comparison between data acquired in the simulator and on track.”

“It was a wonderful feeling, as this was my first time driving a Formula 1 car. For an Italian, driving out of the pits in a Ferrari is an amazing experience,” Giovinazzi said after the test.

“The actual testing was very interesting, with so many procedures to follow. But the guys in the team were very nice to me and extremely helpful and that made everything much easier. I’d like to thank the whole team.”

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.