Tavo Hellmund wanted partnership with Honda or Mercedes for Manor F1

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American-Mexican businessman Tavo Hellmund says that held talks with both Honda and Mercedes regarding a partnership with Manor Racing before his bid to buy the Formula 1 team collapsed, resulting in its closure.

Manor entered administration last month amid ongoing financial difficulties, with team owner Stephen Fitzpatrick unable to secure enough backing to keep the operation going through 2017.

Fitzpatrick said in November that terms had been agreed with an investor – Hellmund – only for the deal to collapse following its demotion to last place in the constructors’ championship.

Hellmund played an instrumental role in getting both the United States Grand Prix and Mexican Grand Prix on the F1 calendar in recent years, the latter being one of the sport’s best-attended events in 2015 and 2016, but was looking to turn his hand to team ownership.

Speaking to the Austin-American Statesman, Hellmund revealed that he had held talks with both Honda and Mercedes that would have seen Manor link up in a similar way Haas has done with Ferrari.

“We were looking to form a partnership with one of the big manufacturers, Mercedes or Honda,” Hellmund said.

“We had conversations with both. That way you can get motors — discounted motors — and get a driver. It’s almost like being a Triple-A [baseball] team.”

Hellmund also revealed that it was his investment group’s second attempt to buy the team, having previously made an offer back in 2015.

“The first go-round, we were even going to involve Anthony Hamilton, Lewis’ dad,” he said.

“We made two stabs at it. We offered £22 million a year and a half ago.”

Following Manor’s closure, the F1 grid for 2017 is down to just 10 teams, but perhaps more pressingly over 200 people were left without a job.

“It’s a shame those people are now out of work,” Hellmund said.

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.