Paul Hembery handed new Pirelli role amid management reshuffle

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Pirelli’s Formula 1 tire chief Paul Hembery has been appointed the company’s new executive director for Latin America following a reshuffle of its senior management positions.

Hembery has overseen Pirelli’s F1 interests since its return to the sport as tire supplier in 2011 as motorsport director, with Mario Isola working as his understudy.

As confirmed by Pirelli on Tuesday, Hembery will now become its LatAm executive director, but will continue to oversee its motorsport interests. Isola has been made Pirelli’s head of car racing and will take on more of the day-to-day duties in F1.

“With effect from 15 March 2017, Paul Hembery has been nominated Executive President of Pirelli Latam Region Consumer, which includes operating units in Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela,” a short statement from Pirelli reads.

“The motorsport activities, for which Hembery will continue to ensure overall coordination, remain entrusted to Mario Isola, as Head of Car Racing, and Giorgio Barbier, as Head of Moto Racing, together with Gianni Guidotti, Head of Technical and Commercial Operations.”

Pirelli has introduced a new range of F1 tires for 2017, increasing the size of its compounds by 25 per cent and making them more durable and consistent following complaints from drivers in recent years.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

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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.