Bottas edges Massa to lead second day of F1 test in Barcelona

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Valtteri Bottas edged out former Williams teammate Felipe Massa to lead day two of Formula 1’s second pre-season test in Barcelona.

Bottas posted the quickest overall time during the first week of running at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but was able to go faster still on Wednesday as times edged towards the circuit’s lap record.

Bottas recorded a best lap of 1:19.310 on the super-soft tire to finish one-tenth of a second clear of Massa at the top of the timesheets, having spent the morning behind the wheel of the Mercedes W08 car.

Teammate Lewis Hamilton took over in the afternoon and focused on long runs, ending up sixth overall in the final classification.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen wound up third, but was forced to cut his day short after crashing at Turn 3 in the afternoon, denting the Scuderia’s erstwhile-impressive run of reliability through pre-season.

Max Verstappen was fourth for Red Bull, but he too hit trouble in the afternoon, his RB13 car stopping out on-track with around 15 minutes left in the day.

Williams rookie Lance Stroll returned to the cockpit after a tough first week that saw him crash a number of times, and had a trouble-free day en route to fifth place overall. Nico Hulkenberg followed behind Hamilton in P7, with Sergio Perez eighth for Force India.

Romain Grosjean completed close to 100 laps for Haas, finishing the day ninth in the timesheets ahead of Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr. Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson split running for Sauber once again, finishing 11th and 13th respectively, with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso squeezing between the two. Jolyon Palmer propped up the timesheets for Renault in 14th.

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.