Alonso teases Indy 500 helmet; Wednesday test set to be streamed

Photo: NBCSN
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Anticipation continues to build for Fernando Alonso’s debut on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, with his maiden test set for Wednesday in the jointly entered McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport car.

Alonso, who was en route to the U.S. earlier this week after failing to start the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi, has posted a couple Instagram pictures of note.

The first is his surname on an avenue in Indianapolis; near the track, drivers expected to compete in this year’s 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil all have their own street names. “Alonso Avenue” is linked below.

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👍🇺🇸

A post shared by Fernando Alonso (@fernandoalo_oficial) on

Today, the buildup saw Alonso tease most, but not all, of his Bell helmet for this year’s Indianapolis 500. He posted portions of it on his Instagram story, and then combined all of those into one picture.

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Retro is the way forward . Helmet. #indyHelmet #alonsoIndy500

A post shared by Fernando Alonso (@fernandoalo_oficial) on

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has also announced Alonso’s test, set from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, will be live streamed. In a late addition, it will be on the NBC Sports App as well as the below details.

Details from an IMS release are below:

A fully produced live show will be televised online from 9:30 a.m.-noon, with an announcing team of 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner and 1978 Formula One World Champion Mario Andretti and NBC Sports Network’s Verizon IndyCar Series talent Kevin Lee and Robin Miller. Coverage of the test will continue from 1-5 p.m. with a live stream without commentary.

Both the live show and stream will be available at these online outlets:

Alonso’s No. 29 Honda and livery will be revealed in the morning on social media, per an Andretti Autosport team representative, before the test occurs.

And before Alonso gets in the car, Marco Andretti will shake the car down. Andretti told NBC Sports at Phoenix how he got selected for the opportunity.

“It’ll be fun,” he said. “They know I can get up to speed; I’m always sort of the one picked to do that kind of thing. Basically, I’ll make sure he has a real comfortable balance for his first run.”

Andretti will be coming from today’s one-day open test in Madison, Ill., just outside St. Louis, at Gateway Motorsports Park where he and most of the full field is testing today.

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.