Photo gallery: IndyCar iRacing action at Twin Ring Motegi

Chris Graythen/Getty Images
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VIRTUAL MOTEGI, Japan — The fourth round of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge started and finished with some memorable bangs at virtual Twin Ring Motegi’s oval.

There was a multicar pileup on Lap 3 involving several cars (including the No. 51 of Kyle Busch, who rebounded from the airborne flip pictured above to finish 13th).

A collision between frontrunners Will Power and Scott McLaughlin and the lapped car of Oliver Askew helped hand the victory to Simon Pagenaud.

RESULTS: Click here to see where everyone finished at Twin Ring Motegi

WHAT DRIVERS SAIDPostrace reaction from Motegi

And then runner-up Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves had a massive shunt as Dixon tried to chase down Pagenaud on the last lap.

In between, there was an entertaining collection of strategic twists during the 113-lap race on the 1.5-mile oval.

Courtesy of Getty Images’ Chris Graythen, here are a collection of screenshots from the Firestone 175 at Twin Ring Motegi:

Pole-sitter Robert Wickens (No. 6 Chevrolet) leads the field during the Firestone 175 at virtual Twin Ring Motegi (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

 

A series of images show Helio Castroneves (who finished 29th in his IndyCar iRacing Challenge debut) going airborne over Scott Dixon after the final lap of the Firestone 175 (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

Tony Kanaan finished 30th in a throwback 7-Eleven scheme (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

Will Power led a race-high 61 laps in his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

 

Takuma Sato made his IndyCar iRacing Challenge debut in his native country (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

Scott McLaughlin was on track for another podium or possibly win before a late incident (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

Marco Andretti finished a lap down in 25th and later tweeted he didn’t realize his No. 98 had been slowed by damage (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

Simon Pagenaud celebrates his second consecutive victory in the IndyCar iRacing Challenge (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

An overhead shot of the grandstands at virtual Twin Ring Motegi (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

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.