News 7 Dec 2022

Roczen officially signs to join HEP Suzuki team in 2023

Future is finally clear after agreeing to RM-Z450 reunion next season.

Image: Supplied.

Ken Roczen is officially bound for HEP Motorsports in 2023 after signing to contest the Monster Energy AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross championships, reunited with Suzuki for the third time in his career.

It’s a marquee signing for the HEP team led by Dustin Pipes, finally confirming the future of 28-year-old Roczen following his high-profile split from Team Honda HRC.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the third time in my career,” said Roczen. “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. I have a lot of confidence in Suzuki and the HEP Motorsports program.

“I am excited to finally get the new year going with a fresh start. From the moment I got on the bike I felt right at home. It has been a welcome surprise how quickly I’ve adapted to the bike and the team – we will be ready to go racing come January 7th.”

HEP Motorsports team principal Pipes added: “Everyone is super-excited to have Ken Roczen onboard. Having Ken as part of our team is sure to elevate our performance and we can’t wait to go racing at A1 in January.”

Roczen and Suzuki enjoyed much success in the past including a very successful amateur career in his native Germany. Aboard the prior generation RM-Z450, Roczen won the 450MX championship in 2016 and will now look to repeat that front-running combination in 2023.

“We are pleased to have Ken back on a Suzuki and part of the RM Army,” said Chris Wheeler, motorsports manager for Suzuki Motor USA, LLC. “Ken’s experience, determination and incredible skill are everything we need to help Suzuki and HEP Motorsports achieve the success we are all striving for in 2023.”

Upon departing HRC, Roczen had initially spent an extended period with the Honda Genuine Honda Racing team in winning the World Supercross Championship (WSX) and Paris Supercross together, plus also contested Red Bull Straight Rhythm on a Pro Circuit-built Yamaha YZ250.

Roczen also spent time at ClubMX riding the new generation YZ450F during the current off-season and had a pair of Kawasaki KX450s built by Mitch Payton, in addition to a day testing with Stark Future, but in the end it was HEP with immense Progressive Insurance backing that won his signature for 2023.

With Roczen signed to both Supercross and Pro Motocross in the US for the new season, it does still remain unclear if he will complete the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX) finals season at the end of the year.

On paper it appears that he won’t be defending his WSX crown when it’s due to begin mid-year prior to the outdoors ending. HEP does operate an international program under the Pipes Motorsports Group (PMG), so in theory it isn’t out of the question that Roczen could shift to a full-time supercross schedule.