The HEP Motorsports squad made huge headlines in the off-season by grabbing Ken Roczen and putting him back on Suzukis. The team will now flaunt two different title sponsors racing out of two different semis. Roczen and the new 250 squad (with Dilan Schwartz and Marshal Weltin) will race under the Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki banner. The 450 riders Kyle Chisholm, Shane McElrath, and Brandon Hartranft will race under the Twisted Tea presented by Progressive banner.
Why? Without a drink sponsor on Roczen's bike or truck, Ken gets to keep his long-running Red Bull sponsorship. Also, Twisted Tea is an over-age-21 beverage, which mis hard to market with 250 riders who are often very young. So Roczen and the 250 squad just have the Progressive logos.
The following press release is from Suzuki:
Suzuki Supercross Riders Set for 2023
BREA, CA — Suzuki Motor USA, LLC is pleased to announce its continuation with HEP Motorsports for the 2023 season. Suzuki will support two squads under the HEP Motorsports umbrella: Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki and Twisted Tea Suzuki Presented by Progressive Insurance.
Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki
Roczen, who has a strong affiliation with the brand and won his most recent AMA championship with Suzuki, will be reunited with the RM-Z450, and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army. Schwartz is back on a Suzuki for 2023 after a rollercoaster season in 2022. After impressive performances aboard the RM-Z450 at the beginning of last year’s motocross season, Weltin joins the RM Army full-time and is looking to build on his momentum.
Twisted Tea Suzuki Presented by Progressive Insurance
The Twisted Tea Suzuki Presented by Progressive Insurance effort on 450s continues with veteran rider Kyle Chisholm (11) from Clearwater, FL, crowd favorite Shane McElrath from Canton, NC (12) and Brandon Hartranft (37), who hails from Brick, NJ. [Note: Hartranft is out with injuries and McElrath is his fill in.]
Joining the team for 2023, Chisholm brings solid racing and set-up experience to the team and is looking forward to competing aboard the RM-Z450. Alongside Chisholm, the exciting racecraft of McElrath augments the RM Army, and McElrath is looking to make serious strides in 2023. Back again with the Twisted Tea Suzuki Presented by Progressive Insurance team is Hartranft. Injured at a pre-season training session incident, Suzuki Motor, USA wishes Brandon a speedy recovery as he looks forward to returning to the track.
“We are excited to take on the 2023 Supercross season. Our program has grown for 2023, and we are in the best position possible to have a successful 2023 campaign,” commented HEP Motorsport’s Team Principle, Dustin Pipes. “Testing and development have been going well and we are still finding new advancements to help the riders take the next step. With these new additions, it is an exciting time to be a fan of Suzuki Racing and we are eager to show off our hard work at the first event in Anaheim.”
The 2023 Suzuki RM-Z450 and RM-Z250 are ready for action for 2023.
Suzuki is excited to compete in the 2023 Supercross season and looks forward to seeing the entire RM Army at the venues and tracks throughout the year The 2023 Supercross season debuts on January 7th, 2023, at Angel Stadium for Anaheim 1.
For more racing news, results, and special team content please visit suzukicycles.com/racing/motocross.