Another Impressive Pro Motocross Victory for Roczen at Thunder Valley National

Courtesy of Honda Racing Corporation

  Thunder Valley National AMA Pro Motocross 2019   Round 3 Another Impressive Pro Motocross Victory for Roczen at Thunder Valley National It was another stellar day for Team Honda HRC at round three of the AMA Pro Motocross series at Lakewood, Colorado’s Thunder Valley MX Park, as Ken Roczen emerged victorious for the second time this season with impressive 1-2 finishes. Roczen’s strong performance allowed him to regain control of the red plate and championship points lead. Although not reflected in his 11thoverall result, teammate Cole Seely put forth his strongest showing of the season, battling for fourth in the first moto before going down in a deep rut. When the gate dropped on moto one, Roczen propelled his CRF450R up the long start hill and came around the first turn in third. He quickly began his push forward, making swift passes and making his way into the lead early on the first lap. Once he established control of the race, the German never looked back, checking out from the rest of the field. Over the remainder of the 30-minute-plus-two-lap race, Roczen rode unchallenged, taking the win with an impressive 35-second lead. Meanwhile, Seely got off to a top-10 start and began a strong charge forward. He made the pass into sixth on lap seven, but kept his momentum going, taking over fifth on the following lap. Seely then closed the gap on fourth and began applying pressure, making several pass attempts over the next four laps. Unfortunately, he got caught up in a deep rut, causing him to go down and lose multiple positions. He remounted and took the checkered flag in ninth. In the day’s final moto, Roczen shot out of the gate to another third-place start but moved into second before the completion of the first lap. On lap two, Roczen made the pass into the lead and quickly opened another multi-second gap. He maintained the front spot until he came under fire from Eli Tomac with less than 13 minutes remaining. A heated battle ensued until Roczen relinquished the lead on lap 10, leaving him to finish in second. Seely got a mid-pack start and was forced to come from behind, working his way from 20thto 12thby the end. NOTES For the third consecutive week, Honda Red Riders took advantage of Friday’s press day, allowing them an additional 30-minute practice session prior to the race. Riders and crew took the opportunity to dial their CRF450Rs in at elevation. Later that evening, Roczen and Seely were joined by the GEICO Honda crew for an autograph session at Peak Honda World in Littleton. On Friday, the musical band Sublime with Rome launched the music video to their new song “Light On,” featuring Team Honda HRC rider Cole Seely. Check out the full video here. The day started on a positive note, as Roczen secured the second-fastest time during the morning’s second qualifying session, with a solid 2’04.198” lap. Seely was ninth with a 2’06.548” time. Roczen’s speed was unmatched in the first moto, as he laid down the quickest lap time of the race with a 2’10.566”, over two seconds quicker than the second-fastest time. After spending the past five weeks in California, Roczen flew back home to Florida the day after the Thunder Valley National. Seely won’t be far behind him, as he’ll spend one more week at home in Costa Mesa before making the move to Clermont for the summer to train at the Moto Sandbox. “This will be my second summer in Florida training,” Seely said. “I was supposed to go last year but obviously got hurt. It’s overall just a better situation. We’re riding at a private facility with multiple tracks, and getting to ride alongside fast guys like Ken and Chase [Sexton] is an advantage because we push ourselves more. It’s also good training for the heat and humidity, which we encounter at many rounds.” The Thunder Valley National proved a challenge for the GEICO Honda team, as inconsistent starts left each rider fighting for position. Chase Sexton was the top Red Rider in the 250 Class, finishing fifth overall with 7-6 scores. Teammate RJ Hampshire showed podium-level speed early in moto one but was unable to maintain that pace, finishing seventh on the day with 5-11 marks. Hunter Lawrence was eighth with 10-7 finishes, while Christian Craig finished 18th. Team Honda HRC will take their first of three one-week breaks in the series before heading to Mount Morris, Pennsylvania, on June 15 for round four at High Point Raceway. “I really like High Point,” Roczen said. “It’s kind of like this one [Thunder Valley], with a lot of hills, clay type soil and ruts. It should be interesting because it’ll be the first race where it’s probably going to be pretty humid so that will play into effect.”
Ken Roczen  94 “I’m stoked to come away with another overall win and to get the red plate back. The first moto was awesome. I’m honestly not sure what happened; the gate just dropped and I was on. I like this track and the ruts, so something just clicked. I could really just make something happen quickly in the first few laps and get away from the pack. It was a good feeling to have a gap and finish the moto not having to worry about everything. The track was a lot gnarlier in the second moto. I led about half the race but then Eli [Tomac] and I had a good battle, then even when he went by I tried to stick right behind him. He obviously gapped me a bit, especially when we started to get into some lappers; there were a few sketchy moments with some of them. I tried my best to stay with him but also didn’t want to risk making too big of a mistake, so I just rode solid to the finish.”

Cole Seely  14

“This weekend definitely went better than the past weekends, but unfortunately it doesn’t really show that in the results. The first moto I felt like I had a really good flow and got into the zone. I started setting good lap times and picking my way through the pack. I went from 10th and almost passed into fourth before I fell over. I kind of knocked the wind out of myself because the bike just stopped in the rut and I went forward into the bars. I managed to get up and finish ninth. In the second moto I definitely didn’t have the same flow. I was just a little off and I think it was a combination of the altitude and being a bit tired from the first race. I just tried to push through it and tried to manage my energy and fight my way through, but I wasn’t able to put together the results I needed. I’m looking forward to continuing to build and get stronger.”

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