Roczen Secures Second Overall at High Point National

Courtesy of Honda Racing Corporation

Round four of the AMA Pro Motocross series at Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania’s High Point Raceway saw Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen rebound after a tough first moto, in which he finished sixth, to put in an incredible come-from-behind performance in the second moto and score his third moto victory of the season. Roczen’s second-place overall result leaves him tied for the lead in the championship chase, with 176 points.

In the first moto, Roczen got off to a good start, but a hectic first lap saw him fall from fourth to seventh. He navigated his way into fifth on lap two and quickly closed the gap on fourth. He fought hard to make a pass and ultimately gained the position another rider went down. While pushing to make a pass on Eli Tomac in third, Roczen was forced to also defend against Marvin Musquin, who began applying pressure. Roczen was unable to keep the Frenchman at bay, relinquishing fourth place on lap 13. Two laps later, Roczen was caught off guard, getting passed one more time and taking the checkered flag in sixth.

When the gate dropped on moto two, Roczen got a good jump off the line but came together with the riders on each side of him, shuffling him outside the top 10. Roczen showed much more aggression, and by the completion of the opening lap, he had worked his way into eighth. He continued to make quick work of the riders ahead of him, moving into fifth by the following lap. The German didn’t stop there, continuing his impressive charge forward, making his way into second at the halfway point. He chipped away at the leader’s gap, closing in and making a pass stick on lap nine to take over the front spot. Roczen rode the remainder of the race unchallenged.

NOTES

  • A local group called the Morgantown Grom Squad rode their Honda Groms to High Point Raceway to cheer on fellow Red Rider Ken Roczen. During the opening ceremonies, the club lined up on the gate and did a shortened parade lap. A small group of them also gathered by the podium to celebrate Roczen’s second-moto victory before they took a group photo with their favorite rider.
  • Team Honda HRC was down to just one rider in Pennsylvania, as Cole Seely was injured the week before the race. Seely is scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery this week and will miss the remainder of the season.
  • During the morning’s timed qualifying practice, Roczen struggled to find his rhythm, scoring the sixth-fastest time with a 2’05.032”.
  • Roczen’s speed was unmatched in the second moto, as he laid down a 2’02.982” time for the fastest lap of the race.
  • The program for the High Point National differed from the previous three rounds, with the 450 class scheduled first for both practice and the motos. “I really like when the 450 class races first,” Roczen said. “There’s still plenty of time after qualifying to rest up before the first moto, but you’re done a lot earlier overall. Living in Florida, I was able to find a flight home directly after the race.”
  • It was celebratory day for the GEICO Honda squad, as Hunter Lawrence and Chase Sexton both rode strong to land their CRF250 race machines in second and third overall, respectively. The Australian rookie has showed podium-level speed all season, but his breakthrough performance at High Point saw him score a career-first moto win in the day’s first 250 race, then finish third in moto two. Sexton overcame a poor start in the first moto, advancing to fourth by the checkered flag. When the gate dropped on the final race of the day, Sexton got off the line to a top-five start, then quickly moved into third. On lap six, he made the pass into second, which is where he finished.
  • On the Monday following the High Point National, the Team Honda HRC crew planned to head to Claremont, Florida, to do multiple days of testing at the Moto Sandbox prior to the Florida National.
  • The Honda Red Riders will return to action on June 22 for the inaugural event at Jacksonville, Florida’s WW Ranch Motocross Park, which is round five of the AMA Pro Motocross series. “I’m looking forward to next weekend’s race,” Roczen said. “The track is sandy. It’s very similar—actually almost identical—to what I ride on a regular basis at home. We had our own little ride day there last week and got to ride the track, so that was cool. It’s also a really nice facility, and I think fans will enjoy it.”

Ken Roczen  94

“I’m glad we left today on a high note. I had a new setup in Florida and unfortunately with the weather, I’ve only been able to put a very short amount of time on it, and that’s what I started with here today. I struggled all morning with it. Going into the first moto, we went back to my Colorado setting, except with some clicker changes I’ve been running at home. However, that didn’t work for me at all. I wasn’t riding well and just went backwards in the first moto. For the second moto, I just went back to our full Colorado setup, and it was nice to see that we have a very solid base that I can go back to. I just knew exactly what the bike was going to do, and we had an incredible moto. I came from far behind after a bad start and came away with a moto win and second on the podium. It was pretty huge.”

Erik Kehoe

Team Manager

“Ken did a really great job salvaging the day. Consistency is going to be key throughout this whole championship, so for him to struggle in the first moto, then recover and come away with the win in the second moto was very impressive. He showed a lot of aggression in the second moto, even with the track being so tough. We’re happy to come away with second overall.”

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