Steady Fifth Overall for Roczen at Southwick

Courtesy of Honda Racing Corporation

  Southwick National

AMA Pro Motocross 2018   Round 6

In hot, humid conditions at what is arguably the roughest circuit of the AMA Pro Motocross series, Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen continued his positive return from injuries, tallying 5-5 moto finishes for fifth overall in Southwick, Massachusetts, home of The Wick 338.

Racing at a circuit he hadn’t been to since 2016, the German kicked off the racing with a convincing moto-one holeshot aboard his CRF450R and held the lead for four laps before being overtaken by a battle involving the three riders who would eventually occupy the podium. Lap 13 saw him lose an additional spot, and he completed the final three laps in fifth. The second moto was steadier for the German, who started in fourth place before quickly advancing to third. Lap six saw him slip back a place, and he relinquished another spot three laps later to assume fifth, the position in which he would finish the moto.



 

NOTES

  • Morning practice saw Ken Roczen post a best lap time of 2’11.033”. The time, which came in the second session, earned him the sixth gate pick.
  • The second-best Red Rider in the 450MX class was Lorenzo Locurcio, whose 7-7 moto finishes secured a commendable seventh overall. It was the Venezuelan’s best-ever AMA Pro Motocross result.
  • While Roczen continues to make gains with his fitness, he’s also experiencing progress with the aftereffects of his injuries. One small-but-appreciated step was the fact that he was able to switch from taping his right arm to using a wrist brace at Southwick. “Getting everything ready for the tape takes a lot of time, so I’m glad I was able to practice and race without tape this week,” he said.
  • As The Wick 338 is the sandiest track of the year, Team Honda HRC used a unique setup compared to the other rounds, with changes to the suspension and gearing, and of course Roczen’s CRF450R had Dunlop sand tires mounted.
  • As has been the case at the last few rounds, mechanic Rich Simmons was on hand at Southwick to lend a hand, and he reported that his rider Cole Seely is making progress with his recovery. “He just had a doctor’s appointment, and everything’s looking good,” Simmons said. “He’s riding his mountain bike on a paved path, his spirits are good, and everything is on track. Hopefully I’ll do some mountain biking with him this week, although I’m still pretty out of shape compared to him!”
  • With Jeremy Martin now out for the remainder of the season, RJ Hampshire, Chase Sexton, and Cameron Mcadoo were left to fly the GEICO Honda flag in the 250MX class at Southwick, and Hampshire put in a 7-3 moto tally for a respectable fourth overall. Sexton went 5-14 for eighth, while Mcadoo notched 9-13 results for 11th.
  • Team Honda HRC and Ken Roczen were pleased to work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to host Jaiden Britt and his family at Southwick. After traveling from their Texas home on Friday, the Britts headed to The Wick 338 on Saturday morning by limousine, with a police escort organized by Make-A-Wish volunteer Tom Convery. Once at the track, they had the chance to meet Roczen, who gifted Jaiden with a signed jersey, to tour the Honda tech truck, and to enjoy lunch with the team. For the actual racing, MX Sports set up the Britts with passes to a trackside VIP hospitality tent.
  • Next up for the AMA Pro Motocross series is the popular RedBud round in Buchanan, Michigan, which will host the teams and riders on July 7.

Ken Roczen  94

“It was a little bit of a struggle. We made some changes to the bike to help me out a little bit, but you don’t want to make too many changes on race day. It’s still a learning curve after so much time off the bike. I’m trying everything at home to get back, but I feel like race shape is just going to take a little time. Today was brutal—super-hot and the track was pretty beat—plus I haven’t been here in a couple years. I fought it out, and I’m just going to continue working with the team and working on myself to get better. I’m healthy and got good starts again, so I’m pretty happy from that side. I’ve been going quite hard throughout the week, trying to put in more and more work, but I think sometimes it’s good to take it a notch down and fully recover. RedBud could be another hot one, so we’ll recover and hopefully have a good race next weekend.”

Erik Kehoe

Team Manager

“This was probably the toughest track and toughest conditions of the year, and definitely the sandiest race. I think getting out of here with a fifth place is good, especially because Kenny learned some more this week about the bike, about his fitness, and about this track. Every week, we’re learning more and getting stronger and stronger.”

Oscar Wirdeman

Mechanic (Ken Roczen)

“It was kind of a rough one for Kenny I think. This track is pretty brutal, but he got a holeshot and rode a good pace for a bit. After that he didn’t really have it in him. Even in ’16 he struggled here a little bit, when he was on top of the world, and now he’s coming back from injuries and hasn’t been here for two years. It’s not really where we wanted to be, but we’re building.”

450MX Moto 1 Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Time/Gap
1 Tomac Eli 3 USA 25 Monster Energy Kawasaki
2 Musquin Marvin 25 FRA 22 Red Bull KTM
3 Barcia Justin 51 USA 20 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team
4 Baggett Blake 4 USA 18 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS
5 Roczen Ken 94 GER 16 Team Honda HRC
6 Blose Benny 934 USA 15 Bloss Racing
7 Locurcio Lorenzo 44 VEN 14 None
8 Cooper Cody 121 NZL 13 Crownkiwi Enterprise
9 Peick Weston 23 USA 12 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing
10 Nicoletti Phillip 46 USA 11 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing
11 Canning Chris 376 USA 10 Manchester Honda KTM
12 Miller Henry 81 USA 9 Trigger Racing
13 Masterpool Jake 146 USA 8 None
14 Merriam Dylan 559 USA 7 None
15 Harrison Heath USA 6 Got Gear Motorsports
16 Leith Brandon 388 USA 5 Team Leith
17 Dowd Ryan 776 USA 4 Kenny G’s Performance Tuning
18 Bogle Justin 19 USA 3 RCH Racing
19 DeMartile Dare 207 USA 2 None
20 Marshall Robert 748 USA 1 Ramtrax Racing

450 Moto 2 Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Time/Gap
1 Musquin Marvin 25 FRA 25 Red Bull KTM
2 Tomac Eli 3 USA 22 Monster Energy Kawasaki
3 Barcia Justin 51 USA 20 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team
4 Baggett Blake 4 USA 18 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS
5 Roczen Ken 94 GER 16 Team Honda HRC
6 Blose Benny 934 USA 15 Bloss Racing
7 Locurcio Lorenzo 44 VEN 14 None
8 Nicoletti Phillip 46 USA 13 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing
9 Webb Cooper 2 USA 12 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team
10 Leith Brandon 388 USA 11 Team Leith
11 Peick Weston 23 USA 10 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing
12 Crown Joseph 95 USA 9 Club MX Redemption Racing
13 Cunningham Kyle 39 USA 8 H.E.P Motorsports
14 Gaines Nick 49 USA 7 Traders Racing
15 Canning Chris 376 USA 6 Manchester Honda KTM
16 Cooper Cody 121 NZL 5 Crownkiwi Enterprise
17 Autenrieth Cade 330 USA 4 Mountain Motorsports/Factory Connection/Hinson
18 DeMartile Dare 207 USA 3 None
19 Smith Jeremy USA 2 Smith Racing
20 Bogle Justin 19 USA 1 RCH Racing

 

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