AMA Supercross 2018 Round 5
It was an exhilarating night for Team Honda HRC at round five of the AMA Supercross series in Oakland, as Ken Roczen secured second place after a heated battle in the final laps of the race. When the gate dropped for the main event, both Roczen and teammate Cole Seely launched down the start straight, with Seely scoring the holeshot and early lead, while Roczen was tucked in behind him. It looked as though it might be a double podium for the Red Riders, as the duo ran 1-2 until nearly the halfway mark. On lap 11, Seely made a big mistake while leading, costing him several positions. He remounted in fourth but struggled to get back into his groove, losing two more spots before taking the checkered flag in sixth.
Meanwhile, back at the front, Roczen continued to put together solid laps and had his sights set on his first win of the season. As the German navigated the challenging track, lapped riders began to play a bigger role, and Roczen came under fire from Jason Anderson during the closing laps. Both riders made mistakes during their heated battle and swapped positions multiple times before Roczen was edged out by just .839 seconds at the end.
- On Friday evening, Team Honda HRC riders Ken Roczen and Cole Seely, along with GEICO Honda’s Christian Craig and Chase Sexton, attended a pre-race Supercross party at Hayward, California’s East Bay Motorsports, where they signed autographs and posed for photos.
- The Oakland Supercross was unique because it marked the first day race of the season. The schedule started three hours earlier than normal, with rider track walk at 7:30 a.m. and the racing concluding by 7 p.m. “I’m not a morning person at all, so it was tough getting up and getting to the track so much earlier than normal today,” Seely admitted. “It felt like we were at a motocross race. The overall schedule was the same, so nothing changed there, and it was really nice getting done by 7 so we can catch a flight home.”
- During the day’s timed qualifying practice, Seely was impressive aboard his CRF450R, continuously battling for the top position before securing the fourth-quickest time, at 51.947’, in the second session. Roczen struggled to get comfortable with the Oakland soil, leaving him slightly off pace in 14th with a 53.397’ time.
- In the evening program, Roczen wore a unique set of black-and-white riding gear that represents a collaboration between Fox Racing and See See Motorcycles, a Portland coffeehouse and apparel shop. See See promotes the popular One Motorcycle Show that kicks off February 9, when the gear will become available to the public. “We’re trying to tie ourselves in with brands that expand on the culture of riding, being passionate about the sport, and having fun, which fits Ken,” explained Clayton Williams, Fox’s Pro MX Team Manager. “Our designer really got into that idea of making something retro that was onboard with See See’s flat track ideas and their gear. What he wore was just a take on that, with the vintage leather-pants look with the different color jersey and ribbed neckline and cuffs.”
- In 450SX heat one, Seely put together a flawless performance, grabbing the holeshot and riding unmatched for the entire six-minute-plus-one-lap race to take the win. Slotted in the same heat, Roczen got off to a top-10 start and moved into fifth by lap two. With less than two minutes remaining, he gained one more position to take the checkered flag in fourth.
- Despite his sixth-place finish in the main event, Seely laid down the second-fastest lap of the race with a 51.083’ time.
- Both riders had good starts in Oakland, and Erik Kehoe pointed to Team Honda HRC Technical Support Naoki Serizawa. “He has been a big help figuring that out,” the team manager said. Cole Seely’s mechanic Rich Simmons concurred, adding, “I have to give credit to Naoki because they worked on starts this week, and it helped with both guys getting good starts.”
- After five rounds, Roczen sits second in the championship chase with 100 points, while Seely is fourth with 87. With MotoConcepts rider Justin Brayton sitting fifth, Red Riders hold three of the top five positions.
- This week, the Honda Red Riders head back to Southern California for round six at Petco Park in downtown San Diego. On Friday from 6 to 7:30 p.m., the riders will take part in a dealer appearance at South Bay Motorsports.
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