News 9 Mar 2020

Roczen battles to second-place finish at 50th Daytona Supercross

Image: Supplied.

Honda Racing Corporation press release:

Round 10 of the AMA Supercross series in Daytona Beach, Florida, saw Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen put together an impressive ride, leading 14 of 18 laps before engaging in a heated battle and ultimately relinquishing the front spot to take the checkered flag in second.

Roczen was aggressive right out of the gate, rocketing his CRF450R down the start straight and rounding the unique 360-degree first turn in second. He wasted no time, quickly making a pass into the lead on the opening lap. From there, the German looked poised to score his fourth victory of the season, as he opened an eight-second margin on the field.

Midway through the race, Roczen lost some of his initial aggression, allowing Eli Tomac to close the gap on him. The duo battled hard, with Roczen eventually making a mistake in an off-camber turn and briefly tipping over, allowing Tomac to take the lead. Roczen didn’t quit though, fighting hard in the final laps to try and mount a counter-attack. He was close, finishing a mere .707” behind the leader. Meanwhile, teammate Justin Brayton had a hard night, fighting back from a less-than-desirable start and a big crash on the last lap to finish 10th.

Ken Roczen:
Tonight went well and I’m happy to come away with a second. My starts have been really good lately, and that continued today in both the heat and the main. When I got out front, I knew I needed to try and lay down some good laps to get a cushion. In the middle of the race I kind of switched up my lines a little, and it didn’t work too well. Eli was coming quick and closed in on me. I made a mistake and tipped over in a turn, which cost me the lead. Even after that happened, it was important for me not to give up and stay right behind him. We were putting down a good pace at the end there, and I think if I had another lap, I could’ve tried to battle back for the lead. I tried my hardest though, and in the end, it wasn’t good enough for a win. I’m really happy with the consistency that we’re bringing every weekend, and with my starts and overall riding. We’re still in a good position for the rest of the season.

Justin Brayton:
I’m pretty disappointed; it doesn’t seem like I can catch a break, honestly. I got an okay start but was shuffled around on the first lap and came around in about 10th. I wasn’t able to make the moves I needed to and was back in the chaos. On the final lap, I was completely taken down by Vince [Friese].