Team Honda HRC press release:
Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen posted a fifth-place result at the AMA Supercross series’ 14th round, held at Salt Lake City, Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium. After suffering from health issues during the last two rounds, the German enjoyed a great start in the 450SX main event, grabbing the holeshot and completing lap one in second place.
He briefly assumed the lead on lap seven, and then after a minor slip-up, his momentum dropped and he slipped a few positions. Lap 20 saw him drop to fifth, where he remained until the finish. The result relegated Roczen to third place in the series standings, a mere two points behind second.
Roczen’s teammate Justin Brayton, who had suffered from stomach issues throughout the day, wasn’t able to ride to his potential in the 450SX main event, finishing 12th. Brayton enjoyed a decent start, completing lap one in sixth place, but he lost momentum and slid to 11th by the midway point of the 26-lap race. Struggling to feel comfortable on the track, Brayton eventually fell to 13th, but he regained a spot in the late going.
Three events remain in the series, all at the same venue, with round 15 taking place on Sunday and the last two following in quick succession.
Ken Roczen: “Coming back after two days of trying to get everything lined up again following a tough race, I had a lot more fight and felt a lot better today. I had a good heat race and was able to put up a fight at least for some of the race. I’m not 100% yet obviously, because two days unfortunately is just not enough to get everything lined up, but it was much better than the last race. We’re going to just continue fighting because this stuff is out of our hands and we have the speed and good starts and everything. We have to get my body right and I think we can be on the top step much more consistently.”
Justin Brayton: “It was my roughest one yet. I’m not really sure what went on, but today was just kind of a struggle most of the day. The best thing about this format is that we race again in a few days, so I’m going to try and forget about that one. Overall, I honestly can’t really pinpoint anything other than kind of a stomach bug for most of the day; I didn’t have the energy I needed for that main event. Definitely a bummer, but it’s all good and we’ll come back fighting in a few days.”
Erik Kehoe – Team Manager: “Overall a much better day for Ken. In the main event he had a really good start; he was right there in the corner for the lead and battled for that lead for over half the race. He hung on a lot better than last week. There was big improvement, so I think this is something to build on. Justin unfortunately had a rough night. He was sixth on the start for the first lap, then got banged around a little bit. He struggled to get comfortable after that and rode tight. Now we get to regroup for another couple days and then come back at it.”