Team Honda HRC press release:
Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen took back second place in the AMA Supercross points standings with a picture-perfect ride to victory in the 450SX main event on Sunday. The German started in second but took over the lead on lap four, and that’s where he stayed for the remainder of the 29-lap race, establishing a comfortable margin along the way.
It was Roczen’s fourth premier-class win of the season and the 15th of his career, though it was his first during this seven-race stretch to be held at Salt Lake City’s Rice-Eccles Stadium; Roczen has been battling health problems since the return to racing, but he put those issues behind him at round 15.
Roczen’s teammate Justin Brayton finished eighth in this, the fifth-consecutive race to be held at the venue. After being held up in the first turn and completing lap one back in 13th place, Brayton mounted a charge that put him eighth by the finish. Fellow Red Rider Malcolm Stewart also put in a solid ride aboard his Smartop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda, finishing fifth.
Only two events remain in the series, with round 16 to take place this Wednesday and the finale set for Sunday, June 21.
Ken Roczen: “Tonight we did really, really good. I felt like I was able to go the full distance in the main, which was great. I knew it was just going to take a few extra days to get everything back lined up after the last couple of rounds and everything that’s been going on with my body. We won our heat race, which was really stacked–I got a holeshot there and it was great. I really felt good with the bike; we’ve been tweaking it a little bit here and there, and I was really gelling with it nicely tonight. I kind of liked the track; the whoops got really chewed up again and I think that was one of my strong points tonight. We ended up getting the win, which was great because the last three rounds have been really tough on me and the team. It was good to come back and turn all that negativity around into something positive. Every time I go out and win for myself and my team, it feels like my first win back. We were the best tonight, which is awesome. The team is happy and I’m happy and looking forward to the race on Wednesday.”
Justin Brayton: “I’m proud of that one–that was pretty good. I didn’t get the greatest of starts, but I made some good passes early. There was just a train of us–like six, seven, eight, nine guys–and I ended up eighth; I felt pretty good about my riding and my effort. The bike was great. I’d have loved a little better track position at the beginning of the race to play into my strength, which was whoops–I felt really good in the whoops all day. Overall, I’m fairly happy with it–not super stoked on the position, but my effort, the bike and the way I was riding were really good. I’m stoked on that and super stoked on the team getting a win with Ken. It’s awesome, and everybody here deserves it.”
Erik Kehoe – Team Manager: “Great day. Both guys showed a lot of strength and a lot of speed all day long. Kenny rode really well in his heat race. The start in the main wasn’t all that spectacular, but he just made some good decisions in the first and second turns and came out right up front. He rode really strong and that was a great finish. Justin had a better ride also; I think his starts were hurting him today, but there’s a good adrenaline injection into the team, so we’ll carry that into the next round.”