Cianciarulo recalls pre-season session with the HRC rider.
After winning three of four motos to start the season, current 450MX points leader Ken Roczen stands by his statement that he was struggling ahead of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season.
After missing last season, Roczen came into his return to Pro Motocross unsure of where he’d finish knowing he had work to do to get back to his winning ways in the great outdoors.
“I wasn’t really full of confidence and definitely had some work to do [coming into the season],” Roczen explained. “But luckily the muscle memory starts kicking in and I’m starting to feel better.”
He attributes much of that questioning to getting comfortable riding motocross again and getting bike settings right on the heels of getting second place in the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross championship.
“I just feel like we weren’t there with the base that we had coming off of Supercross,” Roczen explained. “It was not good enough and I was pretty boisterous about it.
“Obviously, I still know how to ride a dirtbike but at the same time I had a little bit of difficulty, I just needed time on the bike, needed time riding moto, and get used to some stuff.”
After winning the second moto at the opening round at Fox Raceway, questions began to circulate regarding whether or not Roczen was downplaying his level ahead of the season.
“I can see how it looks like that from the outside, but I promise you guys I was not,” he explained. “You can probably ask all the other riders and some of the teams, it was a bit of a struggle and I was not playing possum.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo later confirmed Roczen’s statements, recalling some pre-season riding the duo did together in Southern California.
“Yeah, he was definitely not kidding when he said he was you know, coming in and wasn’t sure where he was at,” Cianciarulo explained. “I mean, he’ll tell you, we did a moto together at Lake Elsinore a couple of weeks ago and I absolutely put some time on the man, and he beat me by 36 seconds the second moto [at Thunder Valley].”
Roczen now leads the championship by one point over Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) as the series prepares for round three this weekend at High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania.