News 16 Aug 2022

Arm pump the cause of Roczen troubles at Unadilla

Honda rider went 5-7 after winning previous four races at the circuit.

Ken Roczen in 2022 Unadilla pro motocross

Image: Octopi Media.

The winner of the last four 450MX motos at Unadilla could not extend his undefeated streak into a third year at the New York venue as Ken Roczen battled arm pump en route to a sixth-place overall finish.

Roczen kicked off the day with the top qualifying time in the premier class by three-tenths of a second over Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson.

He went on to lead the opening lap of the first moto but dropped back to fifth as Roczen’s Team Honda HRC stablemate Chase Sexton moved forward along with points leader Eli Tomac.

Sexton caught and moved 13 seconds ahead of Tomac by the checkered flag. Meanwhile, Roczen battled tightness in his right arm — interestingly, not the arm he seriously injured at Anaheim five years ago.

“Unadilla was somewhat of a step in the right direction,” Roczen said. “I definitely showed some speed on the day, but I really struggled with riding super tight and my right arm being extremely pumped up, to where I had a very hard time holding on, especially with how choppy it was and the speed of the track.”

Completing the first lap of the second moto in sixth and spending most of the race in that position, Roczen lost one more spot to go 5-7 on the day.

“Obviously, I was looking forward to trying to get on the podium,” he said. “That didn’t happen, but I’m working hard at home to try and come back and hopefully put it on the podium at these last few rounds.”

The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship heads next to Budds Creek, where Roczen has never finished worse than fourth, dating back to his first visit a decade ago on a 250.