News 24 Aug 2022

Podium rise marks late turnaround for Roczen

Fastest qualifier finishes third in both races for third podium of 2022.

Ken Roczen leading 2022 Budds Creek pro motocross

Image: Octopi Media.

Capitalizing on imperfect days for the two primary championship contenders at Budds Creek, Ken Roczen stood on the podium for the first time since his Thunder Valley triumph in June.

Roczen paced the first three laps of 450MX moto one after capturing the holeshot but couldn’t hold off Eli Tomac for a fourth.

Tomac left Roczen and Anderson to duel for the final two podium positions, with Anderson coming out ahead to kick off the 2-2 that would earn him the day’s overall win. The Team Honda HRC representative claimed third and matched that result in the second moto to earn third overall.

As the fastest rider in 450 qualifying for the second consecutive weekend, Roczen’s first choice of a gate in moto one helped along his laps-led total of five on the day.

“We seem to take these for granted, but I’m super excited to be back on the podium,” Roczen said after the Budds Creek event. “It was a hard battle the whole second moto, and I was excited I stayed in it. I’m pumped for my team, too; it was a little bit of a drought, but we’re back on the box. That’s a step in the right direction, so we’re going to continue and hopefully finish out these last couple rounds strong.”

Beyond the intense competition in the premier class, Roczen’s Budds Creek podium was no easy feat due to high temperatures and humidity at the Maryland circuit.

“Ken had a great day and really helped us out by getting on the podium,” Team Manager Lars Lindstrom commented. “That second moto, with Chase (Sexton) winning and Ken getting third, was really cool — sort of how we were in the beginning of the season.

“I’m really excited for Ken to have had a good race; it seems like he’s found something that’s helping. I’m really pumped that we were able to minimize the damage from the first moto, with Chase riding incredible in the second moto. On to next week — we’ve got to get the job done there.”

While his younger teammate Sexton battles Tomac for the title, Roczen heads to Ironman for the season’s 11th round seeking his fourth podium of 2022.