News 1 Feb 2023

'We're going to just keep pushing forward' - Roczen

RM-Z450 rider enjoying the process and progress with HEP team.

Image: Octopi Media.

In claiming the HEP Motorsports team’s first-ever 450SX podium, Ken Roczen has his sights set on ‘pushing forward’ following third-place overall in Anaheim 2’s Triple Crown.

The 28-year-old made a fast start to the opening race at Angel Stadium, taking the checkered flag second before a mistake while fending off Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) saw him third in race two.

Progressive Ecstar Suzuki rider Roczen was fourth in race three, which was enough to secure his first rostrum finish since returning to Suzuki. The result was also an improvement on the opening round of the season where he was P5 at Anaheim 1 and fourth in San Diego.

“Moving in the right direction is huge, now being on the podium,” Roczen explained. “By no means am I going to rest in that, we still have a lot of work ahead, and just got to see how this next week goes.

“Obviously we are going to start going to the east coast tracks too, which I’m really looking forward to. We’re going to keep checking away, keep pushing forward and see if we can creep up to the top step.”

Roczen is still adapting to the RM-Z450 platform after signing the deal to race with HEP Motorsports relatively late in the off-season. Nonetheless, the German native is thoroughly enjoying his time in yellow and his approach and preparation towards each round.

“It’s been extremely fun,” Roczen added. “I think that I have more in now when it comes to the bike and the technical side of things than I’ve ever had and that makes it super fun. It is also very busy for me, like besides just doing all of the training and all of that stuff, I feel like I have been on the phone and emailing a lot and stuff.

“I’ve really taken that side of the whole sport in, or you know this is really a first for me. I’ve been really enjoying it and it’s really hard to talk about how much work we have put in, but we have been doing some big changes and riding a lot throughout the week, some really, really late days. They’re paying off right now.

“We are heading in the right direction and we are all pulling on the same string and I think that helps me out big time. I’m super happy with how we are all working together, and obviously, we are, results-wise, going in the right direction. We still have a lot of work ahead, and I am beyond stoked to put it on the podium.”