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Roczen Gets SX Podium In Anaheim
Roczen Third at Anaheim 2
It is hard to learn Supercross, there are just no two ways about it. Ken Roczen came to the US with a lot of hype surrounding him and his uber talent. Regardless, the european riders, particularly one this young, just don’t have the experience with this type of racing. Now after four rounds of the AMA race season Ken is starting to make it all come together. My hope is that he can get some good racing experience out of this without injury before he returns home for the GP season.
For now let’s just ignore how much time and effort KTM has put into this years Supercross program to net one single podium result after four rounds. As for the big bike class, is it the bike or the riders? Who knows, certainly not me. I don’t even have a guess. So let’s just ignore it for now.
Roczen Earns First AMA Supercross Lites Podium
Red Bull/KTM Factory Team rider Ken Roczen snaps his first podium in the AMA West Supercross Lites class at the fifth round of the series in Anaheim, CA.
From the moment Roczen set foot on the Anaheim 2 track he felt confident. “I liked the track right from the start today. It really suited my style and I was able to throw some pretty big whips right from the start,” stated a smiling Roczen.
Roczen had success in both timed practice sessions earning the third fastest time in the first session and the 5th fastest in the second to earn a decent gate pick in his heat.
With a great jump off the start of the second heat, Roczen rounded the first corner in 3rd position and maintained that place through the six lap heat. “I was happy with my heat finish. I had a cold all last week and wasn’t sure how I would feel once we were racing but I didn’t get tired and never had to cough and I felt good. My heat definitely helped give me confidence heading to the main event.”
When the gate dropped for the main event it was Roczen who had the initial jump off the line and looked as if he would take his first holeshot before he got pushed up a little high around the first turn. He ended up coming around the first corner in 3rd place right on the tail of Eli Tomac who was trailing Josh Hansen.
On the second lap Roczen was able to make a pass on Tomac and inch closer to the lead ride of Hansen. The top three riders continued to charge out front with less than a bike length separating each other. On the fifth lap Roczen made a mistake after a triple and Tomac was able to move around him in the next turn. Roczen remained close to Tomac and they both closed back in on Hansen. The three-way battle persisted throughout the entire main event giving the Anaheim crowd a reason to stay on their feet.
Roczen continued to gain ground on Tomac while impressing the crowd with his amazing corner speed and unique style. He was the only Lites rider to jump certain rhythm sections which helped him turn the fastest lap time of the night. When the 15 lap race had ended Roczen finished only a few feet behind Tomac to take 3rd overall and earn his first career podium.
“It feels really good to be on the podium and to put a solid race together. This was the first race where I did not suffer from arm pump and I also didn’t crash in the main event. I am very happy to finish safely and run the pace of the top guys. This is a step in the right direction and I’m excited for the next round,” remarked Roczen.
Roczen will take a break from the West Lites Supercross Series this next weekend and return to action when the series heads to San Diego on February 19, 2011.