An error in judgement could cost Ken Roczen his first AMA Supercross Championship after he elected to retire from his heat race following a second corner collision in Salt Lake City on Saturday night.
It was drama for Roczen in the 250s at Salt Lake as the unthinkable happened at the penultimate round of his competition when he crashed in both the heat and LCQ and did not qualify for the main event.
Roczen was fourth off the start in the second heat but collided with another rider in the second corner. He recovered in dead last but quickly moved up five positions before he ran off the track after trying to avoid a down rider in the whoops. He then pulled off the track and returned to the pits in order to save energy for the last chance qualifier leaving JDR/J-Star/KTM rider Malcolm Stewart to take his first heat victory this season.
The German rider had a great jump out of the gate in the LCQ before another rider came clear across the start straight and took out a group of riders including Roczen. He quickly recovered but had to come through the entire pack as he pushed toward the top two. Kenny gave it his all in the four remaining laps but was two bike lengths short of qualifying for his main event when they passed the flag – only the top two from the LCQ advance to the final.
“I’m really disappointed,” Roczen said. ” I had a big (points) lead going into this race and now it’s going to be very tight in the final round. I had a bit of a break with Eli Tomac (second in points) finishing sixth tonight, and luckily, I still hold the points lead. I’m going to remain as positive as possible and do my best to win in Vegas and hopefully get the championship title.”