Ken Roczen continued his consistent 2019 AMA Supercross season at round six in Minneapolis, notching a steady runner-up finish in U.S. Bank Stadium and reassuming a slim lead in the championship chase.
The Team Honda HRC rider, who has yet to finish outside of the top five this year aboard his CRF450R, started the main event in third place and rode there for 15 laps before putting a pass on Joey Savatgy to take over second place. With the leader out of reach by that point, the German held his position to the finish.
“I had a little wheelie on the start, and I came around in third,” said Roczen. “I was just in third forever because it’s just really hard to pass out there – it gets rutty and we’re all kind of taking similar lines. I felt really good, but I couldn’t ever make the pass happen, and once Cooper [Webb] got by Joey [Savatgy], he gapped us.
“I wish I would’ve had a clear lap earlier because I feel like I could’ve done a charge toward the end, but with these turns and the intensity we brought, I didn’t want to just do a silly, aggressive move and bump up on the inside. I just took a little bit too long, but I’m happy with second place and back in the points lead. I still want to win, but it’s all good to get out of here healthy.”
Team-mate Cole Seely managed a decent start and was in the top eight for the first five laps, but when he tried to make a pass on Justin Barcia, the two collided and Seely went down. The Californian remounted around 15thand began working his way forward, eventually finishing the 20-lap race in 11th.
“The track was pretty simple so the practice times were pretty close,” said Seely. “I knew going in that the start was going to mean a lot, but unfortunately I didn’t get a good one in the heat race. Still, I found my lines and was happy with my speed in the second half of the heat race. That translated into the main event because I was riding really good, and then just before the halfway mark I got cut off by another rider when I was trying to make a pass. I got up and tried to keep my focus forward even though my bike was a little banged up. I managed to pass a few guys. I feel like I’m riding well, but things aren’t really going my way. I’ll keep plugging away and wait for my luck to turn.”
Now that the AMA Supercross series has headed east for a month and a half, Ken Roczen has relocated back to his home in Florida, while team-mate Cole Seely is still based at his home in Costa Mesa, California. Periodic rain in the Golden State has made it difficult for Seely to maintain a regular practice schedule, and the trend is expected to continue this week.
“At the end of the month, I’m moving to Florida too, but until then we’ll just do our best to deal with the weather,” Seely said.
Though the weather was more cooperative in Florida, Roczen’s practice schedule was also disrupted, as he spent much of the week letting his skin recover from the rash caused by lime that organisers had put in the wet dirt at last week’s San Diego Supercross. Roczen only got in one day of practice but hopes to be back to his regular schedule this week.
This coming Saturday, Team Honda HRC will be in action at round seven of the AMA Supercross series at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
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