Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen turned in an impressive performance aboard his CRF450R at round four of the AMA Supercross series in Glendale, Arizona, scoring his second podium result of the season with a third-place finish. When the gate fell for the main event, Roczen rounded the first turn in sixth, but he quickly made his way into fifth on the opening lap. The German continued his charge forward, taking over fourth a few laps later. With his sights set on the podium, Roczen began applying pressure on third-place rider Weston Peick, battling hard before finally making a pass stick on lap seven. He spent the remainder of the race trying to close the gap on Justin Barcia, but mistakes in the race’s closing minutes caused him to lose time and settle into third.
Roczen’s team-mate Cole Seely had a night he’d like to put behind him, as a poor start and a big mistake toward the end of the 23-lap main event saw him take the checkered flag in 12th place. Having been saddled with a poor gate pick, Seely struggled off the line, completing the first lap in 15th place. By the halfway mark, the Californian had made his way into eighth. A close call in the sand section caused him to lose his rhythm and fall off the pace, ultimately sending him back to 12th position.
“We found ourselves on the podium again tonight with a third place, which is awesome,” said Roczen. “We had a good heat race, but I really need to work on improving my starts. I have the speed and fitness, but I just need to put myself up front in the beginning. I was in sixth off the start, made some passes, and got myself into third. I rode some solid laps and was inching up on Justin [Barcia], but unfortunately, we ran out of time. All in all, I’m happy with tonight’s racing. Obviously, we want to win, but after last weekend it was important to me to come out here and ride how I did. It was a big confidence booster. The team and everyone has been putting in a lot of work each week. I’m having a lot of fun right now and loving where we’re at, so we’ll keep building from here.”
“I’m really disappointed with tonight,” said Seely. “I didn’t have a great gate pick and somehow my boot got snagged on the metal start grate so I got a terrible start in the main. I worked my way forward a bit, but I almost went over the bars coming out of the sand and it kind of knocked the wind out of me. Mentally, I couldn’t regroup after that. I wasn’t tired physically but after that I struggled to focus on hitting my marks.”