After posting top-five finishes at the first nine AMA Supercross rounds of the 2019 season, only to slip to a pair of eighth-place results at the last two races, Ken Roczen was pleased to turn in a solid second-place showing in Seattle.
The Team Honda HRC rider started well and soon advanced to second behind Marvin Musquin, eventually finishing with a deficit of just 2.3 seconds.
Along the way, Musquin jumped a series of jumps under a waving red-cross flag, and although he was subsequently docked seven points for the infraction, rules stipulated that he keep the win, leaving Roczen the still-inspired runner-up.
“Today was a lot better for me,” said Roczen. “I’m still not 100 per cent with whatever is going on with my body, but the feeling that I had on the bike was good all day. It was the same for the races — I just tried to go out there and have fun, and I rode really well.
“I had a good heat race with the win and then got a good start in the Main. The track was super technical, especially with the whoops, which were very tough.
“I had a good battle with Marvin [Musquin] for a second. He jumped on the red-cross flag, which opened up the gap for a bit, but overall, going from where we were the last two weekends and not feeling great to racing like we did today and feeling a lot better, it was a huge step in the right direction.
“I think we’re all pretty happy with how it ended up this weekend – it’s a big monkey off our back!”
Cole Seely enjoyed a strong start and ran at the leaders’ pace for the first part of the race, then slipped back as he began to tire. In the end, he finished ninth.
“I finally put myself in a good position to run up front this weekend,” said Seely. “Honestly, I’m not in the best shape right now and the training I didn’t get to do last year because of my injury is really catching up with me. I lost a lot with cardio and strength and I’m feeling the impact of that now. I’m doing what I can during the week but it’s hard to build strength and build endurance during the season and not feel too flat on the weekends. Of course, I’m doing my best – I’ve had some speed and finally got to show that.
“It’s a hard pill to swallow fading that far back, but at the same time, it’s the position that I’m in right now.
“I’ve never had a year like this where I’m building throughout the entire season. It’s hard and it’s different, but we’re going to keep pushing and keep fighting.”
Team manager Erik Kehoe: “This was a much better weekend. Kenny’s feeling better, and in the end there were a lot of positives to take away from the race; one of those is that the starts were better for both guys. For Kenny, I think it helped his confidence, and I think he’s feeling a lot better after tonight; he feels like he’s back where he needs to be. Cole showed speed early on and just needs to keep working on that—on his confidence and believing that he deserves to be up front at the end of the race.”
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