Ken Roczen on defending his WSX title
Ken Roczen didn’t have it all his own way in WSX 2023, having to come through the pack numerious times, deal with Vince Friese, a crash and enter the final round five points behind Joey Savatgy, but when the gate dropped on the races in Melbourne, Roczen excecuted going 1-1-3 to win his second WSX championship in a row – despite being plagued by clutch issues at the beginning of the event!
Roczen said: “I knew it was going to be tough. With these races, you just never know what can happen, you saw it in Abu Dhabi, so, I by no means came here taking it lightly. Having said that we made the absolute most of out it. We had some adversity because I had some problems, yesterday and today, then went with a completely different set-up into the heat race, so it took a little bit of time to get used to and my clutch pull was so stiff I could barely pull it!
“Once the gate drops it doesn’t really matter what you have on the bike, you just gotta go. I was able to slice and dice my way through and was able to win the first couple and the last one I chopped the throttle on the start turn, because these first couple of turns have not been fun, I just played it safe. The first couple of turns I was really buried far in the pack. I was surprised when the chequered flag came out, but that’s just what happens when you are in race mode, I wasn’t really paying attention to how many laps we had done. In the end, I’m just glad we could get it done.
“Going back to back, I’ve never really stayed long in a class to actually defend a title so, this is my first! It means a lot, I hope we can get some more races going. These guys are getting faster and faster, I can’t make my way to the front with a snap of the finger, it’s tough.”
Ken now has a month to get over the jet lap and prepare for the 2024 AMA supercross season with the returning Tomac, Webb on Yamaha, Sexton on KTM and the Lawrence brothers moving up – it’s going to be quite the season!