Roczen and Lawrence on Indy 3
On Saturday, the AMA Supercross series completed its three-round residency at Lucas Oil Stadium, where Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen grabbed his third victory in just over a week, setting a new career milestone with three consecutive 450SX wins and extending his lead in the title chase to 16 points. The German was perfect all evening aboard his CRF450R, topping his heat race and then taking the main-event lead shortly after the first turn. Despite pressure from first Justin Barcia and later Cooper Webb, Roczen maintained his calm and focus, strategically navigating through lapped traffic while running up front for all 26 laps and taking the win with a margin of just under a second.
Roczen’s teammate Jett Lawrence finished fifth in the 250SX East class, four days after having to sit out the Indy 2 main event with a sore shoulder. After being held up at the start and completing lap one in 12th place, Lawrence mounted an early charge that put him battling for fifth with Colt Nichols by lap two. The Australian was impressive as he held off the points leader, but he went off the track near the end and settled for fifth.
Ken Roczen: Indianapolis 3 was a fantastic night. We started off in practice with a little bit of a struggle–just not really getting along with the track very well. I felt fine out there, but I simply wasn’t fast enough. We went into the night show though, and I knew that I was a better racer and that we were going to get a good result. After that we took the heat-race win and were able to get a good gate pick for the main event; sure enough, I got a really good start. Along the way, I came in contact with Justin Barcia, who hit me pretty hard and bent my shifter a bit; I wasn’t able to shift until like half a lap later. I held my lines and focused as much as I could and we did the three-peat, taking home another win on a track that wasn’t really my favorite. Those kinds of nights are when you get another step closer to a championship run, and it was really important for us to get more points and be gaining instead of losing. I’m so happy to finish all three Indianapolis main events in first, as I’ve never gone three in a row. This is huge for me and the team, and I’m looking to continue this streak when we come back next weekend in Orlando.”
Jett Lawrence: I was managing my injury all day, but I’m glad that my shoulder was good enough that I was able to ride. It wasn’t what I was hoping for in terms of results in the main event, but it felt good to be racing and to get a heat-race win, even if I wasn’t 100 percent. Now we get a full week before Orlando, and I’m looking forward to coming back and getting back on top.”
Erik Kehoe: The team did a great job finishing off the Indy trip. Ken was very impressive, meeting his goals to get good starts, ride consistently and be on the podium. He wasn’t feeling his groove earlier in the day, but his confidence and consistent good starts put him in a good position to dig deep and pull through for an amazing win! Jett pushed through the soreness of a banged-up shoulder from the last event to gain valuable points. He showed impressive speed, qualifying second and winning his heat, but a poor start and mistakes in the main event hindered his chances to finish on the podium.”
Words and images: Honda