Roczen: I’m pretty happy to be back on the podium
For round nine of the 2019 AMA Pro Motocross Championship, Team Honda HRC headed to the beautiful Pacific Northwest’s Washougal Motocross Park, where Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen secured his first podium finish since High Point Raceway, locking down second overall with a 2-3 moto tally.
In the opening 450 moto, Roczen launched down the start straight and around the first turn in fifth place before gaining two additional spots in the following turn to put him third heading up Horsepower Hill. Shortly thereafter, Roczen made the move into second and began working on the leader. He closed the gap and made the pass into the top spot on lap two. Once out front, the German took advantage of a clear track, riding smoothly and opening up an eight-second lead by the halfway point.
Unfortunately, Roczen was unable to maintain his early race pace, which allowed Eli Tomac to close in during the final laps. The two fought hard, even coming together during their battle, but Roczen ultimately relinquished the lead and took the checkered flag in second. In moto two, Roczen got a seventh-place start but made some quick and aggressive passes, working his way into fourth on the opening lap. He continued his charge forward, making passes on third, then second before setting his sights on the leading Marvin Musquin. The two played cat and mouse for the majority of the race until Roczen came under fire from behind, once again by Tomac. He was unable to maintain his position, losing one spot to finish in third.
Ken Roczen 94
“I can’t really complain today. If you’ve seen my last few weekends, today was actually really good for me. I’m pretty happy to be back on the podium and to have an overall better day than in past weeks. In both races my starts weren’t that great, but I was able to make passes and find the front of the pack pretty quick, which was nice. I was trying to be aggressive until the end and give it my all but Eli [Tomac] was on it all day and I just wasn’t able to hold him off. I’m looking forward to this weekend off and to getting back to racing at Unadilla.”
“To see Kenny get back on the podium today with a second overall was awesome. It’s been a tough up-and-down few weeks so today’s speed and consistency was nice to see. His end-of-race pace was still a bit tough, but he did a great job salvaging his energy and positions. We’ve got one weekend off to then finish out the season strong.”
Mechanic (Ken Roczen)
“We had a good day today. Bike-wise, we made a few small adjustments, but nothing too drastic. We’ve tried a few different setups the past few weeks to improve some issues and they haven’t worked, so we’ve continued to revert back to our base setting, which Ken knows and is comfortable with. We’ll continue to try and refine the bike.
Words and pic: Honda