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Roczen on doing WSX again and setting a precedent

Roczen on doing WSX again and setting a precedent
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Ken Roczen has explained his decision to become a supercross specilist and race AMA supercross plus WSX for the next stage of his career and into this thirties, with the German announcing he has signed a 3 year deal with the fledgling and ambitious WSX series.

“With this opportunity and racing supercross all-year round, I think I can prolong my career, be around it a lot more and, of course, ride the American supercross championship as well and be supercross all year round,” Ken explained in the press confertence. “I’m excited about this decision I’ve made and the team as well. I’m so excited for this new chapter.”

Roczen admitted he was planning to race outdoors this year but things changed with the lure of WSX – and he will still race SMX in the States and didn’t rule out racing the off outdoor event.

“So yeah, my plan was to race Pro Motocross the whole time, but it was a rough outline that I had in place, and it was early on in the season,” Roczen said. “Because I had to put my head towards something, right? But it was also still so far away, and we had so much work to do, to focus on the task at hand, which is getting the motorcycle to the standard that we need to compete for wins and podiums. So that was my plan for the longest time.

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Roczen Suzuki

“It just started appealing to me so more and more as we got later into the supercross season. I just had so much fun with it, but I finally have a great base with my team where we are continuously and consistently on the podium every single weekend.

Now, for motocross, you would have to restart. And in the past couple of years, I have struggled with my body. And the motocross season is super-hot, it’s long, and we have a lot of motos. I’m not saying I’m old by any means, I just turned 29. I’m still a young grasshopper, but for whatever reason, I didn’t really want to give this another shot at this point as I’m in a really good spot right now. My body is great, and I just want to do this supercross thing all year round.

It was a big decision, but I think it was the smartest one for me, be around the sport for longer than just right now. I’m still going to be racing the American supercross championship…I’m very satisfied with my decision.”

Roczen thinks this is a schedule that more US riders will take, helping prolong their career by skipping outdoors and racing SX year-long.

“I think you are going to see this happening more often,” opined Ken. “This is maybe the first time when it comes to American supercross that we have so many, let’s call ourselves “old dudes.” The times have changed a little bit over the years we are now 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 but we are all up in the front and at the elite level.

“I think people are starting to realise that retiring early can be a big, big mistake and I think you are going to see people thinking this through more and more and see riders jump ship to becoming a supercross specialist all year round, most likely over the next few years, I’m being honest.

“I think we are all still hungry to see what the future holds with that.”

Roczen is also looking forward to travellig the world again like his GP days. “It’s amazing, that’s why in the end I made this decision, back to my childhood and growing up. From 6 to 15/16/17 until I went to the US, I was going to all these different countries and I got a taste of that again last year and it really made my heart smile again, that was exactly what I needed when it came to my career. The fact we are growing this and we are adding more and more races in more and more countries, I am excited what’s to to come from this in the future.”

AMA SX and World SX seems to be the future for many in the States. Roczen might be the first domino to fall but Cooper Webb was reportedly interesting in racing a similar schedule in 2023. Roczen is the blue chip company and anchor tenant in this situation but if WSX nail this schedule and the series looks appealing with Roczen the key example, many more stars may follow his lead. It means the rest of the world will have a greater chance of seeing US supercross stars much closer to home while supercross is promoted globally, it’s a move that can only help US supercross as well has WSX in lifting the global profile of the sport.

But will the OEMS relent and let the likes of Sexton and the Lawrence brothers do this schedule instead of AMA MX? That remains to be seen.

Images: Suzuki and WSX

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