Roczen on his first supercross win of 2023 – huge accomplishment

Ken Roczen spoke to media about a huge and emotional win on the HEP Suzuki at Indianapolis and he feels it’s the biggest win of his career…

On his journey to the top step from first riding the bike

“As much as I gelled with the bike when I first got on it, I feel like we had a lot of stuff thrown at us at the begining of the season. I have been on so many different set-ups, it was definitely tough there and I have definietly have some races that I wasnt happy with. Most importantly we never gave. The team and I we have been out on the track until 7pm sometimes, especially the week before Tampa, and we just weren’t letting off until I felt like we could.

“So, this night, I have dreamed of for many, many months and it seemed so far away especially after these last few races. I wasn’t anywhere near, my starts weren’t good and I wasn’t anywhere near even a podium. To pull this one off on a track like this tonight, i have to let this settle in. I don’t want to let this get to my head or think that this will happen every single weekend, it’s tough out there. But for tonight, me and my team are definitely going to enjoy this, no doubt about it.

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“We are just going to keep charging hard, train hard. It’s so tough out there, the top ten is going so fast, if you don’t get the start, it makes life a lot hard. But tonight I did and we were able to make it happen. This race felt long and short at the same time. Obviously lappers came into play, this was definitely one of the ruttiest tracks I have ever ridden, this was such an accomplishment, I have to let it settle in.

“I tried to control what I could, and I was just focusing right in the moment. First was focus on the start, we did that. Then is was hitting my marks and finding a groove. Chase was on me pretty close but I think he went down unfortunately so i had a little bit of a gap and I just clicked off lap after lap. The lap time was shorter and with how short the track was, I dunno how many laps we did, 26,27.28 but, that comes into play with the track being like an enduro track towards the end. I was just clipping laps off. Corner after corner, focusing on what was right there in the moment. Once we had seven minutes plus one to go on a track like that, it’s still a lot of laps but I was like okay, ‘we just click it off a little bit more,’ then it was five, then three plus one. I charged all the way to end, obviously Justin was coming. I got a little bit unlucky with lappers, I think I was able to pull out a tiny little bit of gap towards the end and was able to bring it home.

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Where does this win rate?

At the top, granted I didn’t win for three years or whatever after the injuries which was huge. But this one, there are a lot of critics out there. I believed I could win on the bike but then to make it happen was then a whole other story, right? This is unreal, after the last few weekends especially. It ranks at the very top I think, espcially for my team too. It’s the first win ever for the team, that’s a huge accomplishment.

Did he ever doubt he could win?

I don’t know if doubt is the right word but we have had so many long weeks and long days. Before Tampa I rode to 7pm on Thursday and 5pm on Friday and then went and raced on Saturday with my hands pretty much bleeding! But it’s days like that I feel like we have to go through. We didn’t even find anything that special but you have to sometimes go through these long days to check things off the list. I’ve been on the bike since the beginning of December or something like that, realistically, not that much. Sometimes you take a whole year to really figure it out.

“We have tested during the week, we tested during the weekends. I couldn’t just settle down with something that wasn’t rideable to my max so we just kept going and going. I feel in the last weekend and half I found something that I liked and I couldn’t really show it in Daytona but I was confident that once I had the bike feeling like I want to, I just have to do my laps and believe we were doing the right things.

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“I don’t know if I doubted it, it was moreso I had to take a deep breath at one point and kind of let some things go, settle down a little bit and approach things maybe a bit differently. For a rider when you find something it’s like, ‘holy crap this is it,’ a competely different motorcycle, my bike right now feels completely different than it did at the beginning of the season and that’s just was I was looking for, so I can actually ride the bike and bike rides me.”

On having rivals congratulate him

That was super feaking cool. Riders who you wouldn’t think they would but did, most of the top guys. it was a great feeling, I think everybody appreciated when you win, it’s super hard to do. Everybody knew me going to the team was gong to be tough and some probably didn’t think it would happen (a win). It was such a rad moment and full of emotion, it was such a rad experience, I have never had that happen before.

Words: Press Conference

Images: Feld Entertainment Inc.