|Round six of the AMA Supercross series at downtown San Diego’s Petco Park didn’t go as planned for Team Honda HRC, as so-so main-event starts left teammates Ken Roczen and Justin Brayton fighting through the chaos to finish sixth and seventh, respectively. Nonetheless, Roczen retains the lead in the title chase.
When the gate dropped for the final time in California, Brayton and Roczen both got decent jumps off the line but didn’t manage to come through the first turn in good position, with Brayton being pushed wide and Roczen getting pinched off; the duo came around eighth and ninth on the opening lap. On lap two, Roczen made his way around his teammate and continued his charge forward, passing fellow Red Rider Malcolm Stewart for sixth a few laps later. He then took advantage of another rider’s mistake, moving into fifth and setting his sights on Justin Barcia. His momentum then slowed though, as he struggled to make a move, allowing championship competitor Eli Tomac to close. Roczen was unable to defend his position, slipping back to sixth, which is where he finished. In the meantime, Brayton had a run-in with Jason Anderson early in the race, causing him to slip back to 10th. He rebounded quickly and spent the reminder of the race fighting through the field, working his way into seventh by the checkered flag.
- On Friday night, Fun Bike Center hosted an open house, where hundreds of fans were in attendance to meet and get autographs from their favorite Red Riders. Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen and Justin Brayton were joined by GEICO Honda’s Christian Craig, Jo Shimoda, and Jett and Hunter Lawrence.
- On race day, Team Honda HRC was pleased to host Monster Energy Honda Team rider Ricky Brabec, the first American to win the Dakar Rally. Brabec was kept busy throughout the day, meeting with supercross stars Ken Roczen and Justin Brayton before joining them for an autograph session. Next, Brabec was a guest on Race Day Live with Jim Holley and Daniel Blair. During the night show, he was interviewed trackside with NBCSN before riding his CRF450 Rally on a parade lap around the perimeter of the track and being interviewed on the stadium big screen.
- Times were tight during the daytime qualifying sessions, with the top eight riders all landing in the 49-second mark. Roczen and Brayton were sixth- and seventh-quickest, respectively, with 49.648” and 49.724” lap times.
- As usual, San Diego featured a Military Appreciation theme, with bikes and riders donning special graphics and gear to show their support. Throttle Jockey created individual custom schemes that honored two different branches of the military and coordinated with Brayton’s and Roczen’s gear. Roczen’s red, white and yellow livery paid homage to the United States Navy, while Brayton’s black and forest green showed respect to the Army.
- With the series heading east following the San Diego Supercross, both Roczen and Brayton will do the same, moving to their respective homes in Claremont, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina. “I’m really looking forward to going home,” Roczen said. “We’ve been in California since the beginning of December, preparing for the season and racing the West races, but I’m ready to get back to Florida.”
- After six rounds, Roczen still leads the championship with a one-point margin. Brayton is currently ninth with 89 points.
- Despite 250SX West riders Hunter Lawrence and Christian Craig both being out with injuries, GEICO Honda still had a presence at the San Diego Supercross, with their semi, riders and staff in attendance. On race day, they gave fans an incredible opportunity, opening their doors for two hours for fans to get autographs and tour the rig. “Since we didn’t have anyone racing, we decided to do something fun during the day,” said Josh Wisenor, GEICO Honda Team Manager. “It was a cool opportunity to promote our team and sponsors, while giving fans a unique experience. It was fun to have fans be able to come under the truck, meet the riders and get a tour. We’re looking forward to getting back to business next weekend for the start of the East series.”
- This coming Saturday, Team Honda HRC will campaign round seven of the AMA Supercross series, in Tampa, Florida. In the 250SX class, this will mark the opening round for the East Region series, in which GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton will defend his title alongside teammates Jeremy Martin and Jo Shimoda. On Friday, Honda Red Riders will make an appearance at Xtreme Powersports, starting at 6 p.m.