Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen turned in an impressive performance aboard his CRF450R at round two of the AMA Supercross series in Glendale, Arizona, scoring his second podium result in a row and assuming the lead in the young title chase.
Roczen had a poor gate pick for the night’s main event and lined up on the far outside, but he impressed everyone when the gate fell, rocketing down the long start straight with the holeshot and early lead. The German put together consistent laps, opening a small gap, but with a little over 13 minutes remaining, the race was red-flagged so that medical staff could tend to an injured Malcolm Stewart. Because more than three laps had been completed, riders were lined up in running order for a staggered restart. When the flag dropped to resume the race, Roczen remained in the lead until lap seven, when Jason Anderson made a pass that resulted in Roczen going down. Ken quickly remounted in fourth and initiated a heated battle for third, successfully making the pass through the whoops and taking the final podium position.
Although it wasn’t reflected in his final result, Cole Seely also had a strong night as he continued to make progress and gain confidence in his return from injury. After a strong showing in his heat race, Seely had hoped to replicate that performance in the main event, but a poor start that saw him 14thafter the completion of the opening lap left him fighting through the pack. After the restart, the Californian put his head down and began laying down some of his fastest laps of the race, working his way into ninth by the checkered flag.
- Prior to Saturday’s action, Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen and Cole Seely joined GEICO Honda’s RJ Hampshire and Cameron McAdoo for an appearance at RideNow Powersports in Peoria, Arizona, where they hung out with fans and signed autographs during the pre-race Supercross party.
- The Glendale track featured long straights and fast rhythm sections that put lap times around the one-minute mark. During the daytime qualifying practice, MotoConcepts Honda’s Malcolm Stewart was the top Red Rider, scoring the sixth-quickest lap with 1’01.139” time, followed by teammate Justin Brayton in seventh with a 1’01.175” lap. The Team Honda HRC riders struggled to find their pace early in the day, with Roczen qualifying ninth-fastest at 1’01.504” and Seely 10thwith a 1’01.577” time.
- In heat one, Seely launched out of the gate to a third-place start. He swapped positions multiple times with fellow Honda rider Malcolm Stewart before making a pass stick on lap five and taking over second, which is where he finished. In heat two, Roczen struggled to find his rhythm on the long Glendale track. He ran sixth for much of the race before slipping back two positions, taking the checkers in eighth.
- According to Seely’s mechanic Jordan Troxell, the fact that the restart came relatively late in the race made things difficult for the riders. “They were six or seven minutes into the race when the flag came out, so they were going hard at that point,” he explained. “Cole was actually pretty calm though, so I just tried to keep him that way. It’s easy to get frustrated and flustered in a situation like that, so you have to be positive and just try to keep their mind in the game.”
- Malcolm Stewart’s main-event crash resulted in a broken femur, and the MotoConcepts rider underwent surgery on Sunday morning. “While I am super bummed and disappointed for Malcolm, his family and our group, I am equally grateful and happy that Malcolm’s injury is limited to strictly a broken femur,” said team owner Mike Genova in a statement. Team Honda HRC and the entire Honda family wish Stewart well in his recovery.
- Roczen’s steady podium finishes at the first two rounds mean that for the first time since 2017, he holds the points lead and the red number plate that goes with it. Although that’s exciting, Roczen said that he has his sights set long-term. “It’s only been two races, so I’m trying not to get ahead of myself,” he said. “It’ll be cool to have the red plate again at Anaheim 2, but I’ve missed a lot of racing the past two years so I’m not letting my highs get too high or my lows get too low. We’re in a great spot, I’m having fun out there, and we’re all working really hard.”
- For the second consecutive week, Honda had the most bikes of any manufacturer finishing in the top 10 of daytime qualifying, as well as the most machines in the main event.
- In the 250SX West main event, GEICO Honda’s RJ Hampshire turned in another solid performance aboard his CRF250R, working his way from ninth after the opening lap to fourth by the checkered flag. Hampshire currently sits fifth in the points standings. Teammate Cameron McAdoo struggled during the 16-lap race, finishing just outside the top 10.
- Next weekend, Team Honda HRC heads back to Southern California for their second and final 2019 stop at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. On Friday, the Honda Red Riders will attend an autograph signing at Huntington Beach Honda from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
- Press contact:Mandie Fonteyn // Jonnum Media // email@example.com// +1 (951) 537-0454
450SX Main Event Results
|1||Baggett Blake||4||USA||26||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|2||Anderson Jason||21||USA||23||Rockstar Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|3||Roczen Ken||94||GER||21||Team Honda HRC||Honda|
|4||Tomac Eli||3||USA||19||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|5||Musquin Marvin||25||FRA||18||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|6||Barcia Justin||51||USA||17||Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team||Yamaha|
|7||Brayton Justin||10||USA||16||Smartop MotoConcepts Racing||Honda|
|8||Wilson Dean||15||GBR||15||Rockstar Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|9||Seely Cole||14||USA||14||Team Honda HRC||Honda|
|10||Webb Cooper||2||USA||13||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|11||Plessinger Aaron||7||USA||12||Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team||Yamaha|
|12||Friese Vince||45||USA||11||Smartop MotoConcepts Racing||Honda|
|13||Hill Justin||46||USA||10||Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing||Suzuki|
|14||Reed Chad||22||AUS||9||Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing||Suzuki|
|15||Bogle Justin||19||USA||8||RCH Racing||Suzuki|
|16||Chisholm Kyle||11||USA||7||Chisholm Racing||Kawasaki|
|17||Ray Alex||USA||6||Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha||Yamaha|
|19||Lamay Ben||907||USA||4||TPJ.com/Fly Racing||Honda|
|20||Stewart Ronnie||606||USA||3||DirtCandy Graphics||Suzuki|
|22||Stewart Malcolm||27||USA||1||Smartop MotoConcepts Racing||Honda|