Following a one-week break, the 2019 AMA Supercross series resumed in East Rutherford, New Jersey, for round 16, where Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen overcame a poor start to finish sixth, while teammate Cole Seely was ninth.
In the main event, Seely and Roczen both got bad jumps out of the gate, rounding the first turn outside the top 10. Roczen began maneuvering through the pack, working his way into seventh behind Seely. The two ran 6-7 for six laps before Roczen overtook his teammate with under 14 minutes remaining. He quickly closed the gap on the rider in front of him, making the pass and taking over fifth on lap eight. He maintained that position for much of the race but then came under pressure from Marvin Musquin near the end, ultimately losing the spot on the final lap and taking the checkered flag in sixth. Meanwhile, Seely had made a mistake and gone down near the halfway point, costing him a number of positions. He struggled to regain his pace, ultimately crossing the finish line in ninth.
- The evening before the race, Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen and Cole Seely joined GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton and Christian Craig, as well as BWR Honda riders Carlen Gardner and Cade Autenrieth for a dealer appearance at Motorcycle Mall in Bellville, New Jersey. Hundreds of racing enthusiasts showed up to get autographs and photos with their favorite riders.
- Once again, weather was a factor in New Jersey. Heavy rain on Friday forced the promoters to modify the race-day schedule in order for crews to conduct final track prep in the morning. Subsequently, rider track walk was pushed from 8:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., and free practice was cancelled. Even the planned schedule had been an adjustment from normal, as it was a daytime program.
- Roczen was the top Red Rider during the daytime practice sessions, posting a 52.055” lap in the second session to secure the second-best time. Seely was eighth with a 52.660” lap, followed by MotoConcept Honda’s Justin Brayton (returning from injury) in ninth with a 52.814” time.
- It was a hectic 450SX heat 1, with both Roczen and Seely getting off to poor starts and coming around after the first lap in seventh and ninth, respectively. Both riders gained positions during the eight-lap race to take the checkers in sixth and seventh.
- The New Jersey track was technical and tricky, and it broke down as the night progressed, making consistency a key factor to success in the main event. Roczen enjoyed the layout, saying, “The track was really gnarly. The dirt was pretty soft and the whoops broke down big time. You really had to be on your game to stay consistent, and try not to make mistakes. It seemed like a very similar layout to Atlanta 2014 and I won that race, so it gave me some good energy during track walk. That didn’t translate throughout the day, though.”
- It was a perfect night for GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton, as he turned in a dream performance en route to his career-first 250SX victory. Sexton was unstoppable all day, securing the quickest qualifying time in practice before nabbing another heat-race win. In the main event, Sexton got off to a third-place start aboard his CRF250R and quickly started battling forward. He took over the lead on lap seven and never looked back, riding unchallenged for the rest of the 15-minute-plus-one-lap race. Sexton now leads the East Region Championship by nine points heading into the final round, in Las Vegas. “It’s unbelievable,” he said. “It couldn’t happen at a better time. The track is super gnarly, so it was probably the longest 15-minutes-plus-one-lap of my life. It was super good. I got off to a pretty good start, and honestly Austin was trying to take me out, and I mean, you can’t win a race like that. I know it’s for a championship, but trying to saw a front end off is not cool. So, I’m just glad that I got into the lead and took this one. It feels really good! I’ve been wanting to do this for two years now, so I’m pumped on it.”
- GEICO Honda’s Christian Craig attempted to make his return to action in New Jersey, but unfortunately, a crash during practice once again left him sidelined for the evening. Craig will now focus on his recovery in order to be ready for the Pro Motocross series.
- The AMA Supercross series comes to a close this coming weekend at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. On Friday, Roczen will participate in the pre-race press conference before taking to the track for a quick riding session. Later that evening, Roczen and Seely, along with the GEICO Honda team will take part in a fan fest party at Carter Powersports.
Mandie Fonteyn // Jonnum Media // firstname.lastname@example.org // +1 (951) 537-0454
450SX Main Event Results
|1||Webb Cooper||2||USA||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|2||Osborne Zach||16||USA||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|3||Tomac Eli||3||USA||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|4||Baggett Blake||4||USA||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|5||Musquin Marvin||25||FRA||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|6||Roczen Ken||94||GER||Team Honda HRC||Honda|
|7||Savatgy Joey||17||USA||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|8||Grant Joshua||33||USA||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|10||Hill Justin||46||USA||Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts Honda||Honda|
|11||Bowers Tyler||83||USA||Bowers Racing||Kawasaki|
|12||Chisholm Kyle||11||USA||Chisholm Racing||Kawasaki|
|13||Brayton Justin||10||USA||Muc-Off Honda||Honda|
|15||Lamay Ben||71||USA||TPJ/Fly Racing||Honda|
|16||Miller Henry||81||USA||Trigger Racing||Yamaha|
|17||Starling Justin||95||USA||AJE Motorsports||Husqvarna|
|19||Ray Alex||87||USA||SGB Racing/Maxxis/Babbitt's Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|20||Pauli Theodore||282||USA||Outlaw Motorsports||Kawasaki|
|22||Bogle Justin||19||USA||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|