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Red Bull/KTM Race Report SX Lites Recap & Results: San Diego

Red Bull/KTM Team rider Ken Roczen, who set the fast lap and won his heat, suffered a poor start and two crashes before finishing 7th overall at the San Diego Supercross held at Qualcomm Stadium. 

At the beginning of the season, a top ten finish may have been exciting for the young rider in his first Supercross season. However, after coming off a podium finish at the last Lites round in Anaheim, Roczen had expected a better result at the San Diego round. 

Roczen was confident all day. “I like to ride in the mud and feel that I am pretty good in these type of conditions,” remarked Roczen in regards to the muddy track conditions from the light rain that remained consistent throughout the day. 

The AMA decided to delay practice due to poor weather to help preserve the track. Around 4:45pm Roczen put his first laps on the track. He performed well and came out with the second fastest time. One session later, he stepped up the pace and put down the fastest lap. His quick time gave him number one gate pick in the second Lites heat. 

It was in his heat where he got the crowd on their feet. He pulled a massive holeshot off the gate and led every lap of the six lap heat. Roczen crossed the checkered flag two seconds ahead of Eli Tomac. 

In the main event, Roczen was hoping to duplicate his heat race holeshot. “I’m not sure what happened off the start of the main, but it didn’t go well. I got a bad jump and then tried to move inside when I was hit by another rider,” said Roczen. As Roczen collided with the other rider, he lost traction on the slick first corner and fell to the ground. He remounted in near last position. 

As the race continued, Roczen charged as hard as he could and quickly moved from 19th to 13th by the second lap and to 11th on the third. On the fourth lap he was closing in on 10th when he slid out on the corner before the finish. He reported, “The track was so slick in spots, and unfortunately, that second crash was my fault. I just slid out trying to gain a position. The worst part was when I got up I had so much mud on my handlebars it was hard to grip.” 

Roczen did continue to charge forward. Although the top group had put quite a gap on the field Roczen did not stop giving it his best to gain each possible position. He quickly moved into the top ten and after the halfway point was sitting in 8th. He began closing in on Ben Evans with a few laps to go. As the race dwindled down to three laps to go, Roczen caught and passed Evans and took over 7th position. Roczen would eventually finish the race in 7th overall. “I was really disappointed in my race result tonight. I was riding well all day and was looking forward to finishing well in the main event. I had a bad start, and two crashes. It just is not where I wanted to finish. I know that I can do better and I would like to be finishing on the podium at this point in the series.” 

Roczen’s next plan is to race the Daytona Supercross aboard the KTM 350 SX-F in the Supercross class before returning to Europe to begin training for the MX2 World Championship Series which he will start in April. 

Overall Results –

  1. Eli Tomac
  2. Tyla Rattray
  3. Broc Tickle
  4. Cole Seely
  5. James Decotis
  6. Josh Hansen
  7. Ken Roczen – KTM
  8. Ben Evans  
  9. Ryan Morais
  10. Kyle Cunningham
  11. Antonio Balbi
  12. Martin Davalos
  13. Ryan Smith
  14. Tommy Weeck
  15. Nick Paluzzi
  16. Casey Hinson – KTM
  17. Scott Champion
  18. Travis Bright
  19. Dakota Tedder
  20. Kyle Beaton  

Overall Point Standings –

  1. Josh Hansen – 128
  2. Broc Tickle – 125
  3. Eli Tomac – 116
  4. Ryan Morais – 96
  5. Cole Seely – 88
  6. Ken Roczen – 83
  7. Tyla Rattray – 80
  8. Kyle Cunningham – 71
  9. Martin Davalos – 69
  10. James Decotis – 67
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