Ken Roczen put together an impressive performance at round four of the AMA Supercross series, scoring his first main-event victory of 2021, in Indianapolis. The Team Honda HRC rider’s win keeps him at the top of the title chase, with a six-point lead.
Despite some bad luck in the previous events, Roczen entered the first Indy round with a narrow 450SX points lead, and he demonstrated his unrelenting drive as he returned to the top of the podium in dominant fashion. The German was strong throughout the evening program, taking the win in his heat race before grabbing a third-place start in the main event. Roczen quickly advanced to second and was involved in an action-packed battle with Adam Cianciarulo and Eli Tomac before he made a strong pass for the lead seconds before the halfway flags went out. He briefly lost the lead when he ran off the track, but he regained it and never looked back, holding off Tomac to the finish.
Roczen’s teammate Jett Lawrence showed impressive speed throughout the day in the 250SX East class, posting the best qualifying time and finishing second in his heat race. Lawrence made a mistake at the start in the main event, and soon after had to stop to avoid another rider on the wall jump, leaving him in 12th place. Undeterred, the young Australian charged through the pack to third with three laps remaining. When he attempted to pass Christian Craig for second on the final lap, the two collided and went off the track, dropping Lawrence to fourth at the finish.
- Team Honda HRC personnel arrived at the Lucas Oil Stadium on Thursday morning and received their first COVID-19 tests for the three-round Indianapolis residency.
- The first Media Day riding session for Indianapolis took place at the stadium on Friday with Team Honda HRC riders Ken Roczen and Jett Lawrence both participating.
- Although Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton missed the first Indianapolis round to continue rehabilitating his right shoulder, he participated in several interviews on Saturday morning, via Zoom from his home in Florida, including a live segment on ESPN 107.5 FM for the Jeff Rickard and Joe Staysniak Show, an interview with The Indianapolis Star, and Race Day Live. Sexton is hoping to return for the third Indy round.
- Roczen posted the fastest 450SX time in the first qualifying session and the fifth-best time overall, at 47.428”. Muc-Off Honda’s Justin Brayton was seventh-best at 47.808”, and SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda riders Benny Bloss, Broc Tickle and Vince Friese were 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-best, respectively, with times of 48.496”, 48.714” and 48.817”.
- In 250SX East qualifying, Lawrence posted the fastest time with a 47.278”, in the final session. Muc-Off Honda’s Mitchell Oldenburg was sixth at 48.473”, with Phoenix Racing Honda’s Joshua Osby eighth.
- Roczen finished on top in the second 450SX heat race, with Tickle placing fifth and Brayton posting a ninth-place result. Heat 1 saw Bloss finish eighth, while Friese was 18th. Lawrence was second in 250SX heat 2, whereas Oldenburg and Osby were third and fourth in heat 1.
- As the 450SX winner, Roczen took part in the post-race virtual press conference, and the following afternoon he was also interviewed by the nationally syndicated SpeedFreaks Radio show on Sirius XM
- With the first race of the Indianapolis triple-header complete, the riders and teams are preparing for round 5, which happens on Tuesday, with round 6 set to take place Saturday.
- The 450SX win was the 16th of Roczen’s career in AMA Supercross, with his previous victory having come at last year’s fifth Salt Lake City round, on June 14.
Ken Roczen 94“What do I say--I’m speechless! We won the heat race which was great, but then the main event was chaotic. The track really deteriorated and there were more ruts than you can count. We all made some mistakes out there. I capitalized on Eli [Tomac] going down and had to make my way around Adam [Cianciarulo], who was riding really well, which definitely didn’t make it easy. Later I ended up cross-rutting off of the second double so I was deciding in the air whether I could brake and still tuck to the inside to stay in the track, but I would’ve gone into the Tuff Blocks. I had to make my way all the way around the berm; I couldn't get an advantage so I had to let Eli by, but in that same lap he left the door open and I took the opportunity to pass him. From there on he was pushing hard, but I kept him behind me and we made it happen. It was one of my best races that I’ve had in a long time, and I’m really happy that I could fight back and not just give it to them. This was our first win of the season, after a lot of unfortunate events that went on in the last few races. Tonight was our night and we won, so I’m beyond stoked!”
Jett Lawrence 18“I was feeling really good on the track, qualifying P1. In heat 2 I got a really good start with the holeshot but went down in one of the turns in the first lap, so I came out top-10 and made my way to second, which felt really good. In the main event I messed up my start and feel like I couldn't have done any worse, to be honest. That didn't give me a very good shot at winning, but I had a really good flow and made my way up to around sixth, but unfortunately I hit the rear end of another rider on the wall jump which made me stop. I had to roll back down to go back up, putting me back to 12th. I made my way through the pack to fifth and realized Jo [Shimoda] was right there and passed him. The next rhythm I got [Michael] Mosiman, and then Christian Craig was just up ahead, so I knew at that point I could actually get second. On the last lap I tried to make a pass before the whoops, and Christian and I ended up colliding and getting tangled up, which screwed us both. I still finished fourth for the night, which isn’t really what I wanted or needed. I've given Colt [Nichols] more cushion in points, but I’m hoping to close that gap on Tuesday and stay in this hunt for the title.”
Erik Kehoe - Team Manager“Ken and the team needed that win! Ken will get a good boost of confidence from that and keep the momentum going into round 5. Jett continues to show brilliant speed and is learning valuable lessons every week, and he’ll use this experience to be more consistent in his goal of podium finishes.”