Ken Roczen San Diego SX Lites Report
KTM Supercross Lites
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 4:45 pm 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.
Ken Roczen (2011 KTM 250 SX-F) says: "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."
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.
Ken Roczen (2011 KTM 250 SX-F) explains: "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.
Ken Roczen (2011 KTM 250 SX-F) continues: "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.
2011 San Diego Supercross Lites Results
1. Eli Tomac
2. Tyla Rattray
3. Broc Tickle
4. Cole Seely
5. James Decotis
6. Josh Hansen
7. Ken Roczen
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
17. Scott Champion
18. Travis Bright
19. Dakota Tedder
20. Kyle Beaton