Roczen Dominates At Phoenix Supercross

It was a night of firsts at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. In the first Monster Energy AMA Supercross race ever at the venue, Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Ken Roczen took his first win of the 2016 season.

Phoenix Supercross Winner Ken Roczen
Winner Ken Roczen

Roczen had it easy, after qualifying second in his Heat. BTO Sports KTM’s Davi Millsaps took the holeshot, but Roczen quickly passed Millsaps and never looked back.

Leading all 20 laps on the long, wide track that featured the longest starting straight—150 yards—in Supercross history, Roczen was never challenged the entire night, riding to a lonely victory.

“We have been working really hard and it paid off,” Roczen said. “This was a tough track tonight. We got the job done.” The win moved Roczen into sole possession of 2nd place in the Monster Energy Supercross standings, 21 points behind Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey.

Dungey didn’t have nearly the easy night that Roczen had, as he was 8th off the start, despite having first gate pick after winning his Heat. Dungey picked off riders methodically, moving up one position per lap until he settled into 3rd place on Lap 6, behind Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac and leader Roczen.

Gaining slowly on Tomac for 10 laps, Dungey made the pass after Tomac nearly went down in the long and challenging whoops section. From there, Dungey ran away from Tomac, but was unable to mount a charge for the lead. The 2nd place finish was the 12th consecutive race that Dungey has been in the top 2, and his 21st consecutive podium.

2016 Phoenix Supercross Podium
Phoenix Podium

Tomac earned his first podium of the year, with a fairly uneventful race. He started third, battled a bit with Millsaps before passing him on Lap 3, by which time Roczen had a solid lead. Tomac held 2nd for 13 laps before his error and Dungey’s pass.

Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson, who started the night 2nd in the standings, got off to his typical mediocre start after having to go to the Semi to qualify. Following Dungey through the pack, Anderson eventually lost touch with the defending champ and was not close enough to take advantage of Tomac’s error. However, Anderson’s 4th place finish keeps him in the company of Dungey as the only other rider besides the points leader to have top 5 finishes at all five rounds.

Millsaps positioned himself well with his holeshot, but slowly worked his way off the podium, finally finishing in 5th. It is Millsaps first top 5 of the year, and moved him into 8th in the season standings, as he passed BTO Sports/KTM’s Justin Brayton (7th at Phoenix) and Jake Weimer (14th).

Brayton rode a consistent race, starting and finishing in 7th, though he did battle with Smartop MotoConcept’s Mike Alessi, Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin, Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely, and Monster Energy/Team Yamaha’s Chad Reed at various points during the night. At the end, only Reed of that group bested Brayton.

Missing the Glendale round due to injures were Yoshimura Suzuki teammates James Stewart and Blake Baggett, plus Team Honda HRC’s Trey Canard.

The next Monster Energy AMA Supercross round is Saturday, February 13, at Petco Park in San Diego, and is broadcast live on Fox Sports 1.


Photography by Simon Cudby

Monster Energy AMA Supercross Round 5 Results, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
1. Ken Roczen, Suzuki RM-Z450
2. Ryan Dungey, KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition
3. Eli Tomac, Kawasaki KX450F
4. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna FC 450
5. Davi Millsaps, KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition
6. Chad Reed, Yamaha YZ450F
7. Justin Brayton, KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition
8. Cole Seely, Honda CRF450R
9. Marvin Musquin, KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition
10. Wil Hahn, Kawasaki KX450F
11. Weston Peick, Yamaha YZ450F
12. Mike Alessi, Honda CRF450R
13. Christophe Pourcel, Husqvarna FC 450
14. Jake Weimer, Suzuki RM-Z450
15. Tommy Hahn, Yamaha YZ450F
16. Lawson Bopping, Yamaha YZ450F
17. Phil Nicoletti, Yamaha YZ450F
18. Vince Friese, Honda CRF450R
19. Nicholas Schmidt, Suzuki RM-Z450
20. Cade Clason, Honda CRF450R
21. Alex Ray, Honda CRF450R
22. Bryce Stewart, Yamaha YZ450F

Monster Energy AMA Supercross Standings (after 5 of 16 rounds)
1. Ryan Dungey, 119 points (3 wins)
2. Ken Roczen, 98 (1 win)
3. Jason Anderson, 93 (1 win)
4. Chad Reed, 90
5. Eli Tomac, 88
6. Cole Seely, 83
7. Marvin Musquin, 63
8. Davi Millsaps, 61
9. Justin Brayton, 61
10. Jake Weimer, 53
11. Wil Hahn, 41
12. Christophe Pourcel, 35
13. Mike Alessi, 33
14. Trey Canard, 29
15. Weston Peick, 27
16. Dean Wilson, 18
17. Broc Tickle, 17
18. Vince Friese, 17
19. Justin Barcia, 16
20. Tommy Hahn, 15