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Ken Roczen Grabs Third Season Win in Atlanta | News

Ken Roczen of Team Honda HRC secured his third win of the 2020 AMA Supercross Championship, leading the 450SX Main Event from start to finish.

Roczen pulled the holeshot and disappeared from the pack to convincingly grab his third win of the season. The victory brings the Honda rider into a championship points tie with Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac.

After two fourth place finishes in the past two weekends, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia grabbed a podium finish the hard way – the Yamaha rider recovered from a 15th place start to steadily and aggressively push through the pack to finish in second place. KTM’s Cooper Webb spent all week recovering from a brutal crash seven days prior; after an eighth-place start Webb fell back a bit in the early laps but kept his head down. Tomac also started poorly, then mis-timed a block pass on Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-KTM-WPS’s Blake Baggett, sending both riders to the ground. Tomac remounted in 14th and made the push toward the front.

The tight track provided some wild racing, including Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson zig-zagging under the short bridge of the track’s over/under obstacle after nearly high-siding over Smarttop / BullFrog Spas / Motoconcepts Honda’s Vince Friese’s rear wheel, as well as Anderson, Friese and Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Dean Wilson stacking up at a turn entry, allowing Webb to ride around all three at once.

With four minutes left on the clock Tomac reached Webb and started applying the pressure – at that point battling for sixth place. The two moved forward on the leader board and with two laps remaining had reached Team Tedder’s Martin Davalos who ran in third. On the final lap Webb squared up a 180-degree berm and cut under and past Davalos with hardly an inch to spare. Tomac followed and kept the pressure on Webb, but the defending champ held strong until the end and turned what might have been a no-show event for most riders into a podium finish.

Ken Roczen was all smiles after a major win that pulled him up into a tie for the points lead. “This was a fun race. I mean, I had a good gap and that makes it also difficult. The track broke down a lot more than I thought it was going to, honestly. So that makes it tough. You just don’t want to make a mistake, so you really have to keep your composure throughout the entire Main Event. I had such a blast out there. I felt really good all day and laid it out there, and this is what we had to do. My bike has been working phenomenal here today, [I’m] really happy with it. And every time I win, I’m happier and happier so winning just gets more fun and more addicting.”

On the podium, when asked if he and Tomac were a little heated during their battle, Barcia said, “Yeah, for sure. I made a good clean pass on him and then he just pounded into me, got me pretty good. I was a little bit not happy with that racing, but I want to put that aside. What a great race, charged through the pack. Didn’t have the best start, I’ve been working on them a lot, today [I got] a decent one in the heat race, main event was a little struggle; but can’t thank all the Yamaha people enough. Our headquarters are here in Atlanta, got a lot of guys out here today… It’s crazy racing, brutal track tonight, hard to pass, but obviously made a lot of passes, had a good time. Made some points probably, too, so that’s cool.” The finish, in fact, moved Barcia into third place in the points.

Cooper Webb was clearly in pain on the podium, displaying the challenge he’d overcome that night, “That was probably the hardest race I’ve ever had, but you know it’s amazing after I had a bad start and stalled it and I was way back. And just put my head down and tried to do the best I can. Got a few gifts from the guys up front, but man that was painful. I had to pull out of second practice earlier because it was hurting. I knew it wasn’t going to be fun or easy but that’s racing, sometimes you’ve got to buckle up your jeans and go after it. It’s a long way out, but the only thing keeping me going is this championship so we’re going to do whatever we can… These Atlanta fans are awesome so that helped [me] fight through it.”

When asked about the physical riding with Barcia, Tomac said after the race, “Just battling. If I get bumped I’m just going to bump back. That’s the way it is. It might have been a little bit more of a hit but really I’m just like, just kinda giving it back. Tight track tonight, that’s what leads to those situations. Really hard just to make the pass stick so you had to go inside on the bowl turns, that was really the only spot tonight. I was in a hurry, Kenny was out front, and that was all I could do. The one with Blake [Baggett], that one was, I didn’t mean it to be that bad. I thought I had good momentum to slingshot from the outside to in, and then he was already coming down so… just the tight track makes it really hard to make moves. So that was that. Fortunately, I got back to fourth and that was it.”

450SX Class Results
1. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda
2. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha
3. Cooper Webb, Clermont, Fla., KTM
4. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
5. Martin Davalos, Tallahassee, Fla., KTM
6. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Honda
7. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha
8. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda
9. Vince Friese, Menifee, Calif., Honda
10. Dean Wilson, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna

450SX Class Championship Standings
1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (200)
2. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (200)
3. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha (177)
4. Cooper Webb, Clermont, Fla., KTM (176)
5. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna (151)
6. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda (137)
7. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (128)
8. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Honda (127)
9. Justin Brayton, Charlotte, N.C., Honda (116)
10. Dean Wilson, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna (113)