Roczen remains positive following Arlington defeat | News
The 2019 AMA Supercross season has seen Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen get increasingly close to scoring his first win since suffering major injuries the past two years.
round seven in Arlington, Texas, was the closest yet; in fact, it was literally the closest ever. After nailing a strong start and aggressively moving into the lead on lap five, the German ran at the front for most of the race, only to be passed in the final turn of the final lap, finishing a scant .023 seconds behind winner Cooper Webb in what was history’s narrowest margin between first and second place. Despite the disappointment of narrowly missing out on the victory, Roczen gained confidence from riding well and still sits just two points out of the series lead.
“From the first few races this year to now, I’ve made some good steps forward,” said Roczen. “I’ve changed up some things in my program and put in some solid effort during the week, and I feel like it’s showing on the weekends. Of course it’s disappointing to put in that effort the entire moto and then give it away in the last turn. The turn before the whoops and in the whoops themselves is where I lost the most time during the main event. If I could’ve done that better or worked better with the bike, I feel like I could’ve kept my flow a bit better and had more of a gap between first and second. Honestly though, I’m just having a lot of fun; I haven’t been in a championship chase in a long time, and it’s really good racing. There’s always room to improve, and I don’t have a win yet, but we’ve been super-consistent. I’ll just use this as fuel, think about the feelings I had on the track, and then make a plan for the next race. I think we’re in a good spot.”
Roczen’s mechanic, Oscar Wirdeman; “That was a cruel one! It was a great day for 99.9% of it though. Kenny won his heat race, and then the main was good—he got by Tomac and opened a good little gap, which was pretty solid. Toward the end, Cooper Webb just slowed down less, so to speak; he was able to keep his momentum. They were really close for a few laps, and then Cooper got him in the last turn, so that stinks. But it’s good, because this was the best Kenny has ridden this year. It’s very bittersweet when you lose the race so close to the finish, but for sure it’s good for Ken’s confidence. For us, we’ve still got to look at the big picture, because we’re seven races in and only two points out. It’s still close, and it’s much better than we’ve done the last two years.”
Team Manager Erik Kehoe: “We’ve been working on starts, and both of our guys have been getting good starts as a result. In the heat races, both of our guys were right there on the starts and then got the wins, which is important. In the main event Kenny led all the way up to the last lap, even with the gap kind of going back and forth. I think he was a little frustrated losing the race like that, but he rode really strong—he was consistent and he was being smart for the championship. Cole won his heat and then rode well in the main—probably the most aggressive I’ve seen him ride. He came back to a sixth place, and he was solid the whole night. I think these rides will be big confidence builders leading into next week, and we’ll work to keep that momentum going. For the team, they did a great job even in the tough conditions—everything with the team has been really good.”