Ken Roczen Starts Off With Two Back-to-Back Wins for Supercross 2017

San Diego makes it two for two for the Team Honda HRC rider

Ken Roczen wins Round 2 of 2017 Supercross
Roczen launches into the 2017 Supercross season with two back-to-back victories to put him in the lead.Photo Courtesy of Team Honda HRC

It was another exhilarating night for Team Honda HRC at San Diego’s Petco Park, as Ken Roczen emerged victorious from a thrilling battle and opened the AMA Supercross season with back-to-back wins. Roczen launched to a fourth-place start but rode his CRF450R into second place on the opening lap. The German stayed within striking distance of the leader, making multiple advances before successfully taking over at the 13-minute mark. He was kept honest throughout the remainder of the race but stayed composed, ultimately taking the checkered flag for the win.

Teammate Cole Seely got off the line to an eighth-place start and advanced quickly to fourth by lap two. He maintained that position until the halfway point before relinquishing two spots. With three laps remaining, Seely put together one last surge to regain fifth, which is where he finished.

Ken Roczen wins 2017 San Diego Supercross
Roczen stood atop the podium yet again and as part of the fourth annual Military Appreciation race the rider sported his military-themed gear.Photo Courtesy of Team Honda HRC

This marked the fourth annual Military Appreciation race in San Diego, and the entire industry came together to honor the men and women who have served and sacrificed in the United States Armed Forces. Once again, Team Honda HRC showed their full support by donning their CRF450R race bikes in military-inspired graphics by Throttle Jockey. This year was unique in that Cole Seely’s and Ken Roczen’s bikes showcased different themes, which were matched by their personal gear. The number 94 machine was armed with red plastics and snow-camouflage graphics, while the number 14 Honda wore stars across red and navy fields.

“The idea to base the graphics off the riders’ gear actually came from Matt Davis at Throttle Jockey,” said team manager Dan Betley. “We’ve done different designs over the past couple years but I think these turned out pretty cool, especially seeing Ken and Cole in their gear and on the bikes.”

“It’s great, and in actuality it’s such a small thing,” Seely said of the event. “I mean, all we’re doing is putting different stickers on our bikes and wearing different gear, which is so minute compared to what the members of the military have done and continue to do for us. This is the least we can do. I hope they feel appreciated because we really just have to say thank you to all of the people who have served and put their lives on the line.”

Cole Seely results from Round 2 Supercross 2017
Cole Seely battled from eight to finish in a strong fifth in the exciting Round 2.Photo Courtesy of Team Honda HRC

Reflecting on the night of racing Ken Roczen stated "Ryan [Dungey] kept me on my toes. The track broke down and it was really rough out there, but that's the fun part. I hope the fans enjoyed it. That's what they want to see—a battle for the win. I’m happy to be up here again—actually happier with this weekend's win than last weekend's. Another day in the books and I'm looking forward to next weekend."

Cole Seely also reflected on his results by saying "Tonight went pretty good. I’m trying to get my starts more dialed in and I definitely felt better during the semi, so I just tried to apply that to the main event, got a decent start and made my way up to fourth. I went back to sixth but chipped away at Eli [Tomac] before passing him back. It was a step in the right direction for both me and the bike setup."

"It was a very tough race tonight and it was great to beat last year's champion the way Ken did," Team Honda/HRC Representative Director Kiesuke Inomoto stated. "I’m sure it gave him more confidence going forward into the rest of the season. I was also glad to see that Cole improved from last week. I’m sure he’ll be on the podium very soon! I would like to congratulate the team as well for their hard work."

Team Manager Dan Betley said "I’m feeling a lot better now that that race is over because it sure was a nail-biter! It was stressful and I’m sure I have a few more gray hairs but it was a good race and that’s what the fans come to see. Last weekend was great with a 15 second lead but that’s a little unrealistic because the competition is tough, so I think we can expect a lot more battles between those two. We’re taking it one weekend at a time though, so we’ll reset and go into Anaheim 2 with the same attitude. Cole is better than he’s racing right now, so we just need to find out what’s going on and iron out those kinks and he’ll be on the podium in no time."

Oscar Wirdeman, Ken Roczen's mechanic, stated that "It was a good race tonight. Ken and Ryan were battling hard for much of the race, but luckily they both respect each other and it stayed clean. Ryan made a few mistakes at the end luckily, and we were able to come out on top again. The bike is working great; we only made a few minor clicker changes throughout the day. Getting another win under our belt is great but we’re going to continue to focus on each week."

Rich Simmons, Cole Seely's mechanic, also reflected on the race saying "I think we made some improvements tonight. We made a few good changes to the bike during the week, as well as today. That helped but we’re still working on starts; those definitely need to be better. As much as you don’t want to go to the semi, I think it helped him get his starts in order a little more. We really just need to work on his aggression in the first half of the race and I think the rest will come."

450SX Main Event Results
1. Ken Roczen - Honda - 25
2. Ryan Dungey - KTM - 22
3. Marvin Musquin - KTM - 20
4. Jason Anderson - Husqvarna - 18
5. Cole Seely - Honda - 16
6. Eli Tomac - Kawasaki - 15
7. Weston Peick - Suzuki - 14
8. David Millsaps - Kawasaki - 13
9. Chad Reed - Kawasaki - 12
10. Justin Bogle - Suzuki - 11
450SX Rider Standings
1. Ken Roczen - Honda - 50
2. Ryan Dungey - KTM - 44
3. Marvin Musquin - KTM - 40
4. Jason Anderson - Husqvarna - 36
5. Cole Seely - Honda - 31
6. Eli Tomac - Kawasaki - 31
7. Weston Peick - Suzuki - 27
8. David Millsaps - Kawasaki - 27
9. Joshua Grant - Kawasaki - 22
10. Justin Bogle - Suzuki - 20