450 Words: 350 Words

450 Words 350 Words

April 24, 2012 9:30am
Lost in the happiness the paddock has for Andrew Short winning was the fact that KTM’s Ken Roczen, a 250 rider on the East Coast, almost won the race! Add to the fact that it was Ken’s first race in the big bike class this year and that he was on a 350 and you have a great performance by the German.

Roczen, the defending MX2 champion over in Europe who raced most of the West Region Lites Series last year, probably didn’t have the year over on the east side that he, or others, thought he would. But this weekend in Seattle showed he’s got the skills. Roczen has now raced three Supercross class races in his career and scored a 7th, 8th and now a 2nd. And all on the 350 SX-F, which is a bike that hasn’t worked well for others.

Ken Roczen finished second in Seattle behind his buddy Andrew Short.
Garth Milan photo

Roger DeCoster, his team manager, believes that a rider who hasn’t been on a 450 much is one that can have success on a 350 and maybe, just maybe, that Belgian guy might know something. No matter what, the bottom line is that Roczen passed for the lead a few times and was one of only two riders to triple off the dragon-back all night long (Davi Millsaps was the other). He cased the triple later on, got a bit of arm pump, and backed it down to take second, and afterwards in a classy move had this to say about passing his buddy Short back.

“Even if I could have got him in the last corner there [with a dirty pass] there is no way I could ever touch him or anything like that. I wouldn’t do that to him. It's amazing for him, you know, first career win and you know I'm right there with him finishing in second, so it was just great.”

In this injury-filled supercross season Roczen’s ride (and Short’s win) was exactly what the doctor ordered and once again showed us that you just never know what’s going to happen on a Saturday night.

Kenny Roczen proved that to all of us.