There were three laps left in the 250SX West main event and GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac was going to pull off a successful defense of his 2012 title. The kid from Colorado had a clutch ride as he caught and passed Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen (the series points leader) and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos (the race leader). There were some blistering laps laid down by Tomac and what a night it was going to be for the team and Tomac himself.
But then Roczen, realizing that he and Tomac were going to tie in points, with Tomac owning the tie-breaker, got on his horse, recovering from an almost fall and got busy trying to win his, and Germany’s first, 250SX crown. The kid hunted down Davalos (who led eleven laps but wasn’t able to pick his speed up when he needed it most) and made a sweet clean pass around Martin to get into second.
Roczen rallied late to capture his first title.
Simon Cudby photo
That was it, Roczen had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Tomac’s impressive ride one week after a devastating finish at Salt Lake City was all for naught as Roczen won the title by the narrowest of margins.
From the series start to its end, Roczen was the most consistent guy (not withstanding, in his own words “A huge mistake” in SLC when he didn’t qualify) and there wasn’t much to choose from between the two guys in the end. Just a couple of points from hero to runner-up as the pass on Davalos did it for Roczen and placed his name in the record books forever. Three laps separated Kenny from the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows.
And we’re the lucky ones to have been able to watch it all unfold in Las Vegas last Saturday night. Congrats to Ken Roczen, his mechanic Kelly and the entire Red Bull KTM team on a great SX season.