Bench Racing Ammo: Roczen’s 250 vs. the World

Bench Racing Ammo: Roczen’s 250 vs. the World

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When Team USA was officially announced at the Utah National last month, Ken Roczen came around for the press conference, too, providing a little insight on the Teutschenthal track that will host the event. Since Roger DeCoster manages both Team USA and also Roczen at Red Bull KTM, The Man was asked what size bike Kenny would ride at the MXoN. With Team Germany struggling with injuries, it had to be tempting for Roczen to get on a 350 or 450 and just go for some overall moto victories in front of his home fans, but Roger said Kenny could race whatever he wants.

We now have confirmation that Red Bull KTM has shipped Roczen’s 250 over, and he’ll once again race MX2. Why not? His performances on the little bike at this event have been nothing short of incredible. Roczen has won the MX2 (250) class three-straight years, and it has not even been close.

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Ken Roczen has been the best 250 rider at the MXoN over the last three years.
Ray Archer photo

The 250 class provides the biggest chance to gain huge points in the team format. For years, each class at the MXoN was scored separately, so a 125cc rider could, say, finish a moto in eighth, but actually be the first 125 overall and thus be credited with a moto win.

A few years ago, the rules changed, and now every bike on the track is scored together. If you finish eighth on a 250F, you are scored as eighth, no matter where other riders in your class finished. Blake Baggett, for example, was lapped and looked like a washout last year with 14-6 moto finishes. But did you know he was actually 3-2 if you ranked him only among MX2 riders?

We know Ryan Villopoto once swept both motos overall on a 250. But recently, Roczen has been the only 250 rider to battle toward the front of the overall pack (against 450s), while his 250 counterparts are usually mired somewhere further back. Thus, Germany makes huge gains when its 250 rider shoves four 450s between himself and the next best 250. Here’s a chart as proof.

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Roczen had a break through performance at the 2010 MXoN.
Steve Cox photo

2012
Roczen Moto Scores 5-4

Next Best 250 finishes 10-6

 

2011

Roczen Moto Scores 2-4

Next Best 250 Finishes 8-11

 

2010

Roczen Moto Scores 6-3

Next Best 250 Finishes 8-6

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Roczen will be back in MX2 for this year's MXoN in Germany.
Ray Archer photo

Roczen has not only been the top MX2 rider in the last six motos at this event, no other MX2 rider has even finished right behind him. He’s finished in the top five in five of the six motos, while no other 250 rider has finished in the top five even once!

We know Eli Tomac will be primed and ready for the fight this year, and we don’t know yet what two-time MX2 World Champion Jeffrey Herlings plans to do (Herlings has raced a 350 at the event the last few years, but he’s also suffering from a shoulder injury). There could be a real battle brewing for MX2 supremacy in two weeks. But if Roczen wins the MX2 overall for the fourth-straight year, it will cap one of the greatest runs in the history of the event.

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