Yesterday Honda introduced the media to its GEICO Honda and Honda HRC teams for 2018. The lineups include Ken Roczen and Cole Seely for Team HRC Honda and Jeremy Martin, Christian Craig, RJ Hampshire, Chase Sexton, and Cameron McAdoo for GEICO Honda. It also re-introduced the returning team manager for HRC Honda, Eric Kehoe, as well as the new team manager for GEICO Honda, Dan Bentley.
The craze of the day was, of course, Ken Roczen. How is he doing, what is the status of his arm, how is he adapting to his new limitations, is his speed still there? It was a bit of a media frenzy around Ken, to be honest, but with Ken living in Florida and spending the last month in Central California doing boot camp at Castillo Ranch with Adam Cianciarulo and Adam and Tyler Enticknap, not many have really seen Ken ride other than in a few of his Instagram videos here and there. He is one of the stars of the sport and definitely the biggest story and X-factor going into next season. The media day was a good opportunity to speak to Ken and the rest of the factory Honda teams, from mechanics to truck drivers, managers, man friends, and other team sponsors.
The damage Ken suffered was all to his left arm. He is also left-handed. Although Ken won’t be able to throw a ball around anytime soon, he can surely ride a dirt bike, and that’s all he needs or cares about doing. I didn’t have a stopwatch on me, but I can tell you Ken looks as fast and comfortable as ever. We’ll have a video today so you can see for yourself, as well as a full interview with him.
Team GEICO Honda also announced which coast each of its riders will be racing. Riding the West Region will be Christian Craig and Chase Sexton. The East Region will feature Jeremy Martin, RJ Hampshire, and Cameron McAdoo.
Here’s some more ammo for your bench racing arsenal:
- Ken just purchased a new home in Dana Point, California.
- Ken is using two different-size grips on the left and right. The left is slightly larger and softer. The last time I spoke with Ken, he mentioned getting weird, painful callouses on his left hand due to the lack of mobility in his wrist.
- Jeremy Martin has been switching between the 250 and 450 for training, but only recently hopped on a factory 450—talk about even more power! He’ll be racing the first three races of the year on the factory 450, with GEICO graphics under the GEICO tent. Then he’ll switch back to 250 work for 250SX East.
- Martin has been training with Eli Tomac in Colorado and will be living in Southern California until after the first three rounds of supercross. Be on the lookout for a full interview with him next week.
- Both HRC Honda and GEICO Honda gave their riders the option of whether they’d prefer KYB or Showa suspension. After lots of testing, here’s what everyone will be running:
- KYB: Cole Seely, Jeremy Martin, Chase Sexton, Cameron McAdoo
- Showa: Ken Roczen, Christian Craig, RJ Hampshire
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