Roczen Concludes 2019 AMA Supercross Series with Fourth in Las Vegas, Seely Sixth2019-05-06 15:41
The 2019 AMA Supercross series came to a close for Team Honda HRC at Las Vegas’s Sam Boyd Stadium, with Ken Roczen racing to a solid fourth-place finish aboard his CRF450R, while teammate Cole Seely secured a respectable sixth-place result. In the final main event of the year, Roczen got off the line to a seventh-place start and advanced to fifth by lap two. The German continued his charge, closing in on fourth and making an impressive pass through the whoops to secure the position. Toward the end of the 22-lap race, Roczen advanced on third but was unable to make the pass, taking the checkered flag in fourth. Meanwhile, Seely struggled off the line, coming around the first turn outside the top 10. By the completion of the 20-minute-plus-one-lap race, he had methodically advanced through the pack to sixth.
American Honda and Team Honda HRC extend their congratulations to Cooper Webb and the entire Red Bull KTM team for securing the 2019 AMA Supercross title.
For the final race of the year, Team Honda HRC mechanics Oscar Wirdeman and Jordan Troxell decided to change things up for their travel plans. On Wednesday, they embarked from Honda’s Torrance, California, headquarters on Gold Wing touring motorcycles, which they rode through the desert to Las Vegas. Their journey was documented on Honda’s social channels and was even featured on Saturday’s Race Day Live show.
During Friday’s pre-race press conference, American Honda announced that Ken Roczen has renewed his contract with Team Honda HRC for an additional three years, continuing the partnership through 2022. A video was created and dedicated to Roczen to help celebrate the exciting news.
The Las Vegas Supercross marked the third time this season that Team Honda HRC’s technical and hospitality trucks were only a portion of Honda’s footprint in the pits. Under a third truck, children got the opportunity to take part in a popular learn-to-ride program. The all-new Talon 1000 sport side-by-side was also on display.
The Las Vegas track was one of the longest of the season. During the daytime program, Roczen logged the third-quickest qualifying time at 58.992”, while Seely was 11thwith a 1’.173” lap.
Both Team Honda HRC riders were slotted in the second 450SX heat race. Seely completed lap one in second place and lost one position to finish on the podium, while Roczen rode in fifth place for the entire race.
It was an incredible night for the entire GEICO Honda team, as Chase Sexton wrapped up the East Region 250SX Championship with a fourth-place finish in the main event. Teammates RJ Hampshire and Cameron McAdoo also put in strong performances, securing second- and third-place finishes, respectively. “This feels so good I can’t even explain it right now,” Sexton said. “That was probably one of the craziest main events I’ve ever been in. That was the longest main event I’ve ever had in my life, and to do it here in Vegas feels so good. I’ve wanted this for so long, and to get it in my second year at only 19 years old feels so good. It’s awesome.”
After an injury-ridden two years, Roczen was pleased to complete the entire 2019 AMA Supercross series, and although he never captured that elusive win, he secured six podium finishes and an additional five top-five results en route to an impressive fourth overall. “Although the whole season didn’t go like I wanted it to, we have a lot of good things to take away from it,” Roczen said. “I’ve shown some good speed here and there and, most importantly, made it healthy through all 17 rounds. That alone is a win and will help me in the future.”
With the AMA Supercross season completed, Team Honda HRC will enjoy a welcome weekend off before kicking off the AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday, May 18, in Sacramento.
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Ken Roczen 94
“I’m pretty happy with how tonight went. I struggled in the heat but we went back to an earlier setting and things were a lot better in the main. I still didn’t get the best start but made some passes pretty quick, working my way into fourth. I actually felt good throughout the whole race and didn’t lose steam, which is what I’ve been fighting a lot this season. We’re still trying to fully figure out what was or is going on, but it seems to be a little better than before. I’m so happy to make it through a whole supercross season and am looking forward to heading into outdoors.”
Cole Seely 14
“Vegas as a whole went pretty well. Practice was okay. I qualified decent but not great, which I kind of expected because I’m not normally the best qualifier, especially in Vegas. It normally takes some time for me to figure out the track. I had a good heat, running in second for most of the race, then finishing third, so I was pretty happy with that. Going into the main, I knew if I could get a good start I’d be able to end the season on a positive note. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the start I wanted and ended up just outside the top 10. I had a good a flow going though, so I knew if I just put my head down and hit my marks that I could end up in a good position. I just started picking my way through the pack. I felt like I wasn’t using a ton of energy, so I was able to maintain my pace throughout the whole race more than normal. I was really happy with how I was riding and ended up sixth.”
“Once again, our starts hindered us tonight in the main event. Both Ken and Cole didn’t get the best jumps out of the gate, so we really need to dial those in. It’s hard to battle for the lead or podiums when you’re not putting yourself in a good position from the start. However, I think they both rode well. Their intensity was better tonight throughout the entire race and didn’t taper off. This season as a whole was definitely up and down, but we’re happy that both riders were able to make it through uninjured.”
Mechanic (Ken Roczen)
“We got fourth tonight, which isn’t necessarily what we want, but overall it’s still pretty good. It would have been great to end the season with a podium, but Ken rode well. Bike-wise, we made a few changes after practice and for the heat race, but Ken struggled so we ended up switching back for the main. Time to focus on prepping for outdoors.”
Mechanic (Cole Seely)
“I think tonight went pretty decent. Things started a little slow but I think Cole rode well in his heat, getting a good start and putting in some solid laps. He rode well in the main too but got a bad start and had to make his way through the field. He still managed to finish sixth, which is good. It’s been a rollercoaster season for Cole. He’s shown good speed at times but also struggled to put it all together. I’m happy that we were able to make it through the whole season though, and now we’ll turn our focus to outdoors.”
Source: Honda Racing Corporation
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