RCH Suzuki Factory Racing’s Ken Roczen is ready to rebound at this weekend’s fifth round of the Monster Energy AMA/ FIM World Supercross series at Angel Stadium, Anaheim in California.
The 20-year-old German suffered a heavy case-out landing at last week’s Oakland round that saw him side-lined for a lap; before mounting a heroic ‘from-the-back’ charge aboard his RM-Z450 to place 15th and earn six valuable championship points.
Roczen lost his series lead and ‘red plate’ to KTM’s Ryan Dungey, but has been training hard during the week and is determined to put the RCH Soaring Eagle/ Jimmy Johns/ Suzuki Factory Racing team back at the top on Saturday night.
Said Roczen: “I’m feeling great. I feel great on the bike; everything is good. I’m not too worried about the championship. I’m only four points behind and we’ve got a lot of racing left. Oakland could have been another good night but I messed it up. Luckily, I wear Fox helmets and Oakley goggles to protect my head and eyes. Otherwise, my incident last weekend could've been a whole different story.”
Statistically, Roczen hasn’t missed a podium in his five Anaheim 450SX Class starts and is going for his third straight Anaheim victory this season and fourth overall. Since joining the 450SX class full time last season, Roczen has won three times at Angel Stadium and finished no worse than third.
Team mate Broc Tickle will unfortunately be a non-starter at Anaheim; after crashing on the same ‘triple’ last weekend and being forced to pull-out – a heavy crash that necessitated as trip to the nearby Sutter Eden Medical Center where he was examined, released and cleared to travel home with the team – RCH team owners Carey Hart and Ricky Carmichael have chosen to park the #20 Suzuki RM-Z450 this weekend while Tickle recovers from a back injury sustained. The injury, incidentally, is unrelated to the one he suffered last year at the Toronto Supercross.
“I’m disappointed that I’ll miss this weekend but, given my recent experience with back injuries, I’ve learned to take the doctor’s advice,” explained Tickle, who slipped from seventh to 12th in the point’s standings. “I don’t want turn a one-race injury into something bigger. It should be a pretty quick recovery and I can still do everything training-wise, except for riding. I need to stay off the bike for five-to-seven days. After that, I should be ready to go for San Diego in two weeks.”
Roczen, whose scary impact with the face of the same triple didn’t take quite the physical toll on him as it did his team-mate, added: “I’m really bummed for Broc not being able to race this weekend. I know how hard he’s worked, but the good thing is that he won’t be out for very long.”