Determined Roczen Rebounds at Indy

Having come back from a few career-threatening injuries, rebounding is what Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen does best. Last week’s heart-breaking loss at Houston wasn’t as dramatic as a serious injury, but Roczen was just as determined to put that disappointment behind him as the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series moved this week to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for Round 4.
The series is also learning a thing or two about rebounding. Indy is he site of last year’s first COVID cancellation, and a night of great racing was put on for the restricted-capacity in-person fans.
Roczen grabbed the 450SX victory, his first win of 2021, with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s CP-Carrillo-powered Eli Tomac right behind and round 3 winner Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb fighting his way to third.

Round 2 winner Tomac grabbed the holeshot and looked to have the speed to run away with the win, but he washed out in a corner and hit the dirt. His Kawasaki teammate, Adam Cianciarulo, took over the lead spot.

The three top runners—Cianciarulo, Roczen, and Tomac—then ran an exciting race, with the three riders competing within a second of each other. After multiple attacks, and often getting his front wheel past Cianciarulo’s rear wheel, Roczen made a clean pass into the lead right before the race clock ticked down to ten minutes in the 20-minute plus one lap event.

Tomac got around Cianciarulo in the following corner and resumed chase of the Honda rider, but Roczen inched out a gap that reached three seconds before a mistake sent Roczen off the track. He re-entered just behind Tomac and in short order got back into the lead.

The riders hit the finishline marker with a single second on the clock, extending the race by an additional lap. Tomac remained right on Roczen but never got close enough to make a pass for the win.

Behind them, Cooper Webb moved through the field after a mid-pack start, nabbing the final podium spot from Cianciarulo in the whoops with under two minutes left on the race clock.

Maybe the most impressive charge of the night, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne, moved up to finish in fifth after getting stuck in the starting gate and starting the race in last place.

450SX Class Results

  1. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda
  2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
  3. Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM
  4. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki
  5. Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna
  6. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha
  7. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Husqvarna
  8. Joey Savatgy, Clermont, Fla., KTM
  9. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha
  10. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM

450SX Class Championship Standings

  1. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (86)
  2. Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM (80)
  3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (77)
  4. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (70)
  5. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (69)
  6. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha (67)
  7. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha (63)
  8. Justin Brayton, Charlotte, N.C., Honda (62)
  9. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (61)
  10. Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (58)
In the Eastern Regional 250SX Class, Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Colt Nichols became the first repeat winner of the season in either class, backing up his Round 3 win with a dominating wire-to-wire victory. Nichols won by grabbing the holeshot and riding nearly flawlessly to a commanding win.
Nichols’ Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha teammate Christian Craig spent most of the race in second without pressure while Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence recovered from early race trouble. After hitting a false neutral on the start and then stopping to avoid contact with another rider on a wall obstacle that had him backing the bike and remounting, Lawrence looked like he’d have a salvage ride night. But the sophomore Aussie started slicing through the pack. He caught Craig on the final lap, and two corners from the end the riders came together and both went off the track. Jett recovered sooner, but both lost two places just a few dozen yards from the checkers.

Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda started the stint of rounds inside Lucas Oil Stadium with a memorable moment, earning his first career supercross podium. His third place was well deserved as he put himself in position to capitalize on others’ mistakes and took home third. Teammate Austin Forkner opted to sit out the rounds in Indiana to focus on recovering from his injury.

The track was technical and slippery. Shimoda found himself in the top five at the start and kept it steady for the majority of the race. His speed allowed him to keep pace and see the riders in front of him and it paid off when Craig and Lawrence got tangled before the finish, handing Shimoda his very first podium with his third place.

“This wasn’t really how I wanted to earn my first podium, but I’m still thankful we made it here,” said Shimoda. “I eventually want to earn it on my own and prove to myself that I am capable of being up here with these guys. I have a lot of positives to take away from this and hope to be in the running for the podium on Tuesday.”

The return to Indianapolis marks the series’ response to the pandemic shutdowns; last year’s Indy round was the first postponed and re-scheduled to Utah. With the safety efforts taken by Feld Entertainment, the Indy race fans, seated in pod-style arrangements, will enjoy three rounds this year, including the second-ever SuperTuesday round on February 2, and the final Indy event on Saturday, February 6.

Tickets are available at these rounds as well as the following six rounds of the series, with Atlanta going on pre-sale this Tuesday and Salt Lake City in early February.

Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results

  1. Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
  2. Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., GASGAS
  3. Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki
  4. Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda
  5. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha
  6. Mitchell Oldenburg, Aledo, Tex., Honda
  7. Thomas Do, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
  8. John Short, Pilot Point, Tex., Suzuki
  9. Joshua Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Honda
  10. Grant Harlan, Justin Tex., Honda

Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings

    1. Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha (96)
    2. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (88)
    3. Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (83)
    4. Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki (77)
    5. Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., GASGAS (76)
    6. Joshua Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Honda (56)
    7. John Short, Pilot Point, Tex., Suzuki (54)
    8. Mitchell Oldenburg, Aledo, Tex., Honda (51)
    9. Thomas Do, Murrieta, Calif., KTM (47)
    10. Max Vohland, Granite Bay, Calif., KTM (46)

photos and video courtesy of Supercross, story by Supercross and Tim Hailey

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