Page 9 - LS2_MASTER_FEB_2018
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Ken Roczen was all business at the start of the 2017 season, turning up to the pre-season press conference in a dazzling, fitted suit a la Conor McGregor. He wasn’t pulling any punches at the beginning of the season either,
winning the first two races aboard his Factory Honda CRF450R. The German rider trounced the field in the season opener at Anaheim, solidifying himself as the man to beat in the premier class. Although Dungey was able to challenge Roczen for the full twenty minutes during the second round of the series in San Diego, the #94 kept his number plate as red as his side shroud as the riders prepared for Anaheim 2. Fans and pundits were already handing the title to Roczen as he looked relatively unstoppable throughout the first two rounds, but his career would take a drastic change in the midst of the main event that evening. The Honda pilot hit a
“I put my head down and with that moto being just shy of 30 mins I was able to catch him with two laps to go. We had a few good stuff battles and I finally made the pass stick. The team and I were so pumped to grab that win!”
kicker in the middle of a rhythm section, separating him from his motorcycle as he launched forward towards the landing of the jump. Roczen tapped into his basic human instincts and extended his left arm in order to brace his fall, resulting in one of the most devastating injuries in the history of AMA Supercross. The three-time AMA Champion and former MX2 World Champion was in danger of losing his arm altogether, but after eleven separate surgeries he was finally able to start his recovery. He’s been forced to make little adaptations to his riding style in favor of the limited mobility in his wrist and he also wears a brace while riding. Nonetheless, the twenty-three year old is one of the most mentally fortified talents in the sport and he believes that he’s a better rider at this point than he was at the time of his crash last year. Roczen’s determination and desire were tested immensely by this particular obstacle, and he’s more driven than ever to climb back to the top of the sport that he loves. There’s no doubt that he has the natural ability and the speed to win races, but can it be sustained throughout an entire seventeen round season? Since making the move from the RCH Suzuki team to the Factory Honda effort, Roczen has experienced major crashes in two out of four races that he’s contested (Monster Energy Cup, Anaheim 2). In all three seasons of 450 supercross that he’s contested, small mistakes and crashes have left him out of title contention at the end of the year; the young German sensation is going to have to clean up the mistakes and borrow a page out Dungey’s playbook if he hopes to have a shot at the title when the gate drops in Las Vegas.

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