On Saturday, Team Honda HRC surpassed the halfway point of the 2019 AMA Supercross season at round nine in Atlanta, Georgia, where Ken Roczen rode his CRF450R to another fourth-place finish. In the night’s main event, Roczen was forced to start on the far outside after a having problems finish in his heat. When the gate dropped, the German launched down the straight to an impressive start, rounding the turn one in second. Unfortunately, he lost his momentum in the first rhythm section, falling back multiple positions. He worked his way into fifth by the second lap, which is where he spent much of the race. After making multiple pass attempts, Roczen capitalized on a mistake made by Aaron Plessinger, allowing him to take over the fourth spot. He was unable to gain ground on the leaders and took the checkered flag in fourth.

Although it wasn’t reflected in his final finishing result, Cole Seely rode strong in the main event, mounting a noteworthy come-from-behind-performance as he made his way from 21stto 10thduring the 26-lap race. Seely got off to a poor start and made several mistakes on the opening lap, falling to the back of the pack, but he put his head down and overtook half of the field before the finish.

NOTES

  • The evening before the race, Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely and Ken Roczen joined GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton, Cameron McAdoo and RJ Hampshire, along with MotoConcepts Honda’s Justin Brayton, Malcolm Stewart and fill-in rider Mike Alessi and BWR Honda riders Tyler Enticknap and Carlen Gardner for a rider appearance at the popular Mountain Motorsports of Marietta. Hundreds of fans were on hand to meet their favorite Red Riders for pictures and autographs.
  • After being sidelined from last weekend’s Detroit Supercross when he took a rock to the sternum, Seely spent much of his week rehabilitating to ensure he could be on the gate on race day. “Last week was really tough,” he said. “My chest was swollen and every time I tried to engage my pectoral muscles, they’d cramp up and I just didn’t have the strength to hang on last weekend. I went home and did a lot of therapy for three days in a row. I actually did the cryotherapy and that helped a lot with the swelling, pain and even gaining back some range of motion. I was actually able to hop on the bike on Tuesday and did a light day to make sure I could hang on, and then went hard on Wednesday.”
  • During the daytime qualifying practice period, Roczen posted the seventh-fastest time of 48.524”, which was secured in the first session. Seely was ninth with a 48.755” time.
  • Both Roczen and Seely were slotted in 450SX heat two, and Seely got off the line to a fourth-place start but made swift and impressive passes in the first rhythm lane to take over the early lead. Roczen also got a good jump out of the gate but was pinched off in the first turn, shuffling him outside the top five. Seely continued to ride composedly up front for the entire nine-lap race, taking the win. This marks the Californian’s second heat race win of the season and the ninth of his career. Roczen finished seventh.
  • The Atlanta Supercross marked the first of two 250SX East/West Showdowns, with East Region riders racing their fourth round and the West Region riders coming back after a three-week hiatus for their sixth round. GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton showed notable speed throughout the day, taking second in his heat race before finishing fourth in the main event. It was a challenging night for Sexton’s teammates and West Region riders RJ Hampshire and Cameron McAdoo, as multiple mishaps during the 20-lap race left them 12thand 16th, respectively.
  • On Sunday following the race, Team Honda HRC’s crew headed directly to Claremont, Florida, for a week of testing prior to Daytona. According to Team Manager Erik Kehoe, the testing approach is different this year. “ The past couple of years, they’ve brought in a lot more clay when building the Daytona track, so it’s a lot more similar to a regular supercross track than it used to be, other than the few sand sections. Previously when testing before this event, we seemed to make bigger changes, and then when we get to the race we actually went back closer to the regular settings we’ve run during the season. This week, we’re going to work on a few things but it shouldn’t vary too much from where we are now.”
  • This coming weekend, Team Honda HRC heads to Florida for the 46thannual Daytona Supercross. On Friday, Roczen, Seely, and GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton will take part in press day at Daytona International Speedway before heading to RC Hill Honda Powersports in DeLand for a pre-race party and autograph session.

Press contact:

Mandie Fonteyn // Jonnum Media // mandie@jonnummedia.com// +1 (951) 537-0454

Ken Roczen  94

“Going into Atlanta, I was feeling a lot better than I have the past two weeks from the flu. We came into the race with a little different suspension setting, so I was excited to try that but the track was one of the toughest. It was really soft and rutted so it was risky trying something new in those conditions, when you don’t know 100% what the bike is going to do. In the heat race, I got an okay start but was fully pinched off in the first turn, so that messed me up a bit and I was only able to finish seventh. In the main event, I was on the far outside and grabbed a good start. I had to jump a different rhythm than most the other guys in the first lane and got passed, so I went straight back to sixth. I moved into fifth then got stuck behind [Aaron] Plessinger for a while. I spent way too much time trying to get around him, then when I did after he went down, I couldn’t really do anything from there so I just rode a solid race and got fourth. I’m really looking forward to Daytona. It’s obviously the first time I’ve raced there in a long time, so it should be good.”

Ken Roczen

Cole Seely  14

“There are a lot of positives to take away from today. The heat race went really well. I got off to a good start and was able to make some quick moves to get by everyone early. I really tried to focus on hitting my marks because the track was tricky and I felt that it was really going to come down to who made the least mistakes. I tried to take some mental notes for the main event. Lining up for the main event, I was having a hard time getting amped up to race. I don’t know if it was nerves because this weekend marked a year since my injury, but normally I can channel that and feed off it. Tonight though, I just felt flat in the beginning of the race. I didn’t get the best start after coming together with Dean [Wilson] and then my first two laps were just terrible. I made a ton of mistakes and was almost fighting myself. When I came around and saw P-19 on the pit board, I knew I had to make something happen and really set the top 10 as my goal. I started to put together solid laps and was matching times for a lot of the guys toward the front, so I just focused forward and kept making as many passes as I could. I just ran out of time and guys to pass when I got into 10th, but I was happy because normally I run out of steam toward the end and I think tonight I really maintained until the end. I need to just figure out the first part and once I’m able to put all the pieces together, I know I’m going to have a really solid weekend.”

Cole Seely

Erik Kehoe

Team Manager

“For some reason, Kenny just felt that he was off his game tonight. We don’t know why, but it started pretty early in the day and it just seemed as if the momentum was going against him. He regrouped for the main and was still able to come away with a fourth. He’s still second in points, so we have to look at the positive. Cole was riding a lot better than his 10th place shows. He leaves here with some confidence after another heat-race win, and then even in the main, he rode strong to make as many passes as he did.”

Erik Kehoe

Oscar Wirdeman

Mechanic (Ken Roczen)

“We got fourth again, which isn’t what we wanted. I don’t think Kenny rode his best all day, just making a lot of mistakes and he was very inconsistent. The main event was better though. He got a good start from a bad gate but he just fell back in that first section. They were all going about the same, but he just struggled to get around [Aaron] Plessinger. I think by the time he did get by him, he was just out of steam. We made quite a few more bike changes than normal throughout the day, but then for the main event we were back to the more standard setting he’s been running mostly. I think this was probably one of our worst weekends, so to come away with fourth is still okay.”

Oscar Wirdeman

Jordan Troxell

Mechanic (Cole Seely)

“I’m not sure what happened those first few laps tonight. Cole didn’t get a good start and just wasn’t racing. Finally a couple laps in, he started to pick it up and began clicking off some good times and really making passes. It doesn’t show on paper, but that was a hard-fought 10th and overall there were a lot of positives to take away from today. We’re heading straight to Florida to do some pre-Daytona testing, so it should be a good week with the team.”

Jordan Troxell

450SX Main Event Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Time/Gap
1 WEBB Cooper 2 USA 26 Red Bull KTM
2 BAGGETT Blake 4 USA 23 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS
3 MUSQUIN Marvin 25 FRA 21 Red Bull KTM
4 ROCZEN Ken 94 GER 19 Team Honda HRC
5 PLESSINGER Aaron 7 USA 18 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team
6 TOMAC Eli 3 USA 17 Monster Energy Kawasaki
7 BRAYTON Justin 10 USA 16 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
8 WILSON Dean 15 GBR 15 Rockstar Husqvarna
9 SAVATGY Joey 17 USA 14 Monster Energy Kawasaki
10 SEELY Cole 14 USA 13 Team Honda HRC
11 HILL Justin 46 USA 12 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing
12 BOWERS Tyler 69 USA 11 Bowers Racing
13 REED Chad 22 AUS 10 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing
14 BOGLE Justin 19 USA 9 RCH Racing
15 SOUBEYRAS Cedric 201 FRA 8 None
16 ALESSI Mike 800 USA 7 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
17 CHISHOLM Kyle 11 USA 6 Chisholm Racing
18 LAMAY Ben 907 USA 5 TPJ.com/Fly Racing
19 RAY Alex USA 4 Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha
20 MARTINEZ Cole 68 USA 3 Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha
21 LESHER Jared 412 USA 2 None
22 OSBORNE Zach USA 1 Rockstar Husqvarna

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 WEBB Cooper 2 USA 199 Red Bull KTM
2 ROCZEN Ken 94 GER 186 Team Honda HRC
3 MUSQUIN Marvin 25 FRA 182 Red Bull KTM
4 TOMAC Eli 3 USA 177 Monster Energy Kawasaki
5 BAGGETT Blake 4 USA 142 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS
6 WILSON Dean 15 GBR 137 Rockstar Husqvarna
7 REED Chad 22 AUS 124 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing
8 PLESSINGER Aaron 7 USA 122 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team
9 BARCIA Justin 51 USA 120 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team
10 BRAYTON Justin 10 USA 113 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
11 SEELY Cole 14 USA 107 Team Honda HRC
12 SAVATGY Joey 17 USA 106 Monster Energy Kawasaki
13 BOGLE Justin 19 USA 79 RCH Racing
14 HILL Justin 46 USA 71 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing
15 FRIESE Vince 45 USA 65 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
16 BOWERS Tyler 69 USA 62 Bowers Racing
17 CHISHOLM Kyle 11 USA 49 Chisholm Racing
18 LAMAY Ben 907 USA 47 TPJ.com/Fly Racing
19 ANDERSON Jason 21 USA 46 Rockstar Husqvarna
20 RAY Alex USA 33 Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha
21 MARTINEZ Cole 68 USA 29 Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha
22 GARDNER Carlen 805 USA 26 None
23 STEWART Malcolm 27 USA 17 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
24 OSBORNE Zach USA 15 Rockstar Husqvarna
25 BREECE Ryan 86 USA 12 None
26 STEWART Ronnie 606 USA 9 DirtCandy Graphics
27 BLOSE Chris 111 USA 8 RJC Racing/AEO Powersports
28 SOUBEYRAS Cedric 201 FRA 8 None
29 ALESSI Mike 800 USA 7 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
30 CANNING Chris 376 USA 6 Manchester Honda KTM