|It was a wet and wild day in Minnesota for round eight of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Millville, Minnesota’s Spring Creek MX Park, as lightning and heavy rain throughout the day caused delays and challenging track conditions. Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen struggled to find his rhythm on the slick track in the opening 450 class moto, but he found redemption in the second outing, leading for the majority of the 30-minute-plus-two-lap-race before he took the checkered flag in second. His 14-2 scores slated him fifth overall on the day.
Moto one saw Roczen get a good jump off the line, but as the 40 racers careened into the first turn, he was covered in mud and shuffled back to 17thplace. While working his way forward, another rider went down in front of him, leaving Roczen nowhere to go and taking him down too. The German once again began working his way through the field, advancing to 12thon lap four. With seven minutes remaining, Roczen came under fire, relinquishing two spots before crossing the line in 14th. When the gate dropped on moto two, Roczen rocketed his CRF450R down the straight to a second-place start. He quickly began stalking the leader, and the two swapped positions several times before Roczen was able to capitalize on a mistake by his rival, allowing him to gain control of the front spot. Roczen rode strong up front for much of the 30-minute-plus-two-laps race, but he was unable to maintain his pace in the closing laps, ultimately relinquishing the lead and finishing second.
- On Friday, Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen was joined by GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton, Christian Craig, RJ Hampshire and Hunter Lawrence at Cycle City of Rochester for a dealer appearance, where they signed autographs and took photos with eager fans.
- Severe rain through the morning forced officials to cancel the first qualifying session and delay the second. When Roczen finally took to the track, he was only able to complete four laps before lightning prompted the red flag to end practice. He secured the sixth-quickest lap in the shortened session with a 2’12.265”.
- As the day progressed and the track developed, Roczen found his speed in the second race, laying down the fastest lap of the moto at 2’10.701”.
- Privateer Honda rider John Short had a career-best performance in Millville, notching two strong starts and riding his CRF450R to an impressive seventh overall with 6-8 finishes.
- After eight rounds, Roczen remains third overall in the championship standings with 293 points, 11 behind second and five in front of third.
- In the 250 class, the GEICO Honda squad celebrated a moto win and third-place overall finish by young Australian rider Hunter Lawrence, who put his MXGP experience to good use on the muddy track, riding strong to secure 1-6 finishes. RJ Hampshire overcame inconsistent starts to finish eighth overall with 6-11 marks. Teammates Chase Sexton and Christian Craig both returned to action in Millville, but it was not the day either rider had hoped for, as both suffered mechanical issues in the opening moto. Sexton recovered with a seventh in the second race, landing him 12thoverall, while Craig finished 20th.
- Next up for Team Honda HRC is round nine of the AMA Pro Motocross series, which takes place in the scenic Pacific Northwest at Washington State’s Washougal MX Park on July 27.