Following a dominant performance last week, Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen was confident and poised to deliver another strong result at round five of the AMA Supercross series in Oakland, California, and although he did manage a creditable third-place result, he and his team left with mixed emotions. When the gate dropped on the main event, Roczen continued his streak of strong starts, driving his CRF450R to another holeshot and early lead. The German rode smoothly up front for the first half of the 20-minute-plus-one-lap race but came under fire from Eli Tomac and relinquished the lead on lap 11. Roczen stayed close behind, which paid off when Tomac made a mistake on lap 15 and Roczen regained the lead, but late mistakes cost Roczen the lead to Tomac and then then runner-up position to Cooper Webb in the last turn.

Although teammate Justin Brayton was disappointed in his final result of 13thplace, he left Oakland pleased with his overall speed and bike setup. Following a third-place finish in his heat race, Brayton couldn’t manage the main-event start he needed to secure a good track position. While running ninth on the opening lap, he got tangled with fellow Red Rider Vince Friese, who had stalled his bike in a corner. Brayton was delayed in getting back underway, falling back to 22nd. With 21 laps ahead of him, Brayton put his head down and mounted a strong come-from-behind ride, working his way to 13thby the checkered flag.


  • On race day, the schedule was slightly different than normal, with everything taking place an hour earlier. Track walk kicked off the day at 9 a.m. and opening ceremonies got underway at 5 p.m. Although the schedule only differed by an hour, Ken Roczen preferred it. “It was nice finishing the night a little earlier,” he said. “It would be awesome to have this as our regular program.”
  • During the morning track walk, riders and teams were pleasantly surprised to find a completely different type of Oakland dirt than what has been used in previous years. “I heard they sifted it quite a bit, so it was really nice,” Justin Brayton said. “There wasn’t all the asphalt and rock debris that normally seems to be in it. When we walked the track, it was soft, and not a rock in sight. It still got pretty rutty in some transitions, but not too bad. I wasn’t a huge fan of the overall layout this week but the first four have been great, so the guys are doing a good job.”
  • Both Team Honda HRC riders struggled to find their rhythm during daytime qualifying, with Roczen landing sixth-fastest with a 1’.154” lap, while Brayton was 11thwith a 1’.701” time. Smartop/MotoConcepts/Bullfrog Spas Honda’s Justin Hill, Malcolm Stewart and Vince Friese were seventh, 12thand 14th, respectively.
  • Slotted in 450SX heat 1, Roczen continued his run of strong starts, rocketing to the holeshot. He was briefly overtaken on the opening lap but regained control of the front spot prior to the green flag. In what would be a precursor to the night’s main event, Roczen and Eli Tomac battled hard throughout the seven-lap race, with Roczen triumphing and taking his third heat-race win of the season. In heat two, Brayton got off the line to a top-five start, moving into fourth on the opening lap. A few laps later, he made a mistake and stalled, causing him to lose one position. He quickly got underway again, making two passes before the checkered flag to finish third.
  • Although not reflected in his main event result, it was a notable night for Smartop/MotoConcepts/Bullfrog Spas Honda’s Justin Hill, as he scored an impressive heat-race win after getting the holeshot and leading unchallenged throughout the six-minute-plus-one-lap race. Hill was running sixth during the main event, but mistakes caused him to lose positions, resulting in an eighth-place finish. “This weekend was much better than the one before, that’s for sure,” Hill said. “I don’t know what it is about Oakland, but I always feel good here. I was stoked to get the heat-race win and felt really good. Tonight I should’ve been top-five, for sure. I had a really good pace right off the get-go and most of the first half, but I struggled behind Zach [Osborne]; I stabbed at him a few times but didn’t set up my passes correctly. I tightened up after that, made some critical mistakes, and [Justin] Barcia and [Dean] Wilson got by me. I’m happy with my progress and I feel like I am a better rider and man than I was a week ago.”
  • As has been the case at every round of the season thus far, Honda had more riders in the main event than any other manufacturer, at six. In addition to the Team Honda HRC duo and Smartop/MotoConcepts/Bullfrog Spas Honda’s trio, privateer Cade Autenrieth transferred into the main, via a third-place finish in the LCQ.
  • With the GEICO Honda team absent in Oakland, the Australian-based Penrite Honda squad carried the flag for the Red Riders in the 250SX West class. Both Mitchell Oldenburg and Luke Clout started the night off strong, riding impressively in their heat race, where they ran 1-2 for some time before finishing third and fourth, respectively. The duo continued to impress in the main event, as they each notched a season-best result, with Clout finishing fifth and Oldenburg sixth.
  • This week, the Honda Red Riders head back to Southern California for round six at Petco Park in downtown San Diego. On Friday from 6 to 7 p.m., the riders will take part in a dealer appearance at Fun Bike Center.

Press contact:

Mandie Fonteyn // Jonnum Media // +1 (951) 537-0454

Ken Roczen  94

“Overall I’m happy to be on the podium. I’ve felt pretty good in previous weeks and today was different. I just felt a little slow in practice honestly, and wasn’t really vibing too well with the track. It took me a little longer than normal to get comfortable and get everything down. With that being the case, I’m happy to have finished on the podium because it could’ve been worse. I’m definitely bummed I gave up some valuable points, but to still come away with the points lead is good. It was great to lead more laps, but I wasn’t the fastest tonight and made some big mistakes, especially toward the end, which were costly. It allowed Cooper [Webb] to close in; when you’re behind someone like he was, you can kind of pick your lines and set something up for a pass, which is what he did. Obviously, I’m not too happy about that but it’s racing. I don’t know what happened in the pass but somehow my foot got smashed or hung up and it was a stinger, but I’m not too worried about it. We’ll keep an eye on it and if I need to, we’ll get an X-ray to make sure everything is good. I’m looking at the big picture and we’ve been on the podium a bunch and are still in a good position overall.”

Ken Roczen

Justin Brayton  10

“Tonight was quite a bummer. I don’t know exactly where I was on the first lap, maybe around ninth, and I just got hung up with another rider when he stalled his bike in an off-camber turn. Once he got going, my rear wheel had dug a hole in the up-ramp, and I was stuck. By the time I then got going, I was 22nd by a long way back. I made my way up to 13th, which was about all I could do. It’s such a bummer because I feel like I’m riding really well at the moment and we had a great week at the test track. The bike is amazing and I’m really happy with the changes we’ve made and how it’s working. These bad starts just won’t cut it. These past two weeks I’ve just been terrible on the starts, so I need to be better about that. I think if I can get some starts like I did in the beginning of the year, I can get into the top five. I’m super-motivated heading into San Diego. It’s races like this that really motivate you to get back to work during the week.”

Justin Brayton

Erik Kehoe

Team Manager

“Tonight had its highs and lows. Ken wasn’t fully comfortable with the track all day, but even with that, he won his heat race and rode well in the main event. There are a few specific things that we need to refine on the bike for Ken, to make him even more comfortable, because there were a few sections that he struggled in, which is where he lost most of his time. But overall, we’re very close. We lost some points in the championship; however, we were still on the podium and are in the lead, so that’s positive. Justin’s been struggling with his starts the past two weeks. It’s hard to stay out of trouble when you’re mid-pack; it’s hectic and you’re more susceptible to situations that you don’t want to be in, like what happened tonight. He’s very happy with his bike though, so we’ll just keep working during the week and head to San Diego.”

Erik Kehoe

Jordan Troxell

Mechanic (Ken Roczen)

“Looking at the big picture, we can’t be too bummed on tonight because we still got on the podium and have the points lead. But in the moment, I definitely wasn’t pumped on how the race ended. It could’ve been worse though. Ken led over half the race, so we’re taking the positives and going to improve on some things for next weekend, to come back stronger.”

Jordan Troxell

Brent Duffe

Mechanic (Justin Brayton)

“The main-event result doesn’t really show how well Justin was riding this weekend. We made a major change with the bike this week, and he had a lot more comfort and speed. We didn’t make any changes to the bike throughout the day; he was really happy. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get great starts and had a bad first lap in the main event, which made it hard to get a good result. We’re definitely going in the right direction though. We just need to work on the starts and getting in a better position early.”

Brent Duffe

450SX Main Event Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Time/Gap
1 TOMAC Eli 3 USA 25 Monster Energy Kawasaki
2 WEBB Cooper 2 USA 22 Red Bull KTM
3 ROCZEN Ken 94 GER 20 Team Honda HRC
4 CIANCIARULO Adam 9 USA 18 Monster Energy Kawasaki
5 ANDERSON Jason 21 USA 16 Rockstar Husqvarna
6 BARCIA Justin 51 USA 15 Monster Energy Factory Yamaha Racing
7 WILSON Dean 15 GBR 14 Rockstar Husqvarna
8 HILL Justin 48 USA 13 Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts Honda
9 BAGGETT Blake 4 USA 12 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS
10 STEWART Malcolm 27 USA 11 Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts Honda
11 OSBORNE Zach USA 10 Rockstar Husqvarna
12 PLESSINGER Aaron 7 USA 9 Monster Energy Factory Yamaha Racing
13 BRAYTON Justin 10 USA 8 Team Honda HRC
14 FRIESE Vince 45 USA 7 Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts Honda
15 DAVALOS Martin 47 ECU 6 Team Tedder
16 BOWERS Tyler 69 USA 5 Bowers Racing
17 CHISHOLM Kyle 11 USA 4 Chisholm Racing
18 RAY Alex USA 3 Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha
19 CUNNINGHAM Kyle 39 USA 2 H.E.P Motorsports
20 AUTENRIETH Cade 330 USA 1 Mountain Motorsports/Factory Connection/Hinson
21 BREECE Ryan 86 USA 1 None
22 OSBY Josh 70 USA 1 None

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 ROCZEN Ken 94 GER 107 Team Honda HRC
2 TOMAC Eli 3 USA 104 Monster Energy Kawasaki
3 BARCIA Justin 51 USA 90 Monster Energy Factory Yamaha Racing
4 WEBB Cooper 2 USA 89 Red Bull KTM
5 ANDERSON Jason 21 USA 88 Rockstar Husqvarna
6 CIANCIARULO Adam 9 USA 82 Monster Energy Kawasaki
7 STEWART Malcolm 27 USA 65 Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts Honda
8 BRAYTON Justin 10 USA 63 Team Honda HRC
9 BAGGETT Blake 4 USA 60 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS
10 OSBORNE Zach USA 54 Rockstar Husqvarna
11 HILL Justin 48 USA 51 Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts Honda
12 WILSON Dean 15 GBR 49 Rockstar Husqvarna
13 PLESSINGER Aaron 7 USA 47 Monster Energy Factory Yamaha Racing
14 FRIESE Vince 45 USA 42 Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts Honda
15 DAVALOS Martin 47 ECU 31 Team Tedder
16 BOWERS Tyler 69 USA 19 Bowers Racing
17 BOGLE Justin 19 USA 17 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS
18 BLOSE Chris 49 USA 10 Chaparral/FXR Racing/Honda
19 RAY Alex USA 8 Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha
20 REED Chad 22 AUS 8 Mountain Motorsports/CBDmd/CR22 Racing
21 CUNNINGHAM Kyle 39 USA 7 H.E.P Motorsports
22 BREECE Ryan 86 USA 7 None
23 CHISHOLM Kyle 11 USA 6 Chisholm Racing
24 BLOSS Benny 60 USA 5 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS
25 DECOTIS Jimmy 53 USA 2 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing
26 AUTENRIETH Cade 330 USA 1 Mountain Motorsports/Factory Connection/Hinson
27 OSBY Josh 70 USA 1 None
28 ROBINS Jerry 851 USA 1 Blue Buffalo Slater Skins/ Yamaha
29 NOREN Fredrik 40 SWE 1 Autotrader/ JG

Dan Lamb is a 12+ year journalist and the owner of MotoXAddicts.