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.

NOTES

  • 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.
Ken Roczen

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.”

Justin Brayton

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.”

Erik Kehoe

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.”

Jordan Troxell

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.”

Brent Duffe

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.”

AMA Supercross 2020 Saturday, February 1st, 2020

Round 5 Oakland Supercross

450SX Main Event Results

Pos.RiderNumNationPointsTeamConstructorTime/Gap
1TOMAC Eli3USA25Monster Energy KawasakiKawasaki
2WEBB Cooper2USA22Red Bull KTMKTM
3ROCZEN Ken94GER20Team Honda HRCHonda
4CIANCIARULO Adam9USA18Monster Energy KawasakiKawasaki
5ANDERSON Jason21USA16Rockstar HusqvarnaHusqvarna
6BARCIA Justin51USA15Monster Energy Factory Yamaha RacingYamaha
7WILSON Dean15GBR14Rockstar HusqvarnaHusqvarna
8HILL Justin48USA13Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts HondaHonda
9BAGGETT Blake4USA12Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPSKTM
10STEWART Malcolm27USA11Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts HondaHonda
11OSBORNE ZachUSA10Rockstar HusqvarnaHusqvarna
12PLESSINGER Aaron7USA9Monster Energy Factory Yamaha RacingYamaha
13BRAYTON Justin10USA8Team Honda HRCHonda
14FRIESE Vince45USA7Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts HondaHonda
15DAVALOS Martin47ECU6Team TedderKTM
16BOWERS Tyler69USA5Bowers RacingKawasaki
17CHISHOLM Kyle11USA4Chisholm RacingKawasaki
18RAY AlexUSA3Cycle Trader Rock River YamahaYamaha
19CUNNINGHAM Kyle39USA2H.E.P MotorsportsSuzuki
20AUTENRIETH Cade330USA1Mountain Motorsports/Factory Connection/HinsonKTM
21BREECE Ryan86USA1NoneYamaha
22OSBY Josh70USA1NoneYamaha

AMA Supercross 2020 Saturday, February 1st 2020

450SX Rider Standings

Limited to top 30 results

Pos.RiderNumNationPointsTeamConstructor
1ROCZEN Ken94GER107Team Honda HRCHonda
2TOMAC Eli3USA104Monster Energy KawasakiKawasaki
3BARCIA Justin51USA90Monster Energy Factory Yamaha RacingYamaha
4WEBB Cooper2USA89Red Bull KTMKTM
5ANDERSON Jason21USA88Rockstar HusqvarnaHusqvarna
6CIANCIARULO Adam9USA82Monster Energy KawasakiKawasaki
7STEWART Malcolm27USA65Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts HondaHonda
8BRAYTON Justin10USA63Team Honda HRCHonda
9BAGGETT Blake4USA60Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPSKTM
10OSBORNE ZachUSA54Rockstar HusqvarnaHusqvarna
11HILL Justin48USA51Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts HondaHonda
12WILSON Dean15GBR49Rockstar HusqvarnaHusqvarna
13PLESSINGER Aaron7USA47Monster Energy Factory Yamaha RacingYamaha
14FRIESE Vince45USA42Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts HondaHonda
15DAVALOS Martin47ECU31Team TedderKTM
16BOWERS Tyler69USA19Bowers RacingKawasaki
17BOGLE Justin19USA17Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPSKTM
18BLOSE Chris49USA10Chaparral/FXR Racing/HondaHonda
19RAY AlexUSA8Cycle Trader Rock River YamahaYamaha
20REED Chad22AUS8Mountain Motorsports/CBDmd/CR22 RacingHonda
21CUNNINGHAM Kyle39USA7H.E.P MotorsportsSuzuki
22BREECE Ryan86USA7NoneYamaha
23CHISHOLM Kyle11USA6Chisholm RacingKawasaki
24BLOSS Benny60USA5Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPSKTM
25DECOTIS Jimmy53USA2Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory RacingSuzuki
26AUTENRIETH Cade330USA1Mountain Motorsports/Factory Connection/HinsonKTM
27OSBY Josh70USA1NoneYamaha
28ROBINS Jerry851USA1Blue Buffalo Slater Skins/ YamahaYamaha
29NOREN Fredrik40SWE1Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory RacingSuzuki

Courtesy Honda