Roczen Earns Anaheim I Supercross Win

Jan. 06, 2014 By Scott Rousseau, Photos by Steve Cox

In the first race of his rookie season in the Monster Energy AMA 450cc Supercross class, Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen held off a late charge James Stewart to earn the win, with Stewart crashing and ultimately finishing toward the back of the pack.
Roczen became just the fourth rider in Supercross history to win in the premier class at the season opener when he took the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 450cc win at Angel Stadium on Saturday night. His teammate Ryan Dungey finished in second place in the class, which gave KTM a historic first 1-2 450cc Supercross result.

Prior to the 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season opener at Anaheim 1,  while speaking to two-time Supercross champion and series veteran Chad Reed prior to the race he suggested that anything could happen in the 20-lap 450cc Supercross main event. “Shit happens,” Reed said. “And we have to be careful.” By the time the checkered flag fell, Reed would be proven right.

German rider Roczen’s first-time 450cc win put him in select company, as he now joins Damon Bradshaw (1990), Reed (2003) and Josh Grant (2009) as rookie winners at the Anaheim season opener. Roczen also became also became the first first-time 450cc Supercross winner to be KTM-mounted.
Ken Roczen (center) earned the victory, while Red Bull KTM teammate Ryan Dungey (left) finished second to give KTM a 1-2 finish. Two-time Supercross Champion Chad Reed (right) ran a smooth race that put his Discount Tire/TwoTwo Motorsports Kawasaki in the final podium spot.

True to his word, Reed played it cautiously on the slick Anaheim track and brought his Discount Tire/TwoTwo Racing Kawasaki KX450F home in third place. But it wasn’t such a great night two other Supercross champions Ryan Villopoto and James Stewart. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Villopoto crashed while leading the race and on his way to a 35th career Monster Energy Supercross win. Yoshimura Suzuki’s Stewart crashed late in the race while challenging for the lead and failed to finish; he was credited with 17th place.

Another potential title contender had a tough night in the 450cc class, as GEICO Honda rookie Eli Tomac tangled with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer in the opening 450cc Supercross heat race and crashed. Tomac did not race in his semi or in the Last Chance Qualifier as he got medical attention on his shoulder.

Villopoto earned the holeshot off the start, with Roczen and Reed close behind when the gate dropped for the 20-lap 450cc main event, while heat race winner Justin Barcia and Stewart suffered mid-pack starts. As he has done so many times before, Stewart battled his way into contention by passing Justin Brayton to take over sixth place at about the same time that Ryan Dungey worked past Josh Grant for fourth.

Ryan Villopoto looked to be on his way to victory until a crash ended his day early.

With a clear air, Villopoto managed to build up a two-second lead over Roczen and Reed by lap eight. The lead pack shifted spots dramatically after Villopoto suddenly low-sided in the left-handed Toyota turn and lost positions to Roczen, Reed, Dungey and Stewart.

At the midway point, Stewart appeared to be the fastest rider, as he worked his way past Dungey with nine laps to go to take third place and then charged up and passed Reed to overtake second place in the same left-hander where Villopoto had crashed on lap 12.
With six laps to go, Stewart cut Roczen’s two-second lead and was on the leader’s rear wheel through a whoop section on lap 15. This then set up the key moment in the race: Stewart, appearing set to overtake Roczen in the whoops, lost control of his Suzuki after it violently swapped back and forth that eventually tossed Stewart to the ground, ending his challenge for the win and his race.

Roczen remain calm and rode a smooth race to the finish to take the win over Dungey, with Reed finishing the race in third. Villopoto finished fourth, followed by the Muscle Milk Honda factory-backed Barcia.

Jason Anderson earned the holeshot at the start of the 250cc main at Anaheim 1.

In the exciting 15-lap 250cc Western Region series opener, Rockstar KTM rider Jason Anderson won an exciting race that came down to the wire. Anderson grabbed the holeshot and led the first few laps of the race before Troy Lee Designs Honda’s Cole Seely passed him for the lead.

Jason Anderson (left) pulled a dramatic pass on Cole Seely (right) two turns from the finish to steal the 250cc Western Region main event win at Anaheim I.

It appeared Seely was in control of the race until he caught up with a few lappers that forced him to slow his pace, allowing Anderson to close the distance. Anderson took a hard line and made an aggressive, physical pass on Seely in the second to last corner before the finish line. Seely tried to return the favor with a hard turn of his own on the final turn but Anderson was able to hold on for the win. Honda-mounted Zach Osborne finished third.

Jason Anderson (center) earned the win at Anaheim, with Cole Seely finishing in second and Zach Osborne taking third.

Results Anaheim 1, January 4, 2014
Round 1 of 17

450cc Main
1. Ken Roczen-KTM
2. Ryan Dungey-KTM
3. Chad Reed-Kaw
4. Ryan Villopoto-Kaw
5. Justin Barcia-Hon
6. Justin Brayton-Yam
7. Josh Grant-Yam
8. Broc Tickle-Suz
9. Andrew Short-KTM
10. Jake Weimer-Kaw
11. Wil Hahn-Hon
12. Mike Alessi-Suz
13. Matt Moss-Suz
14. Nicholas Schmidt-Hon
15. Kyle Partridge-Hon
16. Weston Peick-Suz
17. James Stewart-Suz
18. Josh Hill-Suz
19. Jimmy Albertson-Hon
20. Vince Friese-Hon
21. Matt Goerke-KTM
22. Ivan Tedesco-KTM

450cc Supercross Points Standings
1. Ken Roczen-25/1 win
2. Ryan Dungey-22
3. Chad Reed-Kaw-20
4. Ryan Villopoto-18
5. Justin Barcia-16
6. Justin Brayton-15
7. Josh Grant-14
8. Broc Tickle-13
9. Andrew Short-12
10. Jake Weimer-11

250cc Main
1. Jason Anderson-KTM
2. Cole Seely-Hon
3. Zach Osborne-Hon
4. Dean Wilson-Kaw
5. Cooper Webb-Yam
6. Justin Hill-Kaw
7. Darryn Durham-Kaw
8. Malcolm Stewart-Hon
9. Jessy Nelson-Hon
10. Austin Politelli-Yam
11. Michael Lieb-Hon
12. Jake Canada-Hon
13. Dakota Tedder-Kaw
14. Dean Ferris-KTM
15. Zach Bell-Hon
16. Shane McElrath-Hon
17. Valentin Teillet-Kaw
18. Zack Freeberg-Hon
19. Scott Champion-Yam
20. Topher Ingalls-Hon
21. Cole Martinez-Kaw
22. Preston Mull-Yam

250cc Western Region Supercross Points Standings
1. Jason Anderson-25
2. Cole Seely-22
3. Zach Osborne-20
4. Dean Wilson-18
5. Cooper Webb-16
6. Justin Hill-15
7. Darryn Durham-14
8. Malcolm Stewart-13
9. Jessy Nelson-12
10. Austin Politelli-11 Newsletter
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