Fans will be allowed for first two rounds of Pro Motocross season

Jeff Kardas/ProMotocross.com
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The first two rounds of the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will be held with fans after the season was delayed because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a release Wednesday night, MX Sports Pro Racing announced that the season-opening Circle K Ironman National in Crawfordsville, Indiana, on July 18 and the WW Ranch National in Jacksonville, Florida, on July 25 both would be permitted to have spectators.

According to the release, the two events “will be hosted in compliance with social distancing guidelines that have been established from ongoing communication between local officials.”

Though the series said it has confirmed its next nine tracks on its delayed 2020 schedule, the dates and fan policies have yet to be announced beyond the first two events.

“While all of our championship venues have been permitted to reopen for recreational use, there are still varying state-by-state regulations that prevent many of them from allowing spectators at an organized sporting event,” MX Sports Pro Racing competition director Roy Janson said in a release. “As a result, the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship schedule will be rolled out in phases as additional venues are given the green light to welcome fans.”

Here’s the release from the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (June 10, 2020) – After considerable communication between race organizers, local government, and local health officials, MX Sports Pro Racing has confirmed that the opening two rounds of the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, will be permitted to allow spectator attendance. The season opening Circle K Ironman National will be held in Crawfordsville, Indiana’s Ironman Raceway on July 18, followed by the WW Ranch National from Jacksonville, Florida’s WW Motocross Park on July 25.

“While all of our championship venues have been permitted to reopen for recreational use, there are still varying state-by-state regulations that prevent many of them from allowing spectators at an organized sporting event,” said Roy Janson, MX Sports Pro Racing Competition Director. “As a result, the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship schedule will be rolled out in phases as additional venues are given the green light to welcome fans. Each event organizer is in constant contact with their local government and health officials in order to ensure that a fan-attended event adheres to all health and safety measures implemented by the county, and we’re confident that approach will allow us to have a proper championship calendar that allows for the return of spectators, and follows social distancing guidelines.”

In addition to receiving title sponsorship from Circle K, the opening round from Ironman Raceway will also feature live network television coverage on NBC, serving as the first of three events that will be aired on the flagship network in 2020, bringing Pro Motocross into millions of homes across the country.

Both the Ironman National and WW Ranch National, along with each remaining round on the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship schedule, will be hosted in compliance with social distancing guidelines that have been established from ongoing communication between local officials. A significant component of those guidelines will be eliminating spectator interaction from competitors and their teams, members of the media, as well as all event staff, meaning paddock access will be limited to credentialed personnel only.

Additional details surrounding the implementation of social distancing policies at the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will be announced at a later date.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.