Before Tuesday’s win in the second race of the Indianapolis residency, it had been four years since Roczen won back-to-back Supercross races. It was less than a week before he set a new career milestone with his first threepeat in the stadium series.
Roczen has earned at least three consecutive wins in the outdoor season on two occasions, but had not yet been able to back that up with a similar record indoors.
It was not an easy ride for Roczen, however.
“I wasn’t really gelling with the track very well,” Roczen said after his win. “I don’t feel like I was riding it as well as I should. That made it even tougher, but all the more reason to be super stoked with this win.”
Roczen had to fend off challenges in both his heat race and the Main. He beat Eli Tomac by one second in the heat. His margin of victory was even slimmer over Cooper Webb in the feature. He bettered the second-place rider in the points by a .888 second margin over Webb.
POINTS, RESULTS: All the postrace statistics from Round 6 in Supercross
Webb did not get off to a very strong start. Mired mid pack, he was forced to ride his way through some serious battles for position – all while making up time on the leader. Once Webb got Roczen in sight, however, the leader maintained his advantage.
“It was a great day,” Webb said. “A step in the right direction, a lot of good qualifying times. I just came up short on the Main event. It was a hard charge. So close, but yet so far. Ken rode great and adjusted to the race as it went.
“I felt like I charged hard at the end. I got around Bam Bam (Barcia) and really put my head down and got close, but it was just not enough. I missed the rhythm with two to go and felt like that kind of killed it for me.”
After winning his heat, Barcia was out to prove he belongs at the front of the pack. At one point midway through the race, he charged hard into a corner and surprised Roczen by pulling alongside the leader. Barcia held off a determined charge from the defending champion Eli Tomac until he ran afoul of lapped traffic.
Running third at the time, Vince Friese pinched Barcia off course. With nowhere to go, Tomac got collected in the incident as well.
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That handed the final podium position to Marvin Musquin for his second top-three of the season.
“My goal tonight was to stay on two wheels and be more patient,” Musquin said. “The last two or three rounds have been frustrating for me. I’ve been very aggressive. Trying to make it happen in the first lap, but ended up going down dead last and had to come back. So tonight I was trying to be patient. Maybe a little too patient.”
Malcolm Stewart finished fourth – earning his best finish of the season and tying a career-best.
“The podium is right there,” Stewart said. “Marvin got me with probably three minutes to go. Overall, I felt really good.”
Adam Cianciarulo rounded out the top five.
Returning from injury, Jason Anderson finished sixth.
Tomac remounted his Kawasaki after the incident with Barcia and crossed under the checkers seventh. But the damage was already done. Coupled with Roczen’s win, third-place Tomac now trails in the points by 24 markers. First place in a Supercross race awards 26 points.
Dylan Ferrandis, Joey Savatgy and Zach Osborne rounded out the top 10.
In 250s, Christian Craig ended teammate Colt Nichols’ winning streak. Or perhaps, Nichols ended it himself.
Nichols ran away from the field in his heat race and had them covered in the first couple of corners in the Main until he cross-rutted and crashed. Forced to remount dead last, he passed nearly the entire field and ultimately settled into third.
This was Craig’s first win since the season-opener at Houston and it allowed him to cut the points deficit nearly in half. With two rounds remaining, Craig trails Nichols by six points.
“The whole day was just off for me,” Craig said after the race. “In the heat race, I felt I was just learning the track. It all counts in the Main event. I got off to a good start and then unfortunately my teammate went down. It looked like a bad one, but luckily he’s okay.”
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Jo Shimoda finished second and was much more pleased with this result than his first podium. He was third in the first Indianapolis race, but was lifted to that position when Craig and Jett Lawrence tangled on the last lap.
“This one, I can say ‘I got a podium,’ ” Shimoda said. “It was a good start. Just kind of push, push, push. Just kept my own pace. I know Christian was pulling away, but I just kept pushing and pushing.”
After passing all but two riders, Nichols finished third.
He charged to 10th quickly and was fifth behind Lawrence at the halfway mark. Lawrence rode him hard and protected his lead aggressively – at one point stopping on course to force Nichols to run into his back wheel and stall momentum.
“That was a battle,” Nichols said. “I was coming through the pack. The first lap, I went over this triple and Christian was already in that other rhythm before the finish. And I’m like, we’ve got our work cut out for us.
“I just dug all the way to the finish. Me and Jett had a sick battle. We were not really where we wanted to be, but that made it fun.”
Mitchell Oldenburg finished fourth after Lawrence got tangled up with a lapped rider.
Lawrence fell to fifth.
“I was riding really sloppy out there,” Lawrence said. “I think my new technique on the start is do a terrible practice start and then leave all my skill for the actual race. (But tonight) I think I used all my skill on the practice start and then my race start – literally as I gave my jacket to my mechanic, my skills went with it.”
Michael Mosiman broke his hand in practice and did not participate in Round 6. He fell from third in the standings to fifth after missing this race.
ROUND 1, HOUSTON: Justin Barcia wins opener for third consecutive time
ROUND 2, HOUSTON: Eli Tomac rebounds, wins after Round 1 disappointment
ROUND 3, HOUSTON: Cooper Webb wins, Ken Roczen denied revenge
ROUND 4, INDIANAPOLIS: Ken Roczen makes it four winners in four races
ROUND 5, INDIANAPOLIS: Ken Roczen goes back to back for first time since 2017 injury