Ken Roczen will suspend his 2022 Monster Energy Supercross campaign indefinitely to focus on health issues beginning with this week’s Round 10 in Detroit, Michigan.
After finishing seventh in the Daytona Supercross race and sitting ninth in the standings, Roczen and Team Honda HRC made the decision to put his Supercross season on hold, citing the strains of a hectic racing schedule and persistent symptoms from a variety of illnesses.
Roczen was diagnosed with COVID-19 following Round 3 in San Diego but did not miss the following race in Anaheim.
The past six seasons have been plagued with not only illness, but major injuries that required surgery in 2017 and 2018. After his return, Roczen was diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus, which presents with symptoms of heavy fatigue, muscle weakness and loss of appetite.
“The continued support of Honda is just second to none,” Roczen said in a press release. “I couldn’t be more appreciative of how we work together as partners and make these decisions together, even when they’re really difficult. I owe them a championship, and that’s my focus going forward.”
This is not the first time Roczen has been forced to miss racing. After finishing third in the 2020 Supercross season, Roczen sat out the Lucas Oil Motocross outdoor season. He then came back in 2021 to finish second in Supercross and third in Motocross.
Roczen’s 2022 season got off to the best possible start, winning the Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California by more than seven seconds over last year’s champion Cooper Webb. Since then, he has not stood on the podium and scored only one more top-five in the Glendale, Arizona Triple Crown.
— Supercross LIVE! (@SupercrossLIVE) March 8, 2022
“I’m sorry to see Ken in this situation,” said Brandon Wilson, Manager of Sports & Experiential at American Honda. “He proved at Anaheim 1 that he still has the speed to run with anyone, but the strains of this sport are such that expecting to compete at a disadvantage isn’t realistic.
“Ken has so much heart and wants to be out there, but that’s not in the best interests of anyone involved with things as they are. Health comes first, and we know that time off has helped him in the past. Ken is a part of the Honda family, and I’m happy he is taking steps to improve his situation. Everyone here is behind him as he works to return to the level where we all know he deserves to be.”
During his hiatus, Roczen will visit some of the same specialists he has worked with in the past, including some in Europe. No timeline has been provided for his return.