Ken Roczen teaches NBC Today Show’s Joe Fryer about Supercross

Roczen Today Show
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Ken Roczen traded in his racing helmet for a professor’s chapeaux last weekend when the Monster Energy Supercross Series visited Northern New Jersey for Round 14, in the shadow of New York City, and that gave him the opportunity to matriculate NBC Today Show reporter Joe Fryer in the finer arts of motorcycle racing. The result of this higher education can be seen Saturday morning, April 29 (7 a.m. – 9 a.m.), on the weekend edition of the Today Show on your local affiliate.

“I had never ridden a dirt bike,” Fryer said during the segment. “I have to admit I was a little scared. Didn’t sleep super easy last night. When you have Ken giving you instructions, you’ve just got to take your time; follow the instructions – ease into it. Do it gently. You can do it. It’s a huge confidence booster for me to know that, no I didn’t go super-fast, [and] I’m not going to be competing anytime soon, but I can actually do it with my feet off the ground, without crashing – without stalling the bike. It was awesome.”

While visiting New York City, Roczen also had an opportunity to visit the Empire State Building. During this visit, he hauled his bike to the top of the observation tower and engaged the switch to light the building.

“Obviously that was [Fryer’s] first time and he did great because he had super good clutch control and throttle control,” Roczen said. “It’s not easy. It comes second nature to us of course, but for people who have not sat on a dirt bike before, it can be a little intimidating with all of the cameras around, but I had a lot of fun teaching.”

Roczen did more than teach the NBC freshman in the New York metropolitan area; he had a few lessons for the upper classmen as well.

On a muddy track, Roczen outlasted the competition and was one of only four riders who finished on the lead lap. Roczen’s third-place finish in that round was his second consecutive podium finish and his 13th top-10 of 2023 with a new team and manufacturer. His deal with Suzuki and HEP Ecstar Motorsports was finalized in the late stages of the offseason.

Beta Motorcycles joins SuperMotocross in 2024, Benny Bloss named first factory rider

Beta Motorcycles 2024 Bloss
Beta Motorcycles

Benny Bloss will race for the factory Beta Motorcycles team in 2024 as that manufacturer joins SuperMotocross as the ninth brand to compete in the series. Beta Motorcycles will make their debut in the Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California in January.

Benny Bloss finished among the top 10 twice in Pro Motocross, in 2016 and 2018. – Beta Motorcycles

“The wait is over and we can finally share everything we have been working towards,” said Carlen Gardner, Race Team Manager in a press release. “It has been a great experience being a part of this development and seeing the progression. The only missing part was finding a rider that would mesh well with our Beta Family.

“After a one phone call with Benny, we knew it would be a good fit for him, and for us. We are happy to have him on board for the next two years and can’t wait to see everyone at Anaheim in January.”

Bloss debuted in the 450 class in 2015 with a 15th-place finish overall at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Bloss has a pair of top-10 rankings in the division with a sixth-place finish in the Pro Motocross Championship in 2016 and a seventh in 2018. His best Supercross season ended 15th in the standings in 2018.

“I’m extremely excited to join the Beta Factory Racing team,” Bloss said. “It’s cool to see a brand with such a rich history in off-road racing to come into the US Supercross and Motocross space. I know this team will be capable of great things as we build and go racing in 2024.”

Bloss is currently 22nd in the SuperMotocross rankings and has not raced in the first two rounds of the Motocross season.

Testing for Beta Motorcycles is scheduled to begin in August and the team expects to announce a second rider at that time.

The family-owned brand adds to the international flare of the sport. The company was founded in Florence, Italy in 1905 as Società Giuseppe Bianchi as they built handmade bicycles, The transition to motorcycle production in the late 1940s.

Beta Motorcycles competed and won in motocross competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s with Jim Pomeroy and other riders.

Beta will join Triumph Motorcycles as a second historic brand to join the sport in 2024. First established in 1902, Triumph has won in nearly every division they have competed in, dating back to their first victory in the 1908 Isle of Man TT. Triumph will debut in the 250 class in 2024 and plans to expand into 450s in 2025.