ATLANTA, GA – Red Bull/KTM Factory Team rider Ken Roczen made the best of the worst after climbing from dead last to 6th place at the end of the second AMA East Supercross Lites main event held at the Georgia Dome.
Roczen impressed the sold out crowd of 70,000 plus from the start of the day after earning the top practice time in the afternoon qualifying sessions. His fast time earned him the first gate pick in Lites heat number two during the evening night show.
When the gate dropped for Roczen’s heat he launched forward to claim the holeshot and pull to an early lead. Roczen led the first two laps before he slid out in a corner and lost a position. Luckily, Roczen kept the bike running and got up quickly. He finished the heat race in 2nd place to easily transfer to the main event.
It was in the main event where Roczen would have the most work to do. Roczen suffered a clutch problem after the gate was held for an extended period of time which caused him to leap forward before the drop locking his front tire underneath the gate.
Once untangled, Roczen shot down the start straight to round the first corner in dead last. He quickly set out on his mission to gain time back on the leaders and move up in position as quickly as possible. Before the end of the fifth lap, Roczen had already passed half the field to move up into the top ten. Four laps later he had passed four additional riders to move into 6th position sitting eight seconds back from the 5th place ride. Roczen worked hard to chase down the 5th place ride of Darryn Durham during the remaining five laps closing the eight second gap to 0.272 seconds when they crossed the checkered flag.
“I am really upset that I got stuck in the gate,” stated Roczen. “It was hard coming through the pack in the first few laps because a lot of the slower riders don’t jump all of the jumps and I had to work harder to get around them. I was able to come up to 6th and almost got into the top five. I was happy with my line choices and glad to finish safely. I am looking forward to St. Louis and hopefully getting my first win of the season there.”
Next Round: St. Louis, MO – March 3, 2012
Results Supercross Lites East Atlanta
1. Justin Barcia (USA), Honda, 13:16.865 min (15 laps)
2. Blake Bagget (USA), Kawasaki, +2.254 sec
3. Justin Bogle (USA), Honda, +9.113
4. Blake Wharton (USA), Suzuki, +12.264
5. Darryn Durham (USA), Kawasaki, +15.804
6. Ken Roczen (D), KTM, +16.077
10. Shane Sewell (USA), KTM, 14 laps, +0.799
11. Lance Vincent (USA), KTM, +3.576
12. PJ Larsen (USA), KTM, +6.252
14. Les Smith (USA), KTM, +13.497
Standings Supercross Lites East after 2 of 8 rounds
1. Barcia, 50 points
2. Durham, 38
3. Wharton, 36
4. Roczen, 35
5. Baggett, 28
9. Larsen, 22
10. Vincent, 21
12. Malcolm Stewart (USA), KTM, 15
15. Smith, 12
16. Sewell, 11
24. Sean Hackley (USA), KTM, 3
Ken Roczen (D) on his KTM 250 SX-F
K-Roc at the Atlanta Supercross