Seattle, WA – Red Bull/KTM Factory rider Ken Roczen earned his first Supercross class career podium aboard his KTM 350 SX-F at the Seattle Supercross race held at Century Link Field when he crossed the checkered flag in 2nd position.
Tonight marked two highly anticipated returns as Red Bull/KTM’s Ryan Dungey returned to racing after sitting out the past six rounds with a broken collarbone. Fans were also excited to see Roczen join Dungey in his first Supercross class race of the season.
Roczen showed his KTM 350 SX-F had the power to run out front when he pulled the holeshot in the first Supercross heat. He battled with Ryan Villopoto for a few corners before falling to 2nd. He was able to hold on to 2nd place earning a great gate pick into the main event.
Although Dungey did not earn the holeshot in his heat, he plowed his way to the front of the pack by the second corner and never looked back. He went on to lead every lap of his heat race proving to the crowd that he can pick up where he left off. His heat win marked his third of the season.
“It’s great to get started on a positive note by winning my heat race,” commented Dungey. “I was a little bit rusty coming into today but the more I ride the track the more comfortable I get. A start is going to be key tonight so I am going to have to get out front early and ride my own race.”
In the main event, it was Roczen who piloted his 350cc race machine out front early rounding the first corner in 2nd place. Dungey was a few positions back in 5th. Roczen and current leader Andrew Short began a battle for the lead that lasted the first half of the race. Meanwhile, Dungey began to reel in Justin Brayton for 4th place. On the eighth lap Dungey went for the pass on Brayton but came back inside of the turn too quickly and clipped Brayton’s wheel causing him to crash. He quickly recovered but lost two positions in the process. In the remaining laps he was able to pass Mike Alessi to takeover 6th where he would finish for the night.
“Finishing 6th tonight is definitely not where I want to be,” stated Dungey. “However, the best way to improve in racing is to race and that is what I intend to do for the next few rounds to help me improve and prepare for the outdoors.”
Meanwhile out front Roczen was having the race of his Supercross class career as he was still holding down 2nd position. He held his pace and finished in 2nd behind his good friend Andrew Short who took his first career win.
“Tonight was such an amazing night,” remarked Roczen. “I had a great heat and a great main event. I am so happy to be on the podium and I am even more excited for my friend ‘Shorty’ (Andrew Short) to get his first win. We had a great battle at the beginning of the race and it was really exciting to compete for the win.”
photo: KTM RACING