Red Bull KTM Factory rider Ryan Dungey finished third overall on theKTM 450 in the opening round of the 2013 SX season at Anaheim on Saturday night and Germany’s Ken Roczen scored a podium second in the SX Lites West riding the KTM 250. In 2013 Marvin Musquin is contesting the SX Lites East competition.
While Dungey had solid practice times and survived several spills in his heat race to finish sixth to qualify for the main event of the night. He got off to a better start in the main and rounded the first corner in fourth to begin a four-rider battle for the lead with Davi Millsaps, Trey Canard and Justin Barcia. Dungey pressured Barcia for third for the first ten laps but when in striking distance he again when down in a small crash and lost some ground and valuable time. Then in the next lap it was Barcia who crashed and Dungey moved into third and held on to the podium spot to the checkered flag..
“I am excited to get on the podium at this race,” remarked Dungey. “It is a long series and it is good to get a podium finish at the first round to get us off on a right start. Last year, we had a great race at the second round of the series and I am looking forward to going to Phoenix next week and hopefully moving up on the podium.”
It was also a good start to the season for the factory team’s young German rider, Ken Roczen who took a second overall in the opener of the SX Lites West Coast. Roczen impressed the sold out crowd with a great performance to earn his first podium of the season after turning heads earlier in the day after setting a blistering pace in the first practice. He also clocked the second fastest time in the following two timed practice sessions.
Roczen got a great jump off the start of the first 250 Supercross heat. He was second after the first corner and passed Jessy Nelson for the lead half way through the next lap to go on an win his first heat of the season.
In the main event, Roczen again put himself in great position when he avoided a huge pile up in the in the first rhythm section and was in third place. He then made the move on Malcolm Stewart to advance to second. But early in the race Roczen cased a jump and jammed his wrist so he after the race he said he then focused on maintaining his second position in the 15-lap main. ‘Mookie’ Stewart also had a good night out, bringing the JDR KTM machine home in fifth overall.
After the race, Roczen commented, “You can’t win the championship at the first race, but you can lose it. I am glad that I was able to finish on the podium and put my team in good position for the championship.”
Image courtesy KTM