Red Bull KTM Factory rider Ken Roczen was crowned the 450 Pro Motocross Champion at the final round of the US Pro MX Championship Series in Tooele, Utah, a remarkable achievement in his rookie year. Teammate Ryan Dungey was a fighting close second overall in what was a landmark result for the KTM factory team.
The battle between the two KTM teammates Roczen and Dungey proved to be both the highlight of the season and another important step for the Austrian manufacturer. It was the first time that KTM has finished 1-2 overall in this prestigious championship. The US Red Bull KTM Factory Team races under the guiding hand of the legendary Roger DeCoster. Both riders compete in the KTM 450 SX-F machine
The KTM riders made it a memorable outdoor season as their battle for the title ensued. Dungey picked up the red plate after the opening round at Glen Helen. Roczen, of Germany, had it in his possession from the second round and although challenged throughout the season by Dungey, held onto it for the remaining races.
When it came down to the wire, Roczen admitted to some nervousness in the final stages of the second moto, knowing the title was almost in his pocket. “I was so excited and nervous at the same time and couldn’t actually push any faster and just wanted to cross the line to earn the championship. I am so thankful to my family, friends and my team for their dedication to help me achieve this goal. I am so happy.”
In fact Roczen got proceedings off to a fast start early in the day when he turned the second fastest lap time in qualifying to have second gate pick for the main event. He then survived a scramble at the start of the first moto to move up to second early in the opening lap with teammate Dungey right behind him.
The two Red Bull KTM riders then began a battle that would last the entire moto and swapped the runner-up position multiple times. Dungey eventually kept the edge and took second and Roczen was third across the line. This trimmed Roczen’s points lead from 20 to18 going into the final moto of the season.
With Dungey still focusing on a possible title win he commended after the opening race: “I know that Kenny (Roczen) has a pretty good (points) gap on me but that doesn’t stop me from trying my best at every race. I’m happy I could get on the podium in the first moto and I’m excited to return and give it my all in the final moto of the season.”
Roczen and Dungey were again second and third at the start of their second race but a determined Dungey made the pass on his teammate quite early and carried that position to the flag. He was second overall to the day’s winner, Trey Canard. In contrast Roczen rode a safe race and finished fourth to secure the championship.
Musquin finishes in 250-class for fourth overall in the championship
While the main focus was on the 450-class, Red Bull KTM Factory rider Marvin Musquin also wrapped up his season in the 250-class with an overall fifth at Utah to give him a season’s fourth place in the small bike category.
It was a solid result for the French rider who made his comeback to the competition at the beginning of the outdoor season after a long injury pause and got stronger as the season progressed.
Musquin got off in fourth place in his morning qualifying but was pushed back to eighth by the end of the opening lap. He worked his way back to fifth by the fourth lap, then honed in and passed Jason Anderson and began to hunt down Joey Savatgy. He reeled in Savatgy in the next lap and moved up to third only to be passed by Blake Baggett near the end of the race.
Musquin again had a solid start in his second moto. He closed in and slipped by Savatgy into second place but then slipped back four places in the next two laps. He then settled into fifth position before making one more charge in the final stages. He came within two bike lengths of making the pass but eventually had to settle for overall fifth with a 4-5 result for the day.
“I was really hoping to end the season on the podium,” stated Musquin. “I am disappointed that I didn’t achieve that goal but overall I am happy with my season and glad to walk away healthy.”
US Pro MX Nationals – Final Round at Utah
Overall Results 450-class
1, Trey Canard – 1-1
2, Ryan Dungey – 2-2 (KTM)
3, Eli Tomac – 4-3
4, Ken Roczen – 3-4 (KTM)
5, Brett Metcalfe – 7-5
6, Ryan Sipes – 9-6 (KTM)
7, Andrew Short – 6-2 (KTM)
8, Fredrik Noren – 10-9
9, Weston Peick – 13-7
10, Justin Brayton – 12-8
Overall Point Standings 450s after final round
1, Ken Roczen KTM – 532 (2014 US Pro MX National Champion)
2, Ryan Dungey KTM – 518
3, Trey Canard – 468
Overall Results 250 –class
1, Jeremy Martin – 1-1
2, Blake Baggett – 3-3
3, Cooper Webb – 2-4
4, Justin Bogle – 6-2
5, Marvin Musquin – 4-5 (KTM)
6, Powell Butte – 5-8
7, Joey Savatgy – 8-7 (KTM)
8, Dean Wilson – 10-6
9, Zach Osborne – 7-9
10, RJ Hampshire – 9-11
Overall Point Standings 250–class
1, Jeremy Martin – 500
2, Blake Baggett – 421
3, Cooper Webb – 419
4, Marvin Musquin – 408
5, Justin Bogle – 368
Image courtesy KTM Racing