The Drought Is Over — Ken Roczen Claims Victory in St. Louis

Ken Roczen rides through the whoop section. Photo by Rachel Schuoler/Kickin' the Tires Photo by Rachel Schuoler/Kickin' the Tires

The No. 94 bike has waited almost three years for victory, and fans can finally celebrate after Round 2 at St. Louis.

Ken Roczen, who has had a challenging past few years, looked to 2020 as his high note to turn things around. It was this dominant performance on Saturday that gave him and Team Honda the confidence they needed early in the season.

“We came up with a plan and it seems like the plan turned out really well for tonight,” Roczen said after earning his 12th career Supercross win. “It was a long race. You see the timer go down; it’s three minutes to go, but it’s like five laps. I’ve messed it up plenty of times in the past, but I put my head down the entire race.”

Roczen finished in an uncharacteristic sixth position last weekend at the season opener at Anaheim 1, and shared what it took to overcome that for a dominating victory at St. Louis.

“Last weekend, I was not comfortable at all,” said Roczen when comparing Saturday’s race to last round. “So I was just sticking behind everybody. I was a lot more comfortable throughout the heat race and main event. I knew if I had a clear track, I can’t get stuck behind him (Osborne, who grabbed the holeshot). I stuck up front and rode my own race.”

Justin Barcia cruised to a second place finish after his season opening win, with little pressure from behind as the race developed, and left the night with the points lead.

“I didn’t have what it took to get the win tonight,” Barcia said reflecting on the main event race. “I settled in there (in second place), but I had Jason (Anderson) behind me so I had to keep a solid pace. It wasn’t an easy pace by any means. I had a little bit of juice at the beginning; I felt like I was riding really well. But then the tank kinda ran empty.

“It was an exciting ride. Tonight, for me, a second was a big win because how I think a year or two ago, I wouldn’t be in this situation (leading the points).”

After a top five finish at Anaheim 1, Jason Anderson continues his strong yet quiet performance with a podium result at St. Louis.

“I feel like my races have been drama-free,” Anderson said at the post-race press conference. “I think my heat races are probably the wildest things that have happened so far. I almost landed on the concrete this weekend. Other than that, main events have been going good. I just need to get keep getting starts and maybe build up some speed so I can battle with these guys a little harder.”

Eli Tomac rebounds after a poor finish last race with a fourth place result, and Zach Osborne, who started the main event with a holeshot, completed the top five. Malcolm Stewart, Adam Cianciarulo, Justin Brayton, Blake Baggett and Aaron Plessinger rounded out the top 10 spots. Defending series champion Cooper Webb, who has been fighting an illness, finished 12th.

After two races in the 2020 AMA Supercross 450 championship, Barcia holds the point lead with 49 points. Roczen moves up to second, just five points behind, while Adam Cianciarulo and Anderson are tied for third with 39 points each.

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