News 21 Sep 2011

Roczen playing down U.S. hopes despite dream MXoN performance

World champion Ken Roczen was the standout MX2 rider at the MXoN in France.

World champion Ken Roczen was the standout MX2 rider at the MXoN in France.

Germany’s new FIM MX2 Motocross World Champion Ken Roczen is playing down his hopes of success in the U.S. next season despite starring as the top 250 Class rider at the Motocross of Nations in France last weekend.

Roczen raced to a spectacular second position behind Australia’s Chad Reed in the opening MX1/MX2 moto after passing Team USA’s Ryan Dungey in the mid-stages of the race, a memorable moment in his young career.

“The first race was really good, I started good and came to third or fourth position,” he told “I could go even faster and I finally passed Dungey for second place.

“I felt really good after that second moto, to finish second was pretty good, I mean I couldn’t have asked for more, a podium spot that and was really good for me.”

Roczen again battled hard in his second moto against the Open class bikes, eventually finishing fourth after going back and forth with AMA champion Ryan Villopoto.

“Second moto I felt good, made a good start, I was second or third and I could pass [Gautier] Paulin, but then I twisted my knee at the start of the race and also broke my goggles so I wasn’t that happy, and couldn’t push as hard as normal,” he added.

“I did have a good battle with Ryan Villopoto, he passed me, I passed him back, kind of cat and mouse, but a really good weekend.”

Speaking of his battles with Dungey and Villopoto despite them racing 450s, Roczen said he took a lot of confidence from the event.

“That is why I am happy, they are riding bigger bikes and for sure they are two of the best riders in the world and I was right there – that makes me happier than anything.

“I want to go to America and see how that goes and I will ride the 250 in supercross.”

Although he won the MX2 class individually in a convincing performance against American-based regulars Dean Wilson and Blake Baggett, Roczen isn’t becoming over-confident of his AMA chances for 2012 just yet.

“I don’t care about how I did against the American based guys, I mean we have supercross before the nationals and that is all together different,” he said. “I will just go to America and try and settle in and see what happens.”

Roczen will ride for the official Red Bull KTM team in the U.S. full time next season.