News 18 Feb 2019

Roczen anticipated Webb manoeuvre in Arlington showdown

Team Honda HRC contender explains narrow main event loss.

Image: Supplied.

German Ken Roczen has explained he anticipated a manoeuvre from Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) on the final turn at Saturday night’s seventh round of the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship in Arlington, Texas.

The Team Honda HRC ride led majority of proceedings, although admittedly struggling in the whoop section prior to the finish line, Roczen came under attack from Webb on the final lap, with the number two ultimately securing victory by a mere 0.028s.

Denied of his first win of the season, Roczen has downplayed the loss as a learning experience, ensuring there’s no animosity between himself and rival Webb.

“Being the last lap, I knew that was the only spot where I lost time,” Roczen revealed. “I knew it was coming, so that’s why I went high in that rut as well, and then coming out of it, he went to the right, I was on the left closer to the tough blocks and it was super soft there and I couldn’t get going.

“Things right there and then happen so fast, you don’t have that much time to really think about it, you just have to go with your gut. This was one of the spots I struggled with in the main event – the turn before the whoops, and in whoops actually – I was going side to side and getting off balance there.

“That’s where I felt I lost the most time – I feel like if I could’ve done that better and worked better with the bike, I could’ve kept my flow better and maybe had more of a gap between first and second. But, unfortunately, this is a thing to learn from. I’m using that as fuel obviously for the next race, but feel like each weekend I’ve been getting better, which is super important.

“This might’ve been the closest race – it was kinda crazy and fun at the same time. Finishing second after leading almost the entire race is not so fun, but we’re all healthy and still in the championship. I want the win – if it’s right there, I’ll be happy to take it. It was right there, and I didn’t.”

Roczen now sits second in the points standings, two markers shy of Webb as the series heads to Detroit for round eight this weekend.