Ken Roczen Blazes through Pack to Finish 6th at 2012 Atlanta Supercross

Ken Roczen Blazes through Pack to Finish 6th at 2012 Atlanta Supercross

Red Bull/KTM Factory Team rider Ken Roczen made the best of the worst after climbing from dead last to 6th place at the end of the second AMA East Supercross Lites main event held at the Georgia Dome.

Ken Roczen Blazes through Pack to Finish 6th at 2012 Atlanta Supercross - Photo 1 of 3

Photos by Hoppenworld

Roczen impressed the sold out crowd of 70,000 plus from the start of the day after earning the top practice time in the afternoon qualifying sessions. His fast time earned him the first gate pick in Lites heat number two during the evening night show.

When the gate dropped for Roczen’s heat he launched forward to claim the holeshot and pull to an early lead. Roczen led the first two laps before he slid out in a corner and lost a position. Luckily, Roczen kept the bike running and got up quickly. He finished the heat race in 2nd place to easily transfer to the main event.

Ken Roczen Blazes through Pack to Finish 6th at 2012 Atlanta Supercross - Photo 2 of 3

It was in the main event where Roczen would have the most work to do. Roczen suffered a clutch problem after the gate was held for an extended period of time which caused him to leap forward before the drop locking his front tire underneath the gate. Once untangled, Roczen shot down the start straight to round the first corner in dead last. He quickly set out on his mission to gain time back on the leaders and move up in position as quickly as possible. Before the end of the fifth lap, Roczen had already passed half the field to move up into the top ten. Four laps later he had passed four additional riders to move into 6th position sitting 8 seconds back from the 5th place ride. Roczen worked hard to chase down the 5th place ride of Darryn Durham during the remaining five laps closing the 8 second gap to 0.272 seconds when they crossed the checkered flag.

Ken Roczen Blazes through Pack to Finish 6th at 2012 Atlanta Supercross - Photo 3 of 3

“I am really upset that I got stuck in the gate,” stated Roczen. “It was hard coming through the pack in the first few laps because a lot of the slower riders don’t jump all of the jumps and I had to work harder to get around them.  I was able to come up to 6th and almost got into the top five. I was happy with my line choices and glad to finish safely. I am looking forward to St. Louis and hopefully getting my first win of the season there.”

Next Event: St. Louis Supercross – March 3, 2012

JDR/J-Star/KTM Race Report – 2012 Atlanta Supercross

JDR/J-Star/KTM Race Report – 2012 Atlanta Supercross

The JDR/J-Star/KTM Team had an unpleasant experience at the second round of the AMA East Lites Supercross Series held at the Georgia Dome after crashes kept Malcolm Stewart out of the main event and PJ Larsen from finishing inside the top ten.

JDR/J-Star/KTM Race Report – 2012 Atlanta Supercross - Photo 1 of 4

Photos by Hoppenworld

Team rider Malcolm Stewart looked impressive during the early afternoon practice sessions where he qualified 6th fastest. Stewart was placed in the first heat alongside teammate Larsen. Stewart had a great jump off the line and after following Blake Wharton for the first lap he was able to capitalize on Wharton’s second lap crash and take over the lead. On the third lap of the heat, Stewart came up short while tripling into a rhythm section causing him to crash over the bars and not finish the race. Luckily, Stewart was not injured in the crash but it cost him a qualifying position in the heat. Larsen went on to finish 7th to transfer into the main.

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Larsen remarked, “The heat race was tough tonight. I had a bad start and just had to watch out for downed riders all over the track and people crossing lines in front of me. Luckily, I was able to avoid any crashes and a got my KTM into a qualifying position.”

While Larsen headed back to the truck to prep for the main event, Stewart headed back down to the track to line up for the LCQ. Unfortunately, right before the gate dropped the team encountered a problem with his bike that appeared to be a result from his earlier crash which caused Stewart to miss the gate drop. He was unable to compete in the LCQ and did not get a chance to qualify for the main event.

JDR/J-Star/KTM Race Report – 2012 Atlanta Supercross - Photo 3 of 4

“I am bummed out on my night tonight,” remarked Stewart. “I was very happy to not be injured in my crash but to find out that we have a mechanical issue was not what we wanted to hear. Now we just have to move on and regroup and come back stronger and ready to be on the podium for next weekend.”

In the main event, Larsen managed to pull a mid-pack start from a poor gate pick. “I had to start two gates outside of the box on the main event which was not the best place to start,” stated Larsen. “My starts are definitely going to be a high priority in my training this week as I have had two bad starts so far this season.”

JDR/J-Star/KTM Race Report – 2012 Atlanta Supercross - Photo 4 of 4

On the second lap Larsen had moved into 10th position and by lap eight he had climbed up to 8th and looked to be closing in on the 7th place ride. A crash on the tenth lap cost Larsen four positions but he recovered and completed the lap in 12th place. “After my crash I lost my groove and wasn’t able to make the passes I needed to get back inside the top ten,” remarked Larsen. The JDR/J-Star/KTM rider eventually finished the race in 12th place. “I am definitely not satisfied with my race tonight. I made some small mistakes that cost me a lot of time. I am planning to head back west to work with my team in the next week and feel that with their help I can get where I need to be and hopefully break into the top five.”

Next Round: St. Louis, MO – March 3, 2012

Tyler Bowers Wins Back-to-Back AMA Arenacross Series Championships with Runner-Up Effort in Minneapolis

Chad Cook Secures Second Straight Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Title

The 12th and final round of the 2012 AMA Arenacross Series was a night of champions on Saturday as both Arenacross Class and Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class title winners were crowned inside the Target Center. After claiming 12 main event wins this season, Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis’ Tyler Bowers, of Danville, Ky., secured back-to-back premier class titles after a strong runner-up effort. For the second straight season, HOK Kawasaki’s Chad Cook, of Oklahoma City, Okla., took home the Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class crown following a podium finish of his own.

Babbitt’s Monster Energy/AMSOIL Kawasaki’s Chad Johnson, of Rhinelander, Wis., grabbed the holeshot in the 25-lap Arenacross Class Main Event, with Bella’s Cupcakes/Club MX Kawasaki’s Zach Ames, of Prospect, Ohio, and Bowers in tow. Not long after, Ames slipped past Johnson for the lead, which would prove to be the winning pass.

Johnson looked to keep Ames in his sights, but Bowers took over the runner-up spot in the whoops shortly thereafter. Once in second, Bowers pursued Ames relentlessly, maintaining a gap of less than a second throughout the entire main event. In the end, the eventual champion wasn’t able to make the pass, but still secured the title with his second-place finish.

Ames’ victory was his first of 2012 and also made him the fifth different winner in the Arenacross Class this season. Johnson followed Ames and Bowers across the finish to give Kawasaki a 1-2-3 sweep of the podium.

FMF Power/Poynt TUF Honda’s Jeff Gibson, of Blacklick, Ohio, entered the evening with a chance at stealing the Arenacross Class title from Bowers, but ultimately settled for a fifth-place finish.

For the third straight main event, BNTQ.Net/Tuf Honda Racing’s Kevin Markwardt, of Freeport, Ill., grabbed the early lead in the 18-lap Arenacoss Lites Class. He was followed by Reed and Reese KTM’s Michael McDade, of Edinburg, Pa., and Team Faith KTM’s Kevin Johnson, of Spring, Texas.

Coming into the evening, Markwardt sat just one point out of the championship lead, but it wouldn’t be long before Cook began his charge through the field. By Lap 5, Cook had moved into third and proceeded to move his way into second on the following lap.

With Markwardt in his sights, Cook pushed to close in on his rival, while McDade followed in third. At the halfway point, Markward experienced misfortune and dropped out of podium contention, ultimately losing the championship in the process. From there, Cook, Johnson, and McDade engaged in a heated battle for the win.

By the conclusion of the 18 laps, both Johnson and McDade had overcome Cook, who ultimately fell to third. Johnson held on to take his fifth Arenacross Lites Class win of the 2012 season.

With Markwardt falling to eighth by the end of the race, Cook secured the title by eight points.

In the final Dash for Cash of the season, Bowers helped cap off his championship-winning season with a victory in the four-lap sprint race, but it wasnt without some luck. On the final lap, Ames and Gibson came together while battling for the win, allowing Bowers to assume the lead after both riders wenr down.

Arenacross Class Results (Minneapolis)

  1. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki
  2. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki
  3. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki
  4. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM
  5. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda
  6. Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, KTM
  7. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda
  8. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki
  9. Cole Siebler, Emmett, Idaho, Honda
  10. Michael McDade, Edinburg, Pa., KTM

Arenacross Lites Class Results (Minneapolis)

  1. Kevin Johnson, Spring, Texas, KTM
  2. Michael McDade, Edinburg, Pa, KTM
  3. Chad Cook, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki
  4. Scott Zont, Algonquin, Ill., Honda
  5. Steven Mages, Sardinia, Ohio, Kawasaki
  6. Maxx Malatia, Itasca, Ill., Honda
  7. Tanner Moore, Auburn, Kan., KTM
  8. Kevin Markwardt, Freeport, Ill., Honda
  9. Kyle White, Freeport, Ill., Honda
  10. Dave Ginolfi, Lake Hopatcong, N.J., KTM

Arenacross Class Points (After Race 19 of 19)

  1. Tyler Bowers, Danville, Ky., Kawasaki (12 wins) – 424
  2. Jeff Gibson, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda (3 wins) – 394
  3. Chad Johnson, Rhinelander, Wis., Kawasaki (2 wins) – 338
  4. Zach Ames, Prospect, Ohio, Kawasaki (1 win) – 297
  5. Kelly Smith, Ludington, Mich., KTM (1 win) – 285
  6. Nathan Skaggs, Chillicothe, Ohio, Honda – 259
  7. Willy Browning, Pleasantville, Ohio, KTM – 206
  8. Travis Sewell, Westville, Ind., KTM – 191
  9. Michael Willard, Newark, Ohio, KTM – 176
  10. Cory Green, Nowata, Okla., Suzuki – 152

Western Regional Arenacross Lites Class Points (After Race 9 of 9)

  1. Chad Cook, Oklahoma City, Okla., Kawasaki – 131
  2. Kevin Markwardt, Freeport, Ill., Honda – 123
  3. Tanner Moore, Auburn, Kan., KTM – 96
  4. Cody Church, Grand Junction, Colo., Kawasaki – 57
  5. Jake Locks, Dixon, Calif., KTM – 47
  6. Tiger Lacy, Beaverton, Ore., Kawasaki – 37
  7. Chris Proscelle, Dulzura, Calif., Honda – 36
  8. Patrick Massie, Washington Court House, Ohio, Honda – 35
  9. Brandon Marley, McEwen, Tenn., KTM – 31
  10. Nick Myers, Collinsville, Texas, Kawasaki – 22

Ryan Dungey Grabs Second Win of 2012 Monster Energy Supercross Season in Atlanta

Justin Barcia Stays Perfect in Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Class

A sold out crowd of 71,009 filled the Georgia Dome to capacity on Saturday night, as Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, hosted its eighth race of the 2012 season. Following a strong start, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., fended off all challengers to take his second victory of the year. In the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Class, GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia, of Ochlocknee, Ga., remained undefeated in the second race of that championship.

In his first race as a substitute rider for American Honda Muscle Milk, Cole Seely, of Murrieta, Calif., grabbed the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot Award with Dungey and Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX’s Davi Millsaps, of Murrieta, Calif., hot on his wheels. Behind them, championship leader Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., found himself in sixth aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki at the conclusion of the opening lap. Fellow title contender, Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX’s James Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., was also slow out of the gates, crossing the line in ninth on Lap 1.

Seely fought off Dungey’s pressure for several laps, but the 2010 Supercross Class Champion eventually worked his way into the lead on Lap 7 and looked to pull away. As Dungey made his move forward, both Villopoto and Stewart were doing the same and by Lap 11, the trio was running first, second, and third, respectively.

Villopoto slowly ate away at Dungey’s advantage throughout the second half of the main event, even overcoming an early tip over to have a shot at his fourth consecutive win. On the final lap, the pair was separated by just over a second, with Villopoto charging. A slight bobble by the defending champion coming out of the sand section allowed Dungey to extend his lead and give KTM just its second main event win in the Supercross Class.

“To get that first win right off the bat (for KTM) in Phoenix was nice, but it took a while after that,” said Dungey. “But, to back it up here in Atlanta, it was a great night. We’ve been looking for that one for a while. The whole team has been working hard and things haven’t gone our way with testing and stuff, but we’re coming around to it and I think things are progressively getting better.”

Villopoto held on for second, to lose just three points in the championship standings, while Stewart finished third.

“I just made a little mistake, and early on in the race I fell over and that cost me, huge,” said Villopoto. “The track was tough tonight, you could really see (that) and I just slipped up and washed the front end out. Overall, we had a good night. It just wasn’t the best of weeks coming into this (race), so to come out with a second is good.”

In the Supercross Lites Class Main Event, Barcia was the first rider out of the gate, claiming the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot Award, while Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammates Blake Baggett, of Grand Terrace, Calif., and Darryn Durham, of Butler, Pa., followed him out of the first corner. After posting the fastest practice lap of the day, Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen, of Murrieta, Calif., crossed the line at the end of the opening lap in 14th place, following a tough start.

Barcia set a torrid pace to start the 15-lap main event, pulling away to a multiple-second advantage over the field. Behind him, a heated battled for the podium took place between Baggett, Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki’s Blake Wharton, of Beaumont, Texas, and GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle, of Cushing, Okla.

Baggett asserted himself in second and after battling for several laps, Bogle worked his way past Wharton on Lap 9. Barcia completed his perfect effort by taking the checkered flag 2.253 seconds ahead of Baggett. Bogle held on for his first career podium finish in third, to go along with his first career heat race victory earlier in the evening.

“Two for two (is) not a bad way to start,” said Barcia. “I wanted a good start, I got the holeshot, and just rode hard from there. The track was super tough tonight. It was very slick and there were a lot of places where the bike was sliding around. I was trying not to make any mistakes. Fortunately, everything went really smooth and we got the win.”

Barcia extended his points lead in the Eastern Regional Supercross Lites Class to 12 over Durham.

GEICO Honda team cleans up at 2012 Atlanta Supercross as Justin Barcia wins and Justin Bogle takes third

The GEICO Honda race team cleaned up at a sold-out Georgia Dome Saturday with reigning series champion Justin Barcia taking his second victory in a row in front of 70,481 vocal fans. Barcia was joined on the podium by Lites teammate Justin Bogle, who finished third in just his second career start.

Supercross star Kevin Windham celebrated his 200th career race with an eighth-place result, but the brightest spotlight remained on Barcia, who is now 12 points up in the Lites East standings after two races.

“Two for two — not a bad way to start,” Barcia said. “To see two GEICO Hondas up here on the stage is big. We all work so hard and this is what it’s all about, getting wins and getting on the podium. I wanted a good start and I got the holeshot and just rode hard from there. The track was super tough tonight. It was very slick and there were a lot of places where the bike was sliding around. I was trying not to make any mistakes. Fortunately, everything went really smooth and we got the win.”

Adding to the haul was the $1,000 Barcia claimed for earning the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award. Barcia’s mechanic, Mike Tomlin, celebrated his birthday by winning the $500 Motorcycle Mechanics Institute Top Tech Award for the best wrench job of the event.

While Barcia went wire-to-wire, Bogle had to fight through a few spots for his third-place finish. The extra effort was worth it, especially considering he was knocked around in the first race of the season last weekend in Dallas and finished 14th. Bogle’s podium finish lifted him all the way to sixth in the rankings.

“We’re keeping it in the family tonight,” Bogle said. “Bam Bam (Barcia) got the win and I got third so we put two GEICO Hondas up there on the podium. That’s perfect. What a night; what a rebound for me. I couldn’t be happier right now. I didn’t have the best start but it wasn’t bad either. I was able to get past a few guys right away. I was running fourth for quite awhile but I really wanted the podium and I could see the guy I needed to pass to get it. I just put my head down and got after it. I capitalized on a couple of mistakes he made and was able to get past him with a maybe five laps left and just rode it out from there.”

Windham pointed to a slow start as the reason for his eighth-place finish, although he remains a player in the championship points with a No. 6 ranking, just one point behind fifth-place Jake Weimer.

“The start killed me,” Windham said. “I was asleep at the switch. That hardly ever happens but it happened to me there. I’m not sure why. I got after it from there but I was mid-pack and just fighting for spots. This isn’t the way I wanted to celebrate my 200th start. It was incredible the way the fans treated me here and it’s pretty cool that I’ve lasted so long out here. I stuill feel great and that’s important.”

The tour heads to St. Louis for next Saturday’s race at the Edward Jones Dome.


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