Der Gasgriffsalat ist in Sachen Offroad alles andere als zu Hause, was aber große Bewunderung nicht verhindern kann für alle, die es draufhaben und können. Der Wechsel von Ken Roczen zum Team Honda HRC in den USA im Winter war schon eine Sensation, aber was der einstige blonde Wunderknabe aus Thüringen und heutige Überflieger unter den MX-SX-Profis jetzt beim Supercross-Saisonauftakt im Angel-Stadium in Kalifornien mit der CRF450R auftischte, die Amis sagen einfach Anaheim 1 (weil später im Jahr folgt Anaheim 2), ist eigentlich unfassbar. Sieg mit 16 Sekunden Vorsprung vor Ryan Dungey, KTM´s Superheld und Marvin Musquin und all den anderen US-Cracks. »Smooth sailing« umschrieb es Ken´s Mechanikus Oscar Wirdemann trefflich. Zur Würdigung ein paar Auszüge aus der Presseinfo in authentischer englischer Sprache plus einige Fotos, die keiner Übersetzung bedürfen.
AMA Anaheim 1 Supercross 2017, Round 1
Roczen Dominates Anaheim Season Opener
The first round of AMA Supercross, at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, saw Ken Roczen turn in an exciting dream performance aboard his CRF450R, giving Team Honda HRC the opportunity to celebrate an early points lead in the series. The German native was unstoppable all evening, taking the holeshot in both his heat race and the 20-minute-plus-one-lap main and never relinquishing his lead in either. Along the way, Roczen clicked off unmatched lap times, ultimately taking the checkered flag with nearly 16 seconds to spare.
- Team Honda HRC was pleased to host Honda Racing Corporation Vice President Mr. Shuhei Nakamoto at Anaheim, as well as a number of other Honda executives. Mr. Nakamoto, who has served in a number of important roles for Honda over nearly 35 years, will retire in April. To show their appreciation, Team Honda HRC presented him with a cake before the evening program began.
- For the second consecutive year, American Honda welcomed fans in the Supercross Pit Party with a huge setup that included a children’s learn-to-ride center, an exhibit of models from the 2017 CRF family and four vintage race bikes.
- Honda’s CRF450R was a popular choice at Anaheim 1, with no fewer than 15 of the 56 event entries choosing it as their steed—four more than the next-most popular machine.
Ken Roczen: »Tonight couldn’t have gone better. I’m happy to come away from tonight with the win but I’m staying really calm and taking this season week by week, which I don’t think I did in previous years. It’s important to take this race and enjoy tonight and tomorrow but to continue to look ahead, focus on the next race and not get caught up. At the moment I’m just having a lot of fun. The team is great, they’re working hard and all the details that make me super happy are in place right now.«
Shuhei Nakamoto, HRC Executive Vice President: »I’m really happy to see the new CRF450R win the first race of the year! I would like to thank everyone on the development team as well as the race team for getting the machine ready in such a short time, as we were feeling the effect of the earthquake right when this machine was being developed. I was also incredibly impressed by how Roczen rode the whole race. He was completely in control and he looked like he had more to give if needed. Seely also rode tenaciously and did not give up. I’m convinced his results will continue to improve as the season progresses. I’m very pleased to see us win this very important race but we should not be too content. HRC promises to give more support to the team and I hope the team keeps giving their best for the championship!«
Oscar Wirdeman, Mechaniker von Ken Roczen: »This is going to be a fun year. Today was almost too good to be true. It was smooth sailing throughout the whole day with the team, bike, practice and obviously race. Ken is really happy with his setup and totally crushed it tonight, but obviously we have a long way to go with 16 races left so we need to stay focused. I just wanted him to leave here healthy and in the top three, and he won by 15 seconds so that’s pretty good.«
450SX Main Event Results
|94||GER||25||Team Honda HRC|
|5||USA||22||Red Bull KTM|
|25||FRA||20||Red Bull KTM|
|3||USA||16||Monster Energy Kawasaki|
|14||USA||15||Team Honda HRC|
|18||USA||14||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS|
|33||USA||12||Monster Energy Kawasaki|
|2||USA||11||Monster Energy/360fly/Chaparral/Yamaha Factory Racing|
|12||USA||10||RCH Soaring Eagle Jimmy Johns Suzuki Factory Racing|
|15||GBR||8||Yamaha/Oneal/ Pro Circuit/ Dunlop|
|4||USA||7||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS|
|10||USA||6||Smartop MotoConcepts Racing|
|20||USA||5||RCH Soaring Eagle Jimmy Johns Suzuki Factory Racing|
|45||USA||4||Smartop MotoConcepts Racing|
|77||USA||3||Jimmy Albertson Racing|
|22||AUS||1||Monster Energy/360fly/Chaparral/Yamaha Factory Racing|
|800||USA||1||Smartop MotoConcepts Racing|
|41||USA||1||Red Bull KTM|
Fotos: Honda/Simon Cudby