Red Bull/KTM rider Ken Roczen won his first race on the KTM 250SX-F at the final round of the West Lites AMA Supercross Series in Las Vegas.
The final round of the series had riders from both coasts compete in a final race for their respective series championships before taking the top 20 riders and placing them into a 10-lap East/West Lites Supercross Shootout.
In the West Lites 15-lap Main Event, Roczen nailed the holeshot on his KTM and pulled out to an early lead. Roczen led the first three laps before washing out in a turn before the finish line jump. Roczen recovered quickly and was able to move into second place behind Cole Seely. He then closed the gap on Seely the next few laps and moved closer to retaking the number one position. Soon Seely suffered a crash and allowed Roczen to regain the lead.
Once back out front Roczen began to pull away from the rest of the riders and stretched his lead. Roczen went on to take his first career Supercross Lites win 12 seconds ahead of second place rider Broc Tickle. “It feels so good to take the holeshot and the win in Las Vegas. I have always dreamed of racing in Vegas and to see the happiness on my team’s face makes this the greatest win of my career,” says Kenny.
After only a short break Roczen was back in action and lining up for the 10-lap shootout. Roczen had another decent start within the top six. He remained close to the lead riders and crossed the line the first lap in fifth. By the fourth lap he had climbed up to fourth and on lap six he passed Martin Davalos to move into third. Roczen spent the next few laps all over the second place ride of Cole Seely but was unable to make the pass at the end of 10 laps. Roczen finished third overall for the night putting his KTM on the podium for a second time.
Also finishing well in Vegas was Red Bull/KTM Team rider Andrew Short. After getting a flat tyre in his heat race Short had to get in the Main Event through the LCQ. Short easily won the LCQ and headed toward the Main Event where he lined up with his team-mate Mike Alessi who qualified fifth from his heat.
Alessi took the holeshot on his KTM 350 SX-F and remained inside the top five until a crash a few laps into the race sent him over the bars. Alessi tweaked his knee slightly and hit his head and decided to return to the pits to recover and was unable to finish the race.
Short did not have as decent a start and began the race in almost last position. He quickly climbed through the pack and had moved into 11th by the fifth lap. In an amazing charge through the pack Short was able to remain smooth and pass a few more riders while also capitalising on the mistakes of others as many riders hit the ground. At the end of the 20-lap race Short had moved up to fifth overall.
“I had no idea I was in fifth place. I knew that I had a bad start and thought that I was still so far back. I couldn’t believe when I crossed the finish line and saw my number on the top five board. I was really stoked to walk away with a fifth place result after the start I had at the beginning of the race.”