Rookie Roczen Claims Supercross Opener

Ken Roczen performance during the 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season has earned him the AMA Supercross Rookie of the Year Award in the 450 class. (Feld Motor Sports photo)
Ken Roczen won Saturday night's Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium. (Feld Motor Sports photo)
Ken Roczen won Saturday night’s Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium. (Feld Motor Sports photo)

ANAHEIM, Calif. — In front of 45,050 fans inside a sold-out Angel Stadium, rookie Ken Roczen won the opening race of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, aboard his Red Bull KTM.

In dramatic fashion, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson captured the opening race of the Western Regional 250SX Class.

Three-time Monster Energy Supercross Champion Ryan Villopoto came out swinging in the 450SX Class Main Event, piloting his Monster Energy Kawasaki to the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot Award. On Villopoto’s back wheel through the first turn was Roczen, followed by Toyota’s/Yamaha/NFab/JGRMX’s Josh Grant.

Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart moved into third place on lap 10, passing Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey. While leading on lap nine, Villopoto crashed and handed the lead to Roczen, also allowing Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed and Dungey to move into second and third place, respectively. Villopoto remounted in fifth place.

On lap 12, Stewart passed Reed for second and chipped away at Roczen’s lead, ultimately closing in on his rear wheel. While attempting to get alongside Roczen in the whoops, Stewart suffered a race-ending crash. On lap 16, Dungey secured second place as he passed Reed.

“This is insane,” said Roczen. “I got off to a good start and was holding on really tight. When there were four laps to go, I realized that I could win.”

Roczen was joined on the podium by Dungey, giving KTM a 1-2 sweep and Reed. Villopoto recovered to finish fourth.

Anderson grabbed the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award and held down the lead in the 250SX Class Main Event until lap four when Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda’s Cole Seely moved into the lead. On the same lap, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson moved into the third spot.

Wilson and GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne traded places near the halfway point of the race and the duel did not stop, lasting several subsequent laps. In the second-to-last turn on the last lap, Anderson passed Seely and rode to the second win of his career.

“The pass was (risky) on Cole (Seely),” said Anderson. “I didn’t want to be dirty but I had to put it in there, and I am glad it worked. I look forward to riding into Phoenix with the red number-one plate. This is only my second career win, so it is big for me.”

Anderson and Seely were joined Osborne on the podium, who eventually made his way past Wilson on lap 12.