Ken Roczen commits to World Supercross (WSX) for three years
Ken Roczen announced he will commit to the World Supercross Championship (WSX) for three years and become a supercross specialist. The decision was made largely to extend his career, citing the toll that motocross traditionally takes on his body.
“In the outdoor championship, I have struggled with my body and at this part of my career, I had to ask myself how can I be around this sport for a longer time?” Roczen said in a Zoom press conference Monday morning. “It wasn’t that fun the last couple of years.
“I really struggled, and it didn’t look like I wanted to do this for much longer because my body was playing with what I wanted to do. And now I have decided I’m following my heart and I want to hone in on supercross and become a specialist in that.”
Confirmed: @KenRoczen94 will race the full FIM World Supercross Championship season.
WSX will also be broadcasted to more than 180 countries and 500 million households worldwide!
Dates & locations here: https://t.co/qzVafLttBF #FIM #WorldSupercrossChampionship#KenRoczen pic.twitter.com/9bTJ82rcA5
— WSXChampionship (@WSXChampionship) May 8, 2023
Roczen is the defending champion of last year’s two-race WSX championship with overall results of second in the British GP and third in the Australian GP. He will continue to race with Dustin Pipes’ Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki team, who fields his bike in the Monster Energy Supercross (SX) series.
The WSX championship kicks off July 1 with the second running of the British GP, which will be held in Birmingham this year at Villa Park. Round 2 will be hosted at Groupama Stadium in Lyon-Decines, France on July 22 and then there is a hiatus until the Round 3 at a location in Southeast Asia that is still to be announced. Round 3 and the Asian GP is scheduled to run September 30.
As such, the six-round calendar does not currently conflict with the inaugural SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX), which begins September 9 at Zmax Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina and ends September 23rd at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
With one round remaining in the Monster Energy Supercross championship, Roczen is one point out of third-place in the standings behind Cooper Webb, who will not compete in the final round at Salt Lake City because of a concussion suffered at Nashville two weeks ago.
Roczen has a 227-point advantage over the 21st-place rider in the standings and should he maintain his position inside the top 20, he would meet that requirement to be part of the inaugural SMX Championship. If he falls out of the combined Supercross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross (MX) top 20, Roczen has a win this year at Indianapolis that gives him an automatic entry into the Last Chance Qualifier for those three rounds.
Roczen also left open the possibility of running a few MX in 2023 races if needed to stay inside the top 20 and has been testing on outdoor tracks as the SX season winds down. But Roczen emphasized multiple times that the emphasis at this stage of his career, is to become a supercross specialist. A factor in Roczen’s decision to commit to the supercross style of racing is that the SX series has become a bigger portion of the combined SMX calendar with 17 rounds compared to 11 on the MX calendar.
Additionally, Roczen has been open about his desire to race in his homeland. The German GP is scheduled for October 14 at Merkur Spiel Arena in Dusseldorf.
Roczen’s second-place finish last week in Denver was his fourth consecutive podium finish and sixth overall in the season. In 16 rounds there, he has finished worse than eighth only once despite making a late move from Honda to Suzuki during the 2022 offseason.
The WSX six-race calendar also includes rounds in Vancouver, Canada on October 28 and will conclude in Melbourne, Australia on November 25.
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Ken Roczen commits to World Supercross (WSX) for three years originally appeared on NBCSports.com