Roczen Ready To Rock Budds Creek
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – The 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, has officially reached its halfway point.
As the world’s best riders gear up for six more thrilling rounds of action, legendary Budds Creek MX Park in Mechanicsville, Md., is preparing to celebrate 25 years as a round of the most prestigious motocross championship on the planet. The GEICO Motorcycle Budds Creek National, the seventh stop on the schedule, will commence on Saturday o mark a quarter century of competition in Southern Maryland, in the shadow of the nation’s capitol.
Despite having to go head-to-head against a star-studded 450 Class loaded with veterans and a trio of former champions in Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey, Team Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart, and Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed, Red Bull KTM rookie Ken Roczen has been the most consistent rider in the premier division by far through the first half of the season.
No other competitor has been able to come close to matching Roczen’s average finish of 1.58, which is highlighted by six moto wins, five moto runner-ups, and one third-place moto score, and his ability to respond to any challenge has been the hallmark of his success to this point.
When it appeared as though his closest challengers were possibly closing in, Roczen countered and now boasts a three-moto winning streak to go along with back-to-back overall victories.
With four wins in six starts, the German has set a standard that will be hard for any of his rivals to live up to over the course of the next 12 motos, barring a major misstep from the former world champion. As a result of his second career 1-1 moto sweep last weekend at RedBud, Roczen now enjoys a points cushion that extends beyond one full moto (26 points), allowing for some wiggle room should he encounter any adversity.
The only rider to provide a constant threat to Roczen throughout the first half of the season is his Red Bull KTM counterpart Dungey.
As the second winningest rider in series history, there isn’t an active rider more familiar with success than Dungey, but even he has appeared frustrated at times in his inability to maintain the torrid pace of his teammate.
While Dungey sits comfortably in second in the 450 Class standings, his continued attempts to bring his performance consistently to the level of his teammate have led to uncharacteristic mistakes and the loss of valuable points. While a 2.5 finishing average is still exceptional and would surely be good enough to win a title most of the time, Dungey still faces an uphill climb to catch his teammate atop the standings.
In fact, Dungey has only outscored Roczen on two occasions this season, each as a result of a moto win.
While Roczen and Dungey continue to separate themselves from the pack, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard further asserts his hold on third, while GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac continues to blossom just two rounds into his 450 Class career.