Roczen Thrills Huge Atlanta Crowd
ATLANTA — Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen won his second Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, of the season Saturday night before 69,785 fans at the Georgia Dome.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Martin Davalos captured the first Eastern Regional 250SX Class win of his career.
Smartop/Motoconcepts Racing’s Mike Alessi earned the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto and Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart following in second and third respectively. Stewart quickly moved into first place on the opening lap as Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen took over third. Stewart, who came into tonight’s race on a two-race win streak, crashed in a turn moments after taking over the lead position and remounted in last place.
Villopoto moved into second place on lap four and passed Alessi for the lead on lap five. Alessi was also passed by Roczen and Red Bull KTM teammate Ryan Dungey for the second and third sports respectively. On lap 14, Villopoto failed to jump the triple and, as a result, Roczen moved into the lead. Villopoto finished second and Dungey finished third.
“I don’t believe this,” said Roczen. “Getting on the podium is one thing but a win is another … such an awesome feeling. This proves that hard work pays off and helps build my confidence.”
Villopoto has a three-point lead over Roczen in season standings. Stewart finished 11th and is third in season standings.
Through eight races, there have been four different two-time winners, marking the first time this has happened in the sport’s history.
To open the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Main Event, Monster Energy Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo, who came into tonight’s race as the point leader, led Davalos through turn one, winning the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award. It didn’t take long for Davalos to answer back and make the pass for the lead, and by lap seven, he opened a 5.1 second advantage.
Factory Metal Works’ Vince Friese was passed by Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Anthony Rodriguez on Lap 1 for third place. Near the halfway point of the race, GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle took over the number-three position. Cianciarulo finished second and Bogle finished a season-best third place.
“At the beginning of the race, Martin (Davalos) started to pull away, but toward the second half of the race, I was able to catch up,” said Cianciarulo. “Then, I made a stupid mistake. I guess you live and learn.”
“I am just so happy to be able to give this win to my team,” said Davalos. “There have been so many people that have supported me, and this feels great.”
Cianciarulo has a two-point lead over Davalos in the season standings