Ken Roczen 5th overall in his debut race for Suzuki

(Madera, CA, Jan 9th, 2023) – Thrilling opening round to the start of the inaugural Supermotocross World Championship series. Ken Roczen showed up in his debut race, finishing with an impressive 5th overall. Shane McElrath’s night ended early after a first-corner crash. Kyle Chisholm battling a stomach bug all week was unable to make it happen in his heat and was forced to call it a night. Dilan Schwartz did not have his best race finishing 20th overall. Despite the results, the night ended with many positives to build on for those three heading into next Saturday’s race in Oakland, Ca. 

Ken Roczen #94: Lots of buzz surrounding the #94 machine leading up to Anaheim. Roczen stepped up to the plate at Angel Stadium back on board an RM-Z 450cc Suzuki. Showing the world why he is one of the greatest, Ken put himself out front, battled for a podium position, and rode an intelligent race. He finished the night 5th overall. The team and Ken are in an excellent place to start the season.  

“Our weekend in Anaheim was a fun one but a gnarly one,” said Ken Roczen. “Quite possibly one of the gnarliest I’ve ridden. I’m stoked to get away with a top 5 at the opener. We’ve put in a lot of work and have some work ahead of us. It’s a solid start to the season. We didn’t blow anything out of the water, we didn’t do the absolute greatest either, and we have something to build on that I’m super stoked about.”

Shane McElrath #12: Bummer night for Shane McElrath, crashing in the first corner and ending his night early. He was uninjured and able to walk away. 

 “Well, it was a rough start to the season,” said Shane McElrath. “I came in slightly under-prepared and needed a little more time. For me, I mentally didn’t show up ready to race, and it took me too long throughout the day to get to that point. The team did the best they could for me, we all have a goal moving forward, and we are ready to work towards that. I’m a little banged up. I’m going to get some rest this week, work on some things we can improve, and be better prepared next weekend.” 

Kyle Chisholm #11: Disappointing day for Chisholm, who battled a stomach bug all week. Under the weather all day, Kyle headed into Anaheim unable to eat or drink much, so he was not at his best for the opening round. Chisholm was determined to make it into the main event, ultimately coming up one qualifying position short.  

 “For me, the day was tough,” said Kyle Chisholm. “The last few days, I’ve been under the weather. I was trying to get through the day the best I could. I was in a qualifying position but couldn’t make it happen. The team did great. We have a lot we can keep improving on, but with how sick I am, I am happy with where we are. We are going to keep working and come out swinging next Saturday.”

Dilan Schwartz made his debut onboard his RM-Z250cc Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki

Dilan Schwartz #85: Not the result, Shwartz or the team wanted with 20th place. However, there are a lot of positives to take away from the opening round for this young talented rider. Dilan got strong starts and looked confident on a challenging track. It is only a matter of time before it all clicks for the young rookie 250cc rider. 

“Track was tough all day,” said Dilan Schwartz. “I felt comfortable, but I was dealing with a couple of little things that held us back. I’m going to get it sorted and come out swinging next weekend. Hopefully, I will have a much better result there.”

“Thought the night went good,” said Team Manager Larry Brooks. “Super difficult track with ruts, weather, and dirt conditions. We performed well in the first race of the year with Roczen. I thought the bike worked well and was not too far off for not having a starting point. Doing testing at the track is never the same as the races. All your weak points show in that first race of the year, but 5th place is a good starting point. As far as the other guys, Chiz was sick, so he really was out of it all day. Shane crashed, so we didn’t get a chance to see him, and as for Dilan, he’s just a young rookie making mistakes. It is only a matter of time till he’ll catch on.”

Ken Roczen, Larry Brooks, and Travis Soules having a post race discussion. 

Ken Roczen (#94) – 5th overall in Anaheim for the opening round of the inaugural Supermotocross World Championship series. 

Rain or shine, both the teams and riders are eager for Saturday to roll around. The first gate drop is at 6 PM PST on Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum. You can catch all the action live on the Peacock app, and for those who want more race day content follow us on social media.

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