Courtesy of Team Suzuki Press Office
Roczen and RCH Soaring Eagle/ Jimmy John’s/ Suzuki Factory Racing
turned in a perfect 1-1 performance in Saturday’s Ironman National to
collect their ninth overall victory and close out the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro
Motocross Championship in winning style.
After clinching the series title last weekend at Budds Creek, the
two-time Pro Motocross Champion was able to breathe a sigh of relief and
come into the 12th and final race of the year with nothing to lose.
While the championship trophy may have already been on display under the
RCH canopy, the fire still clearly burned for Roczen. After clocking-in
with two solid qualifying sessions, the rider of the No. #94 Suzuki
RM-Z450 turned-up the wick when the starting gate dropped by winning the
holeshot in the first moto, leading every lap and collecting his 19th
moto win of the season.
Minus the holeshot, the second moto was more of the same as Roczen paced
all 15 laps and stretched his lead to almost 20 seconds when the final
chequered flag of the season flew.
“The first moto was a little rough in some spots with the mud but I knew
the second moto would be a lot better,” explained Roczen. “I grabbed
two awesome starts. I got the holeshot in the first one and I was
top-three out of the gate in the second. I just put in a good charge in
the second one and went for another win. I said last weekend we wanted
another 1-1 to finish off the season. We didn’t come just to slack
around. I couldn’t be any happier. It’s going to be good to take some
time off and enjoy how good of a season we had. We’ll let everything
settle and enjoy it a little bit.”
In all, Roczen led 324 laps during the summer season, won 20 of 24 motos
and closed out the 2016 campaign with a remarkable .833 winning
average. At the same time, RCH becomes the first privately owned team
to win the Pro Motocross title against the factory juggernauts while
affording team owners Carey Hart and Ricky Carmichael their first
championship since forming RCH four years ago. Carmichael is also the
first former professional to earn championship honours as both a rider
and team owner.
“It’s huge,” continued Roczen. “If you would have asked me at this time
last year what this year would be like, I would have said ‘I don’t
know.’ It’s pretty amazing to see what we’ve done, where we came from
and how much we’ve accomplished. We’re the first privately-owned team to
pull off a championship and those results speak for themselves. I had
so much fun this year. The vibe with the team was awesome and my bike
Officially, Roczen closes out the season 86 points to the good in the final championship standings.
After locking up the title with a race to spare and knowing the pressure
was off, the 22-year-old German rider had to stay sharp heading into
Saturday’s season finale while still taking the time to appreciate his
“It was really tough this whole week,” he said. “I tried to tell myself
‘dude it’s not over, we still have another race.’ At the same time, I
knew things were wrapped up. I kind of went in vacation mode a little
bit. It was hard. I went out to the track and started riding and I was
kind of wondering ‘what am I doing here?’ I took it easy this week. I
was on the bike just to keep the feeling. I knew for a fact when I
showed up at the racetrack my mental game would be on point. I just went
out and rode and had fun.”
Was this post helpful? Add yours to our service or subscribe to our feed above.