Of all the riders that made changes in the off-season, Ken Roczen’s to-do list was certainly one of the longest. The Red Bull KTM competed in the MXoN, moved to Florida to train with Aldon Baker at Ryan Villopoto’s compound, raced the Monster Energy Cup, and has tested with the team to perfect his set-up. This is only the beginning for the rookie 450 racer, since he will now have to compete in all 29 rounds of the AMA tour and go through all the travel that comes with the extended schedule. Roczen has confidence in his new program and is excited to take on the challenges…
When you and I talked earlier in the summer (for Roczen’s cover story), we disccussed moving to Florida, and at the time you thought it wasn’t the biggest option. How did working with Aldon Baker come about?
At that point, I didn’t know anything about it yet. Later, I knew that he was looking for another guy and the way they made it sound was that they just don’t take anyone. So they had me in mind and we started talking. I think that it is a great opportunity to try and take it to the next level, because I’m now on a 450 and there’s going to be a lot more races. I went over there right after the des Nations to check everything out, because I hadn’t really been to that area yet, and I liked it right away. And then we started working together. I fly into Orlando and our place is 25-minutes from there.
How do you like Florida?
I like it a lot and since Orlando is not that far away, there are a lot of cool things to do. I honestly can’t complain. I’ve been out there for a month, staying in my friend Rusty Malinoski’s guesthouse, and it’s been really good.
How are the tracks at Ryan’s?
Really good and I think that’s a big plus compared to California. We’ve been working really good together and the tracks are insanely good. There is good traction and you can really push your limits.
Were there a lot of dietary changes you had to make to work with Aldon? He mentioned when we first talked that you would have to stop eating dairy.
Dairy wasn’t too bad, but for sure it is hard. I try to eat the least sugar possible and because I have been so bad before, it’s been kind of hard to not have such flavorful food [laughs]. But I’m ready to do whatever it takes to achieve my dream of becoming a Supercross champion and I’m willing to do anything for that, and I think that I’m on a good path.
Does working with Aldon and Ryan in your rookie season bump up your expectations and make you want to be a contender right away?
I want to be a contender, that’s not a question, and I know I can be. Working with Aldon isn’t going to hold me back and it’s definitely going to bring me a step ahead. Time as flown by really quick already. We have some important testing to do and the team and I are doing everything we can, and I don’t think that there’s anything that can stop us. I’m going to give it 100-percent this season and we’ll see where I end up at the end of the year. It would be great if I could grab a few wins, that would be huge for me, but I’m going to do whatever it takes.