Roczen Tops 450 Class: 2014 Thunder Valley MX

450 Class Race Report | 2014 Thunder Valley MX

Photos: Jeff Kardas

If Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen wants to win an outdoor championship in his rookie season, he simply needs to just keep doing what he’s doing. Although he didn’t sweep both motos like he did last weekend in Sacramento, KROC proved strong in both motos in the elevation of Lakewood, Colorado, with the second moto resulting in a commanding win. Round three of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship also presented us with a new winner, as James Stewart seemed like he’s starting to find his stride as well as the setup he needs to win on his Yoshimura Suzuki.

1. Ken Roczen | First Overall (2-1)

In 450 moto one, Roczen  Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen got off to a decent start and found himself running in sixth on the first lap behind Josh Grant, Andrew Short, James Stewart, Ryan Dungey, and Trey Canard. The top five began to shuffle, and Roczen started making his way toward the front of the pack. After picking off Short, Grant, and then Canard, Roczen capitalized on a mistake by Dungey to take over second. Roczen set his sights on the leader, James Stewart, but the German ran out of time and finished in second less than two seconds behind first place.

A better start from Roczen in moto two placed him in fourth early in the moto, and the rookie was able to go to work on the leaders in front of him, picking them off one by one. In one lap, Roczen made the pass on Grant and then forced himself by his teammate, Dungey, setting himself up to go after Canard for the lead. Roczen waited for the right opportunity, and as soon as he saw an opening, he was able to lock down a pass to take over first and pull away. Roczen rode flawlessly as he reeled in the win and brought home the overall with 2-1 moto finishes.

2. James Stewart | Second Overall (1-3)

In his first moto, Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart rounded the first turn in third place, but he quickly propelled himself into the lead past holeshot winner Josh Grant just moments later. Although he had nothing but clear track in front of him, Stewart couldn’t shake the front pack and soon came under assault by a determined Ryan Dungey, who had already moved up into second place. Lap after lap, Stewart managed to hold Dungey off despite several pass attempts, and although a mistake by Dungey allowed Ken Roczen to make his run for the lead, Stewart held on to take home his first moto win of the season.

Stewart’s fifth place start in moto two placed him behind Canard, Dungey, Grant, and Roczen after the first turn. After passing Grant, Stewart dropped back from the top three, but late in the race he picked up his pace, catching Canard despite running off the track to lock down third place for second overall.

3. Ryan Dungey | Third Overall (3-2)

Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey got off the gate quickly in moto one and went on the attack early, making passes on Trey Canard, Andrew Short, and Josh Grant, and working his way into second place in just a few laps. Dungey wasn’t finished there, and the Minnesota native tried everything he could to make a pass stick on the leader, but couldn’t seem to solve the puzzle that was James Stewart. After a mistake late in the race, Dungey dropped the position to his teammate Ken Roczen, and his hopes for a podium finish completely vanished after a small crash dropped him to fourth in back of Canard.

His start in moto two placed him second place behind Canard, but Dungey wasn’t able to make his way by the leader soon enough, and Roczen was able to overtake Dungey early so he himself could attack Canard for first. Dungey eventually worked his way into second, but the damage was done, and Roczen won the moto leaving Dungey to settle for second in the moto and third overall.

4. Trey Canard | Fourth Overall (3-4)

Soon after his top-five start in the first moto, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard found himself in an intense fight for third place with Josh Grant. Canard would eventually take the position, and he included himself in a four-rider freight train that began to separate itself from the rest of the field. A speedy Ken Roczen sat behind Canard in fourth, and the KTM rider eventually took away the third spot following a bobble by Canard in a rutted section of the track. Canard fell off the pace of the leaders, but a mistake by Dungey handed him back the final podium position where he finished the moto.

Canard pulled the holeshot in moto two, but after lengthy battles with Roczen, Dungey, and Stewart, Canard dropped out of the overall contention and finished in fourth.

5. Josh Grant | Fifth Overall (5-6)

JGRMX/Toyota/NFAB/Yamaha’s Josh Grant powered his 450 up the Thunder Valley start straight to steal the first holeshot of the day in moto one, but unfortunately Grant could not capitalize on the great start, and he quickly handed the lead over to James Stewart. Grant fought hard to remain at the front of the pack, but after a few long battles he settled in fifth where he would finish the moto.

Grant found himself toward the front of the pack again in moto two with a third-place start, but after a couple of passes by Roczen and Stewart, he dropped back to fifth. Grant appeared to have the position secured late in the moto, but he caught his foot in a rut and nearly got dragged off of the bike, and a lurking Brett Metcalfe took advantage of the mistake and moved Grant back to sixth. Grant held on for 5-6 moto scores for fifth overall.

Overall Results1. Ken Roczen 2-12. James Stewart 1-3

3. Ryan Dungey 4-3

4. Trey Canard 3-4

5. Josh Grant 5-6

6. Brett Metcalfe 9-5

7. Malcolm Stewart 7-8

8. Andrew Short

9. Weston Peick 10-7

10. Jake Weimer 8-12

11. Chad Reed 13-10

12. Phil Nicoletti 12-11

13. Frederik Noren 16-14

14. Kellian Rusk 15-15

15. Matt Goerke 14-16

16. Ivan Tedesco 11-25

17. Ben LaMay 21-13

18. Tommy Week 17-18

19. Evgeny Mikhaylov 22-17

20. Nick Schmidt 18-38

2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship 450 Class (After 6 of 24 motos)1. Ken Roczen 141pts (3 moto wins)2. Ryan Dungey 129pts (1 moto win)

3. James Stewart 111pts (1 moto win)

4. Trey Canard 110pts

5. Brett Metcalfe 89pts

6. Malcolm Stewart78pts

7. Weston Peick 77pts

8. Josh Grant 74pts (1 moto win)

9. Jake Weimer 74pts

10. Chad Reed 61pts