The difficulties that a GP rider faces when the come to the United States have been spoken of on numerous occasions. Unreceptive fans, drastically different climates, a hectic living style, and stiff competition plague their time in America, often times sending them back to their homelands. Ken Roczen had no issues gaining public support in his rookie US season, but other challenges made 2012 a season he will carry with him for the rest of his career. He was vocal about the strain travel put on his body, how the racing was unlike anything he had done previously, and that the humidity of the East Coast was difficult to endure. Now that he has learned the ropes of racing in the US, Roczen is ready to be the racer he and Red Bull KTM have long envisioned.
You have been back in the United States for a while and have been getting used to the new bike. How has it gone?
I came back the fifth of November and I was trying to adjust to living over here again, which has been really good. We did our big test and found a good setting for the suspension, which is the biggest part for me. Overall, I am really happy with the bike. It is completely new and we got it figured out pretty quickly. We did a few weeks of good training, so there is time for me to take off again.
You had a problem with constantly flying to the other side of the country last Supercross season. How different will it be to stay on the West Coast next year?
I think I didn’t expect it to be that bad every weekend. I got sick a lot and we had press days, and I didn’t think it would be that hard. Now, I know what to expect and riding the West Coast this year, it will take a lot of weight off. I won’t be flying back and forth all of the time, so it will be good.
You talked about buying property on the East Coast earlier in the year. How is that coming along?
There was a time where we were just about to buy something and were really thinking about it, but now I am just worried about racing. We will see for next year.
Now that you have a full year here and have ridden on both coasts, is there anything in the United States that similar to what you rode in Europe?
Actually, no. It is totally different. The race style is different over here, the tracks, and especially the weather. Our tracks over there are really slow and technical, kind of tight, and here there are a lot of things that are wide open. That is the biggest thing.
How is dealing with the humidity?
That was pretty hard this year. Now I know what to expect and I adapted to the heat pretty good in the end. Next year will be all about staying hydrated and knowing the races will be hot.
What are your expectations for the year?
To win. I am putting in a lot of effort and the team is, too. The bike is good and I don’t know why it wouldn’t happen. All of us are giving it 100-percent. It is all about staying healthy.
10 Questions With Ken Roczen
1. Favorite Word
I have been using “baller” a lot lately (laughs). My friend Brandon is from Atlanta, so we use it all of the time.
2. Least Favorite Word
“No?” That is a hard one, because I have honestly never thought about that (laughs).
3. Favorite Sound
My favorite sounds are 125 and 250 two-strokes.
4. Least Favorite Sound
The sound of the TV when I try to go to sleep.
5. What Turns You On
6. What Turns You Off
Big girls. I’m not a big booty fan (laughs).
7. Favorite Curse Word
The one I use most in general is “f—.”
8. One Job Other Than Your Own You Would Love To Do
I really like sports, like BMX and stuff, so I would lean towards that.
9. One Job Would You Never Want To Do
Work in a fast-food restaurant.
10. If Heaven exists, what do you want to hear when you get there?
I just want to hear that I was a good person.