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A Matthes Report: Daytona

Steve Matthes discusses Ken Roczen

Thursday 14, March 2019 

Ken Roczen didn't get to be where he is now (a world champion, Motocross of Nations champion and national champion) by just kicking back and settling in for podiums. He's not wired like that and this 450SX winless drought that has stretched to seventeen races over three years must be killing him. Outwardly he's been putting on a good face, saying the right things and, in some way, I'm sure he means everything he says, but he's being paid to win and that's all he's ever known.

Ever since the win that Red Bull KTM's Cooper Webb snatched away from him in Dallas in the last turn, Roczen's not made the podium after making five out of the first seven and holding the red plate twice at that. Granted, he said he was sick in a social-media post after Detroit so there's probably a bit of residue from that the last couple of weeks. He certainly rode very well in Daytona all day long and stalked eventual event winner Eli Tomac in the heat race but, come the main event, there he was laying in the first turn with his teammate Cole Seely. The long road to the front began and I'm sure Roczen wondered, "What else?" as he laid there in the dirt.