The 16-year-old rookie KTM factory rider recorded his first AMA Supercross Lites podium finish at the Feb. 5 Anaheim II round and currently sits sixth in the Western Regional Lites standings. But with the Eastern Regional Lites competing in Houston, Roczen will try to maintain his momentum in the premier class.
“I didn’t want to stop racing just because the Lites series took a break and this is a way for me to continue to race and keep in shape,” says Roczen.
Roczen will join KTM factory riders Andrew Short and Mike Alessi in riding the new 350SX-F against the field of mostly 450cc racers. The 350cc KTM machine has already found success in the FIM Motocross Grand Prix Championship with Tony Cairoli winning the 2010 title. KTM is still trying to improve the 350SX-F for Supercross competition. After five rounds, Short is seventh in the standings with his best result a sixth place finish at Anaheim II. Meanwhile, Alessi has struggled, currently sitting 17th after finishing just three main events.
With three riders in Houston, KTM will be able to collect more data, helping further the bike’s development.
“This is our first year racing the 350 SX-F in Supercross and we are eager to get feedback from all racers,” says Roger DeCoster, Red Bull/KTM Factory team manager. “We know Ken (Roczen) very well and value his feedback on the models and know that his feedback along with Short and Alessi’s will help to improve this model to be at the top step of the podium. KTM is making aggressive moves into the motocross market and the more we can race the machines, the sooner we can see results.”