Have you heard the news about Ken Roczen crashing? I assume you did and I assume that you, like me, are bummed for the series. Win or lose, Roczen and Ryan Dungey were setting us all up for some great action this year.
Looking at Roczen’s injuries (thanks to Ken for that info on social media), it’s not the breaks that are the problems; the dislocations could prove to be the most troublesome if the medical professionals I talk to are right. Now, of course, these guys don’t know the whole story so I caution against this being one hundred percent factual, but the doctors I spoke with think that Roczen’s going to be out all of this year and will be fortunate to not have lingering effects in the wrist or elbow from the dislocations.
That is a real shame if it turns out to be what happens. Roczen’s a breath of fresh air in the sport that’s buttoned down and all serious. While I don’t agree with everything he posts on social, the sport needs Roczen and his outlook on life.
The people I talk to don’t think Honda is going to put anyone on the #94 machine for supercross. I spoke with Justin Brayton after Anaheim 2 and he mentioned that there had been talk of him jumping to the factory team in case of injury, but nothing was set in stone. To start the year, JB10’s results haven’t been where he or Honda would probably want them.
There’s no outside sponsor to satisfy having a bike on the track for Honda and so, to me, I see where the people I speak to are probably correct. Everyone I talked to does think that they wouldn’t be surprised if Freddie Noren gets the bike for the outdoors, as Honda’s got a great relationship with him and he helped develop the 2017 CRF450R.
Some other news and notes on a Thursday afternoon…
– It looks like Jake Weimer will get at least one more race on the JGR Suzuki than the four he was promised as the fill-in for Justin Barcia. Weimer’s been told to get a plane ticket for Oakland, as Barcia’s wrist injury is still bugging him.
– RCH’s Justin Bogle is out for this weekend after a heat race crash in Anaheim. He’s scheduled to be back for next weekend in Oakland but, if not, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Weimer jump in over there!
– The Glendale track this weekend is a long one and it’ll be the fastest of the series so far, as it’s a football stadium as opposed to the baseball ones we’ve been in. The dirt should be a welcome sight for riders, as it’ll be perfect dirt and we can see the riders cut it loose out there.
– I’ve texted back and forth with Chad Reed here and there, like we usually do, but when I’ve asked him for a couple of on-the-record interviews about the start of the season, he’s declined saying that he has “got nothing good to say." Reed’s usually great with the media, so he’s got to be bummed to decline the invites. Look for him to figure it out soon and creep into the top five or top three.
– Mike Alessi should be back for this weekend; he tried to ride last week and could, but was pretty sore. Look for the 800 to line it up and, with the long start, maybe he’ll get one of his customary holies.
– After that debacle that happened in Anaheim, you would think that Jason Anderson would be ready to prove something this weekend. He’s a great rider already and sniffing the podium, but I’d look for the motivation to be very high this weekend to shut down all the people that criticized him for his on-track behavior that got him disqualified in Anaheim.
– It looks like we can all switch our focus from talking about Cooper Webb’s slow start to Eli Tomac’s slow start. Neither guy had to be happy through two races, but Webb was a different dude in Anaheim and was fast all day on his way to a fourth place finish. Tomac, well, he struggled again.
After the race the FIM took some points away from Webb and Weston Peick for doubling when Roczen was down, but his fourth place finish stayed. Tomac has switched clamps and he’s switched forks while he and his team search for what’s been eating him. Myself, he’s too good to stay this bad and, like Webb, I think a breakout will come. When and where? I have no idea, but whenever it happens Ryan Dungey will be way ahead in the points.
Words: Steve Matthes | Lead Image: Sean Ogden