Roczen headlines solid Suzuki effort at San Diego

The anticipation for the San Diego Round of Supercross was at an all-time high after the Oakland, California event was moved to February 18th due to severe weather conditions. The riders, mechanics, staff, and fans were forced to sit idle for two weeks, awaiting more Supercross live-action. The Third round of the 2023 SuperMotocross Championship series was held this past Saturday at the SnapDragon Stadium in San Diego, California, and it did not disappoint. The sunny Southern California weather was perfect for the sell-out crowd. The Fan Fest and the grandstands were full of enthusiastic fans.

Words: Press Release | Lead Image: Suzuki

Ken Roczen
“San Diego! Busy day in the office. We were testing all day to narrow the window of what works and what doesn’t,” he explained afterwards.

“I am once again extremely stoked on my Factory Connection suspension and with HEP Motorsports’ efforts and work to inch closer to the podium. It is not easy to go out and figure out how the bike reacts and what it needs on race day with a very limited amount of time on the track.

“Nonetheless we made all the right calls when it came down to the wire and that’s all that matters. It wasn’t the start we were hoping for, but I felt great on the bike and on the track and worked my way up to fourth with a great battle for third the entire main event. I feel strong and ready to continue improving my race craft and motorcycle. Hard work really does pay off! See you guys at A2.”

Shane McElrath
After a rough opening round, McElrath rode a solid race, got his intensity closer to where he wanted it to be, and finished 16th overall in San Diego. Shane put in consistent lap times in qualifying and was in an excellent position to transfer straight from the heat to the main. Unfortunately, his bike stalled, and he had to fight his way into the main event through the last-chance qualifier. Finishing third in the LCQ, Shane maintained that pace in the main event and put together a solid 20-minute race.

“Little bit dramatic getting to the main event,” said Shane McElrath. “but it was really good to build. I rode with some intensity and started with decent times in the last qualifying practice. I had a good pace in the heat race going for a while but ended up stalling it, and I fell out of the transfer position. I was disappointed in that. I had to go through the LCQ. The main event went well, I wanted to get some good ground under me to build upon, and we did that. So I’m excited to build on this round.”

Kyle Chisholm
After falling extremely ill for the first round in Anaheim, Kyle felt healthy and arrived ready to race. Kyle put in a strong performance for the day, starting with the qualifying events, the heat race, and the main event. In his heat Kyle got a strong start and ran up front for a few laps, allowing him to qualify straight into the main event with 8th place. He carried that effort into the main event and came away with 17th place. It was not precisely the overall result Chisholm expected, but it’s a good starting point moving forward.

“Little better week for me in general, having been so sick in Anaheim so just being healthy felt good,” said Kyle Chisholm. “The day went okay; I got through practice. The heat race was good, and I got a good start. It was nice to put some laps in up front a little bit. In the main event, I was pretty good for most of it, but I wasn’t really pumped with my riding. I need to get more comfortable and get back to work this week.”

Dilan Schwartz
“Having raced only a handful of supercross rounds in the previous years, round three was Dilan’s 11th supercross race. Racing in front of his hometown crowd with friends and family in attendance, Dilan put together a decent night despite the overall result. Making it straight to the main from his heat race set Dilan’s expectations high for the main event. Schwartz got a decent start in the main event and was in 13th place. He was running at a good pace and was working his way up the field early, but an unfortunate crash hampered his overall result. He was able to walk away healthy after a rough crash and was determined to finish the race. Dilan finished 19th overall.

“Made big improvements from A1,” said Dilan Schwartz, “Just got to stay off the ground in the main event, and we will get a better result. Feeling a lot more confident now, I have to put myself up there and run with the top guys, and we will get a good result.”

Larry Brooks
“The night went fairly well with all the riders making it into the main event,” said Team Manager Larry Brooks. “All three 450 guys rode well. Ken Roczen almost won his heat race, had a slight issue, and finished 2nd place. He finished 4th in the main event. McElrath finished 16th place. He had to qualify through the LCQ. Chisholm made it straight through the main in his heat race. He finished in 17th place. Dilan Schwartz qualified out of his heat race, he had a little tip over in his main event, but he’s improving every weekend. I think the whole Suzuki team is getting better.”

The series heads back to Anaheim for the 3rd round of the 2023 SuperMotocross Championship series. Round 3 will feature the first triple crown of the series. This unique shortened three-main event format has us grinning from ear to ear. The racing starts on Saturday, with the first gate drop at 7 pm PST. You can catch all the action live on Peacock TV or follow us throughout the day via our social media channels.

MX Vice | Editor