Houston Supercross news, 450 Highlights video and photos from Simon Cudby below.
Red Bull KTM Factory rider Ken Roczen made a welcome return to the US Supercross Championship Podium on Saturday night in Houston’s Reliant Stadium when he finished third. Teammate Ryan Dungey made an impressive recovery from a first lap crash to finish seventh overall and salvaged important points in the championship hunt.
Dungey was up in the first 450 SX heat where he engaged in a six-lap, four-way battle for the win alongside James Stewart, Josh Grant and Justin Barcia. He was third at the start and gained a place on Stewart in lap two. Then he took the opposite line down the split section and together with Stewart got around Grant to move into the top two spots. The leading contenders remained a bike length apart as they battled to the checkered flag. Dungey crossed the line in second to advance to the main event.
Roczen was placed in the second heat and was at fifth after the start. He advanced into fourth in lap four at after leader Ryan Villopoto crashed and slipped past fellow KTM rider and holeshot winner Andrew Short on the final lap to finish third for his qualifying place in the main.
Roczen was a solid fifth at the first corner in the main event but quickly advanced to third place during the first lap. Behind him, Dungey had a poor jump off the start. He was buried back at eighteenth on the first lap, made contact with two other riders and crashed. He quickly scrambled back into the action but was right at the back of the pack.
Dungey spent the first half of the race moving up the order while turning lap times that were matching the lead riders. He was back in the top ten at the halfway mark and continued to pick off riders in the remaining laps to finish an impressive seventh at the end of the race.
Roczen was able to maintain his position to the checkered flag. He crossed the line in third to make a welcome return to the podium after an absence of four rounds. The German teenager is having an impressive debut season in the 450-class with both he and Dungey riding the KTM 450 SX-F Factory bike.
“It feels great to get back on the podium,” said Roczen. “I never was able to jump the quad that the lead riders were doing so I lost some time to them, but I am happy overall with the way I rode. I’m starting to test a lot more for outdoors coming up and I feel like it is making me stronger and will help me near the end of the season.”
“Unfortunately, I got a bad start and then came together with another rider on the opening lap which caused me to go down,” Dungey commented after the race. “I did my best to salvage what points I could riding from last to seventh by the end of the race. I’m disappointed how the race turned out but happy that I’m healthy and came away unscathed.”
Dungey and Roczen are currently 3-4 in the championship points with Dungey just one point away from second place.
The competition returns to the west coast next weekend for the next event at Seattle, WA – April 12, 2014
Overall 450-class results Rd. 14 Houston
1, Ryan Villopoto
2, Justin Barcia
3, Ken Roczen – KTM
4, Trey Canard
5, James Stewart
6, Andrew Short – KTM
7, Ryan Dungey – KTM
8, Mike Alessi
9, Eli Tomac
10, Chris Blose
Overall Point Standings –
1, Ryan Villopoto – 293
2, Stewart 248
3, Dungey 247
4, Roczen 235
5. Barcia 198