Ken Roczen interview - Gaint Killer!!!
Interview Tuesday 20th September 2011 By Geoff Meyer
His mini dog fight with Ryan Villopoto in the second moto of the day was classic as the 250cc rider took on the AMA 450cc Champion and actually passed him a couple of times. Eventually a leg injury and fatigue from racing two motos in a row took over and Roczen had to back it down and finish fourth, while Villopoto rode well to climb up to third place.
We caught up with Roczen after the weekends racing and asked him about his weekend and what he expects as he turns his back on Europe and heads to America in October.
MXlarge: Ken, you really impressed everyone again with your speed. How did that first moto go for you?
Roczen: The first race was really good, I started good and came to third or fourth position, I could go even faster and I finally passed Dungey for second place. I felt really good after that second moto, to finish second was pretty good, I mean I couldn’t have asked for more, a podium spot that and was really good for me.
MXlarge: When it started raining you quickly made ground on both Dungey and Reed. You passed Dungey in the rain, but when it stopped raining you seemed to lose ground again. Did the rain help you?
Roczen: No actually not. Right before the race I thought should I take roll offs or tear offs and I took tear off’s and this isn’t good. I think everyone had goggle problems though.
MXlarge: I noticed in the second moto you seemed to have a problem early on, you looked a little uncomfortable?
Roczen: Second moto I felt good, made a good start, I was second or third and I could pass Paulin, but then I twisted my knee at the start of the race and also broke my goggles so I wasn’t that happy, and couldn’t push as hard as normal. I did have a good battle with Ryan Villopoto, he passed me, I passed him back, kind of cat and mouse, but a really good weekend.
MXlarge: To battle with both Dungey and Villopoto on a 250cc machine when those guys were on 450’s was pretty impressive, you must be super pumped about that?
Roczen: That is why I am happy, they are riding bigger bikes and for sure they are two of the best riders in the World and I was right there, that makes me happier than anything.
MXlarge: You have ridden the 350 KTM often, are there any thoughts of jumping straight into the bigger class for Motocross in America?
Roczen: I don’t mind, I want to go to America and see how that goes and I will ride the 250 in Supercross.
MXlarge: How did you get such good starts? I mean that is a long straight and its wide open even for the 450’s.
Roczen: I have been practicing a lot with starts with my American mechanic, and I also took a lot of holeshots at the GP’s. It’s also to do with my reaction and you have to know your bike and find a good technique for yourself.
MXlarge: How did you like the track?
Roczen: The track was way better than the Grand Prix, it was really rutted, but overall I think they did a really good job on the track. We had a lot of rain also, which made the ruts even bigger.
MXlarge: Can you compare this year’s MXoN with last year’s success story?
Roczen: Des Nations last years was totally different, bigger jumps and it was with an altitude so I couldn’t even compare 2010 with this year.
MXlarge: Did it concern you at all that Team USA went 1-1-1 and Blake Baggett beat you in the MX2 qualification race?
Roczen: I don’t care about Saturday, it was just a qualification race and it’s not the point’s race. I knew it would be different on Sunday and it was okay for me. I made a little mistake, but I am always better when there are points to be won.
MXlarge: Being that you have clearly been the fastest MX2 rider in both Colorado and France you must feel confident going to America?
Roczen: I don’t care about how I did against the American based guys, I mean we have Supercross before the Nationals and that is all together different. I will just go to America and try and settle in and see what happens.