ROCZEN THE STAR OF GP OF SPAIN
Ken Roczen, riding still battered and bruised from a big crash last weekend in Portugal completely dominated the MX2 GP of Spain in La Baneza with two superb victories to pick up 50 points and reclaim the red plate as championship leader.
Factory teammate Jeffrey Herlings, who briefly held the red plate after the last GP finished fourth overall after taking a 3-4 result in the two motos. Now Roczen has reclaimed it and put a six points advantage between him and Herlings.
But while 16-year-old Herlings seemed to struggle on Sunday, Roczen put in two stunning rides on the northern Spanish circuit, which was the shortest on the current competition. The young German rider left no doubt about his championship intentions on a track that was very difficult to pass, putting in two near perfect starts and going on to dominate the races. He allowed Kawasaki rider Tommy Searle to briefly take the lead in the second moto but only in the first lap and only for a few corners. Then Ken concentrated on putting as much distance between him and the rest of the field and finished the second moto an impressive 10.5 seconds ahead of his rivals.
Ken Roczen: “I came here in a lot of pain and it didn’t work out so well yesterday because I was still in a lot of pain but now we had some good days. I was really calm and riding smooth and this is what I needed. I finally won two motos and I made two mistakes. Now I will go back home to relax a bit because I want to come back strong in Sweden.”
Herlings the Dutch teenager indicated he was just out of sorts on the Spanish circuit and was unhappy to be relinquishing the red plate after his 3-5 finish. "I'm just happy I didn't lose too much in the championship. I know I have to work on my speed but maybe I was just tired. Now I am going to take a break and relax and have some fun," he said.
Claudio de Carli, the Red Bull Teka KTM MX1 Team Manager: “This was a very good weekend after last weekend when we all had a lot of worries about Ken Roczen after his bad crash in Agueda.”
The races provided thrills and spills for the enthusiastic crowd with many experienced riders battling the gnarly track and sliding on the banked loose earth on the sides of the track as they battled to overtake.
1, Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM 25-25-50
2, Tommy Searle, UK, Kawasaki
3, Gautier Paulin, France, Yamaha
4, Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, KTM 20-18-38
5, Arnaud Tonus, Switzerland, Yamaha
6, Nicolas Aubin, France, KTM
7, Joel Roelants, Belgium, KTM
10, Nick Triest, Belgium, KTM
11, Jake Nichols, UK, KTM
15, Jordi Tixier, France, KTM
17, Jose Butron, Spain, KTM
1, Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM, 301
2, Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, KTM, 295
3, Tommy Searle, UK, Kawasaki, 268
4, Gautier Paulin, France, Yamaha, 234
5, Zachary Osborne, USA, Yamaha, 213
8, Joel Roelants, Belgium, KTM, 166
10, Nicolas Aubin, France, KTM, 151
13, Jordi Tixier, France, KTM, 83
15, Jose Butron, Spain, KTM , 62
16, Nick Triest, Belgium, KTM, 56
17, Pascal Rauchenecker, Austria, KTM, 55
18, Jake Nichols, UK, KTM, 53
MX2 Manufacturers’ Standings
1, KTM, 344
2, Kawasaki, 290
3, Yamaha, 270