AMA Supercross

Ken Roczen and Christian Craig Break Through To Win In Phoenix

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Posted:

RCH Soaring Eagle /Jimmy John's/Suzuki Factory Racing's Ken Roczen captured his first win of the 2016 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, at the first-ever race from University of Phoenix Stadium in front of 53,055 fans.

BTO Sports/WPS/KTM's Davi Millsaps won his second SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award before Roczen passed him for the lead on the opening lap. Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac, who started fourth, took over third place on the opening lap and advanced to second place on Lap 2, dropping Millsaps to third.

Team Honda HRC's Cole Seely passed Millsaps for third on Lap four, while pints leader coming into the round Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey, positioned himself inside the top five after a bad start on Lap three before moving around Seely for third on Lap five when the Honda rider stalled his bike.

On Lap 15 Dungey passed Tomac for second, where he would eventually finish behind race winner Ken Roczen by just over four-seconds.

Tomac held on for third, with Anderson working his way to fourth position after a bad start while Millsaps held on for a top five finish, finishing fifth.

Roczen took the checkered flag over four seconds ahead of Dungey, while Tomac held on for third place.

Roczen win was the fifth SX class win of his career, winning two each of his first two seasons in the 450SX Class. It was his first win since the second race in Anaheim in January of the 2015 season, 18 races ago. Roczen missed the final eight races of last season with injury.

"We have been working really hard and it paid off," said Roczen. "This was a tough track tonight. We got the job done."

Despite having his three-race win streak come to an end, Dungey's podium streak dating back to last season when he won the 450SX Class title now sits at 21 races. That's also the same points advantage he now holds over Roczen in the championship standings.

"I made some good, clean passes after that bad start," said Dungey. "I made passes where I could and had a great race."

Dungey now has a 21 point lead in this years championship race over Roczen with Anderson a further five points back in third.

Australia's Chad Reed slipped to fourth in the points standings after a sixth place finish in today's main event. The Factory Yamaha rider qualified straight through to the main event from his heat race but looked to struggle early on in the main event on the fast paced, slick track falling as far back as 7th at one stage before re-passing Marvin Musquin for 6th.

Fellow Australian Lawson Bopping rebounded from a crash during qualifying to carry his DPH Yamaha to win in the LCQ after just missing qualifying directly out of both his heat and main event.

Another solid main event for Bopping had him cross the finish line in 16th position recording his best Monster Energy Supercross finish to-date.
Fresh out of retirement, Craig was able to win the first race of his career - Credit: Simon Cudby
In the Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event, GEICO Honda's Jimmy DeCotis picked up his second SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award of the year, leading his teammate Craig through the first turn.

Craig made the pass for lead shortly thereafter. Defending Western Regional 250SX Class Champion Cooper Webb, who rides for the Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha, started in seventh and made his way into the top three by the second lap and then moved into second place on Lap 3.

Points leader and last week's winner Joey Savatgy put his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki into third place on Lap 5 after starting eighth. On Lap 9 while attempting a pass for the lead, Webb crashed but did not lose any positions, remounting right in front of Savatgy.

Craig crossed the line nearly three-seconds ahead of Webb to join the Monster Energy Supercross win ranks with his dad, Mike Craig. Webb finished second, rebounding from a career-worst 21st-place finish last weekend, with Savatgy third.

"To come out of retirement and get my first win ever is amazing," said Craig, who last raced full time in 2013. "On the last lap the crowd was so loud; it was awesome."

Webb and Savatgy now share the points lead at 98. Craig moved into third place, 11 points out of the lead.

"I didn't get a great start so I was playing catch up," said Webb. "Then I crashed and threw away any hopes of getting the win."

For Australian Hayden Mellross the day once again started on a positive note, qualifying his 51Fifty Energy Drink Yamaha YZ250F into 14th positions, marking his best qualification performance so far this season.

Another great start in his heat race had Mellross battling at the front of the field early before easily qualifying straight into the nights main event.

Once again putting his Yamaha up front at the start of the main, Mellross held a top ten position for the first half of the race before slipping back to 11th just after the mid way point. Looking like he would record his best result of the season with just one lap remaining, Mellross crashed in the whoop section, remounting and finishing the race in 15th position and now sits, 15th in the 250 West standings.

Action resumes next Saturday night with the second Monster Energy Supercross race at San Diego's Petco Park on Saturday, February 13.
Ken Roczen (middle), Ryan Dungey (right) and Eli Tomac rounded out the podium in Glendale - Credit: Simon Cudby
450SX Class Results
1. Ken Roczen - Suzuki RM-Z450
2. Ryan Dungey - KTM 450 SX-F Factory
3. Eli Tomac - Kawasaki KX 450F
4. Jason Anderson - Husqvarna FC450
5. David Millsaps - KTM 450 SX-F Factory
6. Chad Reed - Yamaha YZ450F
7. Justin Brayton - KTM 450 SX-F Factory
8. Cole Seely - Honda CRF 450
9. Marvin Musquin - KTM 450 SX-F Factory
10. William Hahn - Kawasaki KX 450F
16. Lawson Bopping - Yamaha YZ450F

450SX Class Championship Standings
1. Ryan Dungey - 119 pts
2. Ken Roczen - 98 pts
3. Jason Anderson - 93 pts
4. Chad Reed - 90 pts
5. Eli Tomac - 88 pts
6. Cole Seely - 83 pts
7. Marvin Musquin - 63 pts
8. David Millsaps - 61 pts
9. Justin Brayton - 61 pts
10. Jacob Weimer - 53 pts
21. Lawson Bopping - 13 pts
A good start was key at tonight's first-ever race at the University of Phoenix Stadium - Credit: Simon Cudby
Western Regional 250SX Class Results
1. Christian Craig - Honda CRF
2. Cooper Webb - Yamaha YZ250F
3. Joey Savatgy - Kawasaki KX 250F
4. Mitchell Oldenburg - KTM 250 SX-F
5. Colt Nichols - YZ250F
6. Chris Alldredge - Kawasaki KX 250F
7. Alex Martin - Yamaha YZ250F
8. Kyle Cunningham - Suzuki RM-Z250
9. James Decotis - Honda CRF 250
10. Kyle Peters - Honda CRF 250
15. Hayden Mellross - Yamaha YZ250F

Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
1. Cooper Webb - 98 pts
2. Joey Savatgy - 98 pts
3. Christian Craig - 87 pts
4. Colt Nichols - 81 pts
5. Zach Osborne - 74 pts
6. James Decotis - 71 pts
7. Mitchell Oldenburg - 66 pts
8. Kyle Peters - 62 pts
9. Jordon Smith - 61 pts
10. Kyle Cunningham - 54 pts
16. Hayden Mellross - 29 pts

For Full Round Results - CILCK HERE

Top Image: Roczen captured his first win of 2016 tonight.

Credit: Simon Cudby

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