Red Bull Moto Spy

Moto Spy Rant: Roczen and Dungey Rookie Parallels

Moto Spy examines the curious similarities between Ken’s and Ryan's rookie seasons on their 450s.
Ken Roczen leads the charging Ryan Dungey © Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool
By Red Bull Moto Spy

Ken Roczen is having a dream of a 2014 AMA National series, and he's on his way to a championship in his first season ever on the 450. The last time that happened? Back in 2010, by none other than Ken's Red Bull KTM teammate Ryan Dungey. And what's more, their seasons are playing out in eerily similar fashion. Let's compare:

First of all, both racers dominated at Red Bud, which is a good indicator that the championship is in their grasp. After six rounds, the blocks are starting to fall into place and the guys who are killing it tend to continue killing it.

At the halfway point in the season, Ken has 280 points, while Ryan had 268 in 2010. A perfect season thus far would yield 300 points, so each is/was doing pretty damn well. Imagine bowling a 280 or 268 -- you’re probably not going to be upset about it. 

Ryan, however, already had a 64-point lead at this point in 2010, while Ken is only 26 points ahead of his closest competitor, who happens to be Ryan Dungey. Most will agree that the competition in 2014 is a bit more stacked. Ken is dealing with the likes of Dungey, James Stewart, Trey Canard, and now Eli Tomac.

One rider you'll notice missing from that list is the supercross champion, Ryan Villopoto. Villopoto was a favorite to win the outdoor championship in 2010 as well as 2014, but leg injuries have plagued him in each of those seasons.

After Red Bud, each rider sits/sat just ahead of a teammate from their previous season. Dungey was leading Chad Reed in points in 2010, who was his teammate at factory Suzuki in 2009 before Reed switched to Kawasaki in 2010. Ken, of course, was teammates with Dungey at Red Bull KTM in 2013 (and still is in 2014).

Ken Roczen at the 2014 Hangtown AMA Motocross race
Ken quickly got around Dungey and into the lead © Garth Milan/Red Bull Content Pool

Ken has six moto wins so far this season, whereas Ryan had eight at this point in 2010. Ken's worst moto finish is a third, of which he only has one. He has finished in the top two in the other eleven motos. Ryan -- his struggles at round one (10-6 motos) notwithstanding -- also only had one third-place finish, as well as one second, winning the other eight motos.

And the playfully strange fact of this rant: After round six in 2014, Ken’s closest competitors in the championship are Dungey and Trey Canard, who were teammates at the 2010 Motocross of Nations. After round six in 2010, Dungey's closest competitors were Chad Reed and Brett Metcalfe, who will almost definitely be teammates at the 2014 Motocross of Nations.

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