Ken Roczen at AMA Supercross Series Round 06 at Glendale, AZ
© Garth Milan / Red Bull Content Pool
Motocross

AMA Supercross Round 6 Report: Roczen returns to the winners circle

Ken Roczen’s first win of 2024 in Glendale, AZ, moves him into a tie for 10th all-time.
By Chase Stallo
6 min readPublished on
Parity. That’s been the theme through the opening five rounds of the 2024 AMA Supercross Championship. The only repeat winner through the early portion of the season—Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence—didn’t even possess the points lead entering round six in Glendale, Arizona. The red plates belonged to defending 450 champion Red Bull KTM’s Chase Sexton, as he entered Saturday just one point ahead of Jett.
Chase Sexton at AMA Supercross Series Round 06 at Glendale, AZ

Chase Sexton at AMA Supercross Series Round 06 at Glendale, AZ

© Garth Milan / Red Bull Content Pool

The big news of the weekend actually happened during the week. During a practice session mid-week, Sexton crashed and entered the round 6 nursing a hand injury, which limited him throughout the day, as he finished a season-worst ninth place.
“I did what I could tonight to salvage points toward the championship after hurting my hand this week,” he said after the race. “The week was rough and I wasn't even sure that I'd be able to race this weekend, but we got through the day and I'm just grateful that we have a scheduled weekend off coming up next week, so that should really help the healing process a lot. The way the results went tonight, I didn't lose too many points, so I'm still right in the title fight."
While the points have never been closer through five rounds in the history of AMA Supercross, the big star of the night actually came from outside the early points chase. Progressive Ecstar Suzuki’s Ken Roczen controlled the 450 main event in Glendale from start to finish. He sliced through inside to grab the holeshot over Red Bull KTM’s Aaron Plessinger and Jason Anderson and held the early lead over the San Diego race winner.
Ken Roczen at AMA Supercross Series Round 06 at Glendale, AZ

Ken Roczen at AMA Supercross Series Round 06 at Glendale, AZ

© Garth Milan / Red Bull Content Pool

Just as things were settling in, Plessinger lost his front end while running in second and fell to outside the top 20. He clawed back to 10th on the night, but dropped significant points in the championship chase.
“I'm just really annoyed about dropping it in the main event,” said Plessinger. “I was riding good all day, holeshotted the heat race and then went wire-to-wire for the win. Entered the main feeling good, got a good start there too and was right behind Kenny [Roczen], putting the pressure on, and then had a bonehead move where I tucked the front. The field was still bunched up at that time, so I went back to P22 and came back to 10th. This one stings, but we’re still in the championship hunt heading into Arlington."
Roczen was never threatened after that and rode a flawless main event, leading all 20 laps, to capture his first win of the 2024 season. The victory was the 22nd of his career, moving him into a tie with Cooper Webb for 10th on the all-time AMA Supercross wins list.
Ken Roczen after his win at AMA Supercross Series Round 06 at Glendale, AZ

Ken Roczen after his win at AMA Supercross Series Round 06 at Glendale, AZ

© Garth Milan / Red Bull Content Pool

“I felt like a fish out of water all day,” said Roczen. “Compared to how I felt in Detroit, I’m actually surprised tonight went the way it did. But I did grow up racing on dirt like this. Jett would know what my dad’s track is like. It’s been a long time though, but maybe some things are burned into your brain a little bit.”
Anderson was a clear second to Roczen on the night with the best battle taking place for third. Eli Tomac and Jett Lawrence were left to battle it out for third, with the rookie making a pass on the two-time champion with around five minutes left to take the final spot on the podium.
“It was a cool accomplishment to catch and pass Eli,” said Jett. “So it was a cool accomplishment and just happy I was able to fight back to a podium position. [The] front boys, they were gone… so especially going similar speeds here you can’t catch up, you can’t give ‘em that extra gap. It was a good finish to get third, especially with how it started.”
Jett Lawrence at AMA Supercross Series Round 06 at Glendale, AZ

Jett Lawrence at AMA Supercross Series Round 06 at Glendale, AZ

© Garth Milan / Red Bull Content Pool

Tomac would hang on for fourth over Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence. The fifth place finish for Hunter is the best finish for the Australian in his young 450 career.
Behind his podium, Jett retakes the points lead as the series enters its first off weekend of the season. Through six rounds, 17 points separate seven riders with 11 rounds to go and there have been five different winners through six rounds.
With the trip back out west for round 6, the 250SX West Region returned to action with Jordon Smith and Levi Kitchen tied in points. And the two were up front early in the main event with Kitchen grabbing the holeshot over Smith. Smith quickly made his way into the lead but washed his front wheel on the start straight which allowed Kitchen and RJ Hampshire to battle for the top spot.
AMA Supercross Series Round 06 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ

AMA Supercross Series Round 06 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ

© Garth Milan / Red Bull Content Pool

Hampshire took the lead on lap 6 and never looked back as he led 11 laps to take second win of the season. Kitchen would take second ahead Jo Shimoda and Smith, who bounced back from another crash to take fourth.
“I got a decent start right behind those two right off the bat,” said Hampshire. “I just ended up finding myself in the lead pretty quick and then I heard the crowd go crazy. The gap was about five or six seconds from there. I was able to manage it, which I'm stoked that I'm able to do that right now. It was just a solid end to a tough day.”
The West Region now goes on hiatus until March 23, when the series resumes in Seattle, WA. The 250SX East Region returns at Arlington following the week off on Saturday, February 24.
01

450SX Results

  1. Ken Roczen
  2. Jason Anderson
  3. Jett Lawrence
  4. Eli Tomac
  5. Hunter Lawrence
  6. Dylan Ferrandis
  7. Cooper Webb
  8. Malcolm Stewart
  9. Chase Saxon
  10. Aaron Plessinger
02

250SX Results

  1. RJ Hampshire
  2. Levi Kitchen
  3. Jo Shimoda
  4. Jordon Smith
  5. Garrett Marchbanks
  6. Mitchell Oldenburg
  7. Julien Beaumer
  8. Phil Nicoletti
  9. Robbie Wageman
  10. Hunter Yoder
03

450SX Point Standings

  1. Jett Lawrence 117
  2. Chase Sexton 111
  3. Aaron Plessinger 108
  4. Cooper Webb 107
  5. Jason Anderson 106
  6. Ken Roczen 102
  7. Eli Tomac 100
  8. Dylan Ferrandis 93
  9. Hunter Lawrence 69
  10. Justin Barcia 63
04

250SX West Region Point Standings

  1. Levi Kitchen 106
  2. Jordon Smith 102
  3. RJ Hampshire 101
  4. Garrett Marchbanks 87
  5. Jo Shimoda 74
  6. Mitchell Oldenburg 67
  7. Anthony Bourdon 65
  8. Julien Beaumer 63
  9. Carson Mumford 58
  10. Hunter Yoder 56