Three years ago, Ken Roczen found himself in a AMA Supercross victory lane for the second straight week, starting off the 2017 season with back-to-back wins.
Since then, the Germany native has suffered a compound fracture to his left arm and torn ligaments among other injuries that kept him away from his bike.
Even though Roczen had showed how dominant he could be before his injuries, once he came back to the sport, there was no guarantee that he would return to his pure form.
Saturday, however, showed he is at the very least – close.
SX: Ken Roczen back in Victory Lane at STL
Zach Osborne took the holeshot for the race as he was pressured right off the bat by Roczen and last week’s winner Justin Barcia.
It didn’t take long for positions to switch early, and it paid off big time to make moves early on.
Roczen would get into Osborne on the pass for the lead, forcing Osborne up the track to secure the top spot on the first lap.
“I ran it in there pretty hard, and sorry to Zach, but I just had to go,” Roczen said on the NBCSN broadcast. “I told my mechanic, ‘I just want to win so freakin’ bad.'”
The move was instrumental to getting Roczen the victory. The movement on the leaderboard didn’t fluctuate much.
Roczen and Barcia were both by Osborne early, but Roczen would pull away and win by a wide margin.
Behind them, Osborne was trying to avoid being left in the dust by the top contenders, holding off top qualifier Adam Cianciarulo for third place for a brief amount of time.
The battle would hold both of them up and open the door for 2018 champion Jason Anderson to get onto the podium spot.
Cianciarulo would eventually get by and be set for a solid finishing position, but for the second straight week, a late-race mistake cost the rookie a few spots on the track.
While Anderson tries to bounce back from his post-title season in 2020, Cooper Webb took a step back.
He finished outside of the top 10 and now sits 17 points out of first place.
Barcia remains in the top spot in points while Roczen is six points out of the lead. The full points can be found below.
“This has been a long time coming, and I still can’t believe it happened,” Roczen said after the race on NBCSN. “Never give up.”
|AMA SX 450 Point Standings|