Germany's Ken Roczen clinches 450 class motocross title at Miller Motorsports Park
TOOELE — The trip across the ocean to compete away from his family and friends seems to have worked out just fine for Germany's Ken Roczen.
Roczen entered Saturday's final leg of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Miller Motorsports Park as the points leader of the 450MX class. After competing in two races in front of close to 19,500 fans, Roczen sealed the season points title.
"I've put in a lot of work and it's great to see it (pay) off," Roczen said. "My dream was to come over to America to race ... so to win this in front of my parents and family is an amazing experience."
Roczen entered Saturday's races with a 20-point lead in the overall standings and finished third and fourth in two races to secure the seasonlong title with 532 points. Ryan Dungey (Waconia, Minnesota), Roczen's teammate, finished second with 518 and Trey Canard (Edmond, Oklahoma) third with 468.
Despite holding a comfortable lead heading into Saturday's final event, the carefree and casual Roczen admitted to experiencing some nerves.
"It was a weird feeling," Roczen said. "I haven't really been nervous, but when I came to the gate ... it was hard to put what was at stake out of your mind and tell yourself it's just another race because it isn't."
Despite the nerves, Roczen ran a steady race — easily securing motocross' ultimate prize for his class.
Pretty good for his first year racing in the 450 class after coming over to America following plenty of success in Europe.
"Everyone's dream in Europe is to come over here and compete," Roczen said. "So to be able to do this really is a dream come true."
The winner of both races Saturday for the 450 class was Canard, who won by 6.9 seconds over Dungey in the first race and by 7.9 seconds again over Dungey in the second.
"It was a great way to finish the season," Canard said. "I'm real excited and feel the team is moving in the right direction right now. I had a lot of fun today and feel it gives me good momentum entering next season."
The second-place finisher in both races and in season points, Dungey agreed with Canard's sentiments.
"A lot of things had to go right to win the outright championship today, but we knew it was a long shot. But you know what? We're excited," Dungey said. "We got off to a slow start, but made up a lot of ground and I'm real happy for Ken. He raced hard all year long and deserves it."
Both 250 class races were won by Jeremy Martin (Millville, Minnesota), who also took down the season points championships with 500 total points. Second in season points was Blake Baggett (421) followed by Cooper Webb (419.)
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