(Madera, CA, May 1st, 2023) – The 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series returned to Nashville for the first time in four years. The energy was all time with a rowdy crowd that packed the fan fest and stands of Nissan Stadium. Ken Roczen podiumed for the third straight weekend aboard his Progressive ECSTAR Suzuki. Fellow RM-Z Suzuki rider Kyle Chisholm had a season-best 9th place finish on his Twisted Tea/H.E.P. Suzuki presented by Progressive Insurance. Making it another stellar weekend for Pipes Motorsports Group/HEP Motorsports with two riders in the top ten of the 450cc premier class racing an RM-Z 450 Suzuki. Shane McElrath was forced to retire early from the main event with a bike issue, and 250cc East Coast Rider Marshal Weltin missed the main event with a crash in his heat race and last-chance qualifier.
Ken Roczen #94: Three podiums in three weeks. It was, again, a remarkable performance and a resilient effort from Ken Roczen. Overcoming a difficult first few laps to the main event, Ken was in 7th, going into lap two. He raced smart and worked his way through the pack, and midway through the race, Roczen was in podium position, maintaining 3rd through lap riders and challenging track conditions. He finished the race on the podium in 3rd place and moved into 4th place in series points.
“Overall, really good day here,” said Ken Roczen, “we had two completely different conditions from pretty wet and super tacky to dry and rutty; it was just a super gnarly track, and it collected a lot of people. My start in the main event was horrible. The first couple of laps were absolutely horrible. I made a lot of mistakes and went backward then I kind of worked my way up from there. I wasn’t really riding that great, to be honest. Once I found myself in third, I had so far to go to the front and had a gap in the back. I was being smart with the track being super sketchy and brought it home in third for the team. The podium is good. You have to keep it rubber side down, we may have got a little bit lucky with some things tonight, but it was tough out there. We made it happen and were back on the podium. I’m looking forward to the last couple of rounds and finishing out strong.”
Shane McElrath #12: Bummer day for Shane McElrath. In the main event, an unresolvable bike issue occurred, which forced him to retire from the race 15 laps into the race
“Today was a pretty tough day,” said Shane McElrath, “the track was definitely really technical, the conditions were tough, it was really hard-pack, and at the same time, the ruts were super grabby. I struggled during the day, but I raced pretty good in my heat race. In the main, I had a bit of a bike issue and struggled with the track, which cut our race short. It was really nobody’s fault. It’s a bummer for myself and the team, but sometimes these things happen. We will regroup and work on some things to be ready for the last two.”
Kyle Chisholm #11: Strong race from the veteran Kyle Chisholm. He put himself in a good position throughout the day, from qualifying in 12th to his heat race 5th place finish. Kyle continued to have a good night in the main event. It was a season-best for him with 9th place.
“Good day, and really nice to be back in Nashville,” said Kyle Chisholm. “We haven’t been back here since 2019, and that was when I was riding for this team. I had a good heat race and got a good pick for the main. In the main, I ripped my start, and I came out pretty good, and I tried to push the first few laps to put myself in a good position. I ended up 9th, so top ten. I’m pumped with that. Going to try and do it again these next two weekends.”
Marshal Welton #50: Disappointing round from Marshal missing the main event. Expect to see him turn it around next Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I was happy with how I was riding during the day,” said Marshal Welton. “I just couldn’t quite execute in the heat races and the last-chance qualifier. I wanted it, and I just rode tight in the races. The track was good for all my races. I didn’t make it to the main with the mud. I was bummed I wasn’t able to race it. I’m ready to fight next weekend.”
“We had a good night in Nashville,” said Team Manager Larry Brooks. “Roczen rode really good in his heat. He finished 3rd in the main event and moved to 4th in the series points. I’m really happy with how he rode and came back into the 4th position in points. Kyle Chisholm did great; he finished 5th in his heat race and 9th in the main, which is his best finish this year. Shane McElrath had a bike issue which breaks my heart. I hate when stuff like that happens. Sometimes these motorcycles break; they are only metal and parts. I think he’s fine. He’s going to be okay; just a bit of a bummer. Weltin didn’t ride to his potential tonight; he didn’t qualify. He had a big crash in his heat and just wasn’t very good in the last-chance qualifier and didn’t qualify. The team is doing pretty well, and we are getting stronger as the year progresses.”
Only two rounds remain of the 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series. The team heads to Denver, Colorado, for the 16th round. Ken Roczen looks to continue his podium streak and make it four in a row. Racing starts at 6:00 PM PST. You can catch all the action live on PEACOCK TV and follow along with us on race day through our social media channels.
TWISTED TEA/ HEP SUZUKI: Twisted Tea Hard Iced Tea, Suzuki Motor of America, INC. (SMAI), Progressive Insurance, ECSTAR, FLY Racing, Western Power Sports (WPS), Mayhem Wheels, Dixxon Flannel Co, Pro Circuit, Twisted Development, SKDA Graphics, WD-40 Brand, DID, Dunlop, JE Pistons, Hinson Clutch Components, Mika Metals, DT1 Air Filters, Nissin Brake Components, Galfer Brakes, Acerbis, Boyesen, GUTS Factory Seats, Motion Pro, Matrix Concepts, Alpinestars, 100%, OGIO, Works Chassis Lab, Works Connection, Scar, ARC Levers, CV-4, Crank Works, XTRIG, Midland Tractor, Showa, record7.
Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki: Progressive Insurance, Suzuki Motor of America, INC. (SMAI), ECSTAR, FLY Racing, Western Power Sports (WPS), Mayhem Wheels, Dixxon Flannel Co, Pro Circuit, Renthal, Twisted Development, SKDA Graphics, WD-40 Brand, DID, Dunlop, JE Pistons, Hinson Clutch Components, DT1 Air Filters, Nissin Brake Components, Galfer Brakes, Acerbis, Boyesen, GUTS Factory Seats, Motion Pro, Matrix Concepts, Alpinestars, 100%, OGIO, Works Chassis Lab, Works Connection, Scar, ARC Levers, CV-4, Crank Works, XTRIG, Midland Tractor, Showa, record7.