(Madera, CA, Feb 6th, 2023) – The first round of the East Coast portion of the AMA Supermotocross series commenced this past weekend in Houston, Texas. Progressive Insurance Ecstar, Suzuki’s racer Ken Roczen #94 finished 8th after overcoming a challenging day of bike setup and track conditions.
Twisted Tea Suzuki, presented by Progressive Insurance racer Shane McElrath #12, took a step in the right direction with 15th place. Kyle Chisholm #11 crashed going for a transfer position and missed the main event. Marshal Weltin made his debut for Progressive ECSTAR Suzuki racing the East Coast rounds. Months removed from the bike coming off a knee injury, he aspired to make the main in Houston but fell short of his goal.
Ken Roczen #94: 5th in the Heat and 8th in the Main was not a reflection of the hard work and diligent training Ken has been putting forth. The Team spent the day looking for the perfect bike setup, and the results were less than expected at the night’s end.
“Today was tough on all of us,” said Ken Roczen, “I wasn’t feeling that comfortable on the track. We were trying a lot of different things with the bike that we’ve been struggling with for a while. Nonetheless, the Team has been giving it amazing effort, and everyone is on board. We are just trying really really hard, and tonight was not our night. We are going to go back to Florida this week to do some more work and getting back to it next weekend in Tampa.”
Shane McElrath #12: Solid day with 9th place heat race result and 15th place main event finish. It was a step in the right direction for Shane McElrath. Shane is making strides weekly as he continues to improve.
“Much better week all around,” said Shane McElrath. “We made some good changes on the bike this week. I ended up 15th tonight, but that doesn’t really show what we’ve been doing. I am really excited about the situation we are in and where we are headed, we have a lot of room to grow. The Team is working hard.”
Kyle Chisholm #11: Very close to being in the main event for Kyle Chisholm, but unfortunately, he missed it, going down trying to make the pass for the qualifying position just before the finish line. Expect to see Chisholm turn it around in Tampa.
“I didn’t ride well today,” said Kyle Chisholm. “I struggled on the track and didn’t have good practices, which led me to a bad gate pick. The start was important, being so short, and I didn’t get good starts which made it harder for me. I’m happy with the positives from today, though, we made some good bike changes, mainly suspension stuff, but we ended on a good setting. I’m going to take the positives from today and carry them into Tampa, which is a home race for me.”
Marshal Weltin #50: Months removed from the bike, coming off a knee injury, it was a rough first round for Weltin. Falling twice in his Heat, he was forced to race the Last Chance qualifier. A bad start in the LCQ added to Marshal’s difficulties; he could not achieve one of the four qualifying positions from the LCQ.
“I didn’t feel like I rode like myself today,” Marshal Weltin. “Coming off an ACL injury, I didn’t have a lot of prep going into this first round. It wasn’t for lack of effort from the Team. The bikes are great, and the Team has been awesome; supportive of everything. I must get to work this week and come back swinging for the next round.”
“We had some good moments tonight, but overall, it was a pretty rough night,” said Team Manager Larry Brooks. “With Ken Roczen, we struggled all day long with bike setup and different things like that, we tried to fix some things, but then other things popped up, so the best he could do was an 8th. You have to do what you can and move on. Shane McElrath finished 15th, he rode a bit better this weekend, but I know he’s a lot better than that, so I’m expecting more from him next weekend in Tampa. Kyle Chisholm didn’t make it, he was just out of a qualifying position in the LCQ and made a bit of a desperate pass that didn’t work, and he went down with another rider and didn’t quality. Marshal Weltin didn’t make it either. He was out quite a few months with a knee injury, so it was his first race back. It was a rough night, and he struggled, but I know it will get better for him.”
Both teams continue to forge ahead as the series continues East to Tampa, Florida. Racing will start at 4:00 PM PST this Saturday, February 11th, at Raymond James Stadium. You can catch all the action live on PEACOCK TV and follow along with us on race day through our social media channels.