(Madera, CA, May 16th, 2023) – Bittersweet round as the 2023 Monster Energy A.M.A. Supercross series came to a close in front of a sold-out crowd in Salt Lake City, Utah, this past Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Ken Roczen was off to a great start onboard his Progressive ECSTAR Suzuki RM-Z 450cc. It looked like a podium night with a win in his heat race. However, he came off the track early with an injured left knee in the main event. He did not return. Shane McElrath had an impressive ride with consecutive top-ten finishes in 7th place on his Twisted Tea/H.E.P. Suzuki presented by Progressive Insurance. Fellow teammate Kyle Chisholm was running in 5th before coming together with a lapped rider and going down. He finished the race in 14th place. Dilan Schwartz capped off his Supercross campaign with one of his best rides of the year with 13th place in this year’s final EAST/WEST shootout.
Ken Roczen #94: Dramatic ending to the 2023 Monster Energy A.M.A. Supercross series. Ken dabbed his foot in the opening lap of the main event. Concerned he had hurt his knee, he pulled off the track and did not return. Fortunately for Roczen and the team, he is okay with no major injuries.
“Overall, really good day here in Salt Lake City,” said Ken Roczen, “We were always up in the mix battling for a top spot. I had a great heat race, even the curveball with the rain that we got. Everything looked great. Even in the main, we got off to a decent start. I went around the third turn, dabbed my leg into the ground, and hyperextended it. Unfortunately, that ended my night. It kind of spooked me a little bit. I have never done anything to my knees. It was just hurting bad, but luckily it didn’t pop after all, it seems to be fine. It’s kind of a bummer to not finish third in the championship, but I had so much fun this year. I am keeping my head held high because we’ve been riding really well, have been solid on the bike, and having a lot of fun with the team. That’s what I am holding on to. I can’t wait to have a couple weeks off and start going to World Supercross Championships.”
Shane McElrath #12: Resilient effort from Shane McElrath. Despite not having the best start in the main event, Shane relentlessly worked through the field to finish strong in 7th place.
“Bittersweet wrapping up the season tonight,” said Shane McElrath, “I can’t believe the season is over. We have been working hard and really making progress. Time has flown, and we have been having fun. Tonight was a pretty good race for me. I ended up 7th after starting dead last. I’ve been trying to figure out my starts here with this altitude, and I didn’t have the same consistent starts that I had been having. So I was disappointed about that. I had to ride hard. I felt good on the track tonight. I made some really good passes and had to pass a lot of guys. It felt good to race and keep pushing to the end. It was overall a good race and a good season. It’s been fun, and I am thankful. I’m bummed to be parting ways with this team, but hopefully, we can figure something out in the future.”
Kyle Chisholm #11: Not the ending to the series “Chiz” wanted. Running in the top 5 of the main event, Kyle looked to be settled in with 5th place, but unfortunately, he came together with another rider and went down hard, losing multiple positions. He was able to recover and come away with 14th place.
“Bittersweet on the day,” said Kyle Chisholm. “I started off not feeling that good on the track, made a few changes to the bike, some small stuff, my bike was awesome. I just sucked on the track, I didn’t feel good; I couldn’t get a flow. I improved in the last qualifier and was a bit better. In the heat race, I nailed the start. I drifted a little bit wide and came away in third in the heat race, which is awesome. In the main event, I almost had the holeshot, I just slid out a little bit, but I was still able to come away with a good start. I was third for a while, got passed by a few guys, and was settling in with 5th place. It was unfortunate because I felt really good there and didn’t anticipate this lapper rolling a rhythm, so I landed on him. I went down pretty hard. I’m okay, just really sore. I was bummed, I wanted to be in the top 5, and I think we could have made it happen. It’s racing. I’m happy to finish the season off healthy, have a week off and get ready for the outdoors.
Dilan Schwartz #85: Strong finish to the series for the young 250cc West Coast rider. Dilan Schwartz had one of his best rides of the season in a race that saw a full field, with both the East and West Coast. In his heat race, he made a crucial pass in one of the final sections for a transfer position into the main event. He carried that momentum into the main event and came away with a 13th-place finish.
“It was a good round,” said Dilan Schwartz. “I felt like I rode better today for East/West Shootout. It took a little while to get going this season, but I am happy how it ended.”
“We did great in Salt Lake City,” said Team Manager Larry Brooks. “Ken Roczen had a rough main event. He stuffed his knee, and everything is fine. Kyle Chisholm finished 14th in the main event. He was up there in 3rd place for a long time. He dropped down to 5th and was riding pretty dang good, probably the best he has all year. Then he ran into another rider, tipped over, and finished 14th place. Shane McElrath, finished 7th. He has come a long way this year. He has made some huge improvements this season and finished it out strong. Dilan Schwartz finished 13th in the 250 main event in the East/West shootout, which is everyone from both coasts. It ended up being a good night for him, and I am proud of him. I am proud of my whole team; everyone has come a long way, from riders to mechanics. We brought this team up to a new level, and we are going to race for the championship next year.”
The series was one for the history books, from Ken Roczen signing back with Suzuki, a podium in Anaheim, winning in Indiana and now finishing tied for 3rd in the 450cc premier class championship. Shane McElrath completed his first entire 450 season, just shy of the top ten in points with 11th place overall. Kyle Chisholm finished the season in 15th place. The team takes a short break before reconvening on May 27th in Pala, California, for the 2023 Lucas Oil A.M.A. Pro Motocross Nationals opening round. You can find all the coverage of the Outdoor Nationals live on PEACOCK TV and can follow along with our riders and team 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.