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Ken Roczen details dramatic win and difficult decisions on Title 24 podcast

Title 24, NBC Sports’ new podcast with Supermotocross champions Ricky Carmichael and Ryan Villopoto hosting, welcomed their first guest on Wednesday, March 14 as Ken Roczen detailed his emotional win in Indianapolis. It was the first Supercross (SX) win for the 2016 and 2021 runner-up in the stadium series since he won the SX season-opener last year at Anaheim. Title 24 is available on all major podcast services and on the Motorsports on NBC YouTube channel.

Roczen Title 24

Ken Roczen knew his Suzuki was capable of winning at the start of the Indy race because it has good bones. - Feld Motor Sports

“What a story it was for the team and for Suzuki and for me personally,” Roczen told Carmichael. “I’m so glad I was able to accomplish so many cool things throughout my career.

“I may not have championships after championships, but there were moments that are truly special that only very few people can get. I was so speechless afterward and that race, for some reason, was at the very top of my list.”

The 2022 season ended in stark contrast to how it began with his worst performance in five years. After finishing outside of the top five in seven of his last eight rounds in the stadium series and being well down the points’ standings in ninth, he decided to put that season on hold. Roczen said during a news conference at the beginning of the season that he urgently needed change.

“Last year I got one win,” Roczen said on this week’s Title 24 podcast. “I had a really rough year and it wasn’t good for me mentally, physically or anything. I was in a pretty bad spot actually. So that’s why [this win] was so emotional for me.”

Part of Roczen’s change was a risky move to the H.E.P. Motorsports Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team.

On a bike that had not been ultra-competitive for many years, Roczen knew from his first test session that the Suzuki had good bones even if there was a lot of work to do.

Roczen’s skill carried the bike in the opening rounds as he put in testing sessions that lasted until nightfall. He finished eighth or better in seven of the first eight rounds and stood on the podium once in the Anaheim Triple Crown race. Roczen failed to win one of those features, but consistently finished second, third and fourth.

SX Indy 2023 Ken Roczen hugs competitors

Emotion surrounding Ken Roczen’s first win in more than a year spilled over into his fellow rivals after Round 9 in Indianapolis. - Feld Motor Sports

“For some reason that one last Saturday night was something I’ve been dreaming of for these last few months,” Roczen said. “Obviously, I had a super-tough year last year. I made a big decision to go to the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team.

“It was just an underdog story. We had so many eyes on us and to be able to finally pull it off after the amount of hours and work that we put in, it was so special and that is exactly what everyone felt Saturday night.”

Roczen wasn’t the only rider in the field to feel the flood of emotions. After the checkered flag waved, runner-up Justin Barcia stopped next to him on the track to embrace Roczen. That set off a flood of riders lining up to congratulate Roczen.

Sitting fifth in the Supercross points standings, the win also puts Roczen back into the championship conversation after stumbles by Eli Tomac and Chase Sexton closed the gap between Roczen and the top three.