Ken Roczen Storms to Top-Five at Anaheim Supercross Opener

Suzuki Racers Launch Into the 2023 Supercross Season

BREA, CA, January 10, 2023 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) –  Ken Roczen had the Angel Stadium of Anaheim crowd on its feet with a thrilling main event ride on his Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen ran with the leaders all night and started the 17-round Monster Energy Supercross season with a solid top-five result.

BarX Suzuki’s Derek Drake used a top-five heat race result to set up a strong main event performance on his Suzuki RM-Z250. Drake’s new BarX Suzuki teammate Robbie Wageman was smooth and consistent on his Suzuki RM-Z250, and BarX’s third rider, Ty Masterpool, holeshot and led the 250 class LCQ in his debut performance on his BarX Suzuki RM-Z250.

Dilan Schwartz did battle on his first ride with the Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki RM-Z250 squad, and Shane McElrath and Kyle Chisholm both showed promising speed as they debuted their Twisted Tea Suzuki presented by Progressive Insurance RM-Z450s

Ken Roczen (94)

Ken Roczen (94) with a solid showing back aboard his RM-Z450 at Anaheim 1.

A strong second-place finish in his heat race set Ken Roczen and his Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki RM-Z450 up for a wild, dramatic, and impressive ride in the 450-class main event. Roczen had a great jump off the gate and exited the first corner in second. A thrilling opening-lap battle had him back and forth in a fight for the lead. Four minutes into the 20-minute plus two-lap race, Roczen once again put his RM-Z450 into the second-place position and set his sights once again on the lead.

The TV commentators outlined Roczen’s return to Suzuki after an off-season motorcycle tryout with several brands, ultimately choosing the rock-solid RM-Z450; returning to the machine that he’s seen the most professional success on, the Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen was on either the attack or defense for every lap of an exciting and satisfying opening-round race. He crossed the checkers in the top five and is looking ahead to an outstanding season with Suzuki.

“Our weekend at Anaheim was a fun one, but a very gnarly one,” said Ken Roczen right after the race. “We’ve had a lot of rain here lately on the west coast so the track for the first race was very unique, very difficult, and quite possibly one of the gnarliest supercross tracks that I’ve ever ridden. Overall, I’m stoked to get away with a top-five. We didn’t blow anything out of the water, and we didn’t do the absolute greatest, but at the same time we have something strong to build on and I’m super stoked about it. Most importantly, we didn’t crash all day and we got out of here healthy; we saw a lot of real bad crashes and we were able to keep it rubber side down and that was very important to us to keep building.”

Derek Drake (53)

After a solid qualifying Derek Drake (53) goes straight into the
main event with a top-five finish in his heat race

Derek Drake led the BarX Suzuki team with a top-five start and finish in his heat race for a direct transfer to the main. Unfortunately, a challenging start in the main event put Drake at the tail end of the pack. He twisted the throttle on his Suzuki RM-Z250 and passed nine riders before the race’s midpoint to salvage good points on the night.

“It was nice to get A1 behind us,” Drake commented. “There is a lot of improvement to be made and I’m confident we can reach it. All in all, it was a good night, and we are ready to fight next weekend.”

Robbie Wageman started the evening’s racing with a quick climb into a qualifying position in his heat race. He and his BarX Suzuki RM-Z250 were on the move in the main event, fighting forward in the early laps. Wageman put in consistent laps to hold his position on a rutted track that reached up and bit several other riders throughout the night.

Robbie Wageman (59)

In his debut, Robbie Wageman (59) had a solid first Anaheim 1 aboard his RM-Z250.

“It was a rough start to the main event, but we made our way through the pack,” said Wageman. “I’m happy to make it out of the first round safe. Onwards and upwards from here. My Suzuki was working great all day and I can’t wait for next weekend!”

After showing strong speed for a direct transfer to the main, Schwartz’s performance in the 250-class main event didn’t demonstrate his 2023 speed. Schwartz navigated the technical track to put his Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki RM-Z250 into the points and hinted at strong supercross finishes ahead this season.

“The track shaped up pretty well for the night show,” added Dilan Schwartz. “I felt comfortable but we’re just dealing with some little things that held us back. But we’re going to get it sorted and come out swinging next weekend.”

Dilan Schwartz (85)

Dilan Schwartz (85) showed good speed to get valuable points for the 250 West championship.

Ty Masterpool’s first ride with the BarX Suzuki team had him conserving energy as he was still recovering from the flu. Masterpool finished his heat race one spot away from a direct transfer position. He bounced back with a holeshot in the 250 class LCQ. He kept his Suzuki RM-Z250 up front until the final laps when a simple mistake cost him not only the win, but a transfer into the main event.

“I am battling Type A flu so I just did the best I could with the cards I was dealt,” Masterpool explained after the event.

Ty Masterpool (81)

With the flu, Ty Masterpool (81) nearly made the main event
through the LCQ, but a small mistake cost him. 

Shane McElrath’s debut ride with the Twisted Tea Suzuki RM-Z450 saw him clawing forward in his heat race to miss a transfer position by only one spot. In the LCQ, McElrath got pinched off entering the first turn with thick mud at the edge of the track catching his wheel and ending his night with a crash.

“Honestly, for me, I just mentally didn’t show up ready to race. It took me too long throughout the day to get to that point,” McElrath reflected. “I’m a little banged up but it’ll be all good. We’ll just keep moving forward and I’m going to be fully prepared next weekend.”

Shane McElrath (12)

Shane McElrath (12) looking to bounce back in Oakland after a big get off in the LCQ.

Kyle Chisholm had his Twisted Tea Suzuki RM-Z450 in a qualifying position in heat one but couldn’t hold the spot to the checkers. Chisholm opted out of the LCQ and will come back strong at round two.

“I’ve been under the weather for the last couple of weeks and then something hit me hard the last few days. I’m not able to keep any food or water in me.” Chisholm then told of his night, “I tried to get out there in the heat race and see what I could do. This was my first race with the new team, and they did great and gave me a great bike. With how bad I’m feeling, I’m pretty happy with where we’re at, and excited to I know we’ll be able to keep improving.”

Kyle Chisholm (11)

After battling some sickness, Kyle Chisholm (11) tried his best to get
valuable data aboard the RM-Z450.

“I thought the night went well,” said HEP Motorsports Team Manager Larry Brooks. “Roczen put in a good performance. I thought the bike worked well and was not too far off; testing at the track is never the same as at the races. All your weak points show at that first race of the year, but fifth place is a good starting point. As far as the other guys, Chiz was sick, so he was really just out of it all day. Shane crashed so we really didn’t get a chance to see him race and as for Dilan, he’s a young rider making rookie mistakes. He’ll catch on, it’s only a matter of time.”

“We were on point as a team and our Suzuki’s were ready to go for round one,” said Buddy Antunez, BarX Suzuki Team Manager. “Derek did a great job of dialing in his Suzuki and himself all day. His riding ability did not match his result on the evening. Robbie was happy with his riding coming out of qualifying, but from the gate drop of heat two he never got going. He’s capable of so much more, and Ty had a couple of crashes that held him back from making the main.”

The Suzuki racers earned points not only for the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross season, but also for the inaugural SuperMotocross World Championship that ties together 31-rounds that incorporate the supercross and motocross seasons, two Playoff rounds, and an SMX World Championship event.

The racers and teams now travel north to RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland, California for round two of both the Supercross season and the SMX World Championship series. The weather shows rain, which offers different challenges and opportunities for all the riders. The Suzuki teams are ready for anything the supercross track will present.

For more team news, and the latest from the Supercross season and SMX World Championship series, please visit and

Photos by BrownDogWilson Photography

About Suzuki:

Suzuki Motor USA, LLC (SMO) distributes Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Accessories, and ECSTAR Oils & Chemicals via an extensive dealer network throughout 49 states. Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), based in Hamamatsu, Japan, is a diversified worldwide manufacturer of Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Automobiles, Outboard Motors, and related products. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, SMC has business relations with 201 countries/regions. For more information, visit

Source: Suzuki Motor USA, LLC

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Pilot Season for FIM World Supercross Championship culminates in Melbourne where four Champions will be Crowned

Pilot Season for FIM World Supercross Championship culminates in Melbourne where four Champions will be Crowned


Germany’s Ken Roczen and American Vince Friese To Battle It Out For WSX (450cc Class) Championship Australian Aaron Tanti Looks To Upstage American Shane McElrath And Make History In The First Australian Grand Prix By Bringing Home The SX2 (250cc Class) Championship

AUSTRALIA – October 21, 2022 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – The FIM World Supercross Championship descends into Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia on October 22nd for the culmination of its pilot season with the Australian Grand Prix. History will be made as four FIM World Champions will be crowned, with the WSX, SX2, Team, and Manufacturer championships all up for grabs.

The WSX Class Championship will be headlined by a battle between Germany’s iconic Honda Genuine rider, Ken Roczen, and hard-charging American, Vince Friese, riding for MotoConcepts Honda. Both riders are in prime position to take home the title of FIM World Champion with several other 450 riders in the mix looking to spoil Roczen and Friese’s chances. Round one wildcard, Eli Tomac – who dominated Cardiff sweeping all three main event heats – will not be heading to Australia, leaving the Championship fight between Roczen and Friese – with just three points separating the two riders.

Within striking distance of the WSX Championship is is Honda’s Justin Brayton, just eight points off the lead, and American CDR Yamaha rider Josh Hill – who has won rounds of the Australian Supercross Championship in the past – sitting 17 points out heading into Melbourne.

The Melbourne event had looked to be a dramatic homecoming for Chad Reed after coming out of retirement at the age of 40 for this year’s pilot season. Unfortunately for Reed, the British Grand Prix proved catastrophic when a fuel pump failure on his MDK Motorsport KTM threw him off-track during his heat race, resulting in a dislocated shoulder, broken hand, and broken ribs. Having already returned to Australia, Reed underwent surgery this week and is expected to make a full recovery.

In addition to Reed, MDK Motorsports rider Josh Grant was injured in Cardiff and will also be out for the final round in Melbourne. As a result of the two injuries, Australian replacement riders Joel Wightman and Jackson Richardson will race for MDK Motorsports in Melbourne.

Although Australian legend Chad Reed is out of action for this weekend’s event, fellow countryman and Aaron Tanti has a chance to make history. The Craig Dack Racing rider and local favorite comes into Melbourne just eight points behind SX2 points leader, Shane McElrath, riding for Rick Ware Racing.  Tanti’s local storyline aside, the SX2 Championship battle will be intense with Americans Chris Blose and Mitchell Oldenberg only one and two points back of McElrath respectively.

221021 WSX_Cardiff_Day2_Immediate-Selects_PatrickCartwright-2-V2

The FIM World Supercross Championship pits 10 licensed teams from Australia, America, Italy, and France against each other, including NASCAR and IndyCar team owner, Rick Ware and two Australian teams – Honda Genuine and Craig Dack Racing. Each team fields two riders in both the WSX and SX2 classes.

Joining the 40 licensed team riders are two local wildcards in each category, with Melbourne’s WSX additions being led by South Australian KTM veteran, Brett Metcalfe. The multiple-time Australian Champion will compete against the best in the world from America, Germany, France, Italy, and Sweden. Joining him as a Melbourne wildcard is 26-year-old Aussie young gun, Kyle Webster. The SX2 Australian Grand Prix wildcards, Rhys Budd and Nathan Crawford, are a duo that has been at the top of their game in Australian motocross and Supercross competition.

While the WSX Australian Grand Prix Round takes place on Saturday, the supercross action at Marvel Stadium gets underway on Friday, with the first round of the Australian Supercross Championship, along with the first practice round for WSX Australian Grand Prix.

The weekend’s high-flying supercross and freestyle motocross action will be supported by leading Australian recording artists – Peking Duk (Friday) and Bliss N Eso (Saturday). Fans will get the chance to meet their heroes during autograph sessions on Friday from 4 p.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m.-1 p.m.

Tickets are available now at and for more information on the FIM World Supercross Championship, visit or follow the WSX Championship on Facebook and Instagram.

Source: SX Global Pty Ltd.



Perfect Tomac Wins Inaugural World Supercross Championship Grand Prix

Perfect Tomac Wins Inaugural World Supercross Championship Grand Prix, which took place in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium today.

Perfect Tomac Wins Inaugural World Supercross Championship Grand Prix, which took place in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium today.

Perfect Tomac Wins Inaugural World Supercross Championship Grand Prix, which took place in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium today.

Perfect Tomac Wins Inaugural World Supercross Championship Grand Prix, which took place in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium today.


Tomac makes history by winning the first ever FIM World Supercross Championship Grand Prix SX2 overall victory goes to Shane McElrath Highs and lows for…

SX2 overall victory goes to Shane McElrath

Highs and lows for home hero Anstie who missed overall podium despite heat and main event victories

AUSTRALIA – October 10, 2022 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – A perfect score for Eli Tomac saw him win the inaugural FIM World Supercross Championship Grand Prix, which took place in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium today. The American secured the WSX (450) class win with three GP race victories, while compatriot Shane McElrath took the overall honours in the SX2 (250) class.

The wait was finally over for world championship racing in the sport of supercross to finally go global, as fans packed into Wales’ national stadium in the heart of the country’s capital. And the world class racing on display was only part of the show, as freestyle motocross shows, a live performance from music megastar AJ Tracey, and fireworks and pyrotechnics wowed crowds that had queued in their thousands.

Tomac – a wildcard this weekend – was third quickest in qualifying, behind Rick Ware Racing’s Joey Savatgy and pace-setter Ken Roczen. And it was Roczen who was shaping up to be the man to beat; winning his heat and setting the fastest lap in the night’s superpole session with a huge quad in the rhythm section wowing fans.

Unfortunately for him, things began to unravel for the German in the GP race main events. Leading the first of three he was caught out by the changing track conditions, crashing and handing the lead to Tomac. He recovered to finish third, behind fellow Honda pilot Vince Friese on the MotoConcepts machine.

It was a Tomac, Roczen one-two in the second of the three GP races, with the pair having to fight through the field, before Tomac made it three from three in the third to cap a perfect evening. While Savatgy was second in the final race, the MotoConcepts outfit bagged two more GP race top-three finishes, with Friese and teammate Justin Brayton taking a third apiece.

With all the points tallied up, Tomac was the clear winner, with Roczen and Friese completing the night’s podium.

“To be honest I started off a little bit slow and Ken [Roczen] rode really well in that heat race and in the superpole I just never manned up for the quad, to be straight up,” world championship leader Eli Tomac said. “That thing was a big nope I was going to stay with the triple-single and it ended up working out. All three mains were a little bit different; obviously I got the gift from Ken in the first and then had to make a couple of passes in the second but I think the most technical part of the night was the dirt: it was tough, very hard pack. I actually almost fell in the third, near the mechanics in that last left-hander. But overall I just enjoyed the whole schedule and the racing. Coming in here I thought that the eight and 12-lap races were going to be a little short but that wasn’t easy and it obviously showcased some good racing and I had a lot of fun doing it. The World Supercross Championship is real: it was a real supercross and nothing was second level with it, it was all first class and it was great to see the big crowd here. It was really cool to see the stadium filled up. To be honest I was looking at it thinking this is a big stadium but I think we filled it pretty well.”


Ken Roczen said on finishing second on the night, “In my superpole lap I wasn’t quite as clean as I wanted to be in the beginning, but the quad was huge and I wasn’t really planning on it but I saw Josh [Hill] do it. What made it really nice though was that it set me up real nice for the turn because I didn’t have to do that single into it with how slippery it was. In that first main event, obviously things happened really quick but from what I could tell there was a tiny line or ledge and the angle I was coming in on, I just wasn’t set up for it. It was so minimal but it just happened so fast. I tried to save it but I couldn’t. It was a bit of a bummer because it felt like it was set up to be a really good race. But it was tough out there and you couldn’t really rely on anything out on track because the berms were really flat. But it made for some great racing tonight.”

“I had pretty good starts and sprinted really hard in the first two mains and that third one I kind of just managed the podium,” Vince Friese said of his night. “I knew these guys were pretty quick all night and I didn’t really want to put up too much of a fight for that, I just secured the podium spot, as I had my eye on my teammate and a couple of the guys who were close on points with me but I got it done and I couldn’t be happier. It’s really cool to be in contention for the title but it’s just cool to even be on the podium with these two guys. It’s awesome for me and I’m trying to inch my way closer to their level. I’ve got a little bit to go but I’ve made some improvement.”

In the SX2 category McElrath, who finished third in his heat race, took the overall victory for Rick Ware Racing and leads the championship standings by a single point after going fourth, third, fifth in the night’s three GP races, highlighting the importance of consistency in the World Supercross Championship’s main event format.

Chris Blose’s second place in the first GP race aboard his Bud Racing Kawasaki gave him a good haul of points that meant he would take second overall on the night, despite taking fourth and eighth place finishes in GP race two and three.

While finishing on the overall podium in third, MotoConcepts Honda’s Mitchell Oldenburg will arguably be going home disappointed after winning the first and third GP races, but a disastrous second GP race – that saw him crash into the back of Pipes Motorsport’s Derek Kelly and take a heavy fall – cost him the overall victory on the night.

Home hero Max Anstie’s British Grand Prix got off to a perfect start, as he won his heat race, coming from behind to hit the front and pull away. The Honda Genuine Honda Racing rider also won the second GP race, but average starts left him with work to do in race one and three, and he could only manage 11th and 10th for sixth overall.

“Winner of the first ever World Supercross Championship SX2 race has a pretty good ring to it,” Shane McElrath reflected. “This was a lot of work to get everything ready to go in minimal prep time, for a lot of guys. Coming here was like, okay, we’re all kind of starting from the same level, and the track was really good. I felt good on the bike and we were really learning every time out there. Here for the first ever world supercross event has been a blast and there’s been some really good competition, really good racing between our class and the WSX class, and I’m very excited for the future of this. It’s big.”

Chris Blose said of the new event structure, “I raced this format in 2019 at the Aus X Open so I was a little familiar with it but it was very similar and very chaotic, and you’ve got to be on it in the main events. I think everyone up here had one bad race and it’s just trying to eliminate those, recover in between the main events. But you know what, being here has been an awesome opportunity and I’m very thankful, and I’m looking forward to the future of the World Supercross Championship, and the many more rounds that are going to come.”

“I need to be smarter than that bone headed move on my part,” Mitchell Oldenburg said on missing out on the win. “I put myself in a bad position on the jump after the guys around me on the start flinched and I fell for it. I came around bad and in the chaos I made a bad move and I’ve got to be smarter than that. But I really enjoyed myself in Cardiff and I had a lot of fun here this weekend. It’s been a blast from the get go and I’m really looking forward to Australia.”

Australian superstar Chad Reed’s return to competitive racing was, sadly, cut short, the former world champion crashing heavily in his heat race. He sat out the rest of the night’s action, with a view to making a return at his home Grand Prix in Melbourne, Australia in two week’s time.

Source: SX Global Pty Ltd.



Rick Ware Racing announces it’s WSX Championship Rider Lineup


Joey Savatgy, Shane McElrath, Colt Nichols, and Ryan Breece to Compete for
Rick Ware Racing in FIM World Supercross Championship

MOORESVILLE, NC – September 23, 2022 -(Motor Sports NewsWire) – Rick Ware Racing (RWR), the NASCAR mainstay boasting more than 1,000 starts in multiple premier auto racing series, recently announced its return to supercross as one of 10 exclusively licensed teams for the inaugural FIM World Supercross Championship (WSX). RWR’s entry into the WSX series is part of the team’s broader marketing initiative to expand into a global Motorsports presence.

“Joining the FIM World Supercross Championship has been a thrilling addition to our existing Motorsport programs,” said Rick Ware. “Not only does this give our organization an opportunity to cultivate partnerships globally; it also allows us to reach new fans all around the world.”

Rick Ware Racing currently competes in the NASCAR Cup Series, fielding two full-time entries. In addition, the team fields a single entry each in the NTT INDYCAR Series, the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Series and the NHRA Top Fuel category.

RWR’s World Supercross effort for the 2022 season will comprise of Shane McElrath and Joey Savatgy in the 450cc (WSX) class and Ryan Breece and Colt Nichols in the 250cc (SX2) class.

“These four riders know exactly what it takes to win at the highest level and each of them bring the skill, experience, and competitive drive we need to accomplish this goal. I couldn’t be more motivated and optimistic about our chances.” said Ware.

Savatgy, a Georgia native hailing from Thomasville, has an established history in supercross and motocross dating back to 2013. His accomplishments include (10) career 250-class wins across the Monster Energy Supercross and Lucas Oil Motocross series, along with earning 450SX Rookie of the Year honors in 2019. He brings a wealth of experience, know-how and an overall winning pedigree to RWR that will play a critical role in the team’s efforts for the FIM-sanctioned World Supercross Championship.

“I’m grateful to Rick for having the confidence and belief in me to represent RWR for this inaugural pilot season for WSX, and I could not be more pumped about this chance to compete in new countries for an FIM-sanctioned World Championship,” said Savatgy. “There is enormous opportunity to expand our sport on a global level, and I’m proud to be a part of that in the WSX series.”

Hailing from Canton, North Carolina, Shane McElrath has been a professional rider and fierce 250cc competitor for nearly a decade, compiling eight wins in 250cc across the Monster Energy AMA Supercross and Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships. He is a two-time 250SX West runner up in Monster Energy Supercross.

“I’m thrilled to take on this totally new and unique challenge with Rick and the team in the WSX series, fully motivated to put an FIM-sanctioned World Championship on my resume,” said McElrath. “The notion of building on the incredible success of supercross in the US and bringing our sport to new fans around the world is truly exciting and something I’m proud to be involved in.”

RWR also added Coeur d’Alene, Idaho-native Ryan Breece, who brings just under a decade of professional experience. Launching into his AMA Pro career in 2015, Breece has stacked up two career Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship 450SX Top 10’s and 27 career Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship 450SX Top 20’s.

Breece said, “I am happy to announce I will be racing the FIM World Supercross Championship series for Rick Ware Racing in the SX2 Class. I’m looking forward to competing in this new series, with competitors from all over the world. Can’t wait to see you on the gate!”

Rounding out the quartet of riders is Muskogee, Oklahoma’s, Colt Nichols. Nichols career in the AMA Pro category also began in 2015, where he’s collected four career wins and is the 2021 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship 250SX East Champion.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to compete in the SX2 class and try to chase a Championship,” said Nichols. “This year I haven’t had the opportunity to compete due to my injuries in January, so I’m thankful for Rick and the team for allowing me to get back on the bike. The global nature of this series, and the future plans for 2023, adds an opportunity to take our sport and expose it to new fans and I can’t wait to be a part of its growth.”The FIM World Supercross Championship recently announced tickets were on sale for the first Grand Prix at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, which can be found HERE and second event in Melbourne at Marvel Stadium, found HERE. The FIM World Supercross Championship will take place annually with 2022 serving as a “pilot” season, allowing the championship to establish itself and build momentum going into 2023. From 2023, and subsequent years, will see the FIM World Supercross Championship expand annually between June and November, with up to twelve events in 2023.

Source: SX Global Pty Ltd.