It’s safe to say that the Triple Crown format at Anaheim 2 didn’t go down well with all the riders and among them was Team Honda HRC’s 450 contender Ken Roczen.
While his team-mate Cole Seely raced to second overall, the German ended the night back in ninth and slipped two places to fourth in the championship standings.
Even before the racing he was openly unimpressed by the three-moto format with eight, 12 and 15-minute plus one lap durations.
“It’s just not long enough,” he said. “We train to be super-fit to do 20 [minutes] plus one and that really separates the riders. Having a stacked field and three races, for sure, everybody’s going to send it.”
Anaheim 2 also marked the one-year anniversary of his season-ending crash and this was obviously playing on his mind.
“Tonight was very interesting,” he said. “It’s Anaheim 2 which is obviously where I crashed and even though I tried not to think about it at all, it lingered subconsciously in the back of my mind.
“I didn’t feel like myself at all out there. I was riding bad and couldn’t seem to do anything about it. I went into the first Main, got a bad start, felt terrible on the track and basically went backwards.
“That definitely wasn’t the plan but the worst part was I had two more to go!
“Even though I didn’t feel good, it was great to just finish it and get this one off the checklist. It was big night and it could’ve gone worse – as we saw here last year. We’re walking away from here super-healthy and looking forward to next weekend’s race.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow as a rider because I want to win or at least battle for the win. For sure wasn’t there today though. I want to move on, forget about tonight and start looking forward to the next one.”
It’s worth noting that Roczen’s best finish of fourth came in the final – and longest – race of the night.