Backed by two legends, Ken Roczen takes supercross lead to Phoenix

Suzuki rider Ken Roczen takes supercross lead to Phoenix with the help of two legends

Ken Roczen's victory at the supercross season opener in Anaheim last weekend isn't likely to be the only time Roczen heads the podium this year.

After all, the 20-year-old Roczen is riding with a Suzuki team co-owned by two motorcycle legends, 15-time supercross and motocross champion Ricky Carmichael and motocross freestylist and racer Carey Hart.

The German-born Roczen won wire-to-wire last weekend at Angel Stadium and he takes that momentum to the series' next race at Chase Field in Phoenix on Saturday night.

"It's good to get that first win out of the way," Roczen said after the Anaheim race. "It's good to come out of here healthy and we'll just keep the ball rolling."

The ball started rolling last fall when the Carmichael-Hart team, RCH Racing, signed Roczen to race their No. 94 bike this season in supercross and motocross.

Supercross, which runs from January to May, is the stadium version of off-road motorcycle racing, or motocross. The motocross season, which includes a stop at the Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, runs from mid-May through August.

Roczen won the motocross championship last year with a different team. He did so, with all due respect to Roczen, while 2013 motocross champion Ryan Villopoto missed the season to have knee surgery.

Villopoto, who also won the supercross title the last four years, also is missing this year's supercross season in order to race overseas.

So the supercross series this year will crown a different champion for the first time since 2010, when Ryan Dungey won the title.

The 17-race supercross season includes two more stops at Angel Stadium, on Jan. 17 and Jan. 31.

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