Courtesy of RacerX

February 4, 2018 8:55am

by Aaron Hansel

The 450SX main event at round five of Monster Energy Supercross was an all-time classic, with tons of passes, crashes, and action all leading to a fantastic Jason Anderson/Ken Roczen duel for the lead that wasn't decided until the final half-lap. Oakland's dirt got soft and rutted, and the broken-down track led created mistakes everywhere and made the racing incredible.

Behind them, Blake Baggett capitalized on a good start and stayed close to Anderson until lapped traffic got crazy, but he held on for his first podium of the year on his Rocky Mountain ATV/MC WPS KTM. Up front, Roczen (Honda HRC) lost the lead, retook it from Anderson, but then bobbled on the last lap, allowing Anderson (Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna) to shoot back past him to take the lead and the win.

All three riders joined the media in the post-race press conference.

Racer X: Blake, congratulations. I think it’s been pretty clear through four rounds the riding has been pretty good, but the results haven’t really matched. What was it about tonight that helped you put everything together?
Blake Baggett: I would say it’s just the start and track position right away is really key nowadays. It seems like the racing’s getting tight. Everybody’s getting so close that if you’re not there right off the bat and within that first five, six guys you can’t make it happen. So, I got off to a good start and was able to just hang the wheel with the front pack and then kind of get into a groove.

Ken, congratulations. Walk us through those last three laps when you were balancing focusing on the track and also being in the middle of a battle.
Ken Roczen: It was a great, fun race. I grabbed a good start and tucked right in there behind Cole. Cole was going really good. Did a mistake in front of me and then I was leading. I knew that I was just not trying to get too amped up and try to push even more, just because I knew the track was going to get worse and worse. Especially in those tight rhythm sections, it’s easy to rush. You clip something or actually jump a little bit too far and you land in the ruts and then have to miss the next one or possibly go down. When the ruts were there, like in the heat race, you hit a hard spot and it’s fine, but I was pretty surprised how soft it was again after they fixed it before the main event. It got really soft. It didn’t hold up too long. There were definitely a few close calls out there with lappers. Myself, I actually rode pretty clean, but towards the end, the last couple of laps were something. Jason got by me somehow. I don’t even remember, to be honest. We had a good battle. I was really bummed just because we worked so hard on a difficult track like that just to pretty much give it away on the last half a lap, or last quarter of the lap. All in all, we’re healthy and in the championship hunt and we’re moving forward. So, overall a good night. 

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RacerX 2018 Oakland SX The Conversation