Less than a month after the AMA Supercross 2021 season concluded, the AMA Pro Motocross season kicked off at the FOX Raceway National in California. As in Supercross, Team Honda HRC was represented by Ken Roczen and Chase Sexton on their CRF450R bikes.
Team Honda HRC Off to Solid Start
Each round consists of two motos, moto 1 and moto 2. In moto 1 Sexton moved up from fifth to second, and in the closing stage was alongside the race leader, but finished a close second. In moto 2, Roczen took the lead on Lap 1 and never looked back, taking his first win of the season. In Round 2 Thunder Valley, Roczen was triumphant in a three-way battle in moto 1, and dominated moto 2 to take a clean sweep of Round 2.
Despite a lack of wins in rounds 3 to 5, Roczen consistently finished on the podium, maintaining second place in the championship. In Round 6 Spring Creek, a first-turn crash took Roczen out of moto 1, and his appearance in moto 2 was in doubt. He not only raced in moto 2, but took the lead on Lap 1 and went on to win his fourth of the season. Sexton was third, both Honda riders on the podium.
Roczen and Sexton stay strong
Sexton shined in Round 7 Washougal National. After taking the holeshot in moto 1, he dominated the race to the finish line. In moto 2, he finished third, resulting in his first Round win of the season. Roczen also regained his true form, taking his second cleansweep of the season in Round 8 Unadilla. In this round, Sexton fell back to 11th in moto 1, but was runner-up in moto 2 behind Roczen. In Round 9 Budds Creek, Roczen won his third consecutive race in moto 1, while Sexton was third, keeping Team Honda HRC’s momentum up.
Tough closing rounds
In Round 10 at Indiana’s Ironman Raceway National, Roczen was the only team rider on the podium, with a third in moto 1. Sexton was not 100 percent fit, and post-race was diagnosed with Splenomegaly, ending his season there. In Round 11 Fox Raceway National 2, Roczen was third in moto 1, and finished second in moto 1 of the season finale in Hangtown. He had an unfortunate crash at the start of moto 2, and retired with a right foot injury.
Despite retiring in the final race, Roczen finished the season third with seven wins, including two perfect wins. Sexton was fifth overall despite missing the last two rounds.