Over the course of the next few months, Honda factory rider Roczen will focus on his family (wife Courtney is due with their first child in September), on giving his body time to fully recover from the health issues that have hampered him in recent seasons, and on resetting physically and mentally, with the ultimate objective of making a championship run at the 2021 AMA Supercross series.
Roczen has been one of the key title contenders over the past few years, finishing runner-up in the premier 450cc class last year, and his absence from the 2020 competition will perhaps leave the way clear for defending champion Eli Tomac or other key riders such as Jason Anderson and Cooper Webb to rule the roost.
French rider Musquin finished third in the AMA Motocross Nationals last season and an injury in December put him out of contesting the 2020 AMA Supercross Nationals. He returned to France for surgery and it is understood he is still not ready to race again at 100% capacity.
The abbreviated nine-round 2020 United States motocross season is scheduled to begin this Saturday, August 15, with the inaugural professional event at famed Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
The next eight rounds will take place at well-known venues ranging from Washougal MX Park in Washington to Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota.
Following the debut of the Loretta Lynn’s National, the schedule will then travel to the scenic Pacific Northwest for the Washougal National, on August 22, before heading to the greater Indianapolis area for the Ironman National, on August 29.
From there, Michigan’s legendary RedBud MX will give way to the season’s lone off weekend after it hosts a pair of races around the Labor Day holiday, on Saturday, September 5, and Tuesday, September 8.
Racing will resume with the Spring Creek National in Minnesota, on September 19, before heading to Florida for the WW Ranch National, on September 26. The penultimate round of the championship will take place in Colorado with the Thunder Valley National, on October 3, before crowning a pair of champions in Southern California at the season-ending Fox Raceway National, on October 10.
In Roczen’s place, Christian Craig will ride the factory CRF450R alongside Chase Sexton.
Roczen explained his decision: “Taking this shortened outdoor season off was a very difficult decision, but I’m confident it’s what’s best for me and my team in the long run.
“It will be good to regroup, let my body heal, enjoy this important experience with Courtney, and build back up for 2021. I’d like to thank my team and sponsors for having my back through this, and I look forward to supporting Chase and Christian from home this summer before once again doing my job the best I possibly can.
“Of course we’re disappointed that we won’t have Ken in the pits and on the track for the upcoming outdoors season,” said Brandon Wilson, American Honda’s Manager of Advertising & Motorcycle Sports.
“He’s an important part of the Honda family, and it won’t be the same without him. That said, as a company and a team, we support Ken during this special time, and in his efforts to get back to full strength. We look forward to working closely with him during this period and attacking 2021 with him in top form.”
Photo courtesy HRC Honda
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