Germany’s Ken Roczen, one of the youngest and most exciting MX2 talents to emerge in recent years, has taken his place in the Red Bull Teka KTM Racing team just in time to compete in the opening races of the AMA Supercross Lites West Coast competition which kicks off at Anaheim, California, this weekend.
The 16-year-old made an indelible impression on the MX2 World Championship in 2010 to finish in second place behind his now KTM team-mate Marvin Musquin.
After warming up in the AMA SX competition, Roczen will return to Europe to race alongside new team-mate Jeffrey Herlings as the Red Bull Teka KTM Factory Team fields two of the best young riders in the World Championship MX2 competition.
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Roczen, who burst onto the senior scene for several races in 2009 as soon as he passed the age limit, is expected to set the track on fire this year.
In his first full season in the 2010 competition he sent out plenty of signals that he will be a force to be reckoned with. To further sharpen his already impressive skills, Roczen has been in the USA training with the Orange line-up under the guidance of Roger DeCoster. “The Man”, as DeCoster is affectionately known, a legend in the sport after a distinguished racing and management career, heads the new Red Bull KTM factory team that will contest the major US competitions.
Roczen first sat on an MX bike at just two and a half years old and rode his first race at three.
Born in 1994, he first entered the racing record book in Germany when he won the German Outdoor Junior competition in 2000 and 2001. He won the ADAC MX Junior Cup in 2006 and was second in the Junior Worlds in the same year.
One year later he claimed the Junior World championship title and was firmly on the radar of the talent spotters for senior competition. “Kenny” as he is affectionately known at home in Germany went on to capture the Supercross title in Dortmund Germany in 2009 and earned the title of “Prince of Dortmund”.
Even racing only part of the season because of the age limit restriction in 2009, he still finished in fifth place. Then in 2010, he turned up the gas to take 10 victories in the MX2 world championship to finish second behind Musquin in what was a closely fought battle right down to the final races.
Any close observer of the sport, whether professional or amateur could not fail to be impressed with the talent of this young rider and all evidence points to some fantastic performances in the 2011 season when he joins the other “wunderkind” rider, Herlings, in the Red Bull Teka KTM line-up in Europe.
Herlings returns to the track in 2011 after healing a mid-season shoulder injury incurred in 2010. The two, who race under the watchful and very experienced eye of KTM factory team boss, 10-times world champion Stefan Everts, are expected to deliver some heart stopping performances as they slog it out in the coming season, starting with the opening round of the AMA SX season this coming Saturday night.
© Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com