Ken’s Mental Fortitude
Coming into the season we heard a ton of talk about how Ken Roczen was approaching this season differently, how he was in a different mindset, blah blah blah. Look, I don’t typically believe some of that stuff because I feel EVERY rider says that at the start of EVERY year. But I’m starting to believe this is a new Ken Roczen.
In the two races prior to Indy, Roczen lost four points for jumping on a red cross flag and lost in heartbreaking fashion to Cooper Webb once again. That could have destroyed his season. Seriously. Supercross is such a mental mind f***. I’ve seen lesser stuff ruin riders. Not Ken.
How did Roczen respond? He put in arguably one of the best rides of his career. He was patient behind AC to start the race and got aggressive when he needed to. He then held off Eli Tomac before making a huge mistake which could have cost him another race. Instead of getting rattled, he responeded quickly and retook the lead. Then he held off a furious charge from the defending champion in an epic duel to the finish.
’I’ve just had huge motivation to win in general, it had nothing to do with the last couple of rounds,” he said. “It got hyped up more and more, which is to be expected, it was a big deal, but I was over it and had moved on well before everyone had stopped talking about it. I just wanted to win, that’s all. I’m just trying my hardest, but I’m not getting on this “I’ve had seconds and firsts so I’m the guy now.” I’m just trying to put the ego aside and just enjoy the process.”
It was an amazing response from Ken and now he holds a six-point lead over Webb in the standings with Tomac nine back. THIS. IS. GOING. TO. GET. GOOD.
Jett vs Craig
Look, I don’t like sticking my Slaw where it doesn’t belong, so I typically refrain from making armchair quarterback judgements regarding racing, ESPICALLY when it comes to a battle for second on the FINAL LAP. With that said, ya’ll come to Slaw for the hot takes and hot takes you shall receive.
Here is my hot take: Apparently Craig’s blinking light on his bike wasn’t a left turn blinker!! SEE WHAT I DID THERE! HAHAHAHAHAA!
For real. While not a smart move, I also don’t think it was intentional. I’ll explain. TO ME, and this is just my two cents, feel free to argue amongst yourselves below, when Craig landed he was on the gas and made a mistake which didn’t allow him to turn. Was his trying to push him wide? OF COURSE HE WAS. Did he mean to push him THAT wide? I don’t think so. See some screengrabs below and make your own call.
Yeah, they lucked into a bit, but whatever. Years from now, when they are telling their little doggies how they raced pro supercross, Michael Mosiman and Jo Shimoda can look at the Racer X Vault and show them they PODIUMED in a 250 Supercross. That’s a hell of a feat.
Both riders have been super solid all year, but have flown under the radar as Craig, Nichols, Forkner and Jett have stolen the spotlight. Not last night. Mosiman got his revenge on the Jett in his heat, won the damn thing and then told us how savage Jesus is. Amazing.
Both riders were in podium position the entire main before Jett made a late run and got em both late. But when Craig and Jett went down late, they slid in to capture their first career podiums.
Shimoda, whom I’m pretty sure is the first Japanese rider to podium in 250SX (I may be wrong there), finished off his impressive night with one of the best damn podium speeches ever, basically saying this wasn’t his podium and he wants to earn it. Respect.
“It wasn’t really a podium, because Jett went around me, he was riding really good tonight and Christian was ahead of me, too,” Shimoda admitted. “So it ended up being a podium, but the next time I get a podium, I want to get a podium myself.”
Nichols Is the Real Deal
Lots of talk about Forkner, Craig and Jett this year and rightfully so. But don’t look now, Colt Nichols has taken control of this championship and it’s no damn fluke. Nichols has ridden amazing through four rounds, going 3-2-1-1 to take an eight point lead into Indy 2 Tuesday night.
We’ve seen Nichols in this position before, back in 2019, when he briefly held the points lead. Yet, something about this year seems different. He’s in so much damn control and looks so confident.
“I could see Jett closing on Christian at times, and I heard the crowd going crazy as I went across the finish, and I knew they weren’t cheering for me! Overall I was happy to be out front away from the drama,” he said. “Definitely made my life a lot easier. I knew Christian was behind me, that was comforting, I knew he wasn’t going to do anything that crazy. Felt good.”
If he can stay healthy, which has been a big IF during his career, look out.
We Chizzed All Over Indy
If you somehow missed the 15 articles we wrote prior to Indy, I’ll refresh your memory. Vurb and Troy Dog Enterprises sponsored THE CHIZ at Indy 1 and hot damn, we took him damn near to the top!
He went directly to the main with a blistering sixth place finish. In the main, he was certainly en route to a podium, when we’re pretty sure he got taken out by like 19 riders and had to salvage a 20th. Either way, we Chizzed all over Indy!
Main image: KTM Images