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Suzuki’s Ken Roczen Remains in Supercross Championship Top Five

Off Night Forces Roczen to Settle for Championship Points Grab

BREA, CA, February 6, 2023 — Ken Roczen salvaged a top-ten finish aboard his Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki RM-Z450 at round five of the 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross inside NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Shane McElrath delivered his best result of the season with his Twisted Tea Suzuki Presented by Progressive Insurance Suzuki RM-Z450. Kyle Chisholm had one of the night's most dramatic moments aboard his Twisted Tea Suzuki RM-Z450. And Marshal Weltin made his 250-class debut with the Twisted Tea Suzuki squad on his Suzuki RM-Z250 at the opening round of the 250 East class.

Despite a tough night in Houston Ken Roczen (94) stays in the top five in the championship.

After last week’s podium finish, a top-ten qualifying position and top-five heat race result were good signs that Ken Roczen would stay hot in the AMA Supercross Championship. However, a mid-pack start in the main event made it tough for Roczen. He pushed forward into the top ten, crossing the checkered flag with an eighth-place result, and remains in the top five in the championship points standings with plenty of racing left in the young season.

"I wasn't really feeling that comfortable on the track. All day we were trying a lot of different things on the bike," Roczen said about adjusting to the new team after re-joining Suzuki just before the start of the 2023 season. "It's tough going out there with something new all the time. Nonetheless, the team has been giving it an amazing effort and everyone is on board and trying very hard. So tonight was not really our night, but I don't want to bury my head in the sand. We're going to go back to Florida this week, the whole team's coming out and I'm looking forward to some more work and to get back to it next week in Tampa."

Shane McElrath (12) earned enough points at the Houston supercross to advance two spots in the championship standings.

Teammate Shane McElrath carded his highest qualifying position so far this season. He carried that speed into his heat race where he earned a direct transfer to the main. The main event was red-flagged and re-started, but McElrath kept his focus and flow. He and his Suzuki RM-Z450 delivered their best result so far in the 2023 season.

"We made some good changes this week on the bike," reported McElrath. "The track here was a lot different than anything else we've been racing on in California; it was pretty tacky tonight. I'm not super pumped about the result, but I'm excited for the direction we're going, and we'll stay at it."

Kyle Chisholm (11) had the charge of the night, moving his RM-Z450 through the pack in the Last Chance Qualifier.

Kyle Chisholm had the Houston crowd on their feet with a last-turn effort for the final transfer spot in the LCQ. Unfortunately, Chisholm couldn’t pull off the pass attempt. He had the speed but ran out of time in the short race.

"We changed the setup, mainly suspension settings, quite a bit each time out on the track but I think we ended with a pretty good setting," said Chisholm. "I just didn't ride like myself and didn't execute the way I needed to. But I am happy with the positives. Tampa is a home race for me so I'm excited and will try to have a good race next weekend."

Marshal Weltin (50) got round one of the 250 East series under his belt and proved he's back from injury and getting back up to race pace.

Although Marshal Weltin didn't put his Twisted Tea Suzuki into the main event, the rider took away positives from his return to racing from an ACL injury. Weltin showed the form and speed to make him a threat this season.

"I don't feel like I rode like myself all day," reported Weltin. "I was tense and just felt like I lacked prep, but I did what I could. There was no lack of effort from the team and the bike's great. We just need to get to work this week and come back swinging for round two."

"We had some good moments, but we sort of struggled all day long with bike set-up," said Twisted Tea/H.E.P. Motorsports/Suzuki presented by Progressive Insurance Team Manager Larry Brooks. "We improved a few things, but then other things popped up. The best Ken Roczen could do was an eighth place tonight. In racing, sometimes you just take what you can get and move on. Shane McElrath rode better this weekend, but I know he's capable of a lot more, so I'm expecting more next weekend in Tampa. Kyle Chisholm was just out of a qualifying position in the LCQ and made a bit of a desperate pass that didn't work out. Marshal Weltin's been off the motorcycle for several months with a knee injury, this was his first race back. I know he'll improve, but it was a little bit of a rough night. It'll get better and we'll be back at it next week in Tampa."

Raymond James Stadium will host round six of the 450 class and round two of the 250 East class on Saturday, February 11th. The Suzuki riders and team members are ready for the challenge of the new conditions the east coast dirt provides.

For more team news, and the latest from the Supercross season and SMX World Championship series, please visit and

Photos by BrownDogWilson Photography