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Suzuki SX Teams Have a Strong Showing at Ford Field

Brea, CA – (February 5, 2024) – The Monster Energy AMA Supercross season rolled east to Detroit, Michigan for race five of the 17-round series. 52,961 race fans packed Ford Field and witnessed great racing inside the covered stadium. The dirt was tacky and soft; making for quick lap times, and a long 28-lap main event saw the track rut up and break down dramatically. .

Race Highlights:

  • Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki
    • 450 Class
      •  Ken Roczen used another podium result to move up in the championship standings. 


  • Twisted Tea Suzuki presented by Progressive Insurance
    • 450 Class
      • Shane McElrath used a top-five start in the main to deliver a strong result.
      • Kyle Chisholm moved up three positions in the championship standings from points earned in Detroit.


  • Toyota Redlands BarX Suzuki
    • 450 Class
      • Derek Drake brought home another good result for his rookie 450 Supercross season. 
    • 250 Class
      • Preston Boespflug put in a great performance in his debut pro Supercross race. 


The challenging track in Detroit worked to Ken Roczen’s (94) advantage. He sliced quickly through the pack in the main event.

Ken Roczen (94) scored a second-place result in his heat race, then put in the most exciting ride of the night, charging from a ninth-place position on the opening lap to a third-place result. 

“I felt comfortable on the track and on the bike right away in the morning,” said Roczen. “Going into the heat race I felt really comfortable. The track was soft and rutty, so I knew it was going to be treacherous. In the heat race, I rode well, finished second, and gave myself a good gate pick. After starting mid-pack I had a really good main event. I was riding well in the first half of the main; I made a lot of passes and put myself into third. The track got more and more beat down. I was kind of by myself in third and rode it home in a podium spot. It’s great to be back on the podium; I need to get a bit more consistency with that and can’t wait for Glendale.” 


Shane McElrath (12) was feeling great on his RM-Z450; on-track conditions added another challenge to all the racers.

After a direct transfer out of his heat race, Shane McElrath (12) had a good start in the main event. McElrath and his Twisted Tea Suzuki battled up front and performed well on the technical track. 

“I put in a good week of training this week and found a couple of small bike adjustments to help me be a little bit more comfortable, and I think that showed in my riding all night tonight,” said McElrath. “I felt I was riding with good intensity on that track, and normally I struggle in the soft and rutted conditions. So today, for me to be really comfortable, I would say it’s a big deal for my confidence and just moving forward. I’m very excited about getting a good start in the main and getting some fresh air and battling upfront. I’m trying as hard as I can to stay up there for as long as I can. I’m not there yet, but I’m excited about the progress we’re making.”


Kyle Chisholm (11) moved up in the point standings with his performance in Detroit.

Kyle Chisholm (11) had a good day in Detroit. Chisholm qualified well, transferred directly into the main from his heat race, and put in solid laps as the track conditions deteriorated. 

“The bike felt good. I never really felt that comfortable with the track, though. I just couldn’t really get into a flow out there today,” reported Chisholm. “In the main event, I didn’t get off to a good start and just kind of rode at a pace that I could ride. I just wasn’t super comfortable pushing that little extra that I needed to finish better. My Suzuki was good, the team did great, Kenny on the podium was awesome for the team.”


 Derek Drake (52) was smooth and quick on the technical Detroit track.

Derek Drake (52) continues to log impressive rides during his rookie 450 Supercross season. Drake’s qualifying times were strong, and he earned a spot directly into the main, where he managed strong lap times as the track became tougher for the riders to navigate. 

“Detroit was good,” summarized Drake. Then he added, “It was nice to get into the main straight from the heat. When main event time came, the track was really challenging because of how soft it was. But it was a good day all-in-all, and I’m looking forward to Glendale!”


Preston Boespflug’s (128) pro Supercross debut included a thrilling battle in the LCQ to earn a second-place result.

After ranking third in his first qualifying session, Preston Boespflug’s (128)  pro debut was off to a great start. Boespflug fought forward in his heat race to reach a direct transfer position but lost the spot with two laps to go. This put Boespflug into the LCQ, where he showed the composure of a veteran defending his second-place spot. Boespflug and his BarX Suzuki were steady in the main, bringing home a strong finish and his first pro Supercross points. 

“My Suzuki was great with how the track was – very soft, very rutted, and rough,” said Boespflug. “It’s hard to have a good setup in those conditions but we didn’t have to change anything.”

“Ken Roczen put in a really good ride,” commented Larry Brooks, Team Manager of the Twisted Tea/H.E.P. Motorsports/Suzuki presented by Progressive Insurance team. “He finished third in the main event and had a pretty rad battle in the heat race with another rider; making a last lap pass, it was cool. Kyle Chisholm finished 16th on the night, he qualified right out of the heat race, which was very good. And Shane McElrath finished 14th on the night, and he rode well in his heat race, too. Shane’s starts were strong this weekend.” 

“Detroit was great tonight,” James Coy, Team Manager of the Toyota Redlands BarX Suzuki team, shared. “The fans were amazing, and the city was great to visit. The team had a good night and once again we showed that we are going in the right direction. The bikes keep getting better and we are looking forward to Arizona next weekend.”

The series returns to the west this coming weekend, to State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The 250 class resumes the West Coast series, and all the Suzuki teams are excited to carry strong momentum into the remaining rounds. 

Please visit and for more team news. 

Photos by BrownDogWilson Photography