Honda racer Ken Roczen has delivered on his promises to get the 2017 AMA Supercross season off to a flying start, by taking a dominant win in the first race of the season this morning in Anaheim.
The German dominated the entire evening, winning his heat races en route to the final, snatching the holeshot award and leading every lap of the race to win from the Red Bull KTM duo of defending champion Ryan Dungey and Frenchman Marvin Musquin.
Going into the season looking strong after his switch to Honda machinery, he signalled his intentions for the weekend during Thursday’s pre-event press conference, taking up the ante on his rivals by turning up in a suit and tie instead of the regular teamwear.
"It's like I've been saying all week, I'm just bringing that much more focus into the season and I'm super fit. I had a lot of fun out there. The track got rough, and since they tamed it down it helped out a lot once it got rough. We've got to keep our head on our shoulders, bottom line."
However, the defending champion was relaxed despite being unable to challenge Roczen, with Dungey admitting afterwards that he was more keen to take a steady start from the season instead of coming out of the gates guns blazing.
"Ken rode great. From where I was at coming off an injury to have the first big race, this gets my feet back in the game. All we've done is testing and we've been waiting to get into a race. This was a true challenge. There was a good distance between first and second and that's a challenge. I'm looking forward to closing that."
The intense 17-round season continues next weekend, when the championship moves on to San Diego's Petco Park.