All Red Bull/KTM Team Riders Finish Inside Top Ten, Again!
Short Ties KTM Best Finish Record
All three Red Bull/KTM Factory Team riders placed inside the top ten at the ninth round of the AMA Supercross Series held at Daytona International Speedway. In addition to the positive team result, team rider Andrew Short’s 4th place finish tied the best overall finish record for any KTM rider in Supercross history. His teammates, Ken Roczen and Mike Alessi finished 8th and 10th respectively.
Alessi was up first in Supercross heat number one. Unfortunately, Alessi made a mistake and bolted forward before the gate dropped. He was stuck in the gate and took off dead last from the start. He moved forward at a quick pace and had climbed up to a remarkable 7th place by the end of the second lap. He passed one more rider near the end of the race to finish 6th overall in his heat.
Roczen and Short were up next in heat number two. Roczen, in only his second Supercross heat race, took the holeshot on his KTM 350 SX-F. He was passed on the inside by Davi Millsaps at the exit of the first turn and missed a jump on the next rhythm section to drop
to 4th place. He quickly passed back into the top three behind leaders Millsaps and James Stewart. On the second lap, Stewart made a mistake and allowed Roczen to close the gap. A few turns later Stewart crashed, handing 2nd place to Roczen. Stewart quickly rebounded and got back around Roczen on lap four. Meanwhile Short had started inside the top five and ran up as high as 4th place before making a few mistakes at the end of the race to finish 6th in the heat. Roczen went on to finish 3rd behind heat winner Stewart and the 2nd place ride of Millsaps.
The three Red Bull/KTM team riders were joined by another 350cc rider when JDR/J-Star/KTM Team rider Tye Simmonds qualified into the main event. This marked the most KTM 350 SX-F machines that had ever lined a Supercross main event gate.
When the gate dropped, Alessi had a great jump but got pushed to the far outside around the first corner and was run off the track. He quickly got back on and moved into the top fifteen at the end of the first lap. His
teammates, Short and Roczen had better luck as Short came out 3rd off the start and Roczen was inside the top ten. Short reported, “I was definitely a little nervous off the start because I had 12th gate pick and was worried I wasn’t going to get out front. When the gate dropped, I hung it all out and was able to make some smart moves and get out front early. I know that getting a good start in a race this demanding is what definitely made my race tonight.”
Short was able to capitalize on his great start by moving into 2nd on lap four after Stewart suffered a hard crash. He held 2nd position for two laps before Millsaps made a pass on him on lap five. Chad Reed and Ryan Dungey began to close in on him the following lap and he began to make mistakes as they continued to pressure. “I got a little tight when Reed and Dungey were closing on me and I was trying to ride too hard which caused me to make a few mistakes,” remarked Short. “Once they got around, I calmed myself down and got back into my rhythm. That is when I started to get time back on Millsaps.” Short went on to run Millsaps down with three laps to go. He made the pass stick on lap seventeen and continued to pull Millsaps to the checkered flag. Short made history when he crossed the line in 4th position tying former KTM factory rider, Mike
Fisher’s, best finish on a KTM and also earning the best overall finish for the KTM 350 SX-F in Supercross racing.
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