Motocross is not in the major leagues of spectator sports, but it has been around for decades. Former Hollywood A-list star Steve McQueen was a huge fan and participant of the sport, even defying warnings from his agents and producers to avoid the sport due to the possibility of injury. Ken Roczen is one of the younger, up and coming stars, so here are 10 things you didn’t know about the motocross wonder.
1. He is the youngest rider ever to win the MX2 World Championship competition.
The year was 2011, and with only a few motocross competitions under his belt he was able to win one of the most prestigious motocross events on the globe. He had learned well from his previous events, and although going up against some of the most successful competitors in the country, took away the coveted trophy.
2. Prior to the MX2 event, he demonstrated he would be a force to be reckoned with.
Though it took Roczen two years to get serious consideration, he would charge on to the European motocross scene in 2009. Deciding to stay in his native Germany to compete, he would win the Masters Championships twice – back to back. After conquering the MX2 challenge, he would go on to become a member of the German team that would win the Motocross of Nations competition.
3. He has a Twitter handle.
That handle, KENROCZEN94, is significant because rather than simply focusing on his motocross career he is very active on social media. He gets many followers because of his naturally outgoing and friendly personality, and is able to promote the sport of motocross through his social media connections.
4. Ken has earned the reputation of being one of the fastest racers in the world.
As they say in many sports, speed kills, and in motocross is can be a huge advantage. But for Roczen it is also a reflection of his personality – fun loving yet competitive at the same time. He wants to live life to its fullest while maximizing his motocross skills.
5. His next motocross journey would bring him to the United States for more intense competition.
While in Germany his commitment to motocross was largely part time, crossing the Atlantic would make motocross his full time commitment. But the adjustment did take some time, as he would have to wait a year before achieving the AMA Supercross 250SX West title in 2013. At last he had seen significant progress for his transcontinental efforts.
6. 2014 was a hallmark year for Ken.
Though not as successful as he had envisioned after leaving Germany, he felt the need to challenge himself ever further. He decided to move up a level to the Premiere Class and competed with 450SX riders. The decision paid off, as his 2014 results earned him the title of AMA Supercross Rookie of the Year.
7. 2015 was a portent of things to come for the direction of his future career.
While Roczen’s on course performance continued to excel, he couldn’t control every aspect of his racing or personal life. 2015 was the year he sustained his first injury, which would keep him for racing during part of the year. That injury bug would hit him once again in 2018, where he lost a significant part of the racing season as the result of an injury.
8. Though he claims Florida as his current residence, he is actually a native German.
Born in the small, non-descript town of Mattstedt, Germany, on April 29, 1994, moving to the United States gave him the opportunity to not only compete in his favorite sport but to become successful enough to be able to financially remain in the United States. Clermont, Florida is reported to be where he currently hangs out, Florida being one of the few states where he can continue practicing and competing.
9. Among his sponsors were Red Bull and Suzuki.
It is not easy to gain a sponsorship from notable companies such as Red Bull and Suzuki, but Roczen didn’t take long to attract their attention. In 2014 he signed on with the Red Bull KTM Racing team, and just a year later would move to RCH Suzuki.
10. Once he left Europe to become professional, he would earn at least one individual motocross award a year.
This achievement was largely the result of moving up in class, and it is important to note that with that level up would come an increasing number of injuries.
- 2013 – AMA Supercross West Coast Champion 250SX
- 2014 – AMA Motocross Champion 450 class
- 2015 – Monster Energy Cup winner
- 2016 – AMA Motocross Champion 450 class