Ken Roczen made his return to professional racing at Hangtown, the opening round of the AMA Nationals. After breaking his hand in Supercross, he rode to a steady ninth place in qualifying. He missed the whole 2017 outdoor season after smashing his left arm in a Supercross crash in January 2017.
He was no match for defending champ Eli Tomac who set the quickest time from Marvin Musquin and Justin Barcia.
In the 250s, Joey Savatgy emerged from the first practice session with the fastest time and was on track to repeat the feat again in the second session, but then Jeremy Martin and Zach Osborne turned on the burners for their final laps to leapfrog the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider. Martin (2:16.930) was the lone 250 Class rider to clock a lap time under 2:17.
The only two past champions in the 250 Class, Osborne and Martin have frequently been picked as title favorites this season and now they’ll get the first gate picks for Moto 1.
Behind Martin, Osborne and Savatgy, Chase Sexton was fourth and Austin Forkner, who is back racing just one month after breaking his collarbone, was fifth.
One of this year’s breakout candidates, Justin Cooper, qualified in sixth. He was second-fastest behind Savatgy in the earlier session and recently has been gaining some hype ahead of his first full season of Pro Motocross.