Countless spectators stormed into the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, to witness the Honda Genuine Fire Power Honda Racing squad in action at the first round of the 2022 FIM World Supercross Championship on Saturday. Ken Roczen, Dean Wilson, Max Anstie and Wilson Todd represented the ‘red’ team at the race that was officially dubbed the Grand Prix of Great Britain.
Ken Roczen was perfect in the hours prior to the first WSX final; he set the fastest time in practice, won his heat race and claimed pole via the ‘Super Pole’ spectacle. Such momentum was set to serve him well in the first main, as he used the power within his CRF450R to storm into the early lead. Unfortunately, an untimely error caused him to drop down the order and he had to salvage a third. ’94’ rebounded well in those finals that followed, despite some poor starts, as he put 3-2-4 results together for second overall at the first stop of the campaign.
Joining Roczen in the WSX category, Dean Wilson made his debut in ‘red’ after a limited amount of time on his CRF450R. Wilson showed flashes of speed through the event, with some impressive practice times, but struggled out of the gate and was forced to make quick moves in the intense format. Unfortunately, a crash on the final lap of the second final left him in pain and unable to finish the night in front of his home crowd. Still, thanks to an eighth in moto one, he claimed seventeenth in the overall classification.
Leading the team in the SX2 division, Max Anstie was the star of the event and had the crowd on their feet for much of the night. ’99’ made his intentions clear as soon as the gates dropped for the first time; he was dominant en route to the victory in his heat race. Unfortunately, his starts left him facing an uphill fight in two of the three finals. It was in the second final that he shined – he led every lap en route to a clear victory. When paired with his other results to form a 11-1-10 scorecard, he was ranked in sixth overall and managed to keep his title hopes intact.
Wilson Todd was not too far behind his experienced teammate in the overall classification, despite his lack of supercross experience on the world stage. 8-16-9 scores marked an impressive start to his indoor career and he even got to experience life at the very front of the SX2 field, thanks to an impressive holeshot in the second main. Todd’s goal was to make progress each week and the results that he had in Cardiff will provide a fantastic foundation for him to build off of.
There is little time for Honda Genuine Fire Power Honda Racing to rest now, as the world tour is underway. The 2022 FIM Supercross World Championship resumes in Melbourne, Australia, on October 22.
Ken Roczen: “The main events were something else tonight. We started off really well and I was leading the first one. Unfortunately, I made a little mistake. The track was brutally slick and I washed the front. I did not quite have the best starts in the following mains and that made it a lot tougher. I gave it my all and ended up going 3-2-4. When you are that far back on the start, it is tough to make passes. I enjoyed today so much. The team did a great job and we are really happy, but looking to improve from here.”
Dean Wilson: “I’m pleased to walk out of here in one piece. It was a rough weekend! There were some positives to take and I am excited about how I feel on my CRF450R, but I just need some more time to make sure that I am battling where I belong. We have a couple of weeks before Melbourne, so we will get back to work!”
Max Anstie: “I got a heat race win and I went 10-1-11. It was carnage out there. It was so hard to pass! I am pleased that the team did such a great job with my CRF250R. Everything felt solid! I was fast all day and felt like it could have gone my way, but it was nice to get a couple of wins in front of my home crowd. We are going to come back swinging for Melbourne in a couple of weeks!”
Wilson Todd: “It was a tough weekend with stiff competition. A real learning experience! I had decent starts, but just got pushed wide seeing as I had an outside gate. I ended up pulling the holeshot in the second one and held on for as long as I could. I ended ninth overall, so it was a good way to start. I cannot wait to see everyone in Melbourne!”