ASK THE MXPERTS: WHY WOULD ROGER DECOSTER PUT MARVIN MUSQUIN AND KEN ROCZEN BOTH IN THE 250 WEST?
I read on the world width interwave that Roger DeCoster was planning on having both of his 250 Supercross riders, Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin, ride the 250 West and skip the 250 East. Is this true? Why would he do it?
Ken Roczen. Photo: Hoppenworld
We called Roger DeCoster and ask him if this was true. He said that Musquin is 100 percent sure to race the 250 West and he is leaning heavily towards having Roczen do the same thing?but he hasn’t committed Roczen to the West just yet.
Why would he do it? Because it is an incredibly smart marketing move. The 250 East Supercross series is a vast wasteland of minimal publicity. The 250 West races get all of the publicity and coverage. The first six races of 2012 are in the West. There isn’t a 250 East race until February 18?by which time West guys have garnered all of the publicity. Then, the final three races of the season (Seattle, Salt Lake and Las Vegas) are West races again. So, from a publicity point of view, racing the 250 West gives you exposure when there is the highest interest in Supercross?at the beginning and at the end. Last year MXA, by page count, did three times more coverage of West rounds than of East rounds?and manufacturers race for publicity. Plus, 250 West coverage comes out in the magzines in the middle of the 250 East time period. It is trump, double-trump.
Plus, on a logistics basis, the 250 West riders can race the first five rounds with minimal driving (five of the first six are in California?and the other one is in Arizona). The teams can be back in the race shop between each round. By comparison, the East riders have to travel from Texas to Georgia to Florida to Indiana to Toronto to Houston to Louisiana to Nevada. The 250 West’s six straight weeks of racing are followed by a nine-week break. This means that the 250 West riders can concentrate on outdoor testing before their final three Supercross rounds (one of which is the Vegas East/West challenge).
It is true that you can’t win the 250 East if you don’t race it, but KTM has other riders and other teams that can contest the East?while Musquin and Roczen prepare for the 2012 AMA 250 Nationals.
And, although the 250 East/West is a very competitive and entertaining, it doesn’t even have AMA National Championship status. They are regional championships only. Roczen and Musquin want to get to the 450 class as soon as they can. The 250 East/West is just a learning experience for them?not an end destination.
If DeCoster does put them both in the 250 West?it will be a very smart move.