February 14th, 2023.

Report: Suzuki Motor USA. Photos by BrownDogWilson Photography.

Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki's Ken Roczen delivered another strong fourth-place result aboard his Suzuki RM-Z450 at round six of the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross season in Tampa. Roczen's teammate Shane McElrath put in fast laps on the Florida soil on his Twisted Tea Suzuki presented by Progressive Insurance RM-Z450. Kyle Chisholm earned enough points with his Twisted Tea Suzuki RM-Z450 inside Raymond James Stadium to advance two positions in the championship standings. And Twisted Tea Suzuki's Marshal Weltin showed more progress on his Suzuki RM-Z250 in his return to racing.

Rain fell sporadically throughout the day and night, yet Roczen continued to hit his marks as the track deteriorated. After holding sixth place on the opening lap, he put his Suzuki RM-Z450 into fourth place on lap five. From there Roczen had some breathing room on the rest of the pack and was never challenged for the spot.

"My night ended really strong. We had a tough week, the team and I, put in some hours," said Roczen. "I think we finished very well here, and I was pretty stoked about it. It was a bummer for us not to be on the podium, but to end up with a fourth place after a long week like that, there are a lot of positives to take away."

Shane McElrath looked good on the track that mixed the season's deepest sand section with the hardest-packed dirt in the series. He used his Twisted Tea Suzuki RM-Z450's stability and agility to gain positions on the tough stadium track.

"We pretty well dodged the weather tonight, thankfully, because the track was really hard packed already," reported McElrath. "My heat was good and my start in the heat was strong. My main start wasn't particularly good. We're continuing to learn the bike and pace, and we're making progress every race. I'm a little bit off, but that translates to a lot over the course of a moto. We're going to return to work and keep progressing during the week."

Kyle Chisholm used a direct transfer from his heat race to put his Twisted Tea Suzuki RM-Z450 on the line for the main event. Accustomed to the Florida weather, Chisholm marched steadily forward throughout the 25-lap main event in what was a home-race advantage for him.

"The team was down in Florida this week, so we had a couple days of testing and made some good progress. But then it's hard to know exactly where we’re at until you get to race day," said Chisholm. "We had rain on and off through the night so the track got very slick and really tough. I felt good on the bike all day and then just had a disappointing main event. I had a bad start and then just rode tight, held my breath, and had some bad arm pump. But all in all, we made progress, we're in the main, and we just need to keep improving and try again next week."

Marshal Weltin's day started strong, delivering the fastest lap time in his first qualifying session and holding the fastest qualifying lap time overall in his group on his Twisted Tea Suzuki RM-Z250. Rain between qualifying and the night show didn't play to Weltin's advantage, and he missed a transfer to the main event by one position despite showing more comfort with the bike in his return to racing.

"Another tough night for me here in Tampa. I just didn't put myself in great positions." Marshal Weltin explained, "I had a crash in the heat race. I slammed into the wall and had a pretty big crash, but just got banged up. In the LCQ I just couldn't seal the deal. I ended up fifth, just missed a transfer. I'm just trying to get back to where I should be."

"The night was good here in Tampa," summarized Twisted Tea/H.E.P. Motorsports/Suzuki presented by Progressive Insurance Team Manager Larry Brooks. "Roczen and the team struggled with the bike set-up a little bit all day. We were in a better position for the main event, and he finished fourth. He rode really well. He's a racer, so he just put all the set-up adjustment questions for the main event behind him and put the Suzuki in fourth position. Chisholm and McElrath did okay in the main. They had bad starts and Chisholm had an arm pump problem. Weltin had a little bit of a debacle in the first heat race, then again in the last chance where he had a run-in with another rider in the very last corner. He was in a qualifying spot, and it just put him out. But he's getting much better at qualifying. He was off for a long time with a knee injury so he's trying to catch up and he's obviously improving more every week. With Roczen we missed the box by one position, so we'll come back to Oakland next weekend, and we'll finish better."

The racers and teams now travel back to the west coast to contest the postponed Oakland Supercross. The series' return to the west coast will also bring back the 250-west division, which will include the BarX Suzuki team members contesting the 250-west class aboard their Suzuki RM-Z250s.

For more team news, and the latest from the Supercross season and SMX World Championship series, visit and

Photos by BrownDogWilson Photography
Powered by Midlands Performance Racing Limited© 2023