|Round eight of the 2011 AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, took place at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA, over the weekend and the Honda Red Riders put in solid performances aboard their Honda CRF450R and CRF250R race machines. American Honda Racing's Trey Canard recorded a solid fifth place finish aboard his CRF450R, while TwoTwo Motorsports' Chad Reed raced his CRF450R to his fourth podium finish of the season by taking third overall. GEICO Honda's Justin Barcia raced an inspiring main to finish runner-up in the Supercross Lites East competition aboard his Honda CRF250R.
After winning his heat race, including nailing the holeshot in the race, Canard got away to a solid start in the main and was among the top five rounding the first turn. Moving into third early on the opening lap, the Honda racer had his sights firmly set on catching the leaders when he made a mistake in the whoops section, which sent him off the track. Losing six spots in the excursion, Canard rallied hard from ninth position and made up four places before the race's end to finish in fifth overall.
"I loved everything about my bike's setup tonight; it had such a good feel to it," said Canard. "I'm really disappointed about crashing in the whoops section. I got a kick off a whoop and lost my footing and I nearly went over the bars. Luckily, I didn't hit the ground and was able to get going again pretty quickly. Unfortunately, there were a lot of riders close behind me going into that section, and they were able to get by me while I was off the track. Once I got going again I made some good passes and was able to get by Andrew Short for fifth place on the final lap. Despite my little off-track excursion, everything else about my race was pretty good tonight. I got the holeshot in the heat race and was among the lead pack in the main off the start, so that's great. I have the speed to be up front and at the last couple of events I've gotten good starts so that part of my race has really started to come together."
Reed put in a dominating performance in the main by nailing a good start and quickly moving into second position on the opening lap. By lap three the Honda racer was in the lead, where he stayed for most of the race until getting passed late in the race. Digging deep, Reed made an aggressive move to regain the lead, but had a coming-together with the race leader on the final lap that resulted in a crash. He got up charging and made a pass in the final turn to finish in third.
GEICO Honda's Kevin Windham put in a solid performance aboard his CRF450R, taking eighth overall. Getting a mid-pack start in the main and rounding the opening lap in ninth position, the veteran Honda racer had worked his way up into seventh position by lap five but relinquished a spot before the checkers fell.
In the Supercross Lites East competition, GEICO Honda's Justin Barcia put in an inspired performance aboard his CRF250R after injuring his wrist in a crash during qualifying earlier in the day, pushing through the pain to win his heat race and finish second overall in the main. The Honda racer got the holeshot in his heat race, then got another good start in the main and was among the front-runners rounding the opening turn. Teammate Blake Wharton was fastest out of the start gate, and he raced away to an early lead while Barcia slotted into second. From there the duo went on to dominate the top two spots for more than half the race until Barcia relinquished a spot on lap 11. Unfortunately, Wharton lost his front end and the lead the following lap, and Barcia was elevated back into second spot, where he stayed until the race's end. Despite going down late in the race, Wharton recovered to finish fourth overall.