2013 AMA SuperCross, an FIM World Championship
The penultimate round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship race, made its way to Salt Lake City, UT, this past Saturday, and 43,149 fans filled Rice-Eccles Stadium to witness the action. Leading the charge for the Honda Red Riders was the Team Honda Muscle Milk duo of Trey Canard and Justin Barcia, both finishing 4-5 respectively. Muscle Milk-supported GEICO Honda rider Eli Tomac had a trying night in the main event, but was able to close his deficit to a mere five points in the championship heading into the final round.
With a solid second-place finish in his heat race, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard headed into the main event with a good gate pick. Jumping off the line to a fifth-place start, Canard was able to make his way into fourth a few laps in and continued to lay down consistent times throughout the entire 20-lap race. “It was a really good day for me, especially after last weekend,” stated Canard. “I think I need some more days like this. The main was especially good for me through the whoops, it’s the best I have ever ridden the whoops and they were really tough. I was really happy, we were able to progress the bike throughout the day. It was a really demanding track physically, especially with the altitude. I am happy to come away with a fourth and to be healthy heading into the final round.”
After scoring his second win of the season last weekend, Justin Barcia was hoping to carry that same momentum into Utah. He posted the fifth-quickest qualifying time in practice and was able to grab a third in his heat race. Despite getting a mid-pack start in the main event, Barcia made his way into sixth by the end of the first lap. A few laps later, he made the pass into fifth, which is where he settled for the night.
“I’m a little disappointed with my finish, especially after my win last weekend,” explained Barcia. “The track was super tough, it was technical and tight, and I rode really tight. The whoops were gnarly, but the bike was working awesome. We made some good changes to the bike throughout the day, which really helped me. I’m ready to head into Vegas and hopefully grab another win, I have had some good luck there in the past.”
This weekend also marked the eighth round of the Western Regional 250 Supercross and Muscle Milk-supported GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac caught a huge break in the championship chase, after the currents points leader was unable to qualify for the main event. Tomac had the opportunity to walk away with the points lead, and it looked like he was going to capitalize on it after grabbing a second-place start behind his teammate Zach Osborne. Unfortunately, Tomac struggled in the challenging whoops the entire 20-lap main event, causing him to lose multiple positions. He was able to recover and finish in sixth overall, putting him a mere five points behind the points leader heading into the final round in Las Vegas.
“I started the race in second, but just blew the race in the whoops,” said Tomac, who leads the category with four victories this year. “It was a section that just got me almost every time around. There were a couple of passes where I got through them OK, but there were others where I got wild and out of control.”
In the main event, Osborne earned the holeshot and was still fighting for a podium position when a crash in the whoops caused him to fall outside the top 10. He remounted his GEICO Honda CRF250R and ultimately finished in 12th place overall.
“I had a great day, actually,” Osborne said. “Up until I fell in the main everything was going really well. That kind of turned the whole deal. I just need to soldier-up and fight for a great finish in Vegas. I have nothing to lose and I plan to just go for it and try to get up on the podium.”
Suffering from a season-ending crash in Salt Lake City last year, Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda’s Cole Seely was able to put his nervousness aside and ride a noteworthy race to finish in second place overall on the podium.
Suspension settings are key to the success of a rider and can be changed based on the track conditions and rider preference. Salt Lake City was a very tight and technical track, which required a few small changes to the Team Honda Muscle Milk CRF450Rs.
“The track today was very difficult, the whoop section specifically,” said Shane Drew, Honda’s chassis/suspension engineer. “The improvements that we made today was that we just increased the wheelbase of our bike to give more leverage on the rear shock, ultimately making it more stable in the whoops. We made a few other small adjustments to the high-speed settings of the shock, but nothing major. Both Trey and Justin ride very similar setups and each rider received the same changes.”
|4||Trey Canard (Honda)|
|5||Justin Barcia (Honda)|
|10||Chad Reed (Honda)|
|4||Justin Barcia (Honda)||261|
|5||Chad Reed (Honda)||224|
|6||Trey Canard (Honda)||220|
|2||Cole Seely (Honda)|
|5||Christian Craig (Honda)|
|6||Eli Tomac (Honda)|
|2||Eli Tomac (Honda)||158|
|3||Cole Seely (Honda)||135|
|8||Christian Craig (Honda)||87|