2014 AMA SuperCross, an FIM World Championship
Torrance, CA: The stage was set for an exciting night of racing with a sold-out crowd filling the stands of Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA for the opening round of the 2014 Supercross season. With a new racing format for the premier class, which includes two heat races, two semi qualifying races, an LCQ (Last Chance Qualifier) and the main event, there was tons of action for race fans. Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia piloted his CRF450R to a fifth-place overall finish in the 450 class, while Muscle Milk-sponsored GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne posted an impressive third overall in the 250 class.
Barcia kicked off the day strong by posting the quickest qualifying time in practice. He then clinched his first heat race win of the season, allowing him to sit out of the latter semi qualifying race and transfer directly into the main event. In the main event, Barcia did not nail the start like he hoped, leaving him at the back of the pack. He spent the entire 20-lap race clawing his way through the field, working up to a respectable fifth-place finish.
“The day started out awesome, but I’m not really happy with how it ended,” explained Barcia. “I’ll take it though. The bike was working awesome and I felt good all day, just didn’t get the best start. My start wasn’t great in the heat race but I was able to come out of the turn in second, and then made the pass into the lead. The win transferred me directly into the main, which was nice. I got a horrible start in the main and spent the whole race trying to make as many passes as possible. I ended up fifth, so now I just need to build on that.”
Team Manager Dan Betley stated, "Today was a great building block for Justin and our team. Our bike looked good and Justin was riding very strong. He showed incredible speed through practice, the heat race and even in the main despite a tough start. We are looking to build off this heading into Phoenix."
Barcia’s teammate, Trey Canard, missed the opener due to an off-season training injury, but is expected to join the championship chase soon.
Muscle Milk-backed GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac and Wil Hahn made their 450-class debut, but it was a challenging night for both riders. Tomac went down hard in his heat race, which sidelined him the remainder of the night with an injured shoulder. Hahn finished sixth in his heat, sending him into the semi qualifying round where he led the race from start to finish. In the main, Hahn grabbed a mid-pack start but had some trouble on the second lap, sending him back to 18th. He was able to recover and worked his way up to 11th.
"The decision not to race was the hardest one I've ever had to make,” explained Tomac. “I think I pinched a nerve and just had no strength in my arm and shoulder. I didn’t want to risk getting hurt more. The best thing to do is get some rest, keep this thing iced up to get the swelling down, and hope I can ride next weekend in Arizona. This certainly isn't the way I wanted to start the year, but I guess it could have been worse."
"I made a lot of little mistakes today. The semi was great because I got out front and was able to ride my lines, but when we got around to the main I just didn't give myself a chance because my start was off. I stayed with it and started feeling stronger and faster as the race went along. I made some solid passes and got up to 11th. I'm not happy with that result, but I have some good things to build off."
Zach Osborne showed incredible speed aboard his Muscle Milk- supported GEICO Honda CRF250R, bringing home a third-place podium finish at the opening round. After placing second in both timed qualifying practice and his heat race, he nailed down a fifth-place start in the main event. Osborne moved into third, where a battle ensued with another rider for much of the 15-lap race. The two swapped back and forth multiple times until Osborne was able to make a pass stick and take the checkered in third.
"I'm super happy with the way the day went," stated Osborne. "I had a lot of fun riding, and that's something I want to repeat throughout the season. It's important to enjoy this journey, and starting the season on the podium is great for everyone on this team. I felt way faster than what I showed in the main. Dean (Wilson) and I had a really intense battle but I knew I needed to just be smart, get third, and secure these points.”
Teammate Zach Bell posted a solid fifth-place finish in his heat race, but didn’t have the same luck in the main. Bell struggled off the line and made a few mistakes, which landed him 15th overall. "Today went okay. I made it through without any injuries, so that's a positive step,” said Bell.
Troy Lee Designs/ Lucas Oil/ Honda’s Cole Seely had a successful night in the 250 class, finishing second on the podium after leading a majority of the main event. Teammate Malcolm Stewart won his heat race and was making an incredible charge in the main before going down late in the race to finish eighth, directly in front of Jessy Nelson.
Joining forces with Team Honda Muscle Milk as a sponsor for the 2014 season is GoPro, the world’s leading activity-image-capture company. GoPro produces the most popular and versatile high-definition cameras in the world, which help people capture and share their lives’ most meaningful experiences with others. Founder Nicholas Woodman began developing the idea for GoPro in 2002 while on a surf expedition in Australia and in 2004 the company sold its first camera. Since then, GoPro has become highly successful within the extreme sport market, and in 2014 Team Honda Muscle Milk will use the famous HD HERO® line of wearable and gear-mountable cameras and accessories to capture racing video footage.
Check out GoPro’s YouTube channel for more videos of Team Honda Muscle Milk: https://www.youtube.com/user/GoProCamera
|5||Justin Barcia (Honda)|
|2||Cole Seely (Honda)|
|3||Zach Osborne (Honda)|
|8||Malcolm Stewart (Honda)|
|9||Jessy Nelson (Honda)|