2014 AMA SuperCross, an FIM World Championship
Torrance, CA: The action continued this past Saturday for round two of the 2014 Supercross series at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix, AZ, and 49,834 race fans were on hand to witness Justin Barcia claim fifth place aboard his Team Honda Muscle Milk CRF450R. In the 250 competition, Muscle Milk-backed GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne landed on the podium for the second week in a row with a third-place finish.
With a second in both qualifying practice and his heat race, Barcia lined up on the gate for the main event confident and ready for battle. He blasted off the line to a decent start, worked his way into second at one point, but then succumbed to small mistakes that ultimately pushed him back to fifth.
“I’m really bummed with how tonight went,” said Barcia. “I felt good all day and put myself in a good position at the start of the main, but I just rode too aggressive in the beginning and kept making mistakes. Once I made those mistakes I got tight and wasn’t riding as well. The bike was working awesome, so it’s all on me. I definitely have to think about this race all week, and go into Anaheim prepared.”
“Tonight was frustrating for everyone. It was another great day that didn’t transform into the best result,” explained Team Manager Dan Betley. “However, he’s showing that he has the speed to run up front and win races. We’re heading in the right direction—just need to bring it all together. It is a long series, and we are still in this.”
Muscle Milk-sponsored GEICO Honda rider Wil Hahn got off to a slow start in the main event, leaving him 18th after the conclusion of the first lap. After a few passes Hahn went down on lap three, causing him to lose more time. He quickly remounted his CRF450R and made a valiant run through the pack, finishing the 20-lap race in 10th.
“Right now it's all on me. I'm getting used to the bike and the competition, and I need to get my head in it a little more,” stated Hahn. “My starts need to get better, but it’s more about believing in myself and riding like I know how to ride.”
Teammate Eli Tomac was unable to line up at the gate in Phoenix due to an injury sustained last weekend at the season opener.
“I was hoping to be able to ride tonight to earn some points but after trying to ride first practice, there was no way,” explained Tomac. “I need to let this thing heal fully before coming back to race, so I won’t be doing Anaheim 2.”
For the second consecutive week, Muscle Milk- supported GEICO Honda rider Zach Osborne grabbed a podium spot in the 250 class. In similar fashion to last week, Osborne launched off the line to a fifth-place start and began working his way towards the front of the pack. He went head-to-head with another rider for the third place spot, ultimately taking over the position on lap 11 and holding it until the checkered flag.
“Reaching the podium is good and I'm happy to get the points, but at the same time I'm not going to be content with third-place finishes," Osborne said. "I need to be up front with Anderson and Seely. I can run the pace, my fitness is there; I just need better starts. I'm just not putting myself in the right position to challenge for the win.”
It was déjà vu of round one for Troy Lee Designs/ Lucas Oil/ Honda’s Cole Seely who was poised for the win once again, but made a small mistake on the final lap to finish second overall. It was a solid night for teammate Malcolm Stewart who improved his result from last weekend with a fifth-place overall finish. Fellow Troy Lee Designs/ Luca Oil/ Honda rider Jessy Nelson finished ninth on his CRF250R.
On Friday, GO AZ Motorcycles in Scottsdale, AZ hosted their first-ever dealer appearance prior to Saturday’s race at Chase Field, and the Honda Red Riders were on hand to meet their fans and sign autographs. With an hour-long line that wrapped around the side of the building and raffle giveaways that including prizes like Honda t-shirts, hats and Supercross tickets, there was no shortage of fun. Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia was in attendance, along with GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn, Eli Tomac, Zach Osborne, Zach Bell and Troy Lee Designs/ Lucas Oil/ Honda’s Cole Seely, Malcolm Stewart, Jessy Nelson and Shane McElrath.
“It is really cool getting to go to the dealerships and interact with fans before the craziness starts on Saturday,” said Barcia. “We get to spend a little more time with each fan since it is an hour and a half signing versus the standard 30 minutes on race day. You meet some great people who have followed your career forever and are die-hard fans, which is a special thing. It is also awesome getting to see each Honda dealership around the country.”
|5||Justin Barcia (Honda)|
|10||William Hahn (Honda)|
|2||Cole Seely (Honda)|
|3||Zach Osborne (Honda)|
|5||Malcolm Stewart (Honda)|
|9||Jessy Nelson (Honda)|