2014 AMA SuperCross, an FIM World Championship
Torrance, CA: This past Saturday marked the second stop at Anaheim’s Angel Stadium and 40,682 racing enthusiasts were in attendance to witness the Supercross Series’ 40th Anniversary celebration.
It was a challenging night for Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia, who fell outside of the top 10 for the first time this season.
After transferring directly into the main event with a third-place finish in his heat race, Barcia got a good jump off the line but was pinched off before the first turn, sending him to the back of the pack. By lap six, he had maneuvered his way through the field into seventh, but went down on lap 14 and lost multiple spots. He remounted his CRF450R to finish 11th.
“Today didn’t go anywhere near how I wanted,” stated Barcia. “The track was pretty challenging and I ended up going down during both practice and the main event. Luckily I got third in my heat, but after the start of the main I was riding tight and making a lot of mistakes. My front end tucked in the turn at home plate and I lost a lot of time. I’m disappointed in how this season has gone so far but am determined to get on the podium.”
“It is a long series, so we are still in this for the overall but we need to be more consistent. It was a tough night but we’ll come back next weekend at Oakland,” explained Team Manager Dan Betley.
Muscle Milk-supported GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn got a less-than-desirable start in the main event, but quickly started working his way through the pack. Halfway through the 20-lap race Hahn went down, losing several spots. He rejoined the race to finish 12th. “I think I made a lot of progress tonight speed-wise, and even though the results didn’t show it, I feel like I fixed most of the little things I’ve been struggling with,” Hahn explained. “I had another mediocre start but made some good progress up through the pack. But I tipped over at one point and lost some spots. I need to ride like I did last year when I won the championship, and get back to having fun.”
Muscle Milk-backed GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne got off to a sluggish start in the 250 class main event, but began working his way through the pack. A few laps in Osborne hit a tough block that had been flipped onto the track, sending him over the bars. Luckily, he was able to quickly rejoin the race and rode out the rest of the race to finish eighth.
“It was a bad deal, but I should not have been in that position to start with,” said Osborne. “I had another bad start and I don’t know why. I’ve done everything I know to get better. After the crash I didn’t ride well. I was tight and just let it get away from me. I didn’t have a great week leading into this race—I only rode one time—so maybe that hurt me. I’ll get back to the regular schedule and just keep working hard. That's what I need to do.”
It was an exceptional night for the Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/ Honda team, who had all four of their riders finish in the top 10. Cole Seely put together a solid ride from start to finish to claim his first victory of the 2014 Western Regional 250SX season. Heading into round four in Oakland, Seely leads the series by one point. “It was an awesome night for our team,” stated Seely. “We have done so much testing before and during the season and spent countless hours at the track, so it is nice to have the hard work pay off. I had some breathing room on the last lap, which was nice. We are going to keep the momentum going headed into next week.”
Teammate Malcolm Stewart continues to improve each week, and he posted his best result of the season with a third. Teammate and 250-class rookie Shane McElrath had an impressive night, riding his CRF250R to a sixth-place finish, his first top-10 finish of the season. Teammate Jessy Nelson landed in 10th.
Team Honda Muscle Milk helped celebrate the AMA Supercross Series’ 40th anniversary at Angel Stadium this Saturday, with Justin Barcia’s CRF450R featuring retro graphics, a red frame and even forkgaiters, a design that paid homage to machines ridden by past Honda Champions Donnie Hanson, David Bailey, Johnny O’Mara and Rick Johnson. This 1980s-inspired bike was a complete head turner in the pits. Since the series’ inception, American Honda Racing has claimed a total of 15 premier-class Championships, more than any other manufacturer. Team rider Justin Barcia was just as excited as the fans about his throwback CRF450R as he stated, “The bike turned out so awesome. It is really cool to be able to represent the history of Honda while celebrating Supercross’ 40 years at the same time. There are so many champions that came before me, I just hope that I am able to put my name on that list.”
|1||Cole Seely (Honda)|
|3||Malcolm Stewart (Honda)|
|6||Shane McElrath (Honda)|
|8||Zach Osborne (Honda)||9||Michael Leib|
|10||Jessy Nelson (Honda)|