2014 AMA SuperCross, an FIM World Championship
Torrance, CA: Round four of the 2014 Supercross series took place this weekend in Oakland, CA. The O.Co Coliseum, which serves as home to the Oakland Raiders and Oakland Athletics, was filled Saturday night with 47,339 Supercross enthusiasts. Honda Red Riders posted top-10 results in both the 450 and 250 classes, gaining valuable points in the overall championship chase.
Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia came into Oakland looking for redemption after a tough round three in Anaheim, and he looked fast throughout the day and in his heat race. Unfortunately, when the gate dropped for the main Barcia got a less-than-desirable jump and was mid-pack heading into the first turn. By lap three he had worked his way into sixth and was setting himself up to join a heated multi-rider battle for third until going down and falling outside the top 10. He quickly remounted his CRF450R and was able to recover a seventh-place finish.
“These starts are killing me,” stated Barcia. “I know I have the speed to run up front with those guys but I’m not putting myself in a good position at the start. Everyone is so fast it makes it tough to work your way through the pack and still have a chance. I was right in the mix before I went down, which sucked. The bike was working awesome, I just need to get my starts down and be consistent.”
Team manager Dan Bentley explains, “This class is so competitive that it is absolutely imperative to get a good start. Justin has been riding great and his lap times are right there with the leaders. If he can get a good start, I know he will win.”
Muscle Milk-sponsored GEICO Honda rider Wil Hahn scored his best result in the premier class by finishing eighth. For the first time this season, Hahn avoided the semi-qualifying race by advancing directly to the main event via a third-place effort in his heat race. In the main event, Hahn sat in fifth after the first two laps but fell backwards into eighth after making contact with Barcia, which is where he would ultimately finish. “The whole day was better,” said Hahn. “My practices were better and my heat race was awesome. I got my starts better, and that was the main goal of the week. We did well here, and more than anything I was able to bring more speed. My riding was a lot more well-rounded, and I am looking forward to building on this weekend’s progress.”
Muscle Milk-backed GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne had a solid night, finishing fifth in the 250SX class main event. Osborne led the early stages of his heat race but after a heated battle with another rider, ended up finishing second. In the main event, Osborne finally got the start he has been looking for, landing him in fifth at the beginning of the race. He swapped back and forth with the rider in fourth multiple times and was trying to retake the position in the closing laps but went down in the whoops. He quickly recovered and was able to maintain fifth all the way to the checkered.
“It’s not what I want, but I got to lead some laps in the heat race and was really close to winning it, which was good,” explained Osborne. “In the main event I finally got the start I needed, but I just didn’t really make the most of the situation. I was going for fourth towards the end of the race and knew I had to make something happen, so I tried passing Seely through the whoops. I missed a whoop and went over the bars pretty hard. I’m fine and still was able to finish fifth.”
After claiming his first victory of the season last weekend in Anaheim, Troy Lee Designs/ Lucas Oil/ Honda’s Cole Seely came into Oakland with the points lead but dropped back to second after his fourth-place finish. He is a mere six points behind the leader with two more rounds remaining before the Western Regional mid-season break. Teammates Jessy Nelson and Shane McElrath posted respectable results, finishing sixth and seventh.
Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia and Trey Canard flew into the Bay Area a few days early to partake in Oakland’s press day functions and for the team’s annual visit to the Muscle Milk headquarters in Benicia. Both riders interviewed with local TV news stations, including KPIX CBS Channel 5, which ran a feature on Barcia that aired Friday evening.
During the headquarter visit, riders signed autographs and answered questions for employees during a meet-and-greet session. Then they got a rare opportunity to taste test new flavors and products produced by Muscle Milk, including their new organic line, which will launch later this year. That evening Muscle Milk-sponsored riders Barcia, Canard, Hahn and Osborne attended the Golden State Warriors (also sponsored by Muscle Milk) basketball game. They were presented with custom jerseys that had their name and racing numbers on them, and then were allowed to watch the team warm up courtside. Barcia and Hahn wore their jerseys during the Supercross opening ceremonies the following night.
|7||Justin Barcia (Honda)|
|8||William Hahn (Honda)|
|4||Cole Seely (Honda)|
|5||Zach Osborne (Honda)|
|6||Michael Leib (Honda)|
|7||Jessy Nelson (Honda)|
|8||Shane Mcelrath (Honda)|