2014 AMA SuperCross, an FIM World Championship
Torrance, CA: Century Link Stadium, home to the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders, was filled Saturday night with 53,927 racing enthusiasts for round 15 of the AMA Supercross series. The Honda Red Riders had a successful night with Eli Tomac landing his Muscle Milk-backed GEICO Honda in fourth and Team Honda Muscle Milk riders Justin Barcia and Trey Canard scoring fifth and sixth respectively.
Barcia secured his position in the main event via a second place finish in his heat race on his CFR450R. When the gate dropped on the night’s final 20-lap race, Barcia struggled off the line, leaving him 10th after the first turn. For the balance of the race he fought his way forward through the field, ultimately finishing fifth.
“I’m not thrilled on how tonight ended up for sure. It was a tough day,” stated Barcia. “I struggled a lot with bike setup and the track was really challenging. Going from east coast to west coast dirt and track conditions was difficult and I wasn’t able to adapt or find the right settings today. I rode okay in the main event; didn’t get a great start and just had to fight through the pack to finish fifth. I’m looking forward to having a weekend after 15 rounds straight so I can regroup and head into New York strong. I want to win there bad; it would be incredibly special since it is a home race for me. I know I can win, we just need to put all the pieces together.”
In heat one, Canard got a decent jump off the line and was able to sneak to the inside of the first turn, emerging in fourth. On lap five he worked his way into second, which is where he finished, allowing him to move directly into the main. Unfortunately, when the gate dropped for the main Canard was towards the back of the pack heading into the first turn. He spent the remainder of the 20-lap race charging through the field to nab an impressive sixth.
“My start was not where it needed to be tonight in the main event,” said Canard. “I felt good all day and really enjoyed the track and my bike, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to be up there racing with the top guys. Unfortunately, I started outside the top 15 and had to work my way all the way through the pack. I’m happy to have been able to make it into sixth and be leaving here healthy.”
Tomac logged his second best finish of his 450-rookie season with a fourth. “Overall I am pretty satisfied with the night,” stated Tomac. “It was a long 20 laps, but I’m getting stronger and stronger each weekend. It was an okay start; I was somewhere around the top seven, then made some early passes and ended up settling in fourth place.”
Following an intense battle in his heat race, Zach Osborne scored a second-place finish, transferring him directly into the main event. He then launched his GEICO Honda CRF250R off the line to a less-than-desirable start leaving him towards the back of the pack. The remainder of the 20 laps was spent in an admirable charge through the pack, which eventually netted him sixth place.
“The heat race was really good for me. I got off to a decent start and then I had a good battle with Malcolm [Stewart] and then Dean [Wilson] after he crashed,” explained Osborne. “In the main event I just blew the start. I was 15th and rode to a mediocre sixth. I really feel like I let one slip away tonight. Being on the podium seemed to be within my reach after the heat race ride, so I am a bit disappointed.”
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/ Honda’s Cole Seely put together an impeccable race, leading every lap of the main event to capture his second win of the season. With one round remaining in the 250 West competition, Seely sits only eight points out of the championship spot. Teammate Jessy Nelson rode one of his best races of the season, finishing fifth, followed by Malcolm Stewart in ninth and Shane McElrath in 10th.
The Focus: Inside the Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Race Trucks
Team Honda Muscle Milk utilizes two semi rigs at each Supercross race. The technical truck is where the mechanics and crew spend the majority of their time during race day. This is the semi that transports the race bikes, tools and all spare parts. Each drawer and cabinet in the semi is labeled to make sure everything is kept clean and organized. Every part has a specific part number that correlates with a tracking document in a computer to help keep track of inventory. That way the team knows what parts are being used and what needs to be replenished. The technical truck is also equipped with a full office that includes a TV to watch the live feed of the practices and races, as well as a computer to access AMA information such as qualifying times, and log race data.
The hospitality truck has the same basic layout as the technical truck except it is used as a hang out for the riders, a place for them to keep their gear and where lunch/dinner are served for the team. The back portion of the hospitality truck is the team’s suspension area, which is where the Showa crew member makes any changes to the rider’s suspension that are needed. Additionally, the upstairs of the hospitality truck is where the riders spend a majority of their time during the day. Each rider has their own personal area to keep their belongings and relax throughout the long race day.
|4||Eli Tomac (Honda)|
|5||Justin Barcia (Honda)|
|6||Trey Canard (Honda)|
|1||Cole Seely (Honda)|
|5||Jessy Nelson (Honda)|
|6||Zach Osborne (Honda)|
|8||Jake Canada (Honda)|
|9||Malcolm Stewart (Honda)|
|10||Shane Mcelrath (Honda)|