Adjusting to the grind of the all-outdoor Lucas Oil Motocross Championship took a little time for the riders of the vaunted GEICO Powersports Honda team, but five races into the schedule the team has found its stride heading into this weekend’s Rockstar Energy Red Bud National.
For 250cc rider Blake Wharton ending the opening stretch of the season on a strong note is key.
Blake Wharton says: “We have our first weekend off after this race and I know if you ride bad right before a break, there;s a long time to think about what you did wrong,” Wharton said. “So I’m going to be really focused so I can get a good finish this weekend. I want to be able to relax for a few days.”
Wharton had a solid top-five finish a week ago at Thunder Valley outside Denver and came out strong in the second moto, running second to GEICO Powersports Honda teammate Trey Canard for an early segment of that race.
“I’ve really been concentrating on getting good starts and improving my physical endurance,” Wharton said. “I’m feeling a lot better about my riding the past two or three races and the finishes back that up.”
For GEICO Powersports Honda’s 450cc rider Brett Metcalfe, the looming break means he’ll be able to dig deeper to reach the top of the podium.
Brett Metcalfe says: “You always do whatever you can to win but knowing you have the extra time to recover really allows you to give that 110-percent effort,” Metcalfe said. “We’re really striving to win motos and win races. You have to take advantage of these situations when they arrive.”
Metcalfe placed third last week in Denver and is a lofty second in the seasonlong championship points.
Canard is also coming off a strong week in Denver where he finished second in the 250cc race and moved up to fourth in the season points.
GEICO Powersports Honda’s other two 250cc riders, Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac, are also in the top five of the championship standings.
Opening ceremonies for the Red Bud National are at 12:30 p.m. The 450cc race will be broadcast live on NBC stations starting at 3:30 p.m. EDT on July 3. The 250cc race will be telecast on SPEED at 4 p.m. on July 4.