2011 AMA Supercross
Both of GEICO Honda’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross Lites riders finished on the podium Saturday night, the first time that has happened all season.
Justin Barcia led eight laps before eventually finishing second at Rogers Centre for his sixth consecutive Supercross podium, with Honda stablemate Blake Wharton finishing third, his first podium of the season
Justin Barcia (GEICO Honda CRF250R) says: “Last year I won this race, but this year was even tougher. The track was just sick. I struggled with the whoops this weekend and I really think that is what cost me the win.”
GEICO Honda’s Supercross rider Kevin Windham finished eighth.
In the Supercross Lites Main Event, Wharton got the holeshot and took the lead through the opening part of the rock-strewn course. Barcia, Dean Wilson, Malcom Stewart, and Ryan Sipes were hot on Wharton’s tail.
In a thrilling exchange, Wharton crossed bars with Sipes, knocking him off the track in a reversal of what happened in the Lites East opener in Houston. Aboard the Honda, Barcia took the lead with Wilson second and Stewart third. Wharton settled into fourth.
Blake Wharton (GEICO Honda CRF250R) says: “It’s just racing. I wasn’t complaining after Round 1. Nobody likes to get pushed of the track, so I can understand why (Sipes) is mad.”
A few laps later Stewart crashed hard on a jump, which moved Wharton up to third. Barcia, who hasn’t finished lower than second all year, and Wilson were settling into a battle of their own with Wilson riding strong – and making up a lot of time through the whoops section. Wilson eventually reeled Barcia in at about halfway through the race before pulling away for the victory.
Justin Barcia says: “I feel like I was good everywhere else, but Wilson was just better in the whoops. I rode a good race. I keep putting it on the (podium) box. I was going for the win tonight, but just didn’t make it happen.”
Barcia, who celebrated his 19th birthday Friday, leaves Canada with a 16-point edge on Wilson with three races left in the Supercross Lites East season.
Justin Barcia says: “I feel great on the bike right now. I’m sure the team is stoked. We’d rather have been Nos. 1 and 2, but 2 and 3 is not bad for sure.”
Wharton, who has been fighting shoulder problems, said his Supercross podium finish was a long time coming.
Blake Wharton says: “The first two rounds (of the season), I should have been on the podium. I just now happened to get on there. You’ve got to get good starts to get on the podium and I was able to do that tonight.”
The Supercross Main Event featured another wild and wooly start that Honda’s Windham was tangled in. The loose, rocky course made passing difficult but the veteran rider battled on to scratch his way to an eighth-place finish.
Kevin Windham (GEICO Honda CRF450R) says: “I’m really disgusted about everything that went down tonight. We’ll just have to go back out next week and ride better.”
The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series makes its way back to warmer climes on April 2, when the series shifts to Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas.