Seattle Supercross: GEICO Honda Preview
2011 AMA Supercross
It’s been two months since GEICO Honda riders Eli Tomac and teammate Jimmy Decotis have mounted their 250cc machines for Supercross Lites West action, and the duo are hopeful the long layoff brought on by the tour’s journey through the eastern states will have no effect on their stellar early-season performances.
Tomac entered the lull as the hottest rider in the sport, racking up four podium finishes leading into the break, including his first win at the top level of the sport at the last Lites West race in San Diego. He was also runner-up in Los Angeles and Anaheim 2, and third overall in Oakland. His impressive surge lifted him to third in the rankings, 12 off the lead with three races left in the season as the series arrives at Qwest Field, Seattle, for this Saturday’s race.
Eli Tomac (GEICO Honda CRF250R) says: “It’s definitely been motivating to watch the East racers on TV, especially with my teammate Justin Barcia leading the points over there. It makes me want to get back out there on the track more than ever. It was hard to stop when we did, but all you can do is turn it into a positive.
“I’ve been riding a lot of outdoors on my time off since the Motocross season is starting soon. That’s been keeping me in shape. We haven’t really made any changes on the bike. It was working great so we really didn’t feel the need to change anything during the break. It’s been more about staying focused and riding every day.”
Tomac’s win in San Diego brought him within 12 points of Josh Hansen and nine points of Broc Tickle, the two men he expects to battle for the title.
Eli Tomac says: “For Seattle and the next three rounds I need to keep getting good starts and finish up on the (podium) every race. Beating Hansen and Tickle is the ultimate goal because we are all in it for the championship. I need to beat those two guys every round to have a chance.”
Qwest Field is an open-air stadium, which increases the chances for soft, muddy, rutted-out conditions. But that won’t phase team GEICO Honda 450cc rider Kevin Windham, who proved in winning last year’s Seattle race that he thrives in treacherous environments.
Kevin Windham (GEICO Honda CRF450R) says: “Sometimes you go to a city where you’ve done good in the past and even through it’s a different track every time, you find ways to do good there.
“Houston was a prime example of that this year. I nearly won the race — I was way out in front – but had a big crash. Hopefully we can re-live that in Seattle without another get-off.
“Seattle always has been good to me, so hopefully we can do it again. If it’s wet and muddy, I tend to do well for whatever reason, so I’m one of those guys that loves it when the weather turns.”
An early season replacement for the injured Wil Hahn, DeCostis occupies 10th place in Lites West rankings. Despite a frantic, last-minute call-up to one of the sport’s top teams, DeCostis has performed well under pressure, finishing a season-best fifth in San Diego.
Jimmy DeCotis (GIECO Honda CRF250R) says: “It has been awesome being able to ride for the GEICO Honda team this year in Wil’s place. It’s been such a great opportunity for me and something I’ve needed to bring me to that next level.
“I’ve always been that guy who has been on the border line of being up front but I haven’t been able to stay up there all the time. I think being on a team with the best bikes and motors and all new equipment has helped me get to where I need to be.
“Working with Eli has been great also. I’ve been able to go to his house and ride with him, which will be good for the last few rounds, and I’m excited to get back out there and have some fun racing and riding like I know I can.”
A GEICO Honda team rider has been on the podium in 11 straight races. There are three races remaining on the 2011 Supercross schedule – Seattle, Salt Lake, and Las Vegas. The Seattle race will be shown on SPEED.