2012 AMA Motocross
GEICO Honda riders took the top two spots on the 250cc class overall podium at the High Point National in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday.
With finishes of second and first, Eli Tomac won the overall title, the second time this season he’s accomplished that feat (Freestone was the first). Justin Barcia was second overall after winning the first moto and finishing third in the day’s finale.
However it was all easier said than done.
Tomac needed a strong finishing kick to get around leader Ken Roczen on the last lap of the second moto. After a start that saw him buried in the pack, Tomac worked his way forward before passing Barcia for second place late in the 30-minute moto. He believed there was a too large of a gap to close – until Roczen, who had tipped over briefly, came into his view.
Eli Tomac (GEICO Honda CRF250R Motocross) says: “I was like, ‘I’ve got a real chance at this now.’ I kept digging deep and made it happen on the third turn of the last lap.”
That third turn was Tomac’s sweet spot all day long, saying that he was able to find a passing line better there than anywhere else on the track.
Eli Tomac says: “That second moto was a lot of work, but I never gave up. I felt like I was a little tight in that first moto, but I got second, which was real important for that overall win.”
Barcia agreed that everyone had their work cut out for them on a track that was abnormally dry and slick.
Justin Barcia (GEICO Honda CRF250R Motocross) says: “The first moto was good for me. Got a good start and was running strong. In the first moto, the track was awesome, but by the end of the day, the track really went away. I kind of struggle with a track that’s bumpy and slick like that.
“Getting on the podium again is always good. It was a good day, but I always want to win.”
GEICO Honda’s riders spent much of the day battling each other on the track. At one point in the first moto, Barcia, Wil Hahn and Tomac were running 1-2-3. In the second moto, Barcia and Tomac raced side-by-side for several laps.
Eli Tomac says: “It felt like we were next for each other for an hour. But it was only like five laps, but I was easting roost like crazy.”
It’s the third straight race a GEICO Honda rider has won the 250cc overall. Barcia now trails leader Blake Baggett by seven points.
Justin Barcia says: “It a good feeling to cut into that lead every week. I definitely want that red (leader’s) plate and that championship at the end of the season.”
Tomac is in third, 11 in back of the leader.
Eli Tomac says: “We’re inching closer to the lead. It’s good to have a teammate there battling with me too. I think we’re really helping each other out in that way.”
Hahn had his best race of the season to date. He started strong and ran with the leaders in the first moto before ultimately finishing fourth. Hahn had to charge through the field after a first-lap pileup to finish ninth. Overall, he took sixth on the day.
Wil Hahn (GEICO Honda CRF250R Motocross) says: “The first moto was really positive, I made a lot of improvements. Second moto was my fault. Got a terrible jump out of the gate, and locked bars with a few people, bounced off each other, then slid out between the first and second turn.
“I’ve got to break this habit of starting dead last and working my way up. It’s my best weekend, but I’ve got to crack that top five.”
Up next for the GEICO Honda team is the fifth race of the outdoor season: the Budds Creek National on June 16 in Mechanicsville, Md.