It’s been two and a half months since GEICO Honda’s riders have been on the track racing in the GEICO Motorcycle AMA EnduroCross Series. So what have team members been doing with their time leading up to Saturday’s event in Citizens Business Bank Arena?
Kevin Rookstool says: “I’ve been racing everything I can. I raced all the (Motocross) outdoor nationals, and finished that up last week. It’s kept me busy.”
Rookstool, who is seventh in series points with a best finish of fourth on the season, said that while Endurocross and Motocross are far from 100 percent comparable disciplines, they do have one major component in common: the both require a good launch from a starting gate.
Kevin Rookstool says: “Gate drops are only something you can get good at with experience. I’ve seen a lot of competitive gate drops this summer; it’s all I’ve been doing. That’s got me really excited about this weekend.”
He said that after a summer of speed in Motocross, it won’t take much to adjust to the more technical task of navigating an Endurocross course.
Kevin Rookstool says: “This week I’ve spend some time testing and focusing back on Endurocross. It didn’t take more than a few sessions to get back in the groove. I’ve been riding my bike so much this summer that I’m now really comfortable.”
GEICO Honda’s Geoff Aaron also attended a few Motocross events, but he spent his time on the midway rather than on the racetrack.
When not racing, Aaron tours the country doing Trials demonstrations at various events sponsored by Red Bull.
Geoff Aaron says: “It’s really the best of both worlds for me. While I’m able to stay in touch with fans (and maybe create some new ones), I’m also keeping my Endurocross skills sharp by navigating over obstacles three or four times a weekend.
“I also did a two day race up in Idaho with a lot of the regulars from the Endurocross series.”
Aaron was hampered by a preseason shoulder injury during the first handful of races, but the extra time off since the last event has given him his strength and endurance back. He currently sits 13th in the points, but is only two points out of a Top 10 spot.
Geoff Aaron says: “It’s been more of a nagging injury than I wanted it to be. The more you are on the bike, the more aggravated it gets. I’ve actually had to lay off a bit to keep it from getting too sore.”
It’s been an even longer layoff for GEICO Honda’s Keith Wineland, who did not qualify to race in the X Games. Wineland is looking to make his first main event of the season.
Practice for the GEICO Motorcycle AMA Endurocross Series gets under way at 9 a.m. PDT Saturday from Citizens Business Bank Arena. Qualifying for the race gets under way at 11 a.m. with opening ceremonies at 7 p.m.