The possibility of racing with a million bucks on the line is enough to get a rider’s blood pumping, but for GEICO Honda superstar rider Kevin Windham, just being a part of a meaningful race for the first time in months is exciting in itself.
Windham will join GEICO Honda teammate Eli Tomac at Saturday’s Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium with an eye toward getting a measure of the 2013 Supercross competition and, of course, winning the $1 million top prize.
The last time Windham raced was Houston Supercross, the round where he was injured.
Kevin Windham says: “I haven’t raced since Houston Supercross, which was back in April. Things are good right now. My body is strong.
“I’ve been doing a lot of preparation and (this week) I came out to California and rode the 2013 Honda for the first time. I had an amazing day of testing and I’m looking forward heading into Monster Energy Cup on that new bike.”
Even though there is big money up for grabs and a slightly different format than a standard Supercross race, Windham said he’s not going to change his approach too much.
Kevin Windham says: “I’m going to try and treat it as just another race. That being said, I’ve never been so confident about a bike after one day of testing than I am with this 2013 Honda. I’m going out there to race the best guys in the sport and I feel very confident.
“It’d be nice to win a whole heap of money – and that is the goal – but it’s also nice to be feeling good and be able to get my feet wet on this new bike.”
Tomac is coming off a career year for the GEICO Honda team with the Lites West championship in Supercross and a third-place effort in Motocross’s 250cc class that featured eight moto wins and four overall victories. This weekend Tomac will be riding a 450cc bike.
Eli Tomac says: “It’s going to be cool to jump up there and compete against the fastest guys in the world. It’s a little different competition than what I see in the 250 class with all the veterans who will be out there.”
Tomac said he’s looking forward to conquering the track, which has some unusual features, most notably the “Joker Lane,” an extended section of track every rider has to pass through at least once a race.
Eli Tomac says: “By the way it looks, it seems like a fun track. There’s no whoops, but it’s got a lot of rhythm sections. It seems like a perfect mix.
“We’ve talked about (the Joker Lane). If you are in the lead you are going to want to take it late, because you want a chance to put a gap on the guys behind you. If you are in the back, you might want to do it early and get it out of the way.”
Windham echoed the situational nature of that feature of the track.
Kevin Windham says: “It’s one of the obstacles you’ll face during the race,” he said. “I can see it coming into play if there’s a guy you are trying to pass holding you up. You don’t want to take the lane at the same time he does. There’s going to be a little strategy to that.”
Justin Barcia, who won the last two Lites East titles in Supercross for GEICO Honda, will be making his debut this weekend with his new team, Muscle Milk Honda.
GEICO Honda’s future will also be on display during the Amateur All-Stars at the Monster Energy Cup with Matt Bisceglia and Jordan Smith both committed to take part in the event.
Practice for the Monster Energy Cup gets under way at 12:30 p.m. PDT from Sam Boyd Stadium with opening ceremonies starting at 7 p.m. SPEED will broadcast the event live starting at 10 p.m. EDT.