Christian Craig Motocross/Supercross News
Fresh off the first podium finish of his career at the RedBud National, rider Christian Craig has signed to join the vaunted GEICO Honda race team full time. Craig has been filling in for injured rider Justin Bogle this summer, his second such part-time gig with the championship-winning group. Now he’ll be one of the premiere athletes in both Supercross and motocross.
“I honestly can’t put into words how much this opportunity means to me,” Craig said. “Before I retired, I could have only dreamed of being on the GEICO Honda team and now it’s a reality. It’s crazy to me and I feel like it’s a dream.”
The 23-year-old San Diego native, who now lives in Plymouth, Minn., with his wife Paige and their son Jagger, began his original two-wheel dream in 2009 when he debuted with Joe Gibbs Racing. He then moved to Troy Lee Designs, where he raced for four seasons.
After parting ways with TLD at the end of 2013, Christian Craig decided to retire before returning for fill-in duty last summer when GEICO Honda when Eli Tomac was sidelined. That re-lit his passion for the sport and he dedicated himself to one last attempt to ride professionally, which started when Bogle went down.
“Christian has been a very comfortable and easy fit when we’ve needed him to fill-in,” team co-owner Rick “Ziggy” Zielfelder said. “A person’s integrity means a lot to me and to be a part of this team you have to work extremely hard and earn your spot.
“Because Christian Craig is (team co-owner Jeff Majkrzak’s) son-in-law, he’s had to work much harder to prove himself than anyone who has come before him. It’s been wonderful to see him dig in and do the work. He deserves this contract.”
After last year’s stint aboard a 450, Christian Craig rededicated himself to being ready for another full-time attempt, keeping himself fit and race-ready. He’s currently riding a CRF250R.
“I’ve worked hard to prove to people I can do this again and to have the entire GEICO Honda team behind me means so much,” Craig said. “It was pretty cool after Thunder Valley when I spoke with Ziggy and he said that he doesn’t care what my father-in-law says, him and (crew chief Mike) LaRocco want me on the team. That made me feel like everyone believed in me, not just Jeff because he’s family.
“I want to give a special thank you to everyone on the team. They have treated me like family from the start. Of course, I want to thank Jeff and my wife’s whole family for getting behind me and supporting me as I chase my dream again. And lastly, Ziggy, (team co-owner) Mike Grondahl and Mike LaRocco for supporting me through all this. I can’t wait to see what next year holds.”