Two races so far in 2013. Two different 450 Supercross Main event winners. Round 1 in Anaheim it was Davi Millsaps. And last Saturday in Phoenix it was Justin ‘Bam-Bam’ Barcia, with his first ever 450 Supercross Main Event win in the Monster Energy Supercross Series.
In the 250 West SX class, defending champion Eli Tomac won for the second weekend in a row.
Justin Barica (51) – winner 450 SX Main Event: “I can’t tell you how excited I am right now. I didn’t think this win would come so soon. I kept it smooth out there, but the track was super slick. It was a great night for me. This feeling is honestly unreal. It was a good night for me, especially for how talented this class is. I don’t want to say I didn’t think it would happen this fast because I knew I was capable of winning, but I didn’t expect it happening at round two. I got a good start in the main and just tried to put together a solid 20 laps, which I was able to do, and take the win. This is so awesome and hopefully I can have a few more this season to contend for the championship.”
Eli Tomac (1 red plate) – winner 250 SX Main Event: “I am totally stoked. I am now two-for-two this season, and to get a win here in Phoenix is huge because I have a lot of family and friends here. I haven’t had a lot of great races here in the past, so picking up the win is awesome. You always hope to win by 10 seconds. That’s about as good as it gets in this sport. But you also know there are so many things that can happen. You have to just take it as it comes and ride hard the whole time. You can’t worry too much about everyone else. My starts have been terrible though. I’ve been lining up on the inside and just playing it safe. I’ve been lucky to even be in the top five or six and then I have to make it up from there. It’s definitely something I need to work on. This is the closest place we go on the Supercross tour to my home in (Cortez) Colorado so to do this here with all my friends and family watching is really cool. I’m super happy right now.”
Ryan Villopoto (1) – 2nd place 450 SX class, defending Monster Energy Supercross Champion: “Tonight was a lot better than Anaheim. I wasn’t too happy with my heat race, but the main was a step in the right direction. It still wasn’t quite what I wanted, but the potential is there. We’re continuing to work on the bike during the week and working to adapt to the different conditions each week. If we can stay on the box every weekend we should be in good shape.”
Davi Millsaps (18) – 3rd place 450 SX Main, current series points leader: “For how bad the day was, coming out and establishing a third was good. If I can make these kind of days my worst, and my best days like last weekend in Anaheim, I’ll be good.”
Chad Reed (22) – two time AMA Supercross Series Champion (2004, 2008) “We have come away with some safe points but we really do need to step it up now. It’s no secret that I wasn’t happy with how I rode at A1 and while tonight I felt that I rode a bit better, there is still work to do with the bike. We had a long debrief after the race tonight and will be back at the test track early next week.”
James Stewart (7) – two-time AMA Supercross Series Champion (2007, 2009) “Round two was a little bit better than round one. My knee was sore but I was able to deal with it in the main event. I got a bad start, but I was able to pass a couple of people, and then I did what I did last week, I just stayed there. I’m happy we got out of Phoenix without damaging anything and I felt a little stronger than I did last week. We have a couple of things to work on, but the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 was awesome. In both main events this year, it’s been phenomenal. Unfortunately, I’m just not riding up to par right now. One reason is because of the injury but the other reason is I that just need to let it hang it out there a little more. I can feel that I’m getting stronger, so we’ll be better next week, for sure.”
Trey Canard (41) “I got about a fifth-place start and made sure to try and ride patiently. The dirt here is pretty slick so it’s easy to over ride the track and lose traction. I felt really good all the way to the last lap and did the same thing as last week. I got too cautious and excited on the last lap and ended up going down, but still got fifth and I’m just grateful to be here. I’m having a great time and am excited to see Justin get the win. Everyone here at Team Honda Muscle Milk deserves it and works hard.”
Kevin Windham (14) “I’m still building up my confidence. It was a very quick pace for such a tight track design and it really placed a premium on being smart and staying upright. There were some things I did that really felt good and a few other areas where I need to improve but I’m getting back to where I need to be. It’s really more mental than physical and it takes a little time. My confidence is growing every race. I’ve had a mental block ever since my get-off in Houston (last year) and I’ve had to get past it. My riding is fine; it’s just getting the thoughts of danger out of my head and just going out there and riding like I know how. You’d think after 18 years you would be able to flip a switch but it’s not like that. In fact, it’s probably worse now because the ground is harder on a 34-year-old body than an 20-year-old body. It’ll be good to be back at Anaheim so soon after just being there. I had a clean race in the season opener, which helped a bunch. I think we can put together something a little better this time through and start earning more points. The field of riders is very hungry this year, like always, and it’s been wild. I’m hoping that staying clean and healthy in these early races will pay off down the road.”
Broc Tickle (20) “I thought it was solid night. It was a little bit frustrating in the Main because I had a really good week of practice. We worked on a bunch of things and thought that I got them down for tonight’s race. Overall, my race was pretty solid. I just need to be more aggressive out there and not get squeezed on the start. The start tonight wasn’t that good but I don’t think it was my fault. Guys just slammed into (turn) 1 and things got really hairy, really fast. The goal this week is to keep working on our starts and work on my aggression.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Team Manager, Roger De Coster, stated regarding their 450 SX rider Ryan Dungey (5), “Unfortunately, Ryan didn’t have great starts tonight which affected his overall results. He came from the rear of the field to finish a solid 8th place and we are grateful to salvage those points. Overall, the bike was running great tonight and once we perfect the starts we should be in the running for a win.”
Ken Roczen (94) “I am disappointed in my start tonight. I just had a bad start and had to spend too much time coming through the pack. My focus this last week has been my starts and I will continue to work on them in order to get up front early and battle for the lead in the next rounds.”
Zach Osborne (338) “Considering the way I felt at 3 o’clock today, I’m really happy to be sitting here in fourth place. I took a really hard hit and they gave me a few shots for the pain but it still hurt quite a bit. I wasn’t event sure I could ride the Heat race but I decided to give it a try and after a few laps I knew I could finish it. It hurt in the whoops and whenever the bike was pulling but I just got through it. I had a good start in the Heat race and followed that up with another good start in the Main. That set me up for decent rides and I just did the best I could. I definitely need some rest now. I doubt I’ll be doing a bunch of riding this week. We’ll have to see. The most I can do this week is rest my body. I’ve been really sore, mostly like the feeling of having something pulled in my back and shoulder. My fitness level is up there so I don’t think that a few days off the bike will hurt me too much. I really don’t have a choice because I have to just take it easy and recover. To be tied for fourth place is about as good as I can hope for. I really didn’t even know if I could ride in the heat race at Phoenix until it was time to go out there and try. I did the best I could, got some good starts and was able to salvage a decent finish. I know in my head I can compete with anyone out there. I just haven’t been able to show it yet. It’ll happen soon.”
Monster Energy Supercross will continue next Saturday night, January 19, at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, Calif.
Justin Barcia on his way to winning the 2013 Phoenix Supercross