GEICO Honda Lites rider Justin Barcia finishes second in Atlanta
Not even a sore wrist can slow down GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia.
Barcia hurt his wrist during qualifying for Saturday night’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross Lites East stage at the Georgia Dome, but he soldiered on to finish second on the night for his second podium in as many races. It’s the sixth straight week a GEICO Honda Lites rider has finished on the podium.
“I felt like it was a pretty good day,” Barcia said. “I had a crash in practice and hurt my wrist but I charged on all night. It went really well, so I’m happy with the way it turned out.”
It was Barcia’s GEICO Honda teammate, Blake Wharton, who seized the initial advantage in the Lite East Main Event.
Wharton, who had to get into the main via the Last Chance Qualifier, overcame the last gate pick to come from far on the outside, get the hole shot and early lead.
Wharton led for 11 laps until he clipped a jump going into the corner, lost his front end and the lead. When Wharton recovered, he found himself in fourth, where he ultimately finished.
“There’s a lot of good things about tonight, considering I had a wreck or two,” Wharton said. “I feel like I was riding pretty good, but, you know, there’s always room for improvement.
“I was in the lead for a while but fell. So I guess if I’m going fall it’s better to fall in first. But I got fourth and for a rough night, fourth isn’t too bad. I need to make sure I bring it up a little, because I need to podium.”
Barcia battled hard to try to win back-to-back races, but too many obstacles stood between him and winner Dean Wilson.
“There’s a lot of lappers on the track in the main event so that was really tough and you just have be smart,” Barcia said. “The track was tough, it was a little slick but there’s not really many things you could do, like little things you could do different. But everyone’s kind of doing the same thing so you really just have to race the track and keep charging.”
Barcia won his heat race earlier in the night, while Wharton suffered a crash in his, finished 15th and won the Lites LCQ to make the main.
In the 450cc Supercross class, Kevin Windham finished eighth in the main which halted a streak of two straight weeks of DNFs.
“It was a good race for me today with GEICO Honda,” Windham said. “I didn’t get the best start, but my times were complete and I felt really strong.
“With the crashes in Houston and San Diego, it was honestly nice to finish the race. It’s hard at my age or really any age to take those falls.”
The GEICO Honda team travels to Daytona International Speedway on March 5 for the next Monster Energy AMA Supercross tour stop.