From GEICO Honda: Shortly before the start of Saturday’s Moto-X 338 National, it was announced that GEICO Honda rider Justin Barcia was selected for Team USA for the 2012 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations, which runs on Sept. 30 in Lommel, Belgium.
“It was a surprise when they asked,” Barcia said. “I didn’t think I was in the right situation being second in the points right now.”
Barcia will ride MX3, which is a 450cc class. Other Team USA members announced were Ryan Dungey riding MX1 (450cc) and Blake Baggett riding MX2 (250cc).
“I ride a 450 bike pretty well and they needed another guy,” Barcia said. “I definitely believe I can and am going to be that guy. It’s very exciting and I’m very ecstatic.”
Barcia is the fourth rider in the history of the GEICO Honda team to ride in the Motocross des Nations. Kevin Windham and Trey Canard previously represented the U.S., while Brett Metcalfe represented his native Australia.
GEICO Honda team manager Mike LaRocco also raced in the event during his riding career and said Barcia is in for an experience of a lifetime.
“It starts as a tremendous feeling of honor,” LaRocco said. “Then it can be stressful because you are trying to make a lot of things happen in a foreign country where they don’t want the Americans to win.
“You get the feeling that it’s the world against you. There’s a lot of different things to take in but overall it’s a cool experience.”
The track in Belgium is known to be sandy, which is another plus in Barcia’s favor.
“I like to ride in the sand, I just enjoy it,” Barcia said. “I’m going to do my best for Team USA and of course try to win the thing like we always do.
“I wish motocross was part of the Olympics; it should be. Hopefully one day we will. For now this is as close as it gets for me and the most prestigious race I’ve been in, ever.”