SACRAMENTO, Calif. – GEICO Honda rider Kevin Windham has seemingly done it all during his illustrious Supercross and Motocross career. He is revered as one of the most down-to-earth people on tour, he’s a perennial fan favorite, and is widely regarded as one of the smoothest riders in history. Yet in all that success there still is one thing he wants to do — win a championship at the top level of the sport.
It is for that reason alone that Windham has decided to return to the great outdoors and battle for the 2011 AMA Lucas Oil Motocross Championship.
In recent years, Windham has passed on the grueling outdoor season to concentrate his efforts on Supercross. But filling in for an injured rider last year, Windham realized he still had a lot of love for the wide-open Motocross style, and winning a race only cemented his thoughts.
Now he’s back, under similar circumstances, but with dreamy eyes of what could happen.
“I’m just filling in for Trey Canard and Josh Grant at the moment,” Windham said of his latest gig riding for the factory Honda team, a sister operation to his GEICO camp. “At this point it’s just race by race depending on how those guys are feeling, but if we come out here and do well then hopefully we’ll be in a position to run the whole season and battle it out for the championship.”
The 17-year veteran will race the season opener at Hangtown, just outside of Sacramento, for the first time in years. His hiatus from the northern California track doesn’t have him worried though, rather he’s excited to return to a place where he’s always run well.
“It’s been a while since I’ve raced Hangtown,” Windham said. “But I’m excited to be a part of it again. I’ve had a lot of success there and hope that this weekend is no different.
Taking the lead in the main event, Windham was involved in a crash on May 7 at the Supercross finale in Las Vegas where he suffered some internal injuries. After some time off, Windham was cleared by his doctors and told that he can hop back on his 450cc machine in time for this weekend’s event.
“I’m feeling good right now,” Windham said. “I’m really happy with the way my riding has been going. We lost a little bit of time after my crash but I’m ready to hop back on my Honda and get after it.
“Truth be told, I’ll be winging it a little bit since I haven’t been able to ride that much but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to start the outdoors so we’re going to make the best of it. I feel ready to ride and I just hope we do well.”
The Hangtown National will take place at Prairie City OHV Park in Rancho Cordova, Calif. on Saturday, May 21. Gates open at 7 a.m. PDT and opening ceremonies begin at 12:40 p.m.