Honda Comes Out Strong in 2012 Atlanta Supercross
A sold-out crowd of nearly 70,000 attended round eight of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship series this weekend in Atlanta, GA. Honda riders had an impressive showing with Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton finishing fifth and replacement rider Cole Seely finishing in sixth place in the Supercross class. It was also the second round of the East Lites class and GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia made it two wins in a row, while his teammate Justin Bogle finished third.
It was a frustrating start to the day for Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Brayton, who is still recovering from his crash in San Diego. Brayton qualified eighth in practice but grabbed a sixth-place finish in his heat race. In the main, Brayton got a mid-pack start and battled the entire 20 laps, finishing a respectable fifth place.
Seely had a noteworthy ride aboard his Team Honda Muscle Milk CRF450R. After making a minor bike adjustment during practice, Seely was ready for the night. In the main he impressed everyone by grabbing the holeshot and leading the pack for the first seven laps. After falling back a few positions, he was still able to finish a solid sixth place.
“I felt confident with my performance going from the heat race into the main,” said Seely. “In the main I got the holeshot and expected to see someone’s front wheel within the first few laps but it didn’t happen and I was able to lead for a while. I tried to hold a decent pace for as long as I could but I got a little tired and some of the other guys got by me. This race was good for me to see where I am in the Supercross class and it gives me more confidence going into next weekend.”
GEICO Honda’s Kevin Windham hit a milestone in his career with Atlanta marking his 200th Supercross start. Windham showed impressive speed with a fifth-place-overall qualifying time in practice, and a fourth-place finish in his heat. Unfortunately, a bad start in the main left Windham towards the back of the pack. He rode a noteworthy race, making his way up to eighth place.
“I knew as soon I came off the line that it was going to be a long night,” said Windham. “Although it left a lot to be desired out there I am really focused on my accomplishment of being able to stick around this long. With such a competitive Supercross class it is hard to go out there and get a podium when you are up against a bad start. I am happy and grateful for everyone who has helped get me to this 200th start.”
Current points leader and defending Lites East Champion Justin Barcia made his way to the podium as a winner for a second consecutive week. After posting the second-quickest qualifying time of the night, Barcia finished second in his heat race. In the main he dominated the field, grabbing the holeshot and never looking back.
“The night went really good for me,” said Barcia. “I had good practices and a decent heat race, but I knew I could be up front in the main. The GEICO Honda CRF250R was running great and I felt awesome. I got the holeshot in the main and ran my own race. With two wins under my belt, I am ready to head into next weekend and make it a third.”
GEICO Honda’s newest rider Justin Bogle made his podium debut, finishing in third place in the Lites main. “The track was really good, a lot more technical than Arlington, which I think suits my riding style better,” said Bogle. “I got a sixth-place start and was able to make some passes and capitalize on some mistakes. It was a great night and I’m excited for the rest of the season.”