Honda Tops the Opening Round of the 2012 Supercross Lites East Class
Round seven of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship series took place this weekend in Arlington, TX. Nearly 54,000 fans filled Cowboys Stadium to watch not only the seventh round of the series, but also the opening round of the Lites East class. GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia, who is also the defending Lites East Champion, started his season strong by winning the main. His teammate Kevin Windham and Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton rode noteworthy races, finishing in the top ten.
After spending most of the week recovering from his crash in San Diego, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton put together a respectable ride aboard his CRF450R. He finished a solid fifth in his heat race. In the main, Brayton grabbed a mid-pack start and had a close call on the first lap when another rider landed on his right side. Despite damage to his exhaust, Brayton spent the remaining 20 laps battling his way up a ninth-place finish.
“The night went okay since I came into this round not even knowing if I was going to be able to ride. I did a lot of therapy this week but wasn’t able to get on the bike,” said Brayton. “In the main I got landed on in the first lap. The right side of my body and my muffler were pretty messed up. I am happy to be going home safe and have another week for rehab. I think I’ll be able to go to Atlanta more on point like I was before my crash in San Diego.”
TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed started the day off strong after laying down the fastest lap time in qualifying, giving him first gate pick headed into the heat races. He finished a solid second in his heat race in front of GEICO Honda’s Kevin Windham. In the main Reed got a good start and quickly made his way into the second-place position. He was putting a lot of pressure on the rider in first place until going down hard in the whoops. Reed was taken off the track by the Asterisk medical team and was unable to finish the race.
For a second week in a row GEICO Honda’s Kevin Windham had an upsetting end to his night. After qualifying fifth quickest during the day, he finished third in his heat. During the main he rode in fifth the majority of the race until making a few mistakes and dropping to seventh place.
“The GEICO Honda was running incredible and things were going great almost all day,” said Windham. “I don’t know what happened but with three to four laps to go I made some major mistakes causing me to get passed a few times. I don’t want to dwell on it too much since the majority of the day went well but I just need to focus on finishing the last five laps strong. I’m excited for Atlanta which will be my 200th start and am hoping to turn things around and make it on the podium.”
Defending Lites East Champion Justin Barcia started his 2012 season exactly where he left off last year–on top of the podium. After setting the quickest lap time in qualifying, Barcia rode a solid heat race finishing in first place. In the main he nabbed a fourth place start and quickly began charging to the front of the pack. On lap eight Barcia made the pass for first and quickly pulled away from the rest of the field to take his first win of the season.
“The night started okay. I got a bad start in the heat race but was still able to take the win,” said Barcia. “I turned it around in the main, got a pretty good start and made some strong passes. I ended up getting the lead and was able to pull a nice gap. This is a great way to start off the season and I am excited to head to Atlanta.”