Justin Barcia On Top of the Podium at 2012 Thunder Valley National
Round three of the 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and Women’s Motocross Championship took place this weekend at the Thunder Valley National in Lakewood, CO. GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia had an impressive showing, finishing first overall aboard his Honda CRF250R.
After a difficult first two rounds, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton put together a solid ride, qualifying sixth and going 9-6 for a seventh overall finish. “Overall, today was a pretty good day for me compared to the last two weekends,” said Brayton. “I really enjoyed the track and despite the elevation the bike was working great. In moto one I got a less-than-desirable start and had to work my way through the pack to ninth. In the second moto, I grabbed a better jump and was able to finish sixth. I’m really looking to improve on this seventh overall going into High Point.”
Teammate Tommy Hahn had an impressive start to the day, grabbing the holeshot in moto one and leading the race for several laps before being passed by other riders. Unfortunately, Tommy sustained an injury halfway through the race and was unable to continue racing the rest of the day.
Chaparral Honda’s Andrew Short, who is a Colorado native, showed impressive speed by grabbing a third overall with a 7-2 finish. “The track was a lot different then in past years. It was a lot more hardpack but after it rained in between motos it was a lot better and it offered a lot more lines,” said Short. “Colorado in general has always been special to me since I am from here. The first moto was tough; I went down about halfway through. Between motos we made some adjustments to the suspension and I felt a lot better going into the second race. In moto two I got a good start and was fortunate enough to hold it till the end to get on the podium.”
In the 250 class, GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia set the tone in moto one, grabbing the holeshot and battling his way to a win. In race two, Barcia had another solid start but got passed halfway through the race, finishing second and clinching the overall. “Last weekend was pretty tough on me; I got some pretty bad starts. But this weekend went great,” said Barcia. “First moto couldn’t have gone better. I got the holeshot and rode smart and won it. I had a fun day overall and am glad to be on top of the podium. We’re still early in the season and consistent finishes are key.” His teammate Eli Tomac finished fourth overall.
In the Women’s Motocross Championship (WMA) Honda riders put on an impressive show, with Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda’s Tarah Gieger going 3-2 for second overall. Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Ashley Fiolek finished second in moto one after grabbing the holeshot, but unfortunately went down in moto two and finished sixth. In the second race she was able to clinch third overall right in front of teammate Sayaka Kaneshiro, who made her first podium appearance with a third in moto two.
The Focus: Holeshot Devices
Special holeshot devices are installed on most team bikes. According to Tommy Hahn’s mechanic Brent Presnell, “Holeshot devices are used to keep the front end down off the start, giving the rider better positioning, as well as helping to prevent wheelies off the gate. The device starts with a lock ring that goes around the outer fork tube and a button that is placed on the fork guard. Simultaneously, as the forks are pushed down and the button is pressed, they lock together. You can adjust the height at which it locks, which depends on rider preference.”