Playing in the Southwick Sand at Front of GEICO Honda Rider’s Minds
With summer winding down, people across America are taking the opportunity to play in the sand one last time before fall arrives. The riders of the GEICO Honda team are no different. However, instead of surf and sandcastles, it will be the sandy whoops and tabletops of Moto-X 338 and this Saturday’s Southwick National on the schedule of the GEICO Honda team.
“It’s a one-of-a-kind track on the circuit,” said GEICO Honda 250 rider Eli Tomac. “I like it. I think it suits my style pretty well. I’ve been riding in the sand my whole life.”
The team is coming off a weekend in New York that saw its riders score podium finishes in each class. Tomac was third last time out, which included a second-place finish in the second moto at Unadilla.
“When the bike has podium potential you don’t have to worry about getting kicked around on the track,” Tomac said. “If I get some good starts in Southwick, I like my chances.” Tomac is fifth in the 250cc points with three races left on the schedule. He’s still got a chance to move into fourth before the season ends. Tomac trails Kyle Cunningham by 25 points.
Justin Barcia was also third in his debut on an American Honda 450 bike. He said he’s eager to learn and turn in more good finishes on the bigger bike before the year is out. “I’ve raced at Southwick many times and it’s one of my favorite places on the circuit,” Barcia said. “There are some good sand tracks down in Florida where I’ve been able to practice up at. The 450 will definitely pull through in the sand. I’m used to holding the 250 wide open. It’s going to be a different experience and a lot of fun.”
Jimmy Decotis, who returned from injury in Unadilla, will be racing at his home track. “I was a little rusty and nervous at Unadilla,” Decotis said. “But I’m comfortable at this track and once I get some more motos under my belt, I’ll be good.”
Newcomer Justin Bogle gained valuable experience in his pro debut at Unadilla and he is counting on building on that race this time out. “I’ve never been to Southwick, but there are a couple of sand tracks back home,” Bogle said. “I’m going to hit those up quite a bit before racing there. Hopefully I’ll be able to come out and do good. I’m going to put my head down and try and work the rookie jitters out.”
Practice gets under way at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Saturday with opening ceremonies under way at 12:40 p.m. FUEL TV will air the first motos in 450 and 250 starting at 1 p.m. EDT. SPEED TV will air the second and decisive motos in each class starting at 10 p.m. EDT.