With the first race – and win – under his belt, GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia is headed into this weekend’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross Lites East race at the Georgia Dome relaxed and confident.
“It was good to get the first race out of the way, especially with a win,” Barcia said. “You always have those jitters coming into the season but once you get out there and ride it all goes away. Now it just feels like business as usual. Georgia is home and I love the vibe of Atlanta. The fans will be there, you know that for sure, and the building will be loud. I’m ready.”
With the win last week, Barcia, the defending Lites East champion, assumes the early points lead, but knows going wire-to-wire to repeat as champ is going to be his toughest challenge yet.
“It’s going to be a crazy season,” he said. “There are definitely five, six, seven guys that can be on the podium any race. I feel like I can win every race but you know that’s probably not going to happen. If we can at least get on the podium every weekend, like we did last year, then we should be in good shape to defend the title.”
Barcia’s Lites teammate, rookie Justin Bogle, is looking for redemption after seeing what would have been a solid debut ride wiped away after getting cleaned out hard by Malcolm Stewart.
“I’ve never been more anxious to race,” Bogle said. “Getting taken out of the race last weekend was hard on me but before that happened I was riding in the top three and I really wasn’t even riding at my best. I was pretty tight and not in a good rhythm, but I was still right there.”
Bogle finished 14th in Dallas and is prepared to ride hard and climb his way back up the rankings.
“It’s good to have a race in the books,” Bogle said. “I know where I stand and how I stack up against the other guys. I’m confident we’ll have a better weekend in Atlanta. I need to earn some points back. I’m ready to get after it.”
GEICO Honda’s Supercross rider, Kevin Windham, is tied for fifth in the series standings with Jake Weimer, but he’s still seeking his first podium of the season.
“I’m trying to stay calm this year because I think we’ve shown we have the ability to get on the podium and contend for some wins,” Windham said. “There is a level of frustration because we haven’t finished up there yet but when you’re so close week after week you don’t want to change too much. It’s just a matter of getting the little breaks it sometimes takes. Being fifth is about right. The guys ahead of me at the moment have had better seasons so far. But we’re right there. We just need to finish.”
Practice for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross race at Georgia Dome gets under way at 12:30 p.m. EST on Saturday with opening ceremonies scheduled for 7 p.m. SPEED TV will air both the Supercross and Supercross Lites East races live starting at 7:30 p.m. EST.