It’s been a long season with some very tall peaks and low valleys for the Troy Lee Designs / Lucas Oil / Honda team. As the series came to a conclusion at Pala Raceway in southern California last weekend the entire crew was ready for a break, but also excited about what lies in store for 2012. The series finale at Pala was a microcosm of the team’s entire season; There were some flashes of brilliance with a few disappointing moments.
Three-time Canadian national champion Colton Facciotti was racing in his final event for the team at Pala. He wanted to make a statement heading into the off-season and he started the opening moto off the right way. He came around the opening lap in second place behind holeshot artist Mike Alessi. Colton stayed at the front briefly but lost a few spots to the title contenders who were charging for a number one plate. Colton settled into a good pace and finished the race in 8th. It was a good moto for Facciotti and he was feeling confident heading into the second moto. Unfortunately, he was involved in a first turn crash that left him with a sore back and a ringing in his head. He made the wise decision to retire to the pits and call it a day. It was an up-and-down day for Colton Facciotti.
Tarah Gieger has had a very solid season. She has been a podium regular and had third place in the standings locked up for weeks. Tarah wanted to put a stamp on 2011 and she did it by stringing together two solid motos, leading for several laps and finishing second in the final race of the year. Congratulations to Tarah on an excellent series!
Cole Seely had a rough day. In the first moto he tangled with two others riders off the start and went down. He raced hard the entire moto and passed his way into 11th by the motos end. He was really hoping to finish the season out with a podium finish, much like he did last year. He would have one more chance to do it in the second and final moto. But Cole gated poorly and spent the last 35 minutes of the season fighting for position deep in the pack. He crossed the line in 14th and scored 12th on the day.
At seasons end the riders standings looked like this: Christian Craig finished sixteenth overall after missing several rounds due to injury. Cole Seely finished fourteenth in the competitive 250cc class. Tarah Gieger finished third in the WMX series. Travis Baker finished nineteenth after missing rounds with an injury.
From supercross wins to disappointing injuries, the TLD team has run the gamut of results and emotions in 2011.
“It’s been a wild year,” said team owner Troy Lee. “We have a great group of guys here and I’m proud of all of them. The wins in LA and Seattle were amazing and such an accomplishment for the team. We also had some tough races this summer but that’s what makes those good weekends feel so good; that’s why we work hard all week and race hard on the weekends. I’m proud of what this team accomplished this year and I’m already stoked for 2012.”
Troy Lee Designs would like to thank all of the fans that have supported the team throughout the year. It’s been a fun year and 2012 is going to be even better. See you at the races!