For the second week in a row, a GEICO Honda rider is the overall winner in the Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Series. This time it was Justin Barcia getting it done at the Thunder Valley National, racing to a first- and a second-place finish in the day’s two motos to earn the overall No. 1 ranking.
Teammate Eli Tomac, the overall winner last weekend in Texas, went 4-3 in his home state of Colorado to finish fourth overall. Wil Hahn posted a respectable 10-7 mark to earn the eighth overall ranking.
“It was a wild day,” Barcia said, “but a really fun day. It was another good day for the GEICO team. Everybody is smiling over here in this pit.”
The day started with high winds and thunderstorms that delayed proceedings by more than two hours, but Barcia said the track didn’t deteriorate enough to make a big difference in his riding style.
“It started off slick in the first moto but I was lucky enough to get the holeshot and was able to pretty much run my own race the entire time,” said Barcia, the back-to-back Supercross Lites East champion. “I kind of just checked out from there and had a nice gap by the end. Nice and smooth. The track was pretty rutted in Moto 2 so I really wanted to get the holeshot again. I got around the first turn clear and was running well until the third lap and I noticed my rear brake going away. I had to just tough it out from there for the final 13 laps. I was scrambling but I did catch (Ken) Roczen on the last lap and got second place, which secured the overall win for us, so that was worth it right there.”
A native of Cortez, Colo., Tomac was hoping for a better day, especially coming off a sweep of the Texas race, but it wasn’t meant to be. However, his fourth-place overall finish did keep him in the thick of the championship chase, which brightened his spirits.
“We’re right there,” Tomac said. “I’m happy but definitely wanted more. I kind of had a marginal start in the first moto and then had a little tip-over that cost me some time. Once I got up and got going again I had some traffic to deal with so it was actually pretty good to finish fourth. In the second moto there were four of us that kind of separated from everyone else and we just went from there. It was good to get a podium out of it.”
Like Tomac, Hahn found himself in traffic at various points but his overall finish earned him 25 points, which lifted him to seventh in the season rankings. Barcia moved up to second, 16 points off the lead, with Tomac now six points back in fourth place.
“We’ll keep at it,” Hahn said. “There were times when I was really happy with my riding and areas where I felt like I could have been quicker but we’re about where we should be at this point in the season if you factor everything into the equation. I want more and expect more and I hope to become a regular on the podium. All the pieces are here.”
The tour now heads east to Mt. Morris, Pa., for next weekend’s High Point National.