Geico Press Release
PALA, Calif. (Sep. 10) – GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia ended one spot short of victory on Saturday at the Pala National, the season finale of the Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Championship.
Barcia, riding an American Honda 450, finished third in the first moto and led nearly all of the second before Ryan Dungey passed him with two laps to go. Had Barcia won, the victory in the second moto would have broken a three-way tie for the day’s overall title with Dungey and Ryan Villlopoto.
Instead, Dungey won the overall, Villopoto was second (and took home the season points title), while Barcia had to settle for third.
“I came out swinging in the first moto today, I rode really hard and it was a fast track,” Barcia said. “I held it in first for basically the entire race. I do need to take it to the next step but overall I think I did pretty well.”
Teammate and rookie Justin Bogle was GEICO Honda’s top finishing 250cc rider on Saturday. He rebounded from 10th-place finish in the first moto to lead 10 laps before finishing second in the nightcap and earning a fifth place overall finish.
“It was awesome being out in front today,” Bogle said. “I got a little nervous in the lead but felt a little more relaxed after I put some laps in. I did get nervous again when Dean Wilson caught up to me. He ended up getting around me and taking the lead.”
This was Bogle’s fourth weekend racing as a professional.
“My first moto didn’t go too well but I rode from last to 10th,” Bogle said. “I definitely only want to take a week off and then jump right back into training to get ready for Supercross.”
Eli Tomac had a rough couple of motos this weekend but ended up in ninth overall.
“Practice went really well for me, I qualified third.” Tomac said. “I got a bad start in the first moto, I got caught up in a crash that wasn’t even my fault, I was behind this guy that crashed and it put me behind.
“Second moto was bad luck for me too. I had a horrible start and there ended up being another crash in front of me that set me back on this moto as well. I also went into a rut and laid the bike over which set me back even more.”
Jimmy Decotis ended up finishing 18th overall after finishes of 23rd and 15th. He got the hole shot in the second moto and rode strong in second behind Bogle for the first segment of the second moto.
“I started up front in Moto 1, but I made some mistakes and ended up falling,” Decotis said. “Some dirt got into my front brakes so I had to get that out which put me way back in the pack before I got started again.
“I came out much better in the second moto, I rode really well for the first couple laps but fell back. I’m just trying to get back into the swing of things.”
While this is the end of the outdoor season, Barcia and Tomac have committed to race at the Supercross Paris-Bercy in France from Oct. 28-30, while the rest of the team will take a little time off before preparing for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series opener on Jan. 7, 2012, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif.