Aaron and Redmond Considered Favorites For X Games Endurocross Medals

_ X Games Endurocross_

LOS ANGELES (July 29) - The GEICO AMA Endurocross Series presented by Lucas Oil is starting its season on its biggest stage ever - the X Games - and GEICO Honda team riders Geoff Aaron and Kyle Redmond can't wait to get started.

"You always want to start off the season strong," Aaron said. "But to win at the X Games would be an added bonus. It's cool we get to race in the limelight and I'm excited about it."

A 10-time U.S. champion rider in Trials competition, Aaron said he can't wait to show Endurocross off to a larger audience.

"We've got a tight-knit program that's pretty entertaining to watch," Aaron said. "This series has expanded from one event to three to six or seven events that start at the X Games. People are starting to take notice and the fact that ESPN is adopting it as part of the X Games shows how much it's moving and shaking."

The season will open at Staples Center on July 31 as the final event of the 2011 X Games.

Last season, Aaron finished second in the series championship with one win and four runner-up finishes. The GEICO team is switching to Honda bikes across the board in 2011 after racing a mix of brands in previous seasons.

"These Hondas are working out pretty good," Aaron said. "I've had to do a little more testing and riding in the off season to get the feel right. We've been working hard the last couple of months to get them dialed in and ready to race. Hopefully we'll have a good debut ride on the GEICO Honda."

Redmond enters his third season in Endurocross coming off a career-high fifth-place points finish with one runner-up in 2010.

"I hired a trainer who has been working with me a lot," Redmond said. "I've been focusing on improving my weak points on the bike. I should be a lot better than I was last year.

"I'm really happy with my Honda. It's one of the best bikes I've ever ridden and comfortable riding it."

Redmond said he's not yet seen the layout of this weekend's track, but has heard there might be a surprise or two waiting for the EX riders.

"I heard it's going to be fast with a few more jumps than normal," he said. "I still think it's going to be similar to a normal Endurocross track with maybe an extra log rhythm section. It'll be fun.

"I live near STAPLES Center and the X-Games are exciting to see but this time around I'm just going to focus on what I have to do on Sunday."

Racing is scheduled to get under way from STAPLES Center at 6:15 p.m. PDT on Sunday with the final scheduled to start at approximately 7:30 p.m. ESPN2 will carry it live starting at 9:15 p.m. EDT.