TORONTO (March 20) - Now that his AMA Supercross Lites East series winning streak has been snapped, GEICO Honda's Justin Barcia can solely focus on clinching a second straight championship.
Of course the quickest way Barcia can accomplish that is to win more races, starting with this Saturday's event at Rogers Centre.
"The pressure is off," Barcia said. "No one is going to be asking if I can win them all now. I would have loved to win them all, but it didn't work out that way. Now I can just focus on enjoying myself and racing to win."
Barcia enjoys a 22-point lead over second-place Darryn Durham heading into this weekend's race, and Barcia said he'll have a secret weapon coming with him north of the border.
"I like going up to Toronto, it's a short trip up from where I grew up in New York," he said. "A lot of New Yorkers drive up there and I get to see a lot of people I've known for a long time. Hopefully, I'll have their support."
Barcia said he won't allow himself to be too relaxed because the Rogers Center dirt is often full of surprises.
"The dirt is a little slicker up there," Barcia said. "You have to be careful because there always seem to be a lot of rocks on the track. You have to race smart up there. It's pretty scary when the rocks hit you. You'll come back with the chipped up helmet because the roosts are just brutal."
For Lites teammate Justin Bogle, Saturday's race will be full of milestones.
"It's my birthday this weekend and the first time I've been outside the United States," said Bogle, a Supercross rookie. "I'm hoping that will be enough good juju to get me back on the podium."
Bogle is seventh in the Lites standings, 11 points behind Jake Canada for sixth.
GEICO Honda's Kevin Windham will race this weekend despite getting pretty banged up last Saturday in Indianapolis.
"We had a few get-offs in one night there in Indy," Windham said. "We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time on both of them. Luckily there were no broken bones in my back. This week has been about physical therapy for me and not about riding.
"I'm working with a lot of great people who are trying to get me back to full speed. We had a lot of momentum going over the last few races and we sure don't want to miss any events. I'm not sure what this weekend is going to bring because one minute, my back feels fine and I feel like a million bucks, then I can move it the wrong way and the pain will almost bring me to my knees. I need to tough it out."
Windham is in a tight battle for fourth place in the Supercross standings. He trails Davi Millsaps by five points for that position.
Practice for Saturday's Monster Energy AMA Supercross race gets under way at 12:30 p.m. EDT at Rogers Centre with opening ceremonies starting a 7 p.m. SPEED TV will broadcast the Supercross on the Lites live beginning at 7:30 p.m. EDT.