Barcia helps Team USA to podium finish at Motocross des Nationals
LOMMEL, Belgium - GEICO Honda rider Justin Barcia fought one of the toughest tracks he's faced in his career and helped bring Team USA a third-place finish at the 66th Motocross des Nations over the weekend.
"The track was really difficult and harsh; we don't have a track like this in the USA, so it was really challenging," Barcia said. "The guys at the front rode really well. We all did our best as a team and although I'm disappointed, those guys are really good on the sand, so it wasn't a bad finish, but obviously we wanted to win.
"It was a crazy experience and I hope I get selected to race it again."
Barcia's first race of the event was actually in the second moto. He got a fair start in the notoriously deep Belgian sand but collided with Ken de Dycker. As the race wore on, a handful of spokes on his front wheel broke as a result of the collision. Eventually this caused his front brake to lock, so Barcia got off his bike and pushed his Honda into the pits for repairs.
"In my first race it was going pretty good and I was riding good, but I had a coming together with de Dycker and my spokes got all twisted in his wheel," Barcia said. "Eventually on the second-to-last lap my front end locked up, and I had to get to the mechanics area to clip a couple of spokes. I got back on the bike and finished but by then I was 14th, which was a bummer, especially as I was doing pretty good.
"The collision was right in the beginning; he came across and I came in really fast, so there was nothing we could do. It was one of the racing deals."
In the final moto, Barcia brought Team USA home its best individual finish, a third.
"In my second moto things went much better," Barcia said. "I rode well until mid-race, where I got a little tight, but I put it together towards the end and got third, which was good."
Barcia finished fourth overall in his class and guided Team USA to 39 points on the day. Germany won the title with the host country, Belgium, coming in second on its home track.
"I'm pretty tired now and I pulled my groin a bit," Barcia said. "I'm looking forward to getting home and riding the 450 some more on a regular track."
Up next for Barcia and other select members of GEICO Honda is the Oct. 20 Monster Energy Cup from Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.