July 1, 2008
LAKEWOOD, Col. – For the first time during the outdoor season, the GEICO Powersports Honda team had a full roster at the Lakewood, Colorado, round of the AMA National Motocross Championships – round five of the 12-round series – with the return of Trey Canard after he took a week off with a mild concussion and Josh Grant, who has been out since the Las Vegas Supercross in early May.
The result was impressive, as the GEICO Powersports Honda team filled four of the top eight positions on the day in the highly competitive Lites class.
The top team rider, to some pundits' surprise, was Grant, who had the fastest qualifying time during Friday practice, and then turned good starts into good finishes in both motos. In the first moto, he finished fourth, and then in moto two, he got the holeshot and led the first 12 laps of the race before losing the lead to Ryan Villopoto and finishing second. But the 4-2 score was good enough for second overall in his first race back in nearly two months.
"I got in about four or five days of riding in the last week, and I felt good enough to come out and ride, so I'm just pumped to be here," Grant said. "These last five days, I've really worked on being smooth and not riding too crazy, and I think the way the track was set up tonight, it kind of suited that. So, it was just easy for me to get in my groove and stay with the lines that I chose, and it worked out. I was actually excited about [the night race] because I've ridden at night before, and this was a good comeback for me. I was just really excited to come back and get a good result for our team, and I just want to do it again next weekend."
Eastern Regional SX champ Canard also looked really good in his return from injury, scoring a 5-3 for fourth overall, and he was all over Grant at the finish of the second moto for second place.
"I don't think anything has changed too much in the last few weeks, I just got a little bit of rest," Canard said of recovering from his injury suffered at round three. "I felt like I was riding really good this weekend, and I was happy with what I was doing on the bike, but all the speed in the world doesn't matter much if you're not up front. Being in 30th on the first lap is not getting it done, so I'm just working on my starts and trying to find that extra edge. I've never been on the podium, so to finally get on the podium was really good for me. Hopefully, I can keep it going next week."
Lakewood also marked a best for Dan Reardon, as the Aussie pilot finished inside the top five overall for the first time outdoors.
"Both motos I started about 15th place or whatever and worked my way up to seventh, and that's kind of where I ended up both motos," Reardon said. "The way the guys were inconsistent, that let me come away with a fifth place. I'm happy with the way things went this weekend, and I'm looking forward to Red Bud."
Reardon has been improving every week.
"I believe I am improving, and that's what I wanted to do," he said. "After the first round, I guess it wasn't the way I wanted to start things off, so I said to myself that as long as I could improve or work on things and as long as something gets better on the weekend, then I'm going to be happy. My program doesn't change much during the week. I still train hard and do everything right. It's just taking time. I've been happy the way things have been improving, but it takes time."
Round-four runner-up Jake Weimer had a tough go of it in Colorado but still pulled of eighth overall.
"Yeah, I don't know why [I always have a tough time in Colorado]," Weimer said. "I'm sure at this point that it's a mental deal that I've got going on, but every year that I've been there, I've never even finished two motos. I always seem to struggle and things happen, and I never am able to put two good motos together. I felt like it was that way again, really."
This year, though, Weimer did finish both motos, which resulted not only in eighth overall, but a significant jump up in the points, as he's now tied for third with Austin Stroupe and is within striking distance of second in the championship.
"At this point, it doesn't really mean a lot to me, though," Weimer said of his points gain. "I'm not worried about the championship unless I think I can win it. That, to me, at this point isn't that big of a deal. I'm just trying to get good finishes every weekend. Obviously, at the end of the year, it'd be nice to finish in the top three in points, but I'm just more focused on trying to make the most out of every weekend."
The GEICO Powersports Honda team sets off for Red Bud, the halfway point in the AMA National Motocross Championship, this Sunday, July 6th in Buchanan, Michigan, where all four riders are again expected to mix it up at the front of the Lites pack.
Team Sponsors: GEICO Powersports, Honda, Planet Fitness, No Fear Energy, AMSOIL, Factory Connection, Torco Racing Fuels, No Fear, Shoei, Gaerne, Spy, DVS, Cycra, Dunlop, EK, Ferodo, Hinson, Ogio, One Industries, Pro Circuit, Renthal, Showa, TAG, Twin Air, and Works Connection.
Lakewood Lites Overall:
1. Ryan Villopoto 1-1 Kaw
2. Josh Grant 4-2 GEICO Powersports Honda
3. Nico Izzi 2-4 Suz
4. Trey Canard 5-3 GEICO Powersports Honda
5. Dan Reardon 7-7 GEICO Powersports Honda
6. Matt Lemoine 10-5 Yam
7. Matt Goerke 6-10 KTM
8. Jake Weimer 9-8 GEICO Powersrports Honda
9. Mike Brown 12-6 Yam
10. Ryan Sipes 11-9 KTM
AMA Lites National MX Championship (After 5 of 12 rounds):
1. Ryan Villopoto (241/4 wins)
2. Ryan Dungey (183)
3. Jake Weimer (152)
Austin Stroupe (152/1 win)
5. Brett Metcalfe (143)
6. Jason Lawrence (120)
7. Dan Reardon (104)
8. Nico Izzi (92)
9. Matt Goerke (89)
10. Trey Canard (83)
22. Josh Grant (40)