GEICO Powersports Hondas have been a constant sight at the front of the pack so far in the 250 Class of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel may have the race wins and the top spots in points thus far, but the sea of red in the front of the pack off the start can’t be ignored.
How good has the squad of Trey Canard, Brett Metcalfe, Blake Wharton and Justin Barcia been? It looked like they were poised to put their four bikes into the top ten in each of the first four motos of the season, until Barcia crashed out of seventh place late in Hangtown’s second moto. Still, that’s 15 top ten finishes in 16 attempts so far this year, one heck of an impressive stat. Of course, the team would love to trade those top ten rides for some wins, and this could be the weekend for it. Barcia has certainly been impressive this year, and one gets the feeling he’ll turn one of his strong starts into a victory soon. Canard comes from just over the Texas state line in Oklahoma and put together a solid 3-2 day for second overall at Hangtown. His rookie teammate Wharton looked strong chasing Dungey early at Hangtown, and he’s a Texan. And Metcalfe would like to extract a measure of revenge on the Texas track, as he collapsed due to the heat after last year’s race was finished.
There’s a fifth GEICO Honda rider doing well, too. Australian Dan Reardon has had a tough time since moving to the U.S. for the 2008 season, but a switch to a 450 may have fixed him. Reardon’s 7-5 for fifth overall at Hangtown—which included outdueling Andrew Short for fifth in the second moto—marked a career best outdoors in the U.S.
In the 450 class at Hangtown, Mike Alessi reigned supreme for the first time in his career. It’s almost surprising to see that this was Mike’s first win ever in the big class, because he’s been a perennial contender every week since 2007. Impressively, Alessi notched 12 overall podium finishes in the big class before finally grabbing his first win.
And you know what they say about that first win: the rest come quickly. For Alessi in the 450 class, and the GEICO Honda boys on 250s, they hope to prove that true again soon.